OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Zambia
SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT: Multiparty Republic
AREA: 752,619 Sq Km (290,588 Sq Mi)

Direct Link to Political MapDirect Link to Physical MapLOCATION & GEOGRAPHY: Zambia is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. It is bound by Angola to the west, Namibia to the south, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to the southeast, Malawi to the east, Tanzania to the northeast and Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire) to the northwest. The country occupies a plateau which has five distinct topographical regions. (1.) The central highlands which include the Copper belt and Zambezi Valley. (2.) The western plains which consist of swamps and semiarid deserts. (3.) The Rift Valley with the Zambezi Lowlands. (4.) The Muchinga Uplands and (5.) northeastern Zambia which includes the Bangweulu Swamps as well as Lake Mweru and Tanganyika. The principal river is the Zambezi with its three major tributaries, the Kabompo, Kafue and Luangwa Rivers. Major Cities (pop. est.); Lusaka 982,400, Ndola 376,300, Kitwe 348,600, Mufulira 175,000 (1990). Land Use; forested 39%, pastures 40%, agricultural-cultivated 7%, other 14% (1993).

CLIMATE: Zambia has a mild tropical climate with cool conditions in the highlands. In general, there are three seasons. (1.) A cool dry season from May to August. (2.) A hot dry season from September to November. (3.) A warm wet season from December to April. Rainfall is uniform with average annual precipitation varying between 1,000 mm and 1,400 mm (40 and 50 inches) in the north decreasing to 510 mm (21 inches) in the south. Heavy tropical storms also occur during the beginning of the wet season. Average temperature ranges in Lusaka are from 9 to 23 degrees Celsius (48 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit) in July to 18 to 31 degrees Celsius (64 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit) in October.

PEOPLE: Nearly 99% of the population are Black Africans belonging to more than 70 Bantu tribes. The remainder consist of three major ethnic minorities. (1.) Asians of Indian origin. (2.) Coloreds who are of Euro-African and Indo-African descent and (3.) Europeans who are mainly of British origin.

DEMOGRAPHIC/VITAL STATISTICS: Density; 11 persons per sq km (30 persons per sq mi) (1991). Urban-Rural; 49.9% urban, 50.1% rural (1990). Sex Distribution; 49.3% male, 50.7% female (1990). Life Expectancy at Birth; 52.4 years male, 54.5 years female (1990). Age Breakdown; 47% under 15, 26% 15 to 29, 15% 30 to 44, 8% 45 to 59, 4% 60 and over (1986). Birth Rate; 51.2 per 1,000 (1990). Death Rate; 13.7 per 1,000 (1990). Increase Rate; 37.5 per 1,000 (1990). Infant Mortality Rate; 80.0 per 1,000 live births (1990).

RELIGIONS: Mostly Christians which account for 72% of the population, of which 34% are Protestant and 26% are Roman Catholic. Other religious minorities include Muslims and Hindus which account for 1% of the population while the remainder follow local native tribal beliefs.

LANGUAGES: The official language is English, although it is only spoken by a small minority. Over 30 languages are spoken throughout the country with the principal languages being Bemba, Nyanja, Lozi, Luvale, Lunda and Tonga.

EDUCATION: Aged 25 or over and having attained: no formal schooling 54.7%, some primary 34.4%, some secondary 10.5%, higher 0.4% (1980). Literacy; literate population aged 15 or over 3,130,000 or 72.8% (1990).

