Zambia in southern Africa's inland can attract
visitors to the World Heritage-listed Victoria Falls and
several other national parks with rich wildlife. The
country is one of the world's leading copper producers.
It has been both a blessing and a curse to the
inhabitants, whose prosperity is dependent on the copper
price. Today, Zambia is considered a lower middle-income
country, while at least half the population lives in
Brief profiles of Zambia, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Zambia, on the surface, is slightly smaller
than Sweden and Norway together, and lies about ten
latitudes south of the equator on the South African high
plateau. The country lacks coast and borders eight
countries: Angola, Congo-Kinshasa, Tanzania, Malawi,
Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.
Actual mountains are mostly found only on the Nyika
Plateau near the Malawi border in the northeast, where
some peaks reach over 2,000 meters in height.
Most of the highlands are covered by sparse savanna
forest and grassy savanna. The eastern two-thirds of
Zambia, as well as the country's western border with
Angola and Namibia, where the Kalahari Desert begins,
have mostly barren soils. The fertile land is found
mainly along the largest rivers.
The Zambezi River, which has given the country its
name, has its sources in the northwest corner of Zambia.
It then flows through western Zambia and then forms a
natural border with Zimbabwe in the south. Zambezi is
surrounded by fertile plains and marshland. Near the
town of Livingstone to the south are the mighty Victoria
Falls. To the east of Livingstone lies the Caribou Dam
and the artificial Caribas Lake. To the north, Zambia
encloses Lake Tanganyika's southern tip. A little south
of it lies Lake Bangweulus and Bangweuluträsken, one of
the world's largest swamp areas. To the west of the
Bangweul outcrop, the Luapula River, which forms a
border with Congo-Kinshasa, flows before it culminates
in Lake Mwerus in the north.
Zambia has a tropical climate divided into three
seasons. From May to August the weather is dry and
relatively cold, and from September to November it is
dry and warm. This is followed by the long rainy season
between December and April when it is warm and humid.
Most precipitation falls in northern Zambia, where
the rainy season lasts about six months and where on
average 1,400 mm of rainfall is measured per year. In
the south, it rains about half as much.
In the valleys, the heat can be oppressive just
before the rainy season, but otherwise the temperatures
are generally at comfortable levels due to the fact that
the country is mostly highlands (May-August between 14
and 26 degrees, September-April between 26 and 32
degrees). However, the differences in temperature are
large between day and night.
752 614 km2 (2018)
Swedish +1 hour
Adjacent country (s)
Congo-Kinshasa, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique,
Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Angola
Capital with number of inhabitants
Lusaka 2,000,000 (estimated 2014)
Other major cities
Kitwe, Ndola, Kabwe, Chingola, Mufulira, Livingstone
unnamed peak on the Nyika Plateau (2 301 m asl)
The government is taking action against budget deficits
The government announces that it is planning austerity measures to counter an
increasing budget deficit. The subsidies to agriculture should decrease while
increasing fuel and electricity prices. Planned road construction is canceled
and government officials are urged to make only necessary trips.
Richwell Siamunene becomes new Minister of Defense
President Lungu appoints Richwell Siamunene of the opposition party UPND as
Minister of Defense, a post Lungu himself retained after becoming president in
January. Siamunene belongs to the Tonga people in the Southern Province, where
the residents feel neglected by the government of Lusaka.
Chama Fumba is released after inappropriate singing
A court acquits singer Chama Fumba, who is charged with defaming President
Lungu in a song text (see June 2015). Fumba, known as Pilato,
risked six months in prison or a fine.
Strong protests result in reduced fees
The government cuts royalty fees paid by foreign mining companies to the
Zambian state. The sharp increases introduced at the turn of the year triggered
sharp protests from the mining companies. After the latest adjustments, open pit
mines pay 9 percent instead of 20 percent in royalty fees, while underground
mines pay 8 percent compared to the previous 6 percent. A corporate tax is also
reintroduced. The increases are intended to reduce the deficit in the state
26 countries are included in free trade agreements
Zambia and 25 other countries agree on a new Tripartite Free Trade Area,
which covers most of Africa, from Egypt in the north to South Africa in the
south. However, before the agreement can come into force, further negotiations
are needed and the agreement is approved by the parliaments of the countries.
Musicians are arrested for regime-critical piece of music
Musician Chama Fumba is arrested by police after he composed a song depicting
President Lungu as a drinker, unable to control the country. Fumba is charged
with disrupting the public order, a crime that can result in six months in
Ex-President is released from charges
President Banda is acquitted of alleged bribery in connection with an oil
deal with Nigeria (see March 2013). Banda was accused of
personally raising $ 2.5 million in connection with the deal.
Bwalya joins its party with PF
Opposition politician Bwalya dissolves his party Alliance for a Better Zambia
and announces that it will be merged with PF.
Lungu collapses at political meeting
President Lungu collapses at a political meeting in Lusaka. Fears are raised
if the country has been given another sickly head of state. It turns out that he
suffers from an esophageal disease (achalasia) and he is operated on in South
Mining minister is convicted of bribery
Former mining minister Maxwell Mwale is sentenced to one year in prison for
bribery in connection with a Chinese mining company being granted a number of
permits in 2009. He appeals and is released on bail in March.
New central bank governor is appointed after splits
Lungu appoints Denny Kalyalya as new central bank governor following a
conflict with his representative on interest rate policy.
Iren Mambilima is appointed chairman of the Supreme Court
Ireen Mambilima becomes chairman of the Supreme Court. She was previously
chairman of the National Electoral Commission.
The country appoints its first female vice president
Inonge Wina, former minister responsible for child and gender equality
issues, becomes the country's first female vice president.
Lungu takes over as president
Lungu will take office as President on January 25, and will hold office until
regular presidential elections are held in September 2016. Lungu quickly resigns
with Guy Scott.
Edgar Lungu wins the election
PF candidate Edgar Lungu wins a button victory in a filling election for the
presidential post. Lungu receives just over 48 percent of the vote, while
Hakainde Hichilema from UPND receives just under 47 percent. Hichilema dismisses
the election as a "scam." Only 32 percent of eligible voters participate in the