Country Information Database


Zambia Country Information

Flag of Zambia
Map of Zambia
Introduction Zambia
The territory of Northern Rhodesia was administered by the [British] South Africa Company from 1891 until it was taken over by the UK in 1923. During the 1920s and 1930s, advances in mining spurred development and immigration. The name was changed to Zambia upon independence in 1964. In the 1980s and 1990s, declining copper prices and a prolonged drought hurt the economy. Elections in 1991 brought an end to one-party rule, but the subsequent vote in 1996 saw blatant harassment of opposition parties. The election in 2001 was marked by administrative problems with three parties filing a legal petition challenging the election of ruling party candidate Levy MWANAWASA. The new president launched an anticorruption investigation in 2002 to probe high-level corruption during the previous administration. In 2006-07, this task force successfully prosecuted four cases, including a landmark civil case in the UK in which former President CHILUBA and numerous others were found liable for USD 41 million. MWANAWASA was reelected in 2006 in an election that was deemed free and fair.
Geography Zambia
Southern Africa, east of Angola
Geographic coordinates:
15 00 S, 30 00 E
Map references:
total: 752,614 sq km
land: 740,724 sq km
water: 11,890 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Texas
Land boundaries:
total: 5,664 km
border countries: Angola 1,110 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 1,930 km, Malawi 837 km, Mozambique 419 km, Namibia 233 km, Tanzania 338 km, Zimbabwe 797 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
tropical; modified by altitude; rainy season (October to April)
mostly high plateau with some hills and mountains
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Zambezi river 329 m
highest point: unnamed location in Mafinga Hills 2,301 m
Natural resources:
copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydropower
Land use:
arable land: 6.99%
permanent crops: 0.04%
other: 92.97% (2005)
Irrigated land:
1,560 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
105.2 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 1.74 cu km/yr (17%/7%/76%)
per capita: 149 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
periodic drought, tropical storms (November to April)
Environment - current 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
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
landlocked; the Zambezi forms a natural riverine boundary with Zimbabwe
People Zambia
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, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 45.4% (male 2,659,572/female 2,634,379)
15-64 years: 52.3% (male 3,045,536/female 3,053,465)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 115,662/female 160,920) (2008 est.)
Median age:
total: 16.9 years
male: 16.8 years
female: 17.1 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.654% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
40.52 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
21.35 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
-2.63 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 100.96 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 105.73 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 96.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 38.59 years
male: 38.49 years
female: 38.7 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
5.23 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
16.5% (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
920,000 (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
89,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and plague are high risks in some locations
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2008)
noun: Zambian(s)
adjective: Zambian
Ethnic groups:
African 98.7%, European 1.1%, other 0.2%
Christian 50%-75%, Muslim and Hindu 24%-49%, indigenous beliefs 1%
English (official), major vernaculars - Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, and about 70 other indigenous languages
definition: age 15 and over can read and write English
total population: 80.6%
male: 86.8%
female: 74.8% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 7 years
male: 7 years
female: 7 years (2000)
Education expenditures:
2% of GDP (2005)
Government Zambia
Country name:
conventional long form: Republic of Zambia
conventional short form: Zambia
former: Northern Rhodesia
Government type:
name: Lusaka
geographic coordinates: 15 25 S, 28 17 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
9 provinces; Central, Copperbelt, Eastern, Luapula, Lusaka, Northern, North-Western, Southern, Western
24 October 1964 (from UK)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 24 October (1964)
24 August 1991; amended in 1996 to establish presidential term limits
Legal system:
based on English common law and customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in an ad hoc constitutional council; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Acting President Rupiah BANDA (since 19 August 2008); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: Vice President Rupiah BANDA (acting President since June 2008) note - Vice President BANDA (since 9 October 2006) has been acting president since the illnes and eventual death of President Levy MWANAWASA on 18 August 2008
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 28 September 2006 (next to be held in 2011); vice president appointed by the president
election results: Levy MWANAWASA reelected president; percent of vote - Levy MWANAWASA 43.0%, Michael SATA 29.4%, Hakainde HICHILEMA 25.3%, Godfrey MIYANDA 1.6%, Winright NGONDO 0.8%
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly (158 seats; 150 members are elected by popular vote, 8 members are appointed by the president, to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held 28 September 2006 (next to be held in 2011)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - MMD 72, PF 44, UDA 27, ULP 2, NDF 1, independents 2; seats not determined 2
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court (the final court of appeal; justices are appointed by the president); High Court (has unlimited jurisdiction to hear civil and criminal cases)
Political parties and leaders:
All Peoples Congress Party [Winright NGONDO]; Forum for Democracy and Development or FDD [Edith NAWAKWI]; Heritage Party or HP [Godfrey MIYANDA]; Liberal Progressive Front or LPF [Roger CHONGWE]; Movement for Multiparty Democracy or MMD [Levy MWANAWASA]; National Democratic Focus or NDF; Patriotic Front or PF [Michael SATA]; Party of Unity for Democracy and Development or PUDD [Dan PULE]; Reform Party [Nevers MUMBA]; United Democratic Alliance or UDA; United Liberal Party or ULP [Sakwiba SIKOTA]; United National Independence Party or UNIP [Tilyenji KAUNDA]; United Party for National Development or UPND [Hakainde HICHILEMA]; Zambia Democratic Congress or ZADECO [Langton SICHONE]; Zambian Republican Party or ZRP [Benjamin MWILA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Inonge MBIKUSITA-LEWANIKA
chancery: 2419 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-9717 through 9719
FAX: [1] (202) 332-0826
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Carmen M. MARTINEZ
embassy: corner of Independence and United Nations Avenues, Lusaka
mailing address: P. O. Box 31617, Lusaka
telephone: [260] (1) 250-955
FAX: [260] (1) 252-225
Flag description:
green field 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
Economy Zambia
Economy - overview:
