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 Jewel of

The African continent is comprised of 54 nations, each with its own independent government and sovereignty, GDP, culture, natural resources, language(s), military, and religion. The treasure trove of mineral and raw material wealth has scarcely been touched and the continent's largely untapped fertile lands could feed the world. Herewith is Jewel of Africa, an interactive adventure in the cradle of mankind, an exploration of nations from A-Z in alphabetical order.

Zambia: Abundance in gold, precious gems, raw minerals 

Zambia, officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in the central part of southern  Africa. Zambia covers an area of 290,586 square miles. It borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania on the northeast, Malawi on the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, BotswanaNamibia to the south, and Angola on the west.

In 1895 the name "Rhodesia" was applied to the Ndebele territory of Zimbabwe. Rhodesia was then divided into Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia in 1911. In 1964, Northern Rhodesia became Zambia, the name being derived from the Zambezi River.

Once a wealthy nation, Zambia became engaged in a struggle against crushing povertydrought, and a rampant AIDS epidemic. By the beginning of the 21st century it was of the poorest and least developed nations, ranking 166th out of 177 in the 2003 UN Development Report. One in five people was reported infected with HIV and life expectancy had dropped below 40 years of age; young people aged 20-25 were less educated than their parents’ generation.

In the 2000s, fortunately, the economy stabilized, attaining real GDP growth, decreasing interest rates, and increasing levels of trade. Much of its growth was due to foreign investment in Zambia's mining sector and higher copper prices on the world market. This led to Zambia being courted enthusiastically by aid donors, and saw a surge in investor confidence in the country.


Zambia is a landlocked country surrounded by eight other countries in southern Africa, with a tropical climate and environment comprised of high plateaus, hills and mountains. At 290,566 square miles, Zambia is the 39th-largest country in the world (after Chile) and is slightly larger than the state of Texas.

The Zambezi river basin is home to the Kariba Dam, a hydroelectric dam in the Kariba Gorge of the Zambezi river basin in Zimbabwe. It controls 40 percent of the total runoff of the Zambezi River, thus dramatically changing the downstream ecology. When the dam was completed in 1960 it was the largest man-made dam ever built. It provides electric power to Zambia and Zimbabwe, supports a thriving commercial fishing industry. Kariba Lake, the vast reservoir created by the dam, extends 175 miles with a maximum width of 20 miles.

The world famous Victoria Falls are on the Zambezi River in the Southern Province, but Zambia has more than 15 other spectacular falls within its borders. Lying on the Northern tip of Zambia in Sumbu National Park is the southern shores of Lake Tanganyika. It borders three other countries and is the largest fresh water lake in the world and the second deepest after Lake Baikal in Russia.

Flora, fauna

Zambia has 19 national parks, and 31 Game Management Areas designated as buffer zones on the borders of these parks. The national parks and game reserves, such as the Kafue National Park, conserve the wildlife threatened by settlement. The country is dominated by dense wood- lands, lush river valleys, and floodplains that offer excellent habitat for a wide range of wildlife species. Zambia is drained by two major river basins—the Zambezi River basin, in the south, and the Congo River basin in the north. Of the two basins, the part of Zambia drained by the Zambezi River basin is about three-quarters of the country's total area.


Lusaka, populated by more than 3 million. is the capital of Zambia. In the center, sprawling Lusaka City Market sells clothing, produce and other goods. The National Museum exhi- bits archaeological finds and contemporary art. Nearby, the Freedom Statue (below) commemorates Zambia's struggle for free- dom. South of the city, Munda Wanga Enviromen- tal Park has a wildlife sanctuary and botanical garden. The Lilayi Elephant Nursery cares for orphaned elephants.

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The freedom that Zambia exhales is  evident in the passion of its rubescent sunsets that gently caress the Zambian environment—its mountains, hills, valleys, lakes, rivers, and streams, inducing sleep until the return of the rising sun, and the first chirp of the Southern Red Bishop. 

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Zambia induces freedom of the rainforest to breathe ... of its rivers to flow, of Lake Victoria to free-fall ... of the mighty Luangwa River to wind aimlessly ... of its shimmering lakes the freedom to just be still and reflect ... of its people freedom just to be free.

