At the time of independence, Zambia was expected to become of the wealthiest nations in Africa. With access to raw materials such as copper and land, Zambia seemed to have all it needed to succeed in the global economy. However, it is now one of the world’s poorest nations. So how did this dramatic change take place in less than 30 years? Much of Africa has experienced economic decline in the past decades. How does Zambia’s situation compare to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and how is it affected by the geographic context in which it exists? Examining the economic situation and Zambia’s place in the global economy will help these questions to be understood.
Zambia is a land-locked country located in central Africa. About the size of Texas, it is home to 11 million people. The population is made up of a variety of ethnic groups, most of whom speak Bantu. Zambia is currently one of the poorest countries in Africa, and is identified by the United Nations Development Program as a HIPC – Highly Indebted Poor Country.
“Lusaka is the product of a country battling to find its way in a new world, caught between colonial beginnings, years of socialist independence and now democracy.” -Zambian National Tourist Board
Lusaka became the capital of Zambia in 1930 but growth really took place in the 1960’s. The Lusaka City Council describes the city as a metropolis home to 2.5 million people.
Lusaka is constantly changing. New shops are being built, and a multi-million dollar shopping mall is being constructed. However, the Zambian National Tourist Board warns that many travelers may not see any reason to stay and that over 60% of the population of Lusaka is unemployed. Of those that do have work, much of it is in farming, textiles and manufacturing.
Before it was colonized, Zambia was inhabited by a large number of different tribes, organized into chieftaincies and monarchies....