Update: The Law and Legal research in Zambia


By Alfred S. Magagula


Alfred S. Magagula is a graduate fellow from the University of Swaziland. He holds B.A. law and LLB degree from the same university.  He has done research with various consultancy firms in Swaziland before. He is a part-time researcher with Centre for Human rights and development and Panacea Consulting. Currently he is the Municipal AIDS Program Manager with AMICAALL.  


Published September 2014

(Previously updates on November/December 2011)

See the Archive Version


Table of Contents

Foreign Relations


Bank of Zambia

Sources of law

Constitution of Zambia



Authoritative texts

International Law

The Justice System of Zambia

The Constitution and the Judiciary

Constitutional clauses analysis

National Sovereignty and the state


Protection of the right to life

Protection of the right to personal liberty

Protection of Women’s rights

The right of persons with disabilities

The Executive

The Attorney general

The Legislature  

The Judicature

Infringement on judicial independence

Judicial tenure and remuneration

Removal of judges from office

The Supreme Court

The High Court

Specialist Courts in Zambia

The Local Courts

Small Claims Courts

The Legal Aid Board

Law reports

Government Gazettes

Law schools in Zambia

Access to Information

Law Association of Zambia

Political Parties

Civil society

Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (CHRD )

Christian Council of Zambia (CCZ)

Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP)

Human Rights Committee of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ)

Inter-African Network for Human Rights (AFRONET)

Legal Resources Foundation (LRF)

National Women's Lobby Group

Office of Social Education of the Zambian Episcopal Conference (ZEC)

Women's Rights Committee of the Law Association of Zambia (WRC)

Zambia Civic Education Association (ZCEA)


National Assembly

Voting in Parliament

The Electoral Commission

2001-2008 Elections

The Electoral Commission of Zambia

2011 Elections

2011 Elections Report

Political biography of President Michael Sata 

Zambian Defence Force

The military—trials, tribulations and hope

Civil Society expertise In Zambia

Anti-Corruption Commission

Human Rights

Constitutional Review

MISA Zambia 

Government Performance Overview

Millennium Development Goals




Zambia derives its name from the Zambezi River. The river runs across the western and southern border and then forms Victoria Falls and flows into Lake Kariba and on to the Indian Ocean. It is a landlocked country with several large freshwater lakes, including Lake Tanganyika, Lake Mweru, Lake Bangweulu, and the largest man-made lake in Africa, Lake Kariba. The terrain consists of high plateaus, large savannas, and hilly areas; the highest altitude is in the Muchinga Mountains, at 6,000 feet (1,828 meters). The Great Rift Valley cuts through the southwest and Victoria Falls, the most visited site in Zambia, is in the South. Zambia lies between the Democratic Republic of Congo to the north, Tanzania to the northeast, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The country measures approximately 752,618 square kilometres with a population of approximately 11 862 740. The country’s leadership is democratic.

Zambia's population comprises more than 70 Bantu-speaking ethnic groups. The population is comprised primarily (97 percent) of seven main tribes and a collection of seventy-five minor tribes. There is also a small percentage of citizens from other African nations. The remaining population is of Asian, Indian, and European descent. Because of conflicts in the border countries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola, there has been a large influx of refugees in recent years. Some ethnic groups are small, and only two have enough people to constitute at least 10% of the population. Most Zambians are subsistence farmers. The predominant religion is a blend of traditional beliefs and Christianity; Christianity is the official national religion. Expatriates, a majority of whom are British (about 15,000) and South African, live mainly in Lusaka and in the Copper belt in northern Zambia, where they are employed in mines and related activities. Zambia also has a small but economically important Asian population, most of whom are Indians.

The indigenous 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 Democratic Republic of Congo 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. Except 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. In 1888, Cecil Rhodes, spearheading British commercial and political interests in Central Africa, obtained 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. In 1953, both Rhodesians 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 of 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 (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. 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.

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. In response to growing popular demand, and after lengthy, difficult negotiations between the Kaunda government and opposition groups, Zambia enacted a new constitution in 1991 and shortly thereafter became a multi-party democracy. Kaunda's successor, Frederick Chiluba, made efforts to liberalize the economy and privatize industry, but allegations of massive corruption characterized the latter part of his administration. By the mid-1990s, despite limited debt relief, Zambia's per capita foreign debt remained among the highest in the world.

Although poverty continues to be a significant problem in Zambia, its economy has 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. In 2005, Zambia qualified for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative, consisting of approximately U.S. $6 billion in debt relief.


Zambia became a republic immediately upon attaining independence in October 1964. The constitution promulgated on August 25, 1973, abrogated the original 1964 constitution. The new constitution and the national elections that followed in December 1973 were the final steps in achieving what was called a "one-party participatory democracy." The 1973 constitution provided for a strong president and a unicameral National Assembly. National policy was formulated by the Central Committee of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), the sole legal party in Zambia. The cabinet executed the central committee's policy. In accordance with the intention to formalize UNIP supremacy in the new system, the constitution stipulated that the sole candidate in elections for the office of president was the person selected to be the president of UNIP by the party's general conference. The second-ranking person in the Zambian hierarchy was UNIP's secretary general.

In December 1990, at the end of a tumultuous year that included riots in the capital and a coup attempt, President Kenneth Kaunda signed legislation ending UNIP's monopoly on power. Zambia enacted a new constitution in August 1991, which enlarged the National Assembly from 136 members to a maximum of 158 members, established an electoral commission, and allowed for more than one presidential candidate who no longer had to be a member of UNIP.
The first multi-party elections in November 1991 resulted in the victory of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) and the election of President Frederick Chiluba, a former trade Unionist. The present Constitution dates from June 1996. While similar to the 1991 Constitution, it contains amended provisions regarding the qualifications of presidential candidates and grants the President and the National Assembly increased powers in respect of their relationship with the judiciary. The May 1996 amendment set new limits on the presidency (including a retroactive two-term limit, and a requirement that both parents of a candidate be Zambians- by birth or descent ) . This amendment had the direct effect of excluding former President Kaunda, whose parents were Malawian, from standing in the presidential elections. The UNIP boycotted the November 1996 elections that confirmed the government of MMD and President Chiluba. Executive power is vested in the President, who is elected directly by universal suffrage for a term of five years and may be re-elected only once. The President is the Head of State and the Commander-in-Chief.