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Freedom in Zambia means the ability to chart its own economic future mining its God-given precious stones and precious metals like topaz, emeralds, rubys, garnet, beryl, quartz, and gold. 


Maria Zileni Zaloumi

CEO/Founder: Tuzini Farms Ltd
Age: 34


Maria Zileni Zaloumi, 34, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Australian Catholic University, and a Master of Science in cardiology from Wesley hospital in Brisbane, Australia.

Zaloumi, the founder and chief executive of Tuzini Farms Ltd. in Chisam- ba on the north Lusaka, plans to pursue a degree in agronomy. Zaloumi

worked for 12 years as a nurse after earning degree in nursing from Aus- tralian Catholic University. She began working when she was 18 and was able to save $30,000. She returned to Zambia in 2015 after learning her father was ill with Alzheimer’s, unable to continue a small farm business he’d started.

In August 2016, Zaloumi took over the farm and initially planted a single acre of tomatoes, which she later expanded to 26 acres. She harvests 300-400 boxes of tomatoes daily. Tuzini Farms has become a major supplier of tomatoes in Zambia.


Zambia’s Agro production is aggressively expanding with stakeholders calling for sus- taining of these growth rates which will see the country becoming a notable agro production giant in the re- gion. The majority of Zam- bia's population engages in subsistence farming. Small-scale farmers are generally subsistence producers of staple foods with occasional marketable surplus. The principal subsistence crops are corn, sorghum, and cas- sava. The main cash crops are corn, sugarcane, cotton, peanuts, and tobacco. The

Tobacco Board of Zambia-TBZ, alone confirmed that Tobacco production in Zam-

bia has increased by about 50 percent from 66 million pounds in the 2019/2020 agricultural season to 99 million pounds in the 2020/ 2021 season.


Zambia's wild beasts are protected while they roam free.

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 Most of the territory is plateau and the prevailing type of vegetation is open woodland or savanna. Acacia and baobab trees, thorn trees and bushes, and tall perennial grasses are widespread, becoming coarser and sparser in the drier areas to the south. To the north and east grows a thin forest. The southwest has forests of Zambian teak ( Baikiaea plurijuga).

Wildlife in the Luangwa Valley include giraffe, zebra, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, elephant, baboon, monkey, hyena, wolf, leopard, and lion. Among the nocturnal animals are serval and civet cat, genet, and jackal. Cookson's wilde- beest, Senga Kob, Thornicroft giraffe, and red lechwe are unique to Zambia. The many varieties of buck include kudu, impala, duiker, and sten. Other mammals include the honey badger, ant bear, rock rabbit, wart hog, and bush pig.

There are more than 150 recorded species of reptiles, including 78 species of snakes and 66 of lizards. Among them are the crocodile, tortoise, turtle, terrapin, gecko, agama, non-venomous python, mamba, viper, and adder. The range of species of fish is also wide and includes bream, snout fish, butterfish, tiger fish, bottlenose, gorge fish, mudfish, catfish, barbel,  squeaker, whitebait, perch, carp, bass, and utaka.

Zambia has a wealth of bird life, including the eagle, gull, tern, kingfisher, swift, redwing, lark, babbler, sunbird, weaver, red-billed quelea (in Luangwa Valley), stork, goose, plover, skimmer, bee-eater, wagtail, sparrow, swallow, thrush, shrike, nightingale, dove, nightjar, and an occasional ostrich. White pelican, flamingo, heron, ibis, and the crowned crane are found in the game reserves.


The indigenous Khoisan occupants of Zambia began to be displaced by technologically advanced migrating tribes about two thousand years ago. The Tonga people (also called Batonga) were one of the first cultures to settle in Zambia. The Tonga identified strongly with the Zambezi River, calling themselves Basilwizi (“the river people”). The Nkoya people also claim a long heritage in Zambia after moving from the Luba-Lunda kingdoms in the north during the great influx between the late-17th and early-19th centuries. These migrants came primarily from southern Democratic Republic of Congo and northern Angola and were joined in the 19th century by Ngoni peoples from the south.

