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Country Profiles: zambia


Flag, map and facts courtesy of CIA World Factbook 2002

Background The territory of Northern Rhodesia was administered by the 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 a far-reaching anti-corruption campaign in 2002, which resulted in the prosecution of former President Frederick CHILUBA and many of his supporters in late 2003. Opposition parties currently hold a majority of seats in the National Assembly.
Location Southern Africa, east of Angola.

Map of Mexico
Area

total: 752,614 sq km
land: 740,724 sq km
water: 11,890 sq km

Area - comparative slightly larger than Texas
Climate tropical; modified by altitude; rainy season (October to April)
Terrain 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: 7.08%
permanent crops: 0.03%
other: 92.9% (2001)

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
Geography - note landlocked; the Zambezi forms a natural riverine boundary with Zimbabwe
Population

11,261,795
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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2005 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 46.5% (male 2,626,911/female 2,609,857)
15-64 years: 51.1% (male 2,848,402/female 2,904,376)
65 years and over: 2.4% (male 118,043/female 154,206) (2005 est.)

Population growth rate 2.12% (2005 est.)
Infant mortality rate 88.29 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth

total population: 39.7 years
male: 39.43 years
female: 39.98 years (2005 est.)

Ethnic groups African 98.7%, European 1.1%, other 0.2%
Religions Christian 50%-75%, Muslim and Hindu 24%-49%, indigenous beliefs 1%
Languages English (official), major vernaculars - Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, and about 70 other indigenous languages
Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write English
total population: 80.6%
male: 86.8%
female: 74.8% (2003 est.)

Government type Republic
Capital Lusaka
Independence 24 October 1964 (from UK)
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
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Flag description green 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

Flag of Zambia
Economy - overview Despite progress in privatization and budgetary reform, Zambia's economic growth remains somewhat below the 6% to 7% needed to reduce poverty significantly. Privatization of government-owned copper mines 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 the opening of new mines. The maize harvest was again good in 2005, helping boost GDP and agricultural exports. Cooperation continues with international bodies on programs to reduce poverty, including a new lending arrangement with the IMF in the second quarter, 2004. A tighter monetary policy will help cut inflation, but Zambia still has a serious problem with high public debt.
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $900 (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line 86% (1993)
Labor force 4.8 million (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate 50% (2000 est.)
Industries copper mining and processing, construction, foodstuffs, beverages, chemicals, textiles, fertilizer, horticulture
Agriculture - products corn, sorghum, rice, peanuts, sunflower seed, vegetables, flowers, tobacco, cotton, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca); cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, milk, eggs, hides, coffee

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