On 2 August 1991, the adoption of a new Constitution introduced a multi-party system, thereby ending the monopoly of Kaunda’s United National Independence Party (UNIP). The President appoints the Ministers of his Cabinet from among the members of the National Assembly, and they are collectively answerable to the National Assembly. The President has the power to declare a state of emergency and to dissolve the National Assembly. Article 45 of the Constitution provides for the office of the Vice-President, who is appointed from among the members of the National Assembly and performs such functions as are assigned to him by the President of the Republic. Legislative power is vested in the Parliament, which consists of the President and the National Assembly. The National Assembly is composed of 150 members elected by universal, direct suffrage, with not more than eight members nominated by the President, and the Speaker, nominated by the members of the National Assembly. Traditional chiefs are not qualified to be elected as members of the Parliament. Legislation passed by the National Assembly must be assented to by the President in order to become law. Members of the Parliament form parliamentary committees with the mandate to consider specific matters or bills.


The Constitution also provides for a House of Chiefs, an advisory body composed of 27 chiefs from the various provinces [1] . A House of Chiefs (or House of Traditional Leaders) is a  post-colonial  assembly, either legislative or  advisory , that is recognised by either a national or regional government as consisting of and providing a collective, public voice for an  ethnic group 's pre- colonial  authorities. Although often influential within the  indigenous  culture, its members do not usually function as a modern nation's primary law-making body ( cf British House of Lords ), being neither representative (i.e. democratically elected) nor consisting of members appointed individually by the government in power, whether democratic or not. It consists of all or some of the "traditional leaders", historically known in English as  chiefs , of a country or a  sub-division  thereof.


A House of Chiefs is not, constitutionally, a  partisan  institution within the body politic. Members of a House of Chiefs are selected neither by a  universal suffrage  process of those they represent nor by the state executive or legislature they advise: Their function is to express a cultural, historical and/or ethnic point of view on public policies. The process by which individuals qualify for membership varies, but is based on tradition specific to his or her (e.g. the  Rain Queen ) historic community or ethnic group. Sometimes the qualifying position is obtained through heredity within a local  dynasty , sometimes through selection by  consensus  of a  ritually  or socially prominent subset of a community, and sometimes by a combination thereof. Historically, chiefs were the last indigenous rulers before colonisation of a people, and their modern versions often continue to play a local cultural role of varying significance. Especially in colonial times, chiefs were often used as instruments of indirect rule, and/or convenient alternatives to elective institutions [2] .


The country is divided into nine provinces, including the capital of Lusaka, each of which is administered by a centrally appointed Provincial Secretary and a partially elected Provincial Council. The provinces are subdivided into 55 districts, each administered by a centrally appointed Governor and a partially elected District Council. Presidential and parliamentary elections are to be held on 27 December 2001.


At the beginning of 2001 President Chiluba had seemed eager to amend the Constitution in order to seek a third term, but on 8 May 2001, following pressure from the opposition, international donors and even by members of his own cabinet, Chiluba announced that he would not stand for an unconstitutional third term in office. In the meantime, more than 20 dissident members of the ruling MMD party including the country’s Vice-President and eight ministers have been expelled from the Parliament. In May 2001, an impeachment petition was filed against President Chiluba before the House Speaker of the National Assembly. The petitioners, mostly MMD parliamentarians, obtained 65 signatures, enough to compel the Speaker to convene parliament to hear charges of gross misconduct against President Chiluba, who had come under intense criticism for corruption in his government. On 30 May 2001, the Parliament postponed the debate on the impeachment motion.

In December 1990, at the end of a tumultuous year that included riots in the capital and a coup attempt, President Kaunda signed legislation ending UNIP's monopoly on power. In response to growing popular demand for multi-party democracy, and after lengthy, difficult negotiations between the Kaunda government and opposition groups, Zambia enacted a new constitution in August 1991. The constitution enlarged the National Assembly from 136 members to a maximum of 158 members, establishing an electoral commission, and allowed for more than one presidential candidate who no longer had to be members of UNIP. The constitution was amended again in 1996 to set new limits on the presidency (including a retroactive two-term limit, and a requirement that both parents of a candidate be Zambian-born.) The National Assembly is comprised of 150 directly elected members, up to 8 president- appointed members and a speaker. Zambia is divided into nine provinces, each administered by an appointed governor.

Political and Economic outlook- Independence to date

Zambia achieved independence from Britain in 1964 and since then, there have been three Republics, starting with multi-party politics [3] that ensured that opposition political parties existed until 1972 when the one-party system came into being. Although Zambia ceased to be a multi-party democracy in 1972, the country still remained a one-party-participatory democracy essentially meaning that the people still participated in elections [4] to elect their leaders. The competitiveness [5] of the elections especially at parliamentary and local government levels remained very high but that was not the case at presidential [6] where effectively no competition existed.

