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The territory of Northern Rhodesia was administered by the South Africa Company
from 1891 until takeover by the UK in 1923. During the 1920s and 1930s, advances
in mining spurred development and immigration. The name was changed to Zambia
upon independence in 1964. In the 1980s and 1990s, declining copper prices and
a prolonged drought hurt the economy. Elections in 1991 brought an end to one-party
rule, but the subsequent vote in 1996 saw blatant harassment of opposition parties.
hunter-gatherer occupants of Zambia began to be displaced or absorbed by more
advanced migrating tribes about 2,000 years ago. The major waves of Bantu-speaking
immigrants began in the 15th century, with the greatest influx between the late
17th and early 19th centuries. They came primarily from the Luba and Lunda tribes
of southern Zaire and northern Angola but were joined in the 19th century by Ngoni
peoples from the south. By the latter part of that century, the various peoples
of Zambia were largely established in the areas they currently occupy.
for an occasional Portuguese explorer, the area lay untouched by Europeans for
centuries. After the mid-19th century, it was penetrated by Western explorers,
missionaries, and traders. David Livingstone, in 1855, was the first European
to see the magnificent waterfalls on the Zambezi River. He named the falls after
Queen Victoria, and the Zambian town near the falls is named after him.
1888, Cecil Rhodes, spearheading British commercial and political interests in
Central Africa, obtained a mineral rights concession from local chiefs. In the
same year, Northern and Southern Rhodesia (now Zambia and Zimbabwe, respectively)
were proclaimed a British sphere of influence. Southern Rhodesia was annexed formally
and granted self-government in 1923, and the administration of Northern Rhodesia
was transferred to the British colonial office in 1924 as a protectorate.
1953, both Rhodesias were joined with Nyasaland (now Malawi) to form the Federation
of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Northern Rhodesia was the center of much of the turmoil
and crisis that characterized the federation in its last years. At the core of
the controversy were insistent African demands for greater participation in government
and European fears of losing political control.
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. On December 31,
1963, the federation was dissolved, and Northern Rhodesia became the Republic
of Zambia on October 24, 1964.
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. Abroad, three of its neighbors--Southern Rhodesia
and the Portuguese colonies of Mozambique and Angola--remained under white-dominated
rule. Rhodesia's white-ruled government unilaterally declared independence in
1965. In addition, Zambia shared a border with South African-controlled South-West
Africa (now Namibia). Zambia's sympathies lay with forces opposing colonial or
white-dominated rule, particularly in Southern Rhodesia. During the next decade,
it actively supported movements such as the Union for the Total Liberation 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
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. 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
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 refugees and caused continuing transportation problems.
The Benguela Railroad, 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.
In the mid-1970s, the price of copper,
Zambia's principal export, suffered a severe decline worldwide. 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.
Guide to Zambia
of Zambia - Highlights the location, map references, area, land boundaries,
climate, natural resources, land use, natural hazards, environment, and geography
People of Zambia - Learn about
the population, age structure, birth and death rate, sex ratio, nationality, ethnic
groups, religions, languages, and literacy in Zambia
and Politics in Zambia - Profiles the country name, government type, administrative
divisions, independence, national holiday, constitution, legal system, suffrage,
executive, legislative, and judicial branches, political parties and leaders,
and a flag description of Zambia.
Zambia - Study the GDP, growth rate, per capita, inflation, labor, budget,
industries, exports, imports, currency, exchange rates, and economy of Zambia
in Zambia - Browse statistics on telephones, mobile and cellular lines
in use, radio broadcast stations, televisions, internet country code, ISP's, internet
users, and facts on communications in Zambia
in Zambia - Offers statistical details on the railways, highways, waterways,
ports & harbors, airports, and other facts on transportation in Zambia
of Zambia - Provides statistics on military branches, army, air force,
navy, manpower, military service, expenditure, and facts on military in Zambia
Issues of Zambia - Explore international disputes and transnational issues
Maps of Zambia - Discover a detailed
map of Zambia
Map Database of Zambia
- Browse a large collection of city, country, historical, political, thematic,
and shaded relief maps of Zambia
of Zambia - Uncover the flag images and description of the flag of Zambia.
Includes historical flags, symbols, and related information
for cities of Zambia - Browse weather forecast, hourly conditions, temperature,
sunrise, sunset, and other weather related reports for the cities of Zambia
Info - Zambia Political Geography - Encyclopedia resource provides information
on the country along with its cities.