Zambia's economy has experienced modest growth in recent years, with real GDP growth in 2005-07 between 5-6% per year. Privatization of government-owned copper mines in the 1990s relieved the government from covering mammoth losses generated by the industry and greatly improved the chances for copper mining to return to profitability and spur economic growth. Copper output has increased steadily since 2004, due to higher copper prices and foreign investment. In 2005, Zambia qualified for debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative, consisting of approximately USD 6 billion in debt relief. Zambia experienced a bumper harvest in 2007, which helped to boost GDP and agricultural exports and contain inflation. Although poverty continues to be significant problem in Zambia, its economy has strengthened, featuring single-digit inflation, a relatively stable currency, decreasing interest rates, and increasing levels of trade.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$16.1 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$11.16 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
6% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$1,400 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 17.4%
industry: 26.1%
services: 56.5% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
4.989 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 85%
industry: 6%
services: 9% (2004)
Unemployment rate:
50% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
86% (1993)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 1.2%
highest 10%: 38.8% (2004)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
50.8 (2004)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
10.6% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
26.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
revenues: $2.655 billion
expenditures: $2.8 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:
28.1% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:
corn, sorghum, rice, peanuts, sunflower seed, vegetables, flowers, tobacco, cotton, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), coffee; cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, milk, eggs, hides
copper mining and processing, construction, foodstuffs, beverages, chemicals, textiles, fertilizer, horticulture
Industrial production growth rate:
6.3% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
8.85 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 0.5%
hydro: 99.5%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
8.655 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
243 million kWh (2005)
Electricity - imports:
465 million kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
150 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
14,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
169 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - imports:
13,370 bbl/day (2004)
Oil - proved reserves:
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:
-$228 million (2007 est.)
$4.594 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
copper/cobalt 64%, cobalt, electricity; tobacco, flowers, cotton
Exports - partners:
Switzerland 41.8%, South Africa 12%, Thailand 5.9%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 5.3%, Egypt 5%, Saudi Arabia 4.7%, China 4.1% (2007)
$3.611 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, electricity, fertilizer; foodstuffs, clothing
Imports - partners:
South Africa 47.4%, UAE 6.3%, China 6%, India 4.1%, UK 4% (2007)
Economic aid - recipient:
$504 million (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$1.09 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt - external:
$2.596 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$4.5 billion (2007)
Currency (code):
Zambian kwacha (ZMK)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Zambian kwacha per US dollar - 3,990.2 (2007), 3,601.5 (2006), 4,463.5 (2005), 4,778.9 (2004), 4,733.3 (2003)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Zambia
Telephones - main lines in use:
91,800 (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
2.639 million (2007)
Telephone system:
general assessment: facilities are aging but still among the best in Sub-Saharan Africa
domestic: high-capacity microwave radio relay connects most larger towns and cities; several cellular telephone services in operation and network coverage is improving; Internet service is widely available; very small aperture terminal (VSAT) networks are operated by private firms
international: country code - 260; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 19, FM 5, shortwave 4 (2001)
1.2 million (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
9 (2001)
277,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
7,423 (2007)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
5 (2001)
Internet users:
500,000 (2007)
Transportation Zambia
107 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 9
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 98
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 64
under 914 m: 29 (2007)
oil 771 km (2007)
total: 2,157 km
narrow gauge: 2,157 km 1.067-m gauge
note: includes 891 km of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) (2006)
total: 91,440 km
paved: 20,117 km
unpaved: 71,323 km (2001)
2,250 km (includes Lake Tanganyika and the Zambezi and Luapula rivers) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Military Zambia
Military branches:
Zambian National Defense Force (ZNDF): Zambian Army, Zambian Air Force, National Service (2008)
Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service (16 years of age with parental consent); no conscription (2008)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,678,668
females age 16-49: 2,567,433 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 1,329,343
females age 16-49: 1,218,114 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 147,358
female: 146,771 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
1.8% of GDP (2005 est.)
Transnational Issues Zambia
Disputes - international:
in 2004, Zimbabwe dropped objections to plans between Botswana and Zambia to build a bridge over the Zambezi River, thereby de facto recognizing a short, but not clearly delimited, Botswana-Zambia boundary in the river; 42,250 Congolese refugees in Zambia are offered voluntary repatriation in November 2006, most of whom are expected to return in the next two years; Angolan refugees too have been repatriating but 26,450 still remain with 90,000 others from other neighboring states in 2006
Refugees and internally displaced persons:
refugees (country of origin): 42,565 (Angola); 60,874 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 4,100 (Rwanda) (2007)
Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Zambia is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation; many Zambian child laborers, particularly those in the agriculture, domestic service, and fishing sectors, are also victims of human trafficking; Zambian women, lured by false employment or marriage offers abroad, are trafficked to South Africa via Zimbabwe and to Europe via Malawi for sexual exploitation; Zambia is a transit point for regional trafficking of women and children, particularly from Angola to Namibia and from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to South Africa for agricultural labor
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Zambia is on the Tier 2 Watch List for failing to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking, particularly in regard to its inability to bring alleged traffickers to justice through prosecutions and convictions; unlike 2006, there were no new prosecutions or convictions of alleged traffickers in 2007; government efforts to protect victims of trafficking remained extremely limited throughout the year (2008)
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for moderate amounts of methaqualone, small amounts of heroin, and cocaine bound for southern Africa and possibly Europe; a poorly developed financial infrastructure coupled with a government commitment to combating money laundering make it an unattractive venue for money launderers; major consumer of cannabis

This page was last updated on 2 October, 2008 Access Time: Tue, 26 Sep 2023 02:42:30 +0000