In 1990, the country reverted [7] to pluralism adopting a multi-party democratic system. In the elections that followed the following year, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) emerged as part of the multi-partisan political system that followed the 27-year rule of Kenneth Kaunda and his United National Independence Party (UNIP). UNIP remained in opposition to the MMD thereafter. The country used the political changes to set pace to key democratic tenets for those who govern and how to ensure that a high standard of democracy and accountability exists [8] . Since 1991the country has held a number of general elections which have been hailed as representing a growth in Zambia’s democracy, including not so impressive or ‘perceived’ fraudulent elections in 1996 and 2001. In the case of the 2001 elections, most local and international [9] election observer’s concluded that the Government of Zambia and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) failed both to administer a fair and transparent election and to address electoral irregularities that may have affected the outcome of what proved to be a very close race. According to provisional final results, the MMD’s Levy Mwanawasa defeated Anderson Mazoka of the opposition United Party for National Development by less than two percentage points (28.7 % for Mwanawasa versus 26.8 % for Mazoka). The aggrieved parties, mainly Anderson Mazoka, Godfrey Miyanda and Christon Tembo went to court with a petition. After a long-protracted hearing and ruling, the Court ruled in favour of Mwanawasa. Elections held thereafter have been under close scrutiny amidst allegations of rigging, and in all fairness Zambia has had to strive to build confidence in the outcomes of recent elections including those held in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

Relentlessly, the Patriotic Front (PF), founded as a break-away from the MMD in 2001, challenged the MMD in the fourth election, defeating the previous ruling party in an election which featured a close race between two main contenders [10] whose mutual distrust occasioned concern especially against a harsh party polarization that characterized the run-up to the 2011 elections. Michael Chilufya Sata triumphed over Rupiah Banda, to make him the 5th Zambian President, since independence. The smooth and peaceful handover of power following the announcement of, particularly the presidential results, following the September 2011 Elections, raised Zambia’s democratic credentials in a continent that had experienced several election reversals and contestations [11] .

In the views of many, the outcome of Zambia’s September 2011 elections reflected the general wide consent of the population to multi-party democracy, which once more received affirmation [12] . The elections were widely considered free and fair [13] EU-Elections Observer Mission to Zambia (2011) Elections Report, Southern Africa Development Community-PF Report on Zambia’s 2011 September Elections and Electoral Institute of Southern Africa (EISA) and the shift of power was nationally and internationally accepted.

Political/Economic Perspectives since 1991

From 1991 up to 2011 the MMD dominated the national politics. During this period MMD implemented reforms steering Zambia towards a more liberal and free-market economy. The country most recently enjoyed more than 10 years of sustained economic development. The World Bank declared the country as a lower middle income country in 2011. Many Zambians are yet to understand and appreciate the shifting of Zambia from a least developed country to a low middle income country because of the fact that poverty levels are still very high, manifested in a continuously increasing cost of living. This is against a background of the country’s stable economic growth of above 6% per annum over the last five years."

Despite attempts to make the economy more diversified, the growth still is highly dependent on revenues from the Zambian mining industry causing the Zambian economy to be very sensitive to fluctuations in commodity prices at international market.

The study notes that between 2006 and 2009, there was deterioration in people’s access to basic needs, including food, medical care, and clean water, cooking-fuel (electricity, charcoal and kerosene) and cash income [14] . Poor living conditions have encouraged citizens and civil society organizations [15] to demand that the State provides clean water, housing, food, employment and equitable access to employment through the inclusion of such rights in the Constitution. They contend that the development of Zambia will only be facilitated and achieved through the government’s observance of economic, social and cultural rights. [16]

Despite these being included in Policies, plans and programs there has not been a point of reference for Zambians to hold the government accountable beyond stakeholder meeting and advocacy efforts, which in many instances the government has overlooked with impunity, as there is no legal binding on the part of government. It must also be noted that Zambians have been demanding for the enactment of a law that will enable public leaders, especially members of parliament, to be recalled if they have not performed to the expectations of the electorate. In the current 1996 Constitution such provision does not exist.

The Zambia Afrobarometer survey of 2009 shows that in the period 1999 to 2005, the country’s democratic process was in decline and even though support for democratic processes remains high [17] , a majority of Zambians remained unsatisfied at about 50% between 2005 and 2009. The demand for representation was high, with indications that most Zambians were getting more together with others to raise a problem or issue. Engagement with formal and informal representatives, especially in rural areas was also active. Despite all this most Zambians continue to face logistical challenges associated with distances from government offices and infrastructure which limits their capacity to interact with government officials and formal representatives.

Notwithstanding, it is observed that democratic institutions in Zambia fundamentally perform their functions. However, with extended powers given to the presidency, legislators (the national assembly) have limited possibilities to supervise the government effectively. The Executive dominance is one of the disconcerting features of modern African governance systems, and Zambia is not in anyways insulated from the practice [18] . In such a political environment checking executive power is a major factor in good governance. Not much has been done to invigorate checks and balances, strengthen separation of powers or constrain the executive [19] . In the case of Zambia, the aspect of shifting power bases or indeed balancing power between and among the arms of government underlies callings for constitutional guarantees, especially in the on-going constitutional making process.


Despite all this, Zambia has achieved a considerable level of progress in regard to democracy, good governance and leadership institutions compared to the years before 1991. The 2011 Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance rates Zambia as having improved its overall governance quality, especially between 2006 and 2010 and thus received a score of 57 out of 100 for governance quality. According to the Mo Ibrahim Index the country is ranked 16th out of 53 countries. In 2011, Zambia improved from a hybrid to a flawed democracy on the Economist Intelligent Unit Democracy Index [20] . The overall Democracy Index is based on five categories: electoral process and pluralism; civil liberties; the functioning of government; political participation; and political culture. Countries are placed within one of four types of regimes: full democracies; flawed democracies; hybrid regimes; and authoritarian regimes.


One of the factors that can be attributed to this improvement is the increase of information on democracy through community radio stations. Currently, each province has a community radio station based in one or two districts. The community radio stations have been offering a platform that never existed before where citizens can freely debate and discuss issues affecting the country. There are however, still many rural districts in Zambia which have no access to any Zambian radio or television and do not even have community radio stations. Those near the border with neighboring countries end up listening to foreign radio stations. Chiengi and Milenge district in Luapula plus Shangombo and Sesheke in Western are just a few of the examples that are cited, particularly that the current project supported by the EU through Diakonia Zambia is operating in such areas.


