Region: Southern Africa
Population: 11,669,534 (July 2008 est.)
Surface area: 752,614 sq km
Currency: Zambian kwacha (ZMK)
GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity US $1,300 (2007 est.)
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 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 an anticorruption investigation in 2002 to probe high-level corruption during the previous administration. In 2006-07, this task force successfully prosecuted four cases, including a landmark civil case in the UK in which former President Chiluba and numerous others were found liable for USD 41 million. Mwanawasa was reelected in 2006 in an election that was deemed free and fair.
Economy – Overview:
Zambia's economy has experienced modest growth in recent years, with real GDP growth in 2005-07 between 5-6% per year. Privatization of government-owned copper mines in the 1990s relieved the government from covering mammoth losses generated by the industry and greatly 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 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. Zambia experienced a bumper harvest in 2007, which helped to boost GDP and agricultural exports and contain inflation. Although poverty continues to be significant problem in Zambia, its economy has strengthened, featuring single-digit inflation, a relatively stable currency, decreasing interest rates, and increasing levels of trade.
Major Export Commodities: copper/cobalt 64%, cobalt, electricity; tobacco, flowers, cotton
Remittances: Not available
Human Development Index 2007/2008 ranking: 165 out of 177
Official Development Assistance and Major Development Partners: Net ODA in 2006 was US $1,115.19 million. Major development partners include the IDA, Japan, the United States, and Germany.
Total External Debt: US $2.598 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
United Nations membership date: 1 December 1964
New York Mission:
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations
237 East 52nd Street, New York, N.Y. 10022
CIA World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. www.cia.gov
World Development Indicators. World Bank www.worldbank.org
Development, Recipient Aid Charts. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. www.oecd.org
Human Development Report 2007/2008.United Nations Development Programme. www.undp.org
Updated June 2008