MODERN HISTORY - WWII TO 1993: After World War II the resident Europeans asked Britain for greater control of the government with many wanting to merge Northern Rhodesia with Southern Rhodesia. The Africans of Northern Rhodesia opposed these demands and in 1953 Britain formed the Central African Federation of Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Nyasaland (Malawi). In 1963 Britain dissolved the federation and on Oct. 24, 1964 Northern Rhodesia became the independent nation of Zambia with Kenneth Kaunda as the country's first President. In 1969 Pres. Kaunda embarked on a nationalization program of industry and in 1973 took control of the country's two largest copper mining groups. In 1982 the two mining groups merged to form the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines and in Dec. 1982 Pres. Kaunda established a single-party system of government. During 1985 to 1987 civil unrest escalated as the government imposed economic austerity policies. In 1989 four military officers were tried for conspiring to overthrow the government in 1988. During the 1970's and 1980's Zambia has supported Black African guerrilla groups in Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In June 1990 serious riots in Lusaka erupted after the price of maize or corn was doubled, which resulted in the deaths of 15 people as security police crushed the riots. In Dec. 1990 legislation was passed that allowed for the formation of opposition political parties and the establishment of a multiparty democracy. During 1991 there were a number of demands for wage increases following a warning by the Minister of the State for the Civil Service that 11,000 civil servants and 36,000 local government employees would be retrenched over the next two years. In April 1991 oil refinery workers striked demanding wage increases of 85%, followed by railway workers and university academics. On Oct. 31, 1991 Frederick Chiluba of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) defeated Pres. Kaunda in presidential elections. On Jan. 6, 1992 Kuanda announced his intention to resign as leader of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), and in Oct. 1992 Kebby Musokotwane was elected as Kuanda's successor. During 1992 Pres. Chiluba continued with his economic austerity measures in an attempt to ensure further foreign aid. Also in 1992 a drought seriously affected the production of maize and Western aid donors pledged some US $400 million as a result of the government's austerity measures following the suspension in aid in 1991 due to the government failing to meet its' debt payments. In 1993 the country's maize production recovered from the 1992 drought. In March 1993, Pres. Chiluba declared a state of emergency following the discovery of a planned coup. Security forces arrested several opposition leaders many of which were released on bail. In May 1993, Pres. Chiluba sacked four senior ministers and lifted the state of emergency. Led by Arthur Wina ten members of the MMD resigned and formed a new National Party (NP) and later several opposition party members joined the NP. In Nov. 1993 by-elections caused by the resignation of the four ex-MMD ministers resulted in the NP winning 4 of the 8 contested seats with the MMD winning only 3. Also in 1993 several aid donors, including the US, UK and Germany forgave substantial portions of the country's debts.

CURRENCY: The official currency is the Kwacha (K) divided into 100 Ngwee.

ECONOMY: Gross National Product; USD $3,155,000,000 (1993). Public Debt; USD $6,219,000,000 (1993). Imports; USD $702,000,000 (1993). Exports; USD $904,000,000 (1993). Tourism Receipts; USD $44,000,000 (1993). Balance of Trade; USD $202,000,000 (1993). Economically Active Population; 2,918,000 or 32.7% of total population (1993). Unemployed; 17.4% (1987).

MAIN TRADING PARTNERS: Its main trading partners are the UK, the USA, South Africa and Japan.

MAIN PRIMARY PRODUCTS: Cassava, Cattle, Cobalt, Coal, Copper, Cotton, Ground Nuts, Lead, Maize, Sugar, Tobacco.

MAJOR INDUSTRIES: Agriculture, Brewing, Cement, Chemicals, Mining.

MAIN EXPORTS: Cobalt, Copper, Lead, Zinc.

TRANSPORT: Railroads; route length 2,164 km (1,345 mi) (1988), passenger-km 759,000,000 (471,621,000 passenger-mi) (1988), cargo ton-km 752,000,000 (515,045,000 short ton-mi) (1988). Roads; length 37,359 km (23,214 mi) (1989). Vehicles; cars 105,783 (1982), trucks and buses 94,780 (1982). Merchant Marine; nil. Air Transport; passenger-km 232,170,000 (144,264,000 passenger-mi) (1990), cargo ton-km 9,684,000 (6,633,000 short ton-mi) (1990).

COMMUNICATIONS: Daily Newspapers; total of 2 with a total circulation of 105,000 (1990). Radio; receivers 1,660,000 (1994). Television; receivers 200,000 (1994). Telephones; lines 78,000 (1993).

MILITARY: 21,600 (1995) total active duty personnel with 92.6% army, 0.0% navy and 7.4% air force while military expenditure accounts for 2.7% (1990) of the Gross National Product (GNP).

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