Secondly President Mwanawasa’s fight against corruption and the quest to pursue cases involving former president Chiluba and the desire to clean the civil service improved the general perception of the government. The survey also demonstrated that Zambia’s population does not support authoritarian regimes or government and further showed that many Zambians are against military rule, one-party rule or one-man rule. Analysis of the findings in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2009 showed that Zambians have consistently rejected military rule as well as one-party rule and one-man rule.


A recent EU Report [21] notes that government effectiveness is the area of governance in which Zambia is worst performing, below the Sub-Saharan average. Public services are plagued by staff shortages, unmotivated and often ineffective or absent staff. Until recently, most financial releases from the Treasury to spending ministries and agencies was very minimal, unpredictable and focused on meeting personal emolument expenses for civil servants with trickling funding to development projects [22] . It further noted that the government still struggles with accountability for public resources and inability to effectively deliver services. While levels of participation in accountability can be considered as high, approaches to this differ widely and this is largely localized. Accountability takes various forms but primarily solutions are addressed by community, religious or traditional leaders. In some instances, civil society has taken up some of the problems identified by local communities to government and policy makers. In recent years, especially in cases where community radio is established, citizens have used this media form to hold local government accountable.


Economic Gains, Electoral Dissatisfaction

While the MMD’s record on improving the economy is noted, it is also clear that economic gains during its reign did not translate into improvement in the livelihood of the majority of the citizens. In addition, the positive economic record is largely attributed to the time and leadership of late President Levy Mwanawasa (2001-8), with the earlier privatization of state owned enterprises under the late Frederick Chiluba (1991-2001) being the reason for the high job losses and economic stagnation until 2001. Notwithstanding, more than 60% of the Zambian population is still living under the poverty line [23] .


According to the government of the Republic of Zambia, 61% of Zambians live below the income poverty line [24] . The concentration of poverty is especially high in rural areas where as many as 78% of the households can be characterised as living in poverty with limited or no access to educational opportunities, housing, health, clean water and sanitation. Many of the poorest households are headed by women. In addition, the youth, mostly in the age 12-24, constitute a large demographic group, estimated at about 70% of the population. During the last September 2011 Elections, they constituted more than 50% of the electorate and hence played a crucial role in the outturn of the election. However, their representation in politics and national development remains inferior.


The dissatisfaction with democracy can also be attributed to the high levels of poverty in the country. A study by Simon [25] in 2002 found that economic trends helped shape patterns of political participation in the first five years of Zambia's new democracy, with economic difficulties depressing voter registration and turnout. In his study, Simon observed that many of the countries that underwent transitions to democracy in the 'Third Wave' did so under conditions of severe poverty--conditions that pose a high barrier to the consolidation of democracy. Poverty threatens the generation of democratic institutions and patterns of behaviour because it affects political participation.


Poverty does indeed appear to reduce political participation in Zambia. Evidence from district-level data as well as from individual-level survey data lends support to the notion that poverty undermines participation according to either of the means suggested above. Simutanyi made a similar observation at a conference on participatory democracy in South Africa, when he noted the following about Zambia’s poverty:


“Under Chiluba, poverty and inequality increased while Zambia's democratic performance regressed. Zambia was much poorer in 2001 than it was ten years earlier, with 8 in every 10 Zambians living below the poverty line. All social indicators were negative, including the high unemployment levels of more than 40 percent, highest maternal mortality rates in the world, high infant and child mortality, inhabitable urban dwellings and homelessness, declining literacy rates and poverty wages. HIV and AIDS prevalence of 16 percent was high by world standards, especially when the absolute number of infected persons was 1,200,000 and close to 900,000 deaths per year against a population of less than 12 million” [26]


The poverty situation described above has not changed very much under the successive governments of the late President Mwanawasa, former president Rupiah Banda and now under President Sata.


In a nutshell, issues of economy have a direct bearing on the manner in which politics are shaped and invariably play out. In both the ‘revolutionary’ changes illuminated in the 1991 change of government, and similar trend of 2011, fundamentals around political economy and how they influence participation levels and positions taken by citizens are critical. There is belief that MMD lost power as citizens became more fatigued that they were not so accountable, growing intolerance of the MMD to divergent views leading to reduced participation space for key stakeholders in the governance process. MMD had not responded to pertinent issues people were looking forward to such as employment, growing concerns of raising corruption going on unabated. Behind all this was the issue of people’s welfare and livelihood amidst concerns of wealth creation and distribution.

Foreign Relations

Zambia is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the African Union, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which is headquartered in Lusaka. President Kaunda was a persistent and visible advocate of change in southern Africa, supporting liberation movements in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), and South Africa. Many of these liberation organizations were based in Zambia during the 1970s and 1980s. President Chiluba assumed a visible international role in the mid- and late 1990s. His government sponsored Angola’s peace talks that led to the 1994 Lusaka Protocols. Zambia provided troops to UN peacekeeping initiatives in Mozambique, Rwanda, Angola, and Sierra Leone. Zambia was the first African state to cooperate with the International Tribunal investigation of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

In 1998, Zambia took the lead in efforts to establish a cease-fire in Democratic Republic of the Congo. After the signing of a cease-fire agreement in Lusaka in July and August 1999, Zambia was active in supporting the Congolese peace effort, although activity diminished considerably after the Joint Military Commission tasked with implementing the ceasefire relocated to Kinshasa in September 2001.

