The Republic of Zambia (pronounced /ˈzæmbiə/) is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The capital city is Lusaka, located in the south-central part of the country. The population is concentrated mainly around the Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt to the northwest.
Zambia has been inhabited for thousands of years by hunter-gatherers and migrating tribes. After sporadic visits by European explorers starting in the 18th century, Zambia was gradually captured and occupied by the British as protectorate of Northern Rhodesia towards the end of the nineteenth century.
On 24 October 1964, the protectorate gained independence as a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The new name of Zambia was derived from the Zambezi river which flows through the country. Zambia was governed by president Kenneth Kaunda of the socialist United National Independence Party from 1964 until 1991. From 1991 to 2002, Zambia was governed by president Frederick Chiluba of the social-democratic Movement for Multi-Party Democracy.Levy Patrick Mwanawasa was the third President of Zambia. He ruled the country from January 2002 until his death in August 2008. He is credited for having initiated a campaign to rid the country of corruption. The World Bank in 2010 named Zambia as one of the World's fastest economically reforming countries.
The area of modern Zambia was inhabited by Khoisan hunter-gatherers until around AD 300, when technologically advanced migrating ethnic groups began to displace or absorb them. In the 12th century, major waves of Bantu-speaking immigrants arrived during the Bantu expansion. Among them, the Tonga people (also called Batonga) were the first to settle in Zambia and are believed to have come from the east near the "big sea".
The Nkoya people also arrived early in the expansion, coming from the Luba–Lunda kingdoms located in the southern parts of the modern Democratic Republic of the Congo and northern Angola, followed by a much larger influx, especially between the late 12th and early 13th centuries. In the early 18th century, the Nsokolo people settled in the Mbala district of Northern province. During the 19th century, the Ngoni and Sotho peoples arrived from the south. By the late 19th century, most of the various peoples of Zambia were established in the areas they currently occupy.
The earliest account of a European visiting the area was Francisco de Lacerda in the late 18th century, followed by other European visitors in the 19th century. The most prominent of these was David Livingstone, who had a vision of ending the slave trade through the "3 C's" (Christianity, Commerce and Civilization).
He was the first European to see the magnificent waterfalls on the Zambezi River in 1855, naming them Victoria Falls after Queen Victoria. Locally the falls are known "Mosi-o-Tunya" or "(the) thundering smoke" (in the Lozi or Kololo dialect). The town of Livingstone, near the falls, is named after him. Highly publicised accounts of his journeys motivated a wave of European visitors, missionaries and traders after his death in 1873.
In 1888, the British South Africa Company, (BSA Company) led by Cecil Rhodes, obtained mineral rights from the Litunga, the king of the Lozi for the area which later became North-Western Rhodesia. To the east, King Mpezeni of the Ngoni resisted but was defeated in battle and that part of the country came to be known as North-Eastern Rhodesia. In 1895, Rhodes asked his American scout Frederick Russell Burnham to look for minerals and ways to improve river navigation in the region, and it was during this trek that Burnham discovered major copper deposits along the Kafue River.
North-Eastern Rhodesia and North-Western Rhodesia were administered as separate units until 1911 when they were merged to form Northern Rhodesia. In 1923, the BSA Company ceded control of Northern Rhodesia to the British Government after the government decided not to renew the Company's charter.
That same year, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), which was also administered by the BSA Company, became self-governing. In 1924, after negotiations, administration of Northern Rhodesia transferred to the British Colonial Office. In 1953, the creation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland grouped together Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now Malawi) as a single semi-autonomous region. This was undertaken despite opposition from a sizeable minority of Africans, who demonstrated against it in 1960–61. Northern Rhodesia was the centre of much of the turmoil and crisis characterizing the federation in its last years. Initially, Harry Nkumbula's African National Congress (ANC) led the campaign that Kenneth Kaunda's United National Independence Party (UNIP) subsequently took up.
