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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, economic mismanagement 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. MWANAWASA was reelected in 2006 in an election that was deemed free and fair. Upon his abrupt death in August 2008, he was succeeded by his Vice President Rupiah BANDA, who subsequently won a special presidential by-election in October 2008. Michael SATA was elected President in September 2011.

Southern Africa, east of Angola, south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Geographic coordinates:   
15 00 S, 30 00 E

Map references:   

total: 752,618 sq km
country comparison to the world: 39
land: 743,398 sq km
water: 9,220 sq km

Area - comparative:   
slightly larger than Texas

tropical; modified by altitude; rainy season (October to April)
Geography - note:   
landlocked; the Zambezi forms a natural riverine boundary with Zimbabwe; Lake Kariba on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border forms the world's largest reservoir by volume (180 cu km; 43 cu mi

noun: Zambian(s)
adjective: Zambian

Ethnic groups

African 99.5% (includes Bemba, Tonga, Chewa, Lozi, Nsenga, Tumbuka, Ngoni, Lala, Kaonde, Lunda, and other African groups), other 0.5% (includes Europeans, Asians, and Americans) (2000 Census)

Christian 50%-75%, Muslim and Hindu 24%-49%, indigenous beliefs 1% .

14,309,466 (July 2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69


Bemba (official) 30.1%, Nyanja (official) 10.7%, Tonga (official) 10.6%, Lozi (official) 5.7%, Chewa 4.9%, Nsenga 3.4%, Tumbuka 2.5%, Lunda (official) 2.2%, Kaonde (official) 2%, Lala 2%, Luvale (official) 1.7%, English (official) 1.7%, other 22.5% (2000 Census)


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 66.8%
male: 76.8%
female: 57.7% (2002 census)

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 the UK)
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:    
chief of state: President Michael Chilufya SATA (since 23 September 2011); Vice President Guy SCOTT (since 30 September 2011); the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Michael Chilufya SATA (since 23 September 2011); Vice President Guy SCOTT (since 30 September 2011)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 20 September 2011 (next to be held in 2016); vice president appointed by the president
election results: Michael Chilufya SATA elected president; percent of vote - Michael SATA 43.3%, Rupiah BANDA 36.2%, Hakainde HICHILEMA 18.5%, other 2.0%

Legislative branch:   
unicameral National Assembly (158 seats; 150 members are elected by popular vote, 8 members appointed by the president, to serve five-year terms)
elections: last held on 20 September 2011 (next to be held in 2016)
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PF 60, MMD 55, UPND 28, ADD 1, FDD 1, independents 3; 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)

Economy Overview

Zambia's economy has experienced strong growth in recent years, with real GDP growth in 2005-11 more than 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 increased copper mining output and profitability to 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. Poverty remains a significant problem in Zambia, despite a stronger economy. Zambia's dependency on copper makes it vulnerable to depressed commodity prices, but record high copper prices and a bumper maize crop in 2010 helped Zambia rebound quickly from the world economic slowdown that began in 2008. A high birth rate, relatively high HIV/AIDS burden, and market distorting agricultural policies have meant that Zambia's economic growth has not dramatically decreased the stubbornly high poverty rates.

Key Economic Indicators
GDP (purchasing power parity):   
$21.93 billion (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122
$20.5 billion (2010 est.)
$19.07 billion (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):   
$18.4 billion (2011 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):   
21.9% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92 

revenues: $3.613 billion
expenditures: $4.382 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:   
19.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 159 
$9.008 billion (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99
$7.251 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities:   
copper/cobalt 64%, cobalt, electricity; tobacco, flowers, cotton

Exports - partners:   
Switzerland 51.3%, China 20.3%, South Africa 9.2%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 4.6% (2010)

$6.453 billion (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
$4.71 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities:   
machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, electricity, fertilizer, foodstuffs, clothing

Imports - partners:   
South Africa 35%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 23.5%, Kuwait 8.9%, China 5.6% (2010)

90,100 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 148 

Telephones - mobile cellular:   
4.947 million (2010)
country comparison to the world: 102 

Telephone system:   
general assessment: 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; domestic satellite system being installed to improve telephone service in rural areas; 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), 3 owned by Zamtel

Broadcast media:   
state-owned Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) operates 1 TV station and is the principal local-content provider; several private TV stations are available; multi-channel subscription TV services are obtainable; ZNBC operates 3 radio networks; about 2 dozen private radio stations also broadcasting; relays of at least 2 international broadcasters are accessible in Lusaka and Kitwe (2007)

Internet country code:   

Internet hosts:   
14,771 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 122 

Internet users:   
816,200 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 105 

Source: CIA World Factbook