Zambia is an entirely landlocked country covering an area of 752,612 km². To the north it is bordered by the Democratic Republic of Congo and the United Republic of Tanzania, to the west by Angola, to the south west by Namibia, to the east by Malawi and Mozambique, and to the south by Zimbabwe and Botswana. Zambia sits on a gently undulating plateau, which is between 900 and 1,500 metres above sea level. This plateau is a mix of woodland and savannah regions interspersed with lakes, rivers, hills, swamps and plains.
Zambia has three distinct seasons, the hot or dry season runs from August to October when temperatures range from 27 to 32 °C. The warm wet season better known as the rainy season is from November to April and the cool dry season runs from May to July when temperatures range from 16 to 27 °C. Average annual rainfall is between 508 and1, 270mm.
Zambia’s population is approximately 18 million people and most of the people are African, with small Asian and European minorities. English is the official language and is widely spoken throughout the country. It is also the medium of instruction in the education sector of the country.
English has today also become a lingua franca among Zambians who stem from different ethnic groupings. There are seven main local languages: Nyanja, Bemba, Tonga, Lozi, Luvale, Lunda and Kaonde, with more than 70 dialects spoken across the country. Lusaka is the capital city and is one of the fastest growing city in Southern- Central Africa. Livingstone is another main centre, the former capital of Zambia, where the natural wonder Victoria Falls is, about eight kilometres from the Central Business District of Livingstone City and is also known as the Tourist Capital of Zambia. Ndola is unofficially the Commercial Capital of Zambia with the Annual Trade Fair having its home in Ndola. This could partly because the Copperbelt region where Ndola is, is said to the economic hub of Zambia together with North-Western Province where new mines are emerging.
In 1972, Zambia became a one party State after the Choma Declaration under the reign of then president Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, but reverted to multi-party democracy in December 1990, with general elections held in October 1991. It was during this general election that Kaunda relinquished power to Fredrick Titus Jacob Chiluba The President is the Head of State and the Head of Government too .
Since then, the country has had four more presidents with two sitting presidents subsequently dying while holding office. These are Levy Patrick Mwanawasa in August of 2008 and was succeeded by Rupiah Bwezani Banda who was Vice President at the time of the demise of then sitting president. He the lost the 2011 general election to Michael Chilufya Sata. Michael Chilufya Sata in October of 2014. The current president of the country is Edgar Chagwa Lungu who has held the presidency since January, 2015. Guy Scott briefly held office as the Acting President for the 90 days period before a presidential bye election was held in January of 2015.
Mining and quarrying account for a large proportion of Zambia’s merchandise exports and have traditionally contributed the largest proportion of the country’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Zambia is presently the world’s fourth largest producer of copper and has around 6 % of the world’s known reserves. Zambia is richly endowed with various minerals such as copper, cobalt and some precious stones such as emeralds and amethyst. Copperbelt and North-Western Provinces are the home to the many mines that the country has today. These two provinces are part of the economic hubs of the country.
Other contributors to the economy are industry, fishing and agriculture. Zambia’s manufacturing sector has continued to show signs of growth in recent years. Zambia has predominantly been a one cereal country but the demand of other cereals such as rice and wheat have been steadily increase as well as their production across the country. Agriculture’s contribution to GDP is approximately 26 %. Zambia’s manufactured export products include engineering products, textiles, building materials, processed foods, animal products, and leather products. Commercial fish production is approximately 70,000 tonnes per year. Lake Tanganyika, Lake Kariba, Kafue River as well the Luangwa River are among the many water bodies that are a source of the country’s commercial fish production. Maize remains the main cereal produced by many peasant farmers in Zambia and Nsima is the main staple food in Zambia.
The tourism sector has consistently demonstrated growth due to a rich natural heritage, including great waterfalls, rivers, lakes, and a wealth of wildlife roaming in its vast sanctuaries. The most stunning geographical feature is the Victoria Falls, on the southern border with Zimbabwe, and is one of the natural wonders of the world. Apart from this magnificent wonder, the country is also blessed with the Kalambo Falls in Mbala District, the Chishimba Falls in Kasama District among other waterfalls endowed in the country. Zambia has 19 national parks, and 34 game management areas, some of the highlights are Luangwa and Kafue National Parks, Lower Zambezi National Park, Victoria Falls, Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park and Lochinvar National Park. In addition to the national parks, Zambia has beach resorts on Lake Tanganyika at Kasaba, Nkamba, Isanga and Ndole bays, and Lake Kariba, a man-made lake as well as the Samfya beach on Lake Bangweulu in Luapula Province. The Northern corridor has not been fully exploited to match its vast tourism potential. The Muchinga Escarpment is another marvel that is housed in the Northern Corridor that has not been given the attention it deserves to contribute to the development of the nation through tourism.
Zambia needs to maximize on her location and fully utilize the abundant natural resources bestowed on her.