By 1900 the BSAC gained control of an area of South Central Africa, which was comprised of many different societies and kingdoms and was divided into three colonies: Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), and Nyasaland (Malawi). By 1920 no large deposits of gold or any other minerals were found, so the BSAC was not willing to continue to pay for the colonial governance of these territories. In 1923 the BSAC gave up political control over these territories.

Southern Rhodesia was annexed formally and granted self-government in 1923, and the administration of North- ern Rhodesia was transferred to the British Colonial Office in 1924 as a protectorate. Between 1920 and 1950, large deposits of high quality copper ore were found in Northern Rhodesia and across the border in the Katanga region of the Congo. This discovery happened just as the demand for copper in the west was peaking. In a period of 30 years, Northern Rhodesia developed into one of the world's leading producers of copper.

In 1953, both Rhodesias were joined with Nyasaland (now Malawi) to form the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasa- land. The Federation, also called the Central African Federation, was formed on Britain’s initiative. Under an appointed governor-general, the federal government handled all governmental affairs even though countries retained most of their former legislative structure.

In 1960-1961 the Africans demonstrated against the federation. At the core of the controversy were African demands for greater participation in government and European fears of losing political control. Official dissolution came on Dec. 31, 1963, after which Northern Rhodesia became independent as Zambia on Oct. 24, 1964. The European settlers in Northern Rhodesia never gained the power that settlers did in neighboring Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and South Africa. But their influence was strong enough to delay political independence in Zambia. While the majority of African colonies obtained independence in 1960 or shortly before, Zambia did not gain independence until 1964.

Southern Rhodesia refused to hand political control over to its African majority, and in 1965 the White government unilaterally proclaimed the colony’s independence from Britain as Rhodesia. At independence, despite its consid- erable mineral wealth, Zambia faced major challenges. Domestically, there were few trained and educated Zam- bians capable of running the government, and the economy was largely dependent on foreign expertise. Three of its neighbors—Southern Rhodesia and the Portuguese colonies of Mozambique and Angola—remained under White-dominated rule.

Zambia's sympathies lay with forces opposing colonial rule, particularly in Southern Rhodesia. During the next decade, it actively supported movements such as the National Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU), the African National Congress of South Africa (ANC), and the South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO).

Conflicts with Rhodesia resulted in the closing of Zambia's borders with that country and severe problems with international transport and power supply. However, the Kariba hydroelectric station on the Zambezi River provided sufficient capacity to satisfy the country's requirements for electricity (despite the fact that the hydro control center was on the Rhodesian side of the border). A railroad to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam, built with Chinese assistance, reduced Zambian dependence on railroad lines south to South Africa and west through an increasingly troubled Angola.

Until the completion of the railroad, however, Zambia's major artery for imports and the critical export of copper was along the TanZam Road, running from Zambia to the port cities in Tanzania. Also a pipeline for oil was built from Dar-es-Salaam to Kitwe in Zambia. By the late 1970s, Mozambique and Angola had attained independence from Portugal. Zimbabwe achieved independence in accordance with the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement, but Zambia's problems were not solved. Civil war in the former Portuguese colonies generated an influx of refugees and caused continuing transportation problems. The Benguela railway, which extended west through Angola, was essentially closed to traffic from Zambia by the late 1970s. Zambia's strong support for the ANC, which had its external headquarters in Lusaka, created security problems as South Africa raided ANC targets in Zambia.


Zambia exerts of a presidential system in a democratic republic, where the president is both head of state and the government, and of a pluriform multi-party system. Executive and legislative power is vested in both the govern- ment and parliament. Zambia became a republic after achieving independence in October 1964. Kenneth Kaunda

was the first president of Zambia and the country's founding leader, who governed with a single party structure between 1964 and 1991.

Zambia is one of the few countries in Africa to undergo peaceful transitions. The last general elections on Aug. 12, 2021 saw the peaceful transition of power by the incumbent, President Edgar Lungu, who conceded power to opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema. Lungu polled 1.8 million votes against Hichilema's 2.8 million during the elections which saw an overall field of 16 presidential candidates participating. Lungu was the third president to peacefully hand over power after Kaunda in 1991, and President Rupiah Banda in 2011.