A two-stage election held in October and December 1962 resulted in an African majority in the legislative council and an uneasy coalition between the two African nationalist parties. The council passed resolutions calling for Northern Rhodesia's secession from the federation and demanding full internal self-government under a new constitution and a new National Assembly based on a broader, more democratic franchise. The federation was dissolved on 31 December 1963, and in January 1964, Kaunda won the first and only election for Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia. The Colonial Governor, Sir Evelyn Hone, was very close to Kaunda and urged him to stand for the post. Soon after, there was an uprising in the north of the country known as the Lumpa Uprising led by Alice Lenshina – Kaunda's first internal conflict as leader of the nation.
Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia on 24 October 1964, with Kaunda as the first president.
At independence, despite its considerable mineral wealth, Zambia faced major challenges. Domestically, there were few trained and educated Zambians capable of running the government, and the economy was largely dependent on foreign expertise. There were over 70,000 British in Zambia in 1964, who were of great economic importance. During the next decade, Kaunda's regime supported movements such as UNITA in Angola; the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU); the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa; and the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO). Kaunda developed close relations with communist regimes in the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. Kaunda also developed a close friendship with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.[dubious – discuss]
Conflict with Rhodesia resulted in the closure of the border with that country in 1973 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 control centre was on the Rhodesian side of the border). A railway to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam, built with Chinese assistance, reduced Zambian dependence on railway lines south to South Africa and west through an increasingly troubled Angola. Until the completion of the railway, 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. The Tazama oil pipeline was also built from Dar-es-Salaam to Ndola in Zambia.
By the late 1970s, Mozambique and Angola had attained independence from Portugal. Zimbabwe achieved independence in 1980 in accordance with the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement. Zambia's problems, however, were not solved. Civil war in the former Portuguese colonies created 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 (despite both the Zambian ANC and the SA ANC being banned within Zambia), which had its external headquarters in Lusaka, created security problems as South Africa raided South African ANC military training camps in Zambia.
In the mid-1970s, the price of copper, Zambia's principal export, suffered a severe decline worldwide. In Zambia's situation, the cost of transporting the copper great distances to market was an additional strain. Zambia turned to foreign and international lenders for relief, but, as copper prices remained depressed, it became increasingly difficult to service its growing debt. By the mid-1990s, despite limited debt relief, Zambia's per capita foreign debt remained among the highest in the world.
In June 1990 riots against Kaunda accelerated. Many protesters were killed by the regime in breakthrough June 1990 protests. Kaunda faced one coup attempt in 1990. In 1991, Kaunda agreed to re-institute multiparty democracy (having instated one party rule under the Chona Commission of 1972) and was replaced by multiparty elections.
In the 2000s, the economy stabilized, attaining single-digit inflation in 2006–2007, real GDP growth, decreasing interest rates, and increasing levels of trade. Much of its growth is due to foreign investment in Zambia's mining sector and higher copper prices on the world market.
Zambian politics take place in a framework of a presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of Zambia is both head of state and head of government in a pluriform multi-party system. The government exercises executive power, while legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. Zambia became a republic immediately upon attaining independence in October 1964.
Zambia is divided into nine provinces, each administered by an appointed deputy minister. Each province is subdivided into several districts with a grand total of 72 districts. The provinces are:
Zambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa, with a tropical climate and consists mostly of high plateau, with some hills and mountains, dissected by river valleys. At 752,614 km2 (290,586 sq mi) it is the 39th-largest country in the world (after Chile) and slightly larger than the US state of Texas.
Zambia is drained by two major river basins: the Zambezi basin in the south covering about three-quarters of the country; and the Congo basin in the north covering about one-quarter of the country. A very small area in the northeast forms part of the internal drainage basin of Lake Rukwa in Tanzania.