During President Mwanawasa's administration, Zambia contributed troops to support UN peacekeeping operations in southern Sudan. During his tenure as SADC Chair, President Mwanawasa brought the issue of Zimbabwe to the fore in the SADC, taking a lead role in pressuring President Mugabe for reforms in his country. Zambia's history of stability and its commitment to regional peace has made it a haven for large numbers of refugees. Currently, Zambia hosts approximately 87,000 refugees (down from a high of 203,000 in 2002), including roughly 51,000 Congolese, 27,000 Angolans, and 9,000 other nationalities (mainly Rwandans, Burundians, and Somalis). In recent years, Zambia has made serious efforts to repatriate many of these refugees, including organized repatriation for 74,000 Angolan and 17,000 Congolese refugees.



Economic policies soon after independence

At independence in 1964, Zambia's economy grew the British South Africa Company (BSAC, originally setup by the British imperialist Cecil Rhodes ) retained commercial assets and mineral rights that it acquired from a concession signed with the Litunga of Barotseland in 1892 (the Lochner Concession ). Only by threatening to expropriate the BSAC, on the eve of independence, did the incoming Zambian government manage to get the BSAC to relinquish the mineral rights. The Federation's government assigned roles to each of the three territories: Southern Rhodesia was assigned the responsibility of providing managerial and administrative skills; Northern Rhodesia provided copper revenues; and Nyasaland provided the Black labour.

After independence, Zambia followed in the steps of the Soviet Union by instituting a program of national development plans, under the direction of a National Commission for Development Planning: the Transitional Development Plan (1964–66) was followed by the First National Development Plan (1966–71). These two plans, which provided for major investment in infrastructure and manufacturing, were largely implemented and were generally successful. This was not true for subsequent plans.

The Mulungushi Economic Reforms (1968)

A major switch in the structure of Zambia's economy came with the Mulungushi Reforms of April 1968: the government declared its intention to acquire equity holdings (usually 51% or more) in a number of key foreign-owned firms, to be controlled by a parastatal conglomerate named the Industrial Development Corporation (INDECO). By January 1970, Zambia had acquired majority holding in the Zambian operations of the two major foreign mining corporations, the Anglo American Corporation and the Rhodesia Selection Trust (RST); the two became the Nchanga Consolidated Copper Mines (NCCM) and Roan Consolidated Mines (RCM), respectively. The Zambian government then created a new parastatal body, the Mining Development Corporation (MINDECO). The Finance and Development Corporation (FINDECO) allowed the Zambian government to gain control of insurance companies and building societies. However, foreign-owned banks (such as Barclays, Standard Chartered and Grindlays) successfully resisted takeover. In 1971, INDECO, MINDECO, and FINDECO were brought together under an omnibus parastatal, the Zambia Industrial and Mining Corporation (ZIMCO), to create one of the largest companies in sub-Saharan Africa, with the country's president, Kenneth Kaunda as Chairman of the Board. The management contracts under which day-to-day operations of the mines had been carried out by Anglo American and RST were ended in 1973. In 1982 NCCM and RCM were merged into the giant Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Ltd (ZCCM).

Unfortunately for Kaunda and Zambia, the programs of nationalization were ill-timed. Events that were beyond their control soon wrecked the country's well-laid plans for economic and national development. In 1973 a massive increase in the price of oil was followed by a slump in copper prices in 1975, resulting in a diminution of export earnings. In 1973 the price of copper accounted for 95% of all export earnings; this halved in value on the world market in 1975. By 1976 Zambia had a balance-of-payments crisis, and rapidly became massively indebted to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Third National Development Plan (1978–83) had to be abandoned as crisis management replaced long-term planning.

By the mid-1980s Zambia was one of the most indebted nations in the world, relative to its gross domestic product (GDP). The IMF was insisting that the Zambian government should introduce programs aimed at stabilizing the economy and restructuring it to reduce dependence on copper. The proposed measures included: the ending of price controls; devaluation of the kwacha (Zambia's currency); cut-backs in government expenditure; cancellation of subsidies on food and fertilizer; and increased prices for farm produce. Kaunda's removal of food subsidies caused massive increases in the prices of basic foodstuffs; the country's urbanized population rioted in protest. In desperation, Kaunda broke with the IMF in May 1987 and introduced a New Economic Recovery Programme in 1988. However, this did not help him and he eventually moved toward a new understanding with the IMF in 1989. In 1990, with the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (on which Kaunda's philosophy of Zambian Humanism had been fashioned), Kaunda was forced to make a major policy volteface: he announced the intention to partially privatize the parastatals. Time, however, was running out for him. As Mikhail Gorbachev announced perestroika and glasnost , small-time dictators who had copied Joseph Stalin 's policies had no choice but to realise that their days were numbered. This included Kaunda. Kaunda called multiparty elections in 1991, and lost them to the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD). Kaunda left office with the inauguration of MMD leader Frederick Chiluba as president on 2 November 1991.

Chiluba's economic reforms

The Frederick Chiluba government (1991–2001), which came to power after democratic multi- party elections in November 1991, was committed to extensive economic reform. The government privatised many state industries, and maintained positive real interest rates . Exchange controls were eliminated and free market principles endorsed. It remains to be seen whether the Mwanawasa government will follow a similar path of implementing economic reform and undertaking further privatization. Zambia has yet to address issues such as reducing the size of the public sector , which still represents 44% of total formal employment, and improving Zambia's social sector delivery systems.

After the government privatized the giant parastatal mining company Zambian Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM), donors resumed balance-of-payment support. The final transfer of ZCCM's assets occurred on March 31, 2000. Although balance-of-payment payments are not the answer to Zambia's long-term debt problems, it will in the short term provide the government some breathing room to implement further economic reforms. The government has, however, spent much of its foreign exchange reserves to intervene in the exchange rate mechanism. To continue to do so, however, would jeopardize Zambia's debt relief. Zambia qualified for HIPC debt relief in 2000, contingent upon the country meeting certain performance criteria, and this should offer a long-term solution to Zambia's debt situation. In January 2003, the Zambian Government informed the International Monetary Fund and World Bank that it wished to renegotiate some of the agreed performance criteria calling for privatization of the Zambia National Commercial Bank and the national telephone and electricity utilities.


