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Zambia

Zambia is a southern African country, which borders Zimbabwe, Namibia, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Formerly called Northern Rhodesia, this area was administered by the British South Africa Company from 1891 to 1923, when the British took over. Because of the advances in mining, many moved to this area during the 1920s and 1930s. Northern Rhodesia became Zambia in 1964 when it gained its independence and it was only in the early 1990s that Zambia adopted a multi-party system. Zambia used to be one of Africa’s richest countries and it remains a major copper producer, ranking as the world’s seventh largest producer. Although politically stable, Zambia is faced with economic and health problems, similar to many African countries. The problem of HIV/AIDS is destroying some of Zambia’s much-needed professionals, such as engineers and politicians. Measures to lessen this problem of HIV/AIDS continue to be implemented. Zambia has a lot to offer. It is home to various lakes and rivers, such as the Zambezi River as well as its 17 waterfalls, including the famous Victoria Falls. The Zambezi River is the perfect location for river rafting, canoeing safaris and river surfing. In terms of its animals, the Zambian Government has dedicated almost one-third of the country to national parks and game reserves. These National parks include the Kafue, Kasanka, Sioma Ngwezi and Sumbe parks. The capital city of Zambia is Lusaka, which is home to various museums as well as some interesting cultural centers. The Kabwata Cultural Village for instance, is known for preserving indigenous arts and crafts and its displays of traditional dancing. There are parts of Zambia that are copper mining areas. These areas incorporate the towns of Ndola and Kitwe; the copper belt of Zambia. Zambia’s culture is a blend of values, norms and spiritual traditions of over 35 different ethnic groups. Although there is an increase in western influences, especially in urban centers, traditional music is very much alive. The most common tradition instrument is the hand piano and the silimba, a xylophone type instrument with a range of flat wooden keys mounted over gourds. Drums are commonly used in celebrations, ceremonies and community communication. Dance also makes up an important part of Zambian culture. While different ethnic groups have their own forms and styles, the best known dance is the makishi. This dance was brought from the north and is now adopted by other ethnic groups.

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CATEGORIES: Demographics - Quick Facts - Economy - Communications - Health Issues
Demographics
Country Flag: Zambia's Flag

Green with a panel of three vertical bands of red (hoist side), black, and orange below a soaring orange eagle, on the outer edge of the flag

Nationality: Zambian(s)

Capital: Lusaka

Population: 11,502,010

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

  • 0-14 years: 46.3% (male 2,673,891/female 2,656,268)
  • 15-64 years: 51.3% (male 2,925,910/female 2,969,324)
  • 65 years and over: 2.4% (male 117,877/female 158,740) (2006 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.11% (2006 est.)

Literacy rate:

  • age 15 and over can read and write English
  • 80.6% of the population is literate (male: 86.8%, female: 74.8%) (2003 est.)

Major religions: Sunni Muslim 99%, Christian and Jewish 1%

Languages: Arabic (official), French and Berber Dialects

Quick Facts
Area:
  • total: 752,614 sq km
  • land: 740,724 sq km
  • water: 11,890 sq km

Area comparative to Canadian province: slightly bigger than Alberta

Natural resources: copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydropower

Environmental Issues:air pollution and resulting acid rain in the mineral extraction and refining region; chemical runoff into watersheds; poaching seriously threatens rhinoceros, elephant, antelope, and large cat populations; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; lack of adequate water treatment presents human health risks

Economy

Zambia has been making progress in privatization and budgetary reforms. The privatization of government-owned copper mines is improving the chances for copper mining to return to profitability, thus spurring some economic growth. Since 2004, copper output has increased as a result of higher copper prices and the opening of new mines. The improvements in the maize harvest in 2005 helped to boost GDP and agricultural exports. Zambia also continues to cooperate with international bodies on programs designed to reduce poverty. To help reduce inflation, Zambia needs a firmer monetary policy.

Major industries:

  • copper mining and processing
  • construction
  • foodstuffs
  • beverages
  • chemicals
  • textiles
  • fertilizer
  • horticulture

Agricultural products:

  • corn
  • sorghum
  • rice
  • peanuts
  • sunflower seed
  • vegetables
  • flowers
  • tobacco
  • cotton
  • sugarcane
  • cassava (tapioca)
  • coffee
  • cattle
  • goats
  • pigs
  • poultry
  • milk
  • eggs
  • hides

Oil production: 130.2 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Railways: 2,173 km (2004)

Road map: 91,440 km (paved: 20,117 km , unpaved: : 71,323 km) (2001)

Currency: Zambian kwacha (ZMK)

Communications

Telephone lines in use: 88,400 (2003)

Cellular lines in use: 300,000 (2004)

Television Stations: 9 (2002)

Radio Stations: AM 19, FM 5, shortwave 4 (2001)

Internet users: 231,000 (2005)

Health Issues

HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 16.5% (2003 est.)

People living with HIV/AIDS: 920,000 (2003 est.)

More Information

For more informaiton, please visit:
https://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/za.html