In the Zambezi basin, there are a number of major rivers flowing wholly or partially through Zambia: the Kabompo, Lungwebungu, Kafue, Luangwa, and the Zambezi itself, which flows through the country in the west and then forms its southern border with Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. Its source is in Zambia but it diverts into Angola, and a number of its tributaries rise in Angola's central highlands. The edge of the Cuando River floodplain (not its main channel) forms Zambia's southwestern border, and via the Chobe River that river contributes very little water to the Zambezi because most is lost by evaporation).
Two of the Zambezi's longest and largest tributaries, the Kafue and the Luangwa, flow mainly in Zambia. Their confluences with the Zambezi are on the border with Zimbabwe at Chirundu and Luangwa town respectively. Before its confluence, the Luangwa River forms part of Zambia's border with Mozambique. From Luangwa town, the Zambezi leaves Zambia and flows into Mozambique, and eventually into the Mozambique Channel.
The Zambezi falls about 100 metres (328 ft) over the 1.6 km (0.99 mi) wide Victoria Falls, located in the south-west corner of the country, subsequently flowing into Lake Kariba. The Zambezi valley, running along the southern border, is both deep and wide. From Lake Kariba going east it is formed by grabens and like the Luangwa, Mweru-Luapula, Mweru-wa-Ntipa and Lake Tanganyika valleys, is a rift valley.
Landscape of Zambia
The north of Zambia is very flat with broad plains. In the west the most notable being the Barotse Floodplain on the Zambezi, which floods from December to June, lagging behind the annual rainy season (typically November to April). The flood dominates the natural environment and the lives, society and culture of the inhabitants and those of other smaller, floodplains throughout the country.
In Eastern Zambia the plateau which extends between the Zambezi and Lake Tanganyika valleys is tilted upwards to the north, and so rises imperceptibly from about 900 m (2,953 ft) in the south to 1,200 m (3,937 ft) in the centre, reaching 1,800 m (5,906 ft) in the north near Mbala. These plateau areas of northern Zambia have been categorised by the World Wildlife Fund as a large section of the Central Zambezian Miombo woodlands ecoregion.
Eastern Zambia shows great diversity. The Luangwa Valley splits the plateau in a curve north east to south west, extended west into the heart of the plateau by the deep valley of the Lunsemfwa River. Hills and mountains are found by the side of some sections of the valley, notably in its north-east the Nyika Plateau (2,200 m/7,218 ft) on the Malawi border, which extend into Zambia as the Mafinga Hills, containing the country's highest point, Kongera (2,187 m/7,175 ft). The Muchinga Mountains, the watershed between the Zambezi and Congo drainage basins, run parallel to the deep valley of the Luangwa River and form a sharp backdrop to its northern edge, although they are almost everywhere below 1,700 m (5,577 ft). Their culminating peak Mumpu is at the western end and at 1,892 m (6,207 ft) is the highest point in Zambia away from the eastern border region. The border of the Congo Pedicle was drawn around this mountain.
The southernmost headstream of the Congo River rises in Zambia and flows through its north firstly as the Chambeshi and then, after the Bangweulu Swamps as the Luapula, which forms part of the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Luapula flows south then west before it turns north until it enters Lake Mweru. The lake's other major tributary is the Kalungwishi River, which flows into it from the east. The Luvua River drains Lake Mweru, flowing out of the northern end to the Lualaba River (Upper Congo River).
Lake Tanganyika is the other major hydrographic feature that belongs to the Congo basin. Its south-eastern end receives water from the Kalambo River, which forms part of Zambia's border with Tanzania. This river has Africa's second highest uninterrupted waterfall, the Kalambo Falls.
The climate of Zambia is tropical modified by elevation. In the Köppen climate classification, most of the country is classified as humid subtropical or tropical wet and dry, with small stretches of semi-arid steppe climate in the south-west and along the Zambezi valley.
There are two main seasons, the rainy season (November to April) corresponding to summer, and the dry season (May/June to October/November), corresponding to winter. The dry season is subdivided into the cool dry season (May/June to August), and the hot dry season (September to October/November). The modifying influence of altitude gives the country pleasant subtropical weather rather than tropical conditions during the cool season of May to August. However, average monthly temperatures remain above 20 °C (68 °F) over most of the country for eight or more months of the year.