Zambia as The southern African nation has established a reputation as one of Africa's stable democratic nations with regular elections followed by peaceful transfers of power since Kaunda introduced multiparty democracy in 1991. Zambia has so far stood out in peaceful transition on the African continent, known for disputed elections and failure by incumbents to hand over power.



Zambia had one of the most poorly developed education systems of Britain's former colonies at independence, with only 109 university graduates and less than 0.5 percent of the population having completed primary educa- tion. The country has since invested heavily in education at all levels, with over 90 percent of children age 7-13 attending school. However, of those who enrolled for seven years of primary education, less than 20 percent enter secondary school, and only two percent of the 20-24 age group enters university or some other form of higher education.

A major factor in the dismal education statistics is the HIV-AIDS epidemic. With one in five dying from AIDS, it affects teachers, parents, and students. Fewer children enroll, especially when they become orphans, and fewer teachers are available to teach. A study in 1999 showed that 56,000 students in Zambia had lost a teacher to AIDS. Currently, more than one million Zambians are HIV positive or have AIDS. An estimated 100,000 died of the epidemic in 2004 and almost three-quarters of a million Zambian children have been orphaned.

Educational opportunities beyond high school are very limited in Zambia. There are few schools offering higher education and most Zambians cannot afford the fees. The University of Zambia, founded in 1966, in Lusaka is the primary institution of higher learning.

In 1987 the government reorganized the University of Zambia at Ndola into Copperbelt University. It now has four faculties after the incorporation of the Zambia Institute of Technology into the university as the School of Techno- logy in 1989, and the creation of the School of Forestry and Wood Science in 1995 later renamed School of Natural Resources in 2001.


The Zambian economy relies heavily on the country’s mineral wealth, particularly copper, cobalt and zinc. These account for the bulk of export earnings and provide essential raw materials for Zambia’s manufacturing industry, which accounts for 33 percent of national output. Output of copper fell to a low of 228,000 metric tons in 1998, after a 30-year decline due to lack of investment, low copper prices, and uncertainty over privatization. In 2002 the Konkola copper mine—the country’s largest and a major source of government revenue—was closed. However, following privatization of the industry, copper production rebounded to 337,000 metric tons.

Improvements in the world copper market have magnified the effect of this volume increase on revenues and foreign exchange earnings. Recently firms like Vedanta Resources, a London-based metals giant acquired Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) and have completely transformed the company allowing it to develop to its full potential and maximize the benefits for the employees.

The Zambian government is now pursuing an economic diversification program to reduce the economy's reliance on the copper industry. This initiative seeks to exploit other components of Zambia's rich resource base by promo- ting agriculture, tourism, gemstone mining, and hydropower. Zambia’s hydroelectric projects have allowed it self-sufficiency in energy. Apart from raw material processing, the manufacturing sector includes vehicle assembly and oil refining as well as the production of fertilizers, textiles, construction materials, and a variety of consumer products.


Agriculture produces 14 percent of GDP and employs 85 percent of the population. Corn and cattle are the main earners; other crops (cassava, millet, sorghum, and beans) are produced mainly for domestic consumption but have to be supplemented by substantial food imports. After 15 years of significant socio-economic progress and achieving middle-income status in 2011, Zambia’s economic performance has stalled in in recent years. Between 2000 and 2014, the annual real GDP growth rate averaged 6.8 percent. The gross domestic product growth rate slowed to 3.1 percent per annum between 2015 and 2019, mainly attributed to falling copper prices and declines in agricultural output and hydro-electric power generation due to insufficient rains, and insufficient policy adjustment to these exogenous shocks.

