Zambia Facts

Zambia Facts and History


Zambia – a natural paradise in southern Africa

Zambia is a landlocked country in southern central Africa and is divided into a southern and a northern part of the country by a headland of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The so-called Copperbelt, the copper belt, runs along this tip, in which about 7% of the earth’s copper ore deposits are stored, and in which the most important industrial cities of Zambia are located. The capital of Zambia is Lusaka.

In addition to rich mineral resources (in addition to copper, zinc and lead ores as well as hard coal are mined in the south), Zambia has abundant water reserves and large areas of agricultural land.

But subsistence farming predominates in the agricultural sector and only 10% of the arable land is cultivated, and due to its heavy dependence on copper exports, the country has had a hard time coping with the fall in world market prices in the 1970s.

Zambia achieved its political independence in 1964 under President Kenneth Kaunda, who then pursued the policy of African humanism and wanted to bring together over 70 different peoples and tribes to form a homogeneous nation.

Kaunda worked, building on basic egalitarian and Christian principles, against discrimination based on differences in race, tribe, language, religion or gender. From 1968 Kaunda also pursued a socialist policy, the consequences of which, however, were devastating for the Zambian economy.

After 27 years of sole rule, Kaunda had to surrender power to the trade union leader Chiluba in 1991, who privatized state-owned companies and wanted to develop the country into a free market economy, so that the country’s problems could not be mastered. Henning Mankell’s novel “The Leopard’s Eye” is well worth reading and is set in Zambia.

Name of the country Republic of Zambia(formerly Northern Rhodesia)
Form of government Presidential Republic
Geographical location southern central Africa
National anthem “Lumbanyeni Zambia”
Population about 18.3 million (Credit: Countryaah: Zambia Population)
Ethnicities 99% black Africans, mostly Bantu
Religions approx. 90% Christians, but regardless of their religious affiliation, 25% are followers of natural religions
Languages English is the official language, as well as around 70 Bantu languages
Capital Lusaka
Surface 752,618 km²
Highest mountain In the Mafinga Mountains with a height of 2,301 m
Longest river Zambezi with a length of 2,736 km
Largest lake Lake Tanganijka with an area of 32,893 km²
International license plate Z
National currency 1 Kwacha = 100 Ngwee
Difference to CET + 1h
International phone code 00260
Mains voltage, frequency 220/240 volts and 50 hertz
Internet TLD (Top Level Domain) .zm

Zambia: history

Early history

The oldest traces of early human settlement in today’s Zambia go back over 300,000 years. Around 50,000 BC The Sangon culture developed. At the time, most of the residents lived in caves. In the late Stone Age, the region was populated by mainly nomadic groups of the San (hunters and gatherers) and the Khoi (cattle breeders). The San left their rock carvings across the country.

Around the year 2000 BC The immigration of the ancestors of the Tonga began.

From the 14th to the 19th century

According to Abbreviationfinder website, up to the 14th century, more and more cattle-breeding Bantu peoples came from the north and west to the territory of today’s Zambia and pushed the Khoisan into the barren Kalahari. The advance of Arab and Portuguese slave, ivory and copper traders into the region began around the 15th century. In the 17th century, the Lozi Kingdom was founded in Western Zambia.

Between 1820 and 1840 the Ngoni, among others, fled South Africa from the Zulu king Shaka and conquered a large part of the Zambian highlands. In 1851 the British Dr. David Livingstone the Kololo people, in 1855 he was the first European to reach Victoria Falls. Around 1880 the European slave traders wreaked havoc in the central parts of the country. In 1884 the territory was declared a British zone of influence at the Congo Conference in Berlin, and from 1891 it was administered by the British South Africa Company founded by Cecil Rhodes.

20th century to the present

In 1924 the British crown colony of Northern Rhodesia was established in what is now Zambia. In 1953 the country became part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyassaland (now Malawi). In 1958 the National Independence Party (UNIP) was founded. On October 24, 1964, Zambia gained independence under President Kenneth Kaunda.

In 1967 Kaunda proclaimed his state philosophy, “Zambian humanism” – a kind of Christian socialism that distanced itself from the forms of socialism that already existed at the time. The initially democratic, pluralistic system became a one-party state in 1972 with UNIP as the unified party.

In 1975 the fall of the world copper market price triggered a permanent crisis in the Zambian economy. The problems in supplying the population increasingly led to unrest. In 1987 Zambia broke with the IMF, which triggered an economic catastrophe. The country’s external debt soared and Kaunda was forced to work again with the IMF and the World Bank. Economic decline and political lack of freedom triggered protests in the population in mid-1990, which among other things resulted in the re-establishment of the multi-party system.

In the free parliamentary and presidential elections in October 1991, Frederick Chiluba won, in the National Assembly the previous opposition party MMD received a majority. The new government endeavored in a “Third Republic” to create a democratic and pluralistic constitutional state. In the elections in November 1996, President Chiluba and the ruling party were again confirmed in office with a large majority. After a constitutional amendment to the exclusion of Kenneth Kaundas’s candidacy was passed, the government began to lose the trust of the population and foreign economic partners. In August 1997, opposition politicians K. Kaunda and R. Chongwe were shot injured in an assassination attempt in Kabwe. After a failed military coup in October 1997, the government declared a state of emergency, which was lifted in March 1998, and arrested over 90 people. In the spring of 2001, a third term of office for President Chiluba was prevented by the determined resistance of civil society.

Presidential, parliamentary and local elections were held in December 2001, but were subsequently contested. Levy Mwanawasa became president and head of state. The MMD narrowly missed a relative majority in parliament, but won a majority in the by-elections. In 2002/2003 the country suffered two bad harvests and international aid supplies prevented a famine. In 2003, two lawsuits against Chiluba for corruption were brought in, and the total damages negotiated amounted to 33 million US dollars. According to Transparency International, corruption in Zambia continued to rise after Chiluba’s tenure.

Zambia Facts