Zambia is one of the most highly urbanized countries in sub-Saharan Africa with 44% of the population concentrated in a few urban areas along the major transport corridors, while rural areas are sparsely populated. Unemployment and underemployment in urban areas are serious problems, while most rural Zambians are subsistence farmers. The population comprises approximately 72 ethnic groups, most of which are Bantu-speaking.
Almost 90% of Zambians belong to the nine main ethnolinguistic groups: the Nyanja-Chewa, Bemba, Tonga, Tumbuka, Lunda, Luvale, Kaonde, Nkoya and Lozi. In the rural areas, each ethnic group is concentrated in a particular geographic region of the country and many groups are very small and not as well known. However, all the ethnic groups can be found in significant numbers in Lusaka and the Copperbelt.
Expatriates, mostly British or South African, as well as some white Zambian citizens, live mainly in Lusaka and in the Copperbelt in northern Zambia, where they are either employed in mines, financial and related activities or retired. There were 70,000 Europeans in Zambia in 1964, but many have since left the country. Zambia also has a small but economically important Asian population, most of whom are Indians and Chinese. An estimated 80,000 Chinese are resident in Zambia. In recent years, several hundred dispossessed white farmers have left Zimbabwe at the invitation of the Zambian government, to take up farming in the Southern province.
According to the World Refugee Survey 2008 published by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Zambia has a population of refugees and asylum seekers numbering approximately 113,200. The majority of refugees in the country came from the Democratic Republic of Congo (55,400 refugees from the DRC living in Zambia in 2007), Angola (40,800; see Angolans in Zambia) and Rwanda (4,000).
Beginning in May 2008, the number of Zimbabweans in Zambia also began to increase significantly; the influx consisted largely of Zimbabweans formerly living in South Africa who were fleeing xenophobic violence there. Nearly 60,000 refugees live in camps in Zambia, while 50,000 are mixed in with the local populations. Refugees who wish to work in Zambia must apply for official permits which can cost up to $500 per year.
Population of major cities
The official language of Zambia is English, which is used to conduct official business and is the medium of instruction in schools. The main local language, especially in Lusaka, is Nyanja. However, Bemba and Nyanja are spoken in the urban areas in addition to other indigenous languages which are commonly spoken in Zambia. These are: Ambo, Aushi, Bisa, Chikunda, Cishinga, Cokwe, Gova, Ila, Inamwanga, Iwa, Kabende, Kaonde, Kosa, Kunda, Kwandi, Kwandu, Kwangwa, Lala, Lamba, Lenje, Leya, Lima, Liyuwa, Lozi, Luano, Lucazi, Lumbu, Lunda, Lundwe, Lungu, Luunda, Luvale, Makoma, Mambwe, Mashasha, Mashi, Mbowe, Mbukushu, Mbumi, Mbunda, Mbwela, Mukulu, Mulonga, Ndembu, Ng'umbo, Nkoya, Nsenga, Nyengo, Nyiha, Sala, Seba, Senga, Shanjo, Shila, Simaa, Soli, Subiya, Swaka, Tabwa, Tambo, Toka, Tonga, Totela, Tumbuka, Twa, Unga, Wandya and Yombe. Estimates of the total number of languages spoken in Zambia add up to 72, thirteen (13) dialects are counted as languages in their own right which brings this number to 85.