The Zambian economy has historically been based on the copper-mining industry. The discovery of copper is owed partly to Frederick Russell Burnham , the famous American scout who worked for Cecil Rhodes . [4] By 1998, however, output of copper had fallen to a low of 228,000 tonnes , continuing a 30-year decline in output due to lack of investment, and until recently, low copper prices and uncertainty over privatization. In 2001, the first full year of a privatized industry, Zambia recorded its first year of increased productivity since 1973. The future of the copper industry in Zambia was thrown into doubt in January 2002, when investors in Zambia are largest copper mine announced their intention to withdraw their investment. However, surging copper prices from 2004 to the present day rapidly rekindled international interest in Zambia's copper sector with a new buyer found for KCCM and massive investments in expanding capacity launched. China has become a major investor in the Zambian copper industry, and in February 2007, the two countries announced the creation of a Chinese-Zambian economic partnership zone around the Chambishi copper mine. Today copper mining is central to the economic prospects for Zambia, but concerns remain that the economy is not diversified enough to cope with a collapse in international copper prices.



Lack of balance-of-payment support meant the Zambian government did not have resources for capital investment and periodically had to issue bonds or otherwise expand the money supply to try to meet its spending and debt obligations. The government continued these activities even after balance-of-payment support resumed. This has kept interest rates at levels that are too high for local business, fuelled inflation , burdened the budget with domestic debt payments, while still falling short of meeting the public payroll and other needs, such as infrastructure rehabilitation. The government was forced to draw down foreign exchange reserves sharply in 1998 to meet foreign debt obligations, putting further pressure on the kwacha and inflation. Inflation held at 32% in 2000; consequently, the kwacha lost the same value against the dollar over the same period. In mid- to late 2001, Zambia's fiscal management became more conservative. As a result, 2001 year-end inflation was below 20%, its best result in decades. In 2002 inflation rose to 26.7%. However in 2007 inflation hit 8%, the first time in 30 years that Zambia had seen single digit inflation. On January 27, 2011, it was reported by the Central Statistical Office that inflation rose to 9%.



The agriculture sector represented 20% GDP in 2000. Agriculture accounted for 85% of total employment (formal and informal) for 2000. Maize (corn) is the principal cash crop as well as the staple food . Other important crops include soybean , cotton , sugar , sunflower seeds, wheat , sorghum , pearl millet , cassava , tobacco and various vegetable and fruit crops. Floriculture is a growth sector, and agricultural non-traditional exports now rival the mining industry in foreign exchange receipts. Zambia has the potential for significantly increasing its agricultural output; currently, less than 20% of its arable land is cultivated. In the past, the agriculture sector suffered from low producer prices, difficulties in availability and distribution of credit and inputs, and the shortage of foreign exchange.



There are, however, positive macroeconomic signs, rooted in reforms implemented in the early and mid-1990s. Zambia's floating exchange rate and open capital markets have provided useful discipline on the government, while at the same time allowing continued diversification of Zambia's export sector, growth in the tourist industry , and procurement of inputs for growing businesses. Some parts of the Copper Belt have experienced a significant revival as spin-off effects from the massive capital reinvestment are experienced.


Salaula (second-hand clothing imported from the West)

Standard economic theory and empirical data indicates that second-hand clothing import can have positive effects in a country like Zambia (one of the least developed countries in the world). The salaula market reduces the proportion of income that a family has to spend on clothing. It also helps to keep employments like repairs and alterations in business and forces tailors to proceed into more specialize production of styled garments.

There is a downside to such imports, however; the massive importation of used clothing from the developed world has resulted in a near-total collapse of the Zambian indigenous textile industry. In the face of cheap used clothing, tailors' specialized production may be irrelevant - customers will buy the least expensive clothing available, irrespective of style. Those who might otherwise work at textile mills or clothing factories are left jobless, or else make significantly less money in the salaula resale business.

About two-thirds of Zambians live in poverty. Per capita annual incomes are well below their levels at independence and, at $852, place the country among the world's poorest nations. Life expectancy at birth is about 51 years, and maternal mortality is 649 per 100,000 pregnancies. The country's rate of economic growth cannot support rapid population growth or the strain which HIV & AIDS-related issues (i.e., rising medical costs, decline in worker productivity) place on government resources. Zambia is also one of Sub-Saharan Africa's most highly urbanized countries. Over one-third of the country's 12.9 million people are concentrated in a few urban zones strung along the major transportation corridors, while rural areas are under-populated. Unemployment and underemployment are serious problems. HIV & AIDS is the nation's greatest challenge, with 14.3% prevalence among the adult population.

 HIV & AIDS will continue to ravage Zambian economic, political, cultural, and social development for the foreseeable future. Once a middle-income country, Zambia began to slide into poverty in the 1970s when copper prices declined on world markets. The socialist government made up for falling revenue by increasing borrowing. After democratic multi-party elections, the Chiluba government (1991-2001) came to power in November 1991 committed to an economic reform program. The government was successful in some areas, such as privatization of most of the parastatals, maintenance of positive real interest rates, the elimination of exchange controls, and endorsement of free market principles. Corruption grew dramatically under the Chiluba government. Zambia has yet to address effectively issues such as reducing the size of the public sector and improving Zambia's social sector delivery systems.

Zambia is one of sub-saharan african 's most highly urbanized countries. About one-half of the country's 11.5 million people are concentrated in a few urban zones strung along the major transportation corridors, while rural areas are under-populated. Unemployment and underemployment are serious problems. National GDP has actually doubled since independence, but due in large part to high birth rates and AIDS per capita annual incomes are currently at about two-thirds of their levels at independence. This low GDP per capita, which stands at $1400, places the country among the world’s poorest nations.  Social indicators continue to decline, particularly in measurements of life expectancy at birth (about 50 years) and maternal and infant mortality (85 per 1,000 live births). The high population growth rate of 2.3% per annum makes it difficult for per capita income to increase. The country's rate of economic growth cannot support rapid population growth or the strain which HIV/AIDS-related issues (i.e., rising medical costs, street children, and decline in worker productivity) places on government resources.

