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Zambia at a Glance


Image The Republic of Zambia is a landlocked country in South-Central Africa. It is surrounded by Angola, Zaire, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia. The country is mostly a plateau that rises to 8,000 ft (2,434 metres) in the East.

Although within tropical latitude, the general height of the plateau, averaging 1,300m above sea level, gives Zambia a moderate climate which has earned the country the nickname of the "air conditioned state."

Zambia is populated by more than 70 ethnic groups, many of them Bantu-speaking. It has some spectacular scenery, including the Victoria Falls along the Zambezi River, the Bangweulu Swamps and the Luangwa river valley.

The unspoiled nature of Zambia is perhaps its greatest tourist asset, and the country has many lakes, rivers and beaches.

Key Facts

President: Levy Mwanawasa

Population (2006 est.): 11,502,010 (growth rate: 2.1%);birth rate: 41.0/1000; infant mortality rate: 86.8/1000;life expectancy: 40.0; density per sq mi: 40

Capital: Lusaka, 1,773,300 (metro. area), 1,265,000 (city proper)

Other large cities: Ndola, 349,300; Kitwe, 306,200; Kabwe, 219,600, Chingola, 151,100

Monetary unit: Kwacha

Language: English is the official language in the country. Other vernacular languages include: Bemba, Kaonda, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga; about 70 other indigenous languages

Literacy rate: 81% (2003 est.)

Economy: In the late 1960’s, Zambia was the third largest copper miner, after the US and the Soviet Union. World copper prices collapsed in 1975 with devastating effects on the economy. Improved copper prices and investment in mining have today improved prospects for export earnings.

GDP/PPP (2005 est.): $10.23 billion;

GNI per capita: US $490 (World Bank, 2006)

Real growth rate: 5%.

Inflation: 19%.

Agriculture: corn, sorghum, rice, peanuts, sunflower seed, vegetables, flowers, tobacco, cotton, sugarcane, cassava (tapioca), coffee; cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, milk, eggs, hides.

Labour force: 4.8 million; agriculture 85%, industry 6%, services 9%.

Industries: Copper mining and processing, Construction, Foodstuffs, Beverages, Chemicals, Textiles, Fertilizer, and Horticulture.

Natural resources: copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydropower.

Exports: $1.947 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): copper/cobalt 64%, cobalt, electricity, tobacco, flowers, cotton.

Major trading partners: South Africa, UK, Switzerland, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe, UAE (2004).

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