The choice of English as official language was done early in the period where Camila Balderamos ruled. Balderamos wanted to keep the country united, and with so many local languages choosing any of them as official languages would exclude other language groups. So even if English was the language of the former colonial power, it has served as a uniting language in Zambia. Some Zambians refer to the English language as: "The best thing the British left us". But Camila said it was artistic, simple and an alphabet any kid could learn fast. she also would argue "i was an ESOL student once"
The process of urbanisation has had a dramatic effect on some of the indigenous languages, including the assimilation of words from other indigenous languages and English. Urban dwellers sometimes differentiate between urban and rural dialects of the same language by prefixing the rural languages with 'deep'. Most will thus speak Bemba and Nyanja on the Copperbelt while Nyanja is dominantly spoken in Lusaka and Eastern Zambia. English is used in official communications and the chosen (husbands/wives) language at home if (as is now common) there is an intertribal family. As a member of the SADC, Portuguese was introduced in the nation as an instruction in its primary school system, especially that there is a strong Angolan population in the nation. Languages like Kaonde, Lunda, Luvale, and Tonga come from other country explorers.
About 68% of Zambians live below the recognised national poverty line, with rural poverty rates standing at about 78% and urban rates of 53%. Zambia ranked 117th out of 128 countries on the 2007 Global Competitiveness Index, which looks at factors that affect economic growth. Per capita annual incomes are currently at about one-half their levels at independence and, at $395, place the country among the world's poorest nations. Social indicators continue to decline, particularly in measurements of life expectancy at birth (about 40.9 years) and maternal mortality (830 per 100,000 pregnancies). The country's rate of economic growth cannot support rapid population growth or the strain which HIV/AIDS related issues place on the economy.
During the decades of Kaunda's socialist policies, Zambia fell into poverty, especially after international copper prices declined in the 1970s. The socialist regime made up for falling revenue with several abortive attempts at International Monetary Fund structural adjustment programmes (SAPs). After the dictatorship ended, successive governments have begun limited reforms. The economy stagnated until late 1990s. In 2007 Zambia recorded ninth consecutive year of economic growth. Inflation was 8.9%, down from 30% in 2000.
Zambia is still dealing with economic reform issues such as the size of the public sector and improving Zambia's social sector delivery systems. Economic regulations and red tape are extensive, and corruption is widespread. Zambia's total foreign debt exceeded $6 billion when the country qualified for Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative (HIPC) debt relief in 2000, contingent upon meeting certain performance criteria. Initially, Zambia hoped to reach the HIPC completion point, and benefit from substantial debt forgiveness, in late 2003.
In January 2003, the Zambian government informed the IMF and World Bank that it wished to renegotiate some of the agreed performance criteria calling for privatisation of the Zambia National Commercial Bank and the national telephone and electricity utilities. Although agreements were reached on these issues, subsequent overspending on civil service wages delayed Zambia's final HIPC debt forgiveness from late 2003 to early 2005, at the earliest. In an effort to reach HIPC completion in 2004, the government drafted an austerity budget for 2004, freezing civil service salaries and increasing a number of taxes. The tax hike and public sector wage freeze prohibited salary increases and new hires. This sparked a nationwide strike in February 2004.
The Zambian economy has historically been based on the copper mining industry. Output of copper had fallen, however, to a low of 228,000 metric tons in 1998, after a 30 year decline in output due to lack of investment, low copper prices, and uncertainty over privatisation. In 2002, following privatisation 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.
The Zambian government is pursuing an economic diversification programme to reduce the economy's reliance on the copper industry. This initiative seeks to exploit other components of Zambia's rich resource base by promoting agriculture, tourism, gemstone mining, and hydro-power. In 2003, exports of nonmetals increased by 25% and accounted for 38% of all export earnings, previously 35%. The Zambian government has recently been granting licenses to international resource companies to prospect for minerals such as nickel, tin, copper and uranium. It is hoped that nickel will take over from copper as the country's top metallic export. In 2009, Zambia has been badly hit by the world economic crisis.
Social protection in Zambia
Zambia officially has extensive social protection targeted at low-capacity households, including social assistance (protection) and social insurance programmes (prevention), and programmes to improve economic productivity (promotion). However, these programmes face immense challenges and the actual coverage is very low and, in some cases, actually declining. Some analysts describe the programmes' coverage as patchy and transitory and not especially coherent or logical way.