The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic pushed into contraction an economy that was already weakened by recent persistent droughts, falling copper prices and unsustainable fiscal policies. Economic activity through Q3 of 2020 contracted by 1.7 percent, as declines in industry and services outweighed growth in agriculture. Mining and services suffered from lower global demand and social distancing measures earlier in the year, respect- ively. However, relaxation of the lockdown measures in the second half and a global pickup of copper prices helped activity to recover. Overall, the economy is estimated to have contracted by 1.2 percent in 2020,

Inflation remained in double digits throughout 2020, averaging 15.7 percent, and reached a high of 22.2 percent in February 2021. A gradual recovery is expected, with GDP growth projected at an average of 2.8 percent through 2021-23. Higher copper prices, the commissioning of a new hydropower station, and a return to normal rainfall patterns are expected to support growth in agriculture and electricity production, key contributors to Zambia’s industry and service sectors.

However, the impact of COVID-19 will continue to dampen activity, especially in tourism and retail and wholesale trade. The risks to this outlook are balanced. Timely achievement of macroeconomic stability will largely depend on progress on debt restructuring, fiscal consolidation efforts and the availability of the COVID-19 vaccines. A pro-longed fallout from COVID-19 could amplify fiscal and domestic liquidity challenges and lengthen the time for Zambia to embark on key macroeconomic and structural reforms. Rainfall variability remains a key structural risk to Zambia’s sustainable growth, affecting key sectors like agriculture and electricity, and highlights the need to incorporate climate-smart solutions in Zambia’s long-term growth strategy.


Zambia is experiencing a large demographic shift and is one of the world’s youngest countries by median age. The current population is 19.4 million, a 2.9 percent increase from 2021. The population is growing rapidly partly due to high fertility, nearly doubling the population every 25 years. This trend is expected to continue as the large youth population enters reproductive age, which will put even more pressure on the demand for jobs, health care and other social services.

More than a quarter of Zambia's population lives in two urban areas near the center: the capital, Lusaka, with a population of slightly more than 3 million, and in the industrial towns of the Copperbelt—Ndola, Kitwe, Chingola, Luanshya and Mufulira, with a combined population of more than 1 million. The remainder of Zambia is sparsely populated, particularly the west and the northeast. The majority of people make their living as subsistence farmers.

Zambia's population is comprised of about 72 Bantu-speaking ethnic groups but almost 90 percent of Zambians belong to the eight main ethno-linguistic groups, which are the Bemba, Nyanja-Chewa, Tonga, Lunda, Luvale, Kaonde, Nkoya, and Lozi. Each ethnic group is concentrated in a particular geographic region of the country and many groups are very small and not well known. Expatriates, mostly British (about 15,000) or South African, live mainly in Lusaka and in the Copperbelt in northern Zambia, where they are employed in mines and related activi- ties. Zambia also has a small but economically important Asian population, most of whom are Indians. Zambia

has a long tradition of hosting refugees and thus has a significant population of refugees and asylum seekers.


The Zambian constitution provides for freedom of religion. Christianity took hold in the country when missionaries came in the late 19th century. The country is now 85 percent Christian with Catholicism accounting for the majority. Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists, and Seventh Day Adventists all are represented as well. Leaders of various ecumenical movements, such as the Zambia Episcopal Conference, the Christian Council of Zambia, and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, hold regular meetings to promote mutual understanding and interfaith dialog, and to discuss national issues.

While Zambia is predominantly a Christian nation, few have totally abandoned all aspects of their traditional beliefs. MuslimHindu, and Baha'i citizens together represent about 2 percent of the population.


Zambia's present-day culture exhibits a blend of historical and cultural features from the past as well as the present.

In the music field, traditional instruments include the hand piano, a small instrument with iron keys mounted on a rectangular box and plucked by both thumbs. Another traditional instrument is the silimba, a xylophone-type instrument with a range of flat wooden keys mounted over gourds. The most common instrument is the drum, which plays an important part in rituals, ceremonies, and celebrations.

Basketry is another tradition in Zambia. This craft includes some of the finest basketry in Africa. Basketry is widespread, practiced by both men and the women. Raw  materials used in basketry include bamboo, liana vines, roots, reeds, grasses, rushes, papyrus palm leaves, bark, and sisal. Baskets are decorated with symbolic designs using traditional dyes made from different colored soils, roots, bark, and leaves. Tribal Textiles based in the Luang- wa Valley, produce unique individually designed and hand-painted textiles made from 100 percent Zambian cotton. They produce cushion covers, bed covers, table linen, wall hangings, and an extensive range of personal acces- sories and bags.