For the first time since 1989 Zambia's economic growth reached the 6%-7% mark (in 2007) needed to reduce poverty significantly. Copper output has increased steadily since 2004, due to higher copper prices and the opening of new mines. The maize harvest was again good in 2005, helping boost GDP and agricultural exports. Cooperation continues with international bodies on programs to reduce poverty, including a new lending arrangement with the IMF in the second quarter of 2004. A tighter monetary policy will help cut inflation, but Zambia still has a serious problem with high public debt.

For 30 years, copper production declined steadily from a 1973 high of 700,000 metric tons to a 2000 low of 226,192 metric tons. The decline was the result of poor management of state-owned mines and lack of investment. With the privatization of the mines in April 2000, the downward trend in production and exports was reversed as a result of investments in plant rehabilitation, expansion, increased exploration, and high copper prices on the international market. Copper production rose to 535,000 metric tons in 2007, but slumping copper prices in late 2008 put significant pressure on the mining companies and government revenue. Zambia experienced positive economic growth for the ninth consecutive year in 2007 with a GDP of U.S. $10.9 billion and a real growth rate of 6% (according to preliminary IMF estimates). The rate of inflation dropped from 30% in 2000 to single-digit inflation of 8.9% by December 2007 due to fiscal and monetary discipline and the growth of the domestic food supply.


Year-on-year inflation grew to double digits in late 2008, due to rising fuel and food prices. In April 2005, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) provided Zambia significant debt service relief and debt forgiveness under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Zambia was the 17th country to reach the HIPC completion point and has benefited from approximately U.S. $6 billion in debt relief. In July 2005, the G-8 agreed on a proposal to cancel 100% of outstanding debt of eligible HIPC countries to the IMF, African Development Fund, and IDA. Zambia is among the beneficiaries of this additional multilateral debt relief.


Zambia also completed a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement with the IMF for the period 2008-2011. The Zambian Government is 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 promoting agriculture, tourism, gemstone mining, and hydropower. The government is also seeking to create an environment that encourages entrepreneurship and private-sector led growth. Zambia's economy has been affected by the global economic crisis and the fall in world copper prices. High inflation, currency volatility, rising unemployment, and restricted access to capital are likely to dampen Zambia’s economic performance in 2009.


Zambia's Economic Growth Program- Increased private sector competitiveness

Despite Zambia's potential in the agricultural and natural resources sectors, the country has been unable to register itself as a competitive market player locally, regionally and internationally. The main constraints to agricultural development and small-scale rural agribusiness competitiveness in the last decade have been:


               I.          Lack of capacity, clarity and consistency within Zambian Government to generate and implement liberalization policies conducive to private sector-led agricultural growth;

             II.          Poor market access and under-developed markets that limit production;

           III.          Inadequate sources of finance and capital;

           IV.          Low farm and firm-level production and productivity due to inadequate provision of technical information, limited use of modern production and value-adding technologies, and absence of business management services

To respond to these issues, the Economic Growth Program, as part of USAID/Zambia's Country Strategic Plan for 2004-2010, aims to contribute towards increasing competitiveness of Zambian farmers and firms, and has adopted "Increased Private Sector Competitiveness" as the theme of its program. Activities under the program focus on attaining significant improvements in Zambia's competitive position within the region and internationally, enabling Zambia to achieve trade-based rural economic growth and poverty reduction.

Zambia Development Agency

The Zambia Development Agency [27] (ZDA) was established in 2006 by an Act of Parliament No. 11 of 2006 and became operational in January 2007 after the amalgamation of five statutory bodies that hitherto operated independently to foster economic growth and development by promoting trade and investment through an efficient, effective and coordinated private sector led economic development strategy. These institutions were the Zambia Investment Centre (ZIC), Zambia Privatisation Agency (ZPA), Export Board of Zambia (EBZ), Small Enterprise Development Board (SEDB) and Zambia Export Processing Zones Authority (ZEPZA).

The Act gives powers to the ZDA in key areas of trade development, investment promotion, enterprise restructuring, development of green fields’ projects, small and enterprise development, trade and industry fund management, and contributing to skills training development.

The amalgamated Agency is therefore a semi-autonomous institution with its Board of Directors appointed, by the Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry. The Board comprises members of the public and private sector as well as civil society organisations, while both the Chairperson and the Vice Chairperson are appointed from the private sector. The agency also has the challenge to develop an internationally competitive Zambian economy through innovations that promote high skills, productive investment and increased trade. The ZDA principally furthers the economic development by promoting efficiency, investment and competitiveness in businesses, as well as promoting exports. It also addresses the high cost of doing business in the country by simplifying the processing of various business formalities, such as licensing. It builds and enhances the country’s investment profile for increased capital inflows, capital formation and employment creation. It also promotes the growth of the SME sector by providing incentives that can propel long-term sustainable domestic growth. ZDA is a one stop shop for all investors and this is evidence that Zambia is open for all to do business.



United States economic assistance to Zambia predates the country's independence. In the mid-1950s, a number of Zambians received scholarships to study in the United States. In the 1960s, an expanded USAID-financed program provided training and food aid. At independence in 1964, Zambia was the second richest nation in Africa south of the Sahara. However, by the late 1970s, the strong post-independence economy had stalled. Copper prices had collapsed and copper ore exports declined. In 1977, the United States responded to these problems by formally creating the USAID mission in Zambia.