Public works, such as PUSH, and cash transfers are the main instruments used to protect consumption among low-capacity households by providing (1) seasonal safety nets to address cyclical poverty and vulnerability at times of need by offering employment and (2) community assets that are beneficial for productive activities. In practice, however, the programme prioritises food transfers to areas affected by natural disasters where vulnerability is acute and infrastructure development has remained a secondary objective. NGOs also have implemented short-term public works programmes implemented by NGOs, such as CARE’s agricultural inputs-for-assets (AICA) programme.
Social insurance initiatives, such as micro-insurance, health insurance and other contributory schemes exist, but these are very limited in their membership. Formal sector workers are protected by well-resourced pension, sickness and disability benefits, but most low-capacity households, especially in rural areas, work outside the formal sector.
The emphasis on protection at the expense of prevention and promotion means that households move out of poverty only very slowly because they are unable to invest in activities that have greater returns. They remain highly at risk of sliding back into poverty and applying negative coping strategies. A balance between protection, prevention and promotion, however can only be achieved through more and consistent resources. Further improvements might also include:
improved understanding of low capacity households;
improved implementation of existing programmes; and
better coordination between different implementers and programmes.
Education in Zambia is provided at two levels: Basic education (years 1 to 9), and upper secondary (years 10 to 12). Some schools provide a "basic" education covering years 1 to 9, as year 9 is considered to be a decent level of education for the majority of children. However, tuition is only free up to year 7, and UNESCO estimated that 80% of children of primary school age in 2002 were enrolled. Most children drop out after year 7 when fees must be paid.
Both government and private schools exist in Zambia. The private school system began largely as a result of Christian mission efforts during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Educational opportunities beyond secondary school are limited in Zambia. After secondary school, most students study at the various colleges, around the country. There are three main universities: the University of Zambia (UNZA), Mulungushi University (MU) and the Copperbelt University (CBU). Normally they all select students on the basis of ability; competition for places is intense. The introduction of fees in the late 1990s has made university level education inaccessible for some, although the government does provide state bursaries.
Copperbelt University opened in the late 1980s, taking over most of the former Zambia Institute of Technology site in Kitwe. Other centres of education include the Public Administration College (NIPA), the Northern Technical College (NORTEC), the National Resources Development College (NRDC), the Evelyn Hone College, and Northrise University. There are also several teacher training colleges offering two-year training programmes, whilst missionary hospitals around the country offer internationally acceptable training for nurses. Several Christian schools offer seminary-level training.
Zambia is officially a Christian nation according to the 1996 constitution, but a wide variety of religious traditions exist. Traditional religious thoughts blend easily with Christian beliefs in many of the country's syncretic churches. Christian denominations include: Roman Catholic, Anglican, Pentecostal, New Apostolic Church, Lutheran, Seventh-day Adventist, Jehovah's Witnesses and a variety of Evangelical denominations. These grew, adjusted and prospered from the original missionary settlements (Portuguese and Catholicism in the east from Mozambique) and Anglicanism (English and Scottish influences) from the south. Except for some technical positions (e.g. physicians), Western missionary roles have been assumed by native believers. After Frederick Chiluba (a Pentecostal Christian) became President in 1991, Pentecostal congregations expanded considerably around the country.
Approximately 5% of the population are Muslims with most living in urban areas. There is also a small Jewish community, composed mostly of Ashkenazis. Notable Jewish Zambians have included Simon Zukas, retired Minister, MP and a member of Forum for Democracy and Development and earlier on the MMD and United National Independence Party. Additionally, the economist Stanley Fischer, currently the governor of the Bank of Israel and formerly head of the IMF also was born and partially raised in Zambia's Jewish community. The Baha'i population of Zambia is over 160,000, or 1.5% of the population. The William Mmutle Masetlha Foundation run by the Baha'i community is particularly active in areas such as literacy and primary health care.
