Population: 14,309,466 (est.)
- The official currency of Zambia is the Zambian kwacha.
- Zambia is officially a Christian nation, but a wide variety of religious traditions exist.
- Zambia’s name comes from the Zambezi River. Zambezi is from a local word yambezhi “heart of all”.
- Zambia is a republic with a president, much like the United States and France.
- From November to April, Zabia experiences severe rainstorms (the equivalent to the Asian monsoon)
- Zambia has a mild climate, rarely reaching 35 degrees C.
Zambia, officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The capital city is Lusaka, located in the south-central part of the country. The population is concentrated mainly around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province to the northwest.
Originally inhabited by Khoisan peoples, the region which comprises modern Zambia was colonised during the Bantu expansion of the thirteenth century. After visits by European explorers in the eighteenth century, Zambia became the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia towards the end of the nineteenth century. For most of the colonial period, the country was governed by an administration appointed from London with the advice of the British South Africa Company.
On 24 October 1964, the country became independent of the United Kingdom and then-prime minister Kenneth Kaunda became the inaugural president. Kaunda’s socialist United National Independence Party (UNIP) maintained power from the 1964 until 1991. From 1972 to 1991 Zambia was a single-party state with the UNIP as the sole-legal political party, with the goal of uniting the nation under the banner of ‘One Zambia, One Nation’. Kaunda was succeeded by Frederick Chiluba of the social-democratic Movement for Multi-Party Democracy in 1991, during which the country saw a rise in social-economic growth and increased decentralisation of government. Chiluba selected Levy Mwanawasa as his successor; Mwanawasa presided over the country from January 2002 until his death in August 2008, and is credited with initiating a campaign to reduce corruption and increase the standard of living. After Mwanawasa’s death, Rupiah Banda presided as Acting President before being elected president in 2008. He is the shortest serving president, having held office for only three years. Patriotic Front party leader, Michael Chilufya Sata defeated Banda in the 2011 elections.
In 2010, the World Bank named Zambia one of the world’s fastest economically reformed countries. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is headquartered in Lusaka.