Did you know that Zambia has one of the world's largest copper producers in the world? It also has the world's largest waterfall in the world. It's nearly twice the size of Niagara Falls. These are only a few amazing facts that will be stated in my report about the wonderful country of Zambia.
Zambia is located in Central Africa, east of Angola. It has many tributaries of water. It also has many lakes around the country that supplies the water. One of these rivers is the Zambezi River. Zambia got its name from this specific river.
Some of these lakes are; Lake Kariba that is a man made lake that was made with the help of 6 villages. Lake Bangweulu, and Lake Mwenu. The natural resources of Zambia are copper, gold, silver, emeralds, and diamonds. The habitability of the land is that it is very fertile and perfect for growing crops. Zambia has 3 seasons; cool and dry from April to August, Hot and dry from August to October, and warm and rainy which is a perfect time to plant crops.
Modern Zambian history starts with David Livingstone. David Livingstone, born in England, studied both medicine and religion. He arrived in Africa 1841 and came to Zambia in 1851 to practice medicine. He arrived there in 1851. Mr. Livingstone became very interested in the geography of the area. He decided to travel and explore the country. He marked out trade routes for quicker ways to get in and out of Zambia. He made 3 great treks across the continent. He explored most of the Zambezi River. It was believed that he was the first white man to come upon the river. He discovered a large waterfall in 1855 and named it in honor of the queen (Victoria Falls.) His sketches of the falls were very precise and his measurements were very accurate. He last saw the falls in 1860 and he died in 1873 at the age of 60.
Now school children spend a semester studying him and what he did for this country. Livingstone the town was the only English named town that wasn't changed when Zambia gained their independence in 1964.
Other Europeans followed Livingstone and when they arrived the question of power in Africa took second place in an uneven battle of black versus white. The greatest threat to the people of Zambia was a tribe in the south, the Matabele. These fierce warriors, a branch of the Zulu, were already raiding these areas close to the Lozi. They were soon stopped not by Africans but by soldiers defending the white merchants who proved the most devastating force of all.
At the Berlin West Africa Conference of 1884-85, the European powers gathered to settle the disputes over their various claims of land. The participants were representatives of Great Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Holland, Persia, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Turkey, The United States, and the Island of Zanzibar. In this way Zambia became part of the British Empire. Portugal did not get any land in Africa until 1891 when the Lozi had to give up their land, now called Angola, to the Portuguese.
The Africans lived in a cashless society and earned no wages. However they were expected to pay a hut tax. The British justified the hut tax by stating that since we are protecting you, you need to give us money to keep protecting you. What this really meant was that you have a fee for the right to live on land that your family has lived on for generations. Many resisted by running away. The whites weren't subject to tax until 1921.
On December 31, 1963 the British government dissolved the British federation which made Zambia free. Zambia's independence became official on October 24, 1964.
The official name of Zambia is The Republic of Zambia. Zambia is an independent one-party republic. Executive power under the 1973 constitution is vested in the president, who is elected to a five-year term. The National Assembly chooses the Prime Minister and other Cabinet members, by the president. The new president is Mr. Frederick Chiluba. He became president in 1991. The former president is Kenneth Kaunda. He was elected as the first president with barely any experience in politics. Not enough to govern a nation of a population of 3.5 million.
One political party is the United National Independence party (UNIP). The Democracy is the largest party in Zambia. The highest court is the Supreme Court, below that is the High Court, the Magisterial Court, and all the local courts. Law is based on the English common law.
The basic unit currency is kwacha. Now 6.99 kwacha is equal to one American dollar bill. Though because of inflation after reaching its peak in 1993. Now inflation is being brought under control. It fell to fifty-three percent in 1994 and forty-five percent in 1996.The average family income for Zambia is US$580 dollars.
Zambia also has problems with external debt. Zambia is considered by the international financial institutions a HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Country). Their total debt was U.S $6.943 billion in 1992. The total slightly fell in 1993 it has been estimated that it had risen again. Zambia has tried to repay debts but it just can't make enough money to pay the debt.
For weights and measurements the metric system is used. The major cities are Lusaka, Kitwe, Ndola, Chingola, and Luanshya. The country is divided into 9 provinces. Each province is administered by the state.
Agriculture is the Zambia's only hope to build an economy that isn't based on copper. Many people who worked in the mines are being laid off, because of the machinery that can do work quicker and don't need to be paid. Large farms produce 40 percent of food and 55 percent of commercial crops. One person or a group can't own the land. It is owned by the state that gives out hundred year leases. So if the person was renting the land and got sick the state could lease it to someone else.
The main crop is corn. Other crops include:
Most young Zambians leave school with less than a high school education. Barely any work can be found. The only job that doesn't require much education is mining. That doesn't need many people because machinery has taken over most of the mining business.
There are very few high school and college graduates. Kenneth Kaunda spent as much as he could on the school system. Within the next seven years children in elementary school doubled. Because of so many students and the lack of work most students drop out when they complete the elementary grades.
For those who want to go on with school 2 exams separate them. The first is given at an 8th grade level to determine whether they go to high school. The other exam is given at tenth grade level to determine whether they go through the last years of high school. Because so few places are available in high school the passing grade is kept very high and very few are able to complete high school. The lack of spaces becomes very desperate for those who go on to universities. Zambia's university was opened in 1966, but it only had room for a thousand students. Even very bright students are shut out. Their only hope is to be accepted by college in an another country.
Soccer is the most popular sport in Zambia. Their National soccer team went to the Olympics in 1988. A Zambian boxer also won the bronze medal in the lightweight-division at the1984 Olympics, and they haven't gone back since.
Other sports played include: badminton, squash, baseball, and rugby. Golf, though very expensive, is considered a very prestigious sport and very few are eligible to play. Most boys enjoy soccer while girls enjoy netball: another name for basketball. Also fishing is a very popular sport.
The music of Zambia is usually accompanied with drums and other instruments. At an important occasion, ceremonial drummers present to greet the arrival of an important person. In addition to drums, the hand piano and xylophone are played. All three are very popular. All instruments are made locally of skins, metal strips and of course wood.
Farmers arriving from the year 1000 have been identified by their pottery. Similar studies of pottery show how groups made their way into the country. Pottery made by the Tonga people trace back to their ancestors in the 12th century.
In Zambia mask making is a special art and only a few are able to master it. Most masks are made from mud and bark. Most are painted black, white, and red. Also beadwork, basket weaving, and weaving chiteges (brightly colored cloth) were very popular amongst the people. Many wooden sculptures carved by men are also found tourist attractions.
Most Zambians find a way to maintain both traditional beliefs and practice Christianity at the same time. From the start missionaries tried to prevent them from maintaining their traditional beliefs. These attempts were largely unsuccessful.
The official language is English. Many people not living in cities don't need to learn English because they have no use for it. So most of them speak their own language. Bemba is the most common language spoken among the people. President Kaunda speaks English at all his public appearances.
As you can see Zambia has many problems. It is a poor country and because of this Zambia has difficulty paying off its debts. This causes inflation which makes living here very hard because prices are high and wages are low.
Zambia will survive. Zambia's land is very fertile and the development of an economy based on agriculture provides an opportunity to create an economy that doesn't rely entirely on copper as its primary export. We will just have to see if Zambia can solve its problems and create a new beginning.