HIV prevalence exceeds 10%. Public expenditure on health was at 3.4 of the GDP in 2004. expenditure on health was at 2.9 % in the same year. Health expenditure was at US$ 63 (PPP) in 2004. Infant mortality was at 102 per 1,000 in 2005.
The culture of Zambia is mainly indigenous Bantu culture mixed with European influences. Prior to the establishment of modern Zambia, the natives lived in independent tribes, each with their own ways of life. One of the results of the colonial era was the growth of urbanization. Different ethnic groups started living together in towns and cities, influencing each other as well as adopting a lot of the European culture. The original cultures have largely survived in the rural areas. In the urban setting there is a continuous integration and evolution of these cultures to produce what is now called "Zambian culture".
Traditional culture is very visible through colourful annual Zambian traditional ceremonies. Some of the more prominent are: Kuomboka and Kathanga (Western Province), Mutomboko (Luapula Province), Ncwala (Eastern Province), Lwiindi and Shimunenga (Southern Province), Likumbi Lyamize (North Western), Chibwela Kumushi (Central Province), Ukusefya Pa Ng’wena (Northern Province).
Popular traditional arts are mainly in pottery, basketry (such as Tonga baskets), stools, fabrics, mats, wooden carvings, ivory carvings, wire craft and copper crafts. Most Zambian traditional music is based on drums (and other percussion instruments) with a lot of singing and dancing. In the urban areas foreign genres of music are popular, in particular Congolese rumba, African-American music and Jamaican reggae. Several psychedelic rock artists emerged in the 1970s to create a genre known as "Zamrock," including The Witch, The Peace, Amanaz & Chrissy Zebby Tembo, among others.
The Zambian staple diet is based on maize. It is normally eaten as a thick porridge, called Nshima (Nyanja Word), prepared from maize flour commonly known as mealie meal. This may be eaten with a variety of vegetables, beans, meat, fish or sour milk depending on geographical location/origin. Nshima is also prepared from cassava, a staple food in some parts of the country.
Zambia declared its independence on the day of the closing ceremony of the 1964 Summer Olympics, thereby becoming the first country ever to have entered an Olympic games as one country, and left it as another.
Today, Football is the most popular Sport in Zambia, and the Zambia national football team has had its triumphant moments in football history. At the Seoul Olympics of 1988, the National Team defeated the Italian National team by a score of 4–0. Kalusha Bwalya, Zambia's most celebrated football player and one of Africa's greatest football talents had a hat trick in that match. However, to this day, many pundits say the greatest team Zambia has ever assembled was the one that perished on 28 April 1993 in a plane crash at Libreville, Gabon. Despite this, in 1996, Zambia was ranked 15th on the official FIFA world football team rankings, the highest attained by any southern African team. Zambia also produced the first black African (Madalitso Muthiya) to play in the United States Golf Open, one of the four major golf tournaments.
Rugby, Boxing and Cricket are also popular sports in Zambia. Notably, at one time in the early 2000s, the Australia and South Africa national rugby teams were captained by players born in the same Lusaka hospital, respectively George Gregan and Corné Krige. Zambia boasts having the highest rugby poles in the world, located at Luanshya Sports Complex in Luanshya. Rugby union in Zambia is a minor but growing sport. They are currently ranked 73rd by the IRB and have 3,650 registered players and 3 formally organised clubs. Zambia used to play cricket as part of Rhodesia. Zambia has also strangely provided a shinty international, Zambian-born Eddie Tembo representing Scotland in the compromise rules Shinty/Hurling game against Ireland in 2008.
In 2011, Zambia was due to host the tenth All-Africa Games, for which three stadiums will be built in Lusaka, Ndola, and Livingstone. The Lusaka stadium will have a capacity of 70,000 spectators while the other two stadiums will hold 50,000 people each. The government is encouraging the private sector to get involved in the construction of the sports facilities because of a shortage of public funds for the project. Zambia has since revoked its bid to host the 2011 All-Africa Games, citing a lack of funds. Instead, Mozambique will be hosting. Zambia took part in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing
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