Zambian languages include Chibemba, Nkoya, Chichewa or Chinyanja, Chilunda or Lunda, ChiTonga or Tonga, Ila, Mambwe, Namwanga, Kaonde, Lozi, Luvale, Shona Shona, Tumbuka, Yauma, Aushi, Lenje, Lamba, Lala, and Fanagalo (a pidgin language used mainly in the South African mines).

Traditional ceremonies: There are more than 20 annual traditional ceremonies in Zambia, manifesting customs, social life, rituals, oral history, material and spiritual culture. Many of Zambia's rural inhabitants have retained their traditional customs and values. After independence in 1964 the government recognized the role culture was to play in the overall development of a new nation and began to explore the question of a national identity. As a result,

institutions to protect and promote Zambia’s culture were created, including the National Heritage Conservation Commission. Private museums were also founded and cultural villages were established to promote the expression of artistic talents.


Zambia's staple food is maizeNshima makes up the main component of Zambian meals and is made from pounded white maize. It is served with "relish," stew and vegetables and eaten by hand (preferably the right hand). Nshima is eaten during lunch and dinner. Nshima may be made at home, at food stalls, and at restaurants. In traditional communities, the making of nshima is a long process, which includes drying the maize, sorting the kernels, pounding it, and finally cooking it.

The types of relish eaten with nshima are usually chibwabwa or pumpkin leaves. Other names for the relish are katapa, and kalembulaand tente. The relish made with green vegetables is generally known as delele or thelele. A popular method in which to prepare relish is with chidulo and kutendela. Chidulo is used in dishes made with green, leafy vegetables, and wild mushrooms. The chidulo is made of burnt, dry banana leaves, bean stalks or maize stalks and leaves. The ashes are added to water and strained. The resulting liquid has a vinegary taste. Kutendela is peanut powder made of pounded raw peanuts added to the chidulo sauce.

Ifisashi is another common food in Zambia. It is a type of stew, made with greens and peanuts and served with nshima. Ifisashi can be vegetarian or cooked meat can be added to the stew. Kapenta, a small sardine from Lake Tanganyika has been introduced to lakes in Zambia. The fish is caught and dried to be cooked later or it can be cooked fresh.


 Football or soccer is the premier and national sport of Zambia, although boxing, tennis, and basketball are enjoyed by many spectators as well. Kalusha Bwalya known as simply “Great Kalu” was noted as the greatest Zambian footballer of all time and is the current president of the Football Association of Zambia.

All Africa Games, also called the Pan African Games or African Games is the most popular sporting event by Zambians. It is a continental, multi-sport event held every four years and some of the sports involved here are track and field, soccer, baseball, boxing, taekwondo, and wrestling.

Zambia has joined the Olympic Games under the Zambian flag since 1968 (they used to go under the Northern Rhodesia banner) and have competed in almost all Summer Olympic Games except 1976. They have only received two Olympic medals. The first one was from Keith Mwila (bronze) in the 1984 Summer Olympics for the flyweight category in boxing, and Samuel Matete (silver) for the 400 meter hurdles in 1996.


Mass media in Zambia comprised of several modes of communications media: television, radio, cinema, news- papers, magazines, and Internet-based Web sites. The Ministry of Information, Broadcasting Services and Tourism is in charge of the Zambian News Agency which was founded in 1969.

Radio stations in Zambia provide both music and news media to the public through FM broadcasting. These radio stations include Flava on channel 87.7 FM, Breeze on channel 89.3 FM, and Chikuni Community Radio Station on 91.9 FM. Television in Zambia includes media developed and distributed by the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation.

Newspapers and magazines in Zambia include the Times of ZambiaZambia Daily Mail, and The Post; and mag- azines Partners Guide, featuring business and economics; and The Bulletin & Record, featuring political news issues.

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. / Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License