Two decades after independence, Zambia went from being one of the richest countries in sub-Saharan Africa to one of the poorest. By the late 1980s, the economy had effectively collapsed and important social indicators, such as infant mortality, were increasing. This period coincided with the onset of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which strained the already beleaguered public health system to the breaking point [28] . Hindered by destructive policies similar to those weakening the economy, the health and education systems collapsed. There were acute shortages of essential medical supplies, facilities fell into disrepair and many Zambian health professionals began moving abroad in search of liveable wages. Large numbers of HIV/AIDS orphans became another major social problem.


For many years, political constraints frustrated economic assistance and development efforts in Zambia. However, in 1991, Zambia saw its ruling party swept from power. A new government came in with a platform based on liberalizing the economic and political systems. Since this change, there have been dramatic improvements in the structure and performance of the economy. Zambia is now more open in many respects and the economic situation is more promising, but much more remains to be done. USAID's principal goal in Zambia is to help the country realize the immense economic potential it possesses. USAID supports programs that work towards growth with equity.


PROFIT (Production, Finance and Improved Technologies) Project - CLUSA [29]

The project’s aim is to increase smallholder client production and productivity by reducing costs of production and, together with private and public sectors, extend services to some 100,000 small farmers in high economic potential areas in Zambia. The project focuses on value chains and on the development of support industries, such as financial services and inputs.

MATEP (Market Access, Trade and Enabling Policies) Project - DAI

MATEP focuses on increasing the level of Zambian agriculture and natural resources exports into regional and international markets through overcoming policy, tariff, non-tariff barriers to trade and forging linkages [30]

FSRP (Food Security Research Project) - Michigan State University

FSRP builds capacity among agricultural sector planners to achieve improved policy making through applied agricultural economic research, policy analysis, outreach and dialogue [31] .

Land O'Lakes

The Land O'Lakes dairy development program targets vulnerable small-scale farmers who are taught animal husbandry and fodder crop production, and subsequently provided with one dairy cow and veterinary services. Milk collection centers are provided with technical assistance to ensure quality and timely sale to urban-based processors.


Although Zambia has experienced 12 straight years of impressive economic growth and its average income of $1,460 makes it a lower-middle-income country, that growth has not benefited the two-thirds of Zambians who live in poverty. Reflecting considerable U.S. Government investment over time in one of the countries most affected by HIV/AIDS, some social indicators have improved, with life expectancy at birth now at 52 years (up from 39) and maternal mortality at 591 per 100,000 live births (down from 729). Zambia’s challenge is to promote broad-based, pro-poor economic growth, create employment and develop its human capital. Accordingly, USAID’s assistance concentrates on increasing agriculture-led economic growth to reduce rural poverty and food insecurity; improving the health of Zambians; reducing the incidence and impact of HIV/AIDS; raising the quality of basic education; and enhancing democratic governance [32] .


Zambia Agribusiness Technical Assistance Center (ZATAC) – Copper belt Economic Diversification Project

This is a public-private partnership (Global Development Alliance), providing technical assistance and equipment to farmer business groups in a traditional Copper belt mining area. These groups are engaged in adding value to primary commodities through modern farming methods such as irrigation, and small-scale processing, as well as developing market linkages [33] .


Zambia Agricultural Commodity Agency (ZACA)

ZACA issues warehouse receipts against agricultural commodities stored in warehouses, which they certify to be safe and secure. The receipts, defining the quality and quantity of a given commodity are used as collateral (instruments of title) in obtaining commercial loans against the stored commodities [34] .

The Agricultural Consultative Forum (ACF)

The Agricultural Consultative Forum (ACF), established in 1998, is a platform for stakeholder consultation, information sharing, networking, and institutional capacity strengthening within the agricultural sector. Through ACF Advisory Notes, the government is provided with key inputs for policy decisions, representing the views of sector stakeholders [35] .


World Bank-Historical Perspective

Well before attaining its independence, Zambia began to receive World Bank support in 1955, amounting to US$4.6 billion for a total of 250 projects. As of September 2013, IDA’s net commitments in Zambia totalled US$575.2 million for eight active projects, supporting programs in infrastructure, energy, the environment, agriculture, finance and private sector development, and human development. Agriculture has been the largest area of support in the last few years and more recently there has been the inclusion of direct budget support [36] .


After Zambia reached the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) completion point in 2005, financial support was increased. The World Bank, under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) and HIPC, provided a total of US$2.7 billion in debt relief to Zambia. As a result of these initiatives, Zambia saved US$233 million in debt service obligations between 2000 and 2007. This has resulted in a reduction of debt service obligations as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) from 4.2% in 2000 to 0.8% in 2006.


The World Bank is one of nine cooperating partners to provide direct budget support to the Zambian government to help fund the government’s  Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers  through the fifth and sixth national development plans. Since 2005 the Bank has provided two budget support credits worth US$100 million supporting government reforms, namely the Financial Sector Development Plan (FSDP), civil service pension system, sale of Zambia National Commercial Bank, public sector reform, pension reform and macroeconomic management particularly the creation of credit reference bureau. The Bank also provides analytical and advisory services designed to help Zambia improve its policy environment and accelerate its development efforts. This non-lending technical assistance program has helped augment the government’s capacity to provide quick support to implement policy reforms. The Bank has also helped in the development of legislation on agricultural marketing, strengthening government capacity and reducing the cost of doing business in Zambia.


Economic Review

Independent since 1964, Zambia has experienced five successful multiparty elections since 1991. The peaceful general election held in September 2011 further strengthened the country’s democratic credentials and underscored the country’s enormous economic potential grounded in its rich endowment of natural resources that include abundant land and water [37] .


The country has defined its own development agenda through its Vision 2030 and the Sixth National Development Plan (FNDP). The Plan is organized around the theme of “broad based wealth and job creation through citizenry participation and technological advancement.” Specific development goals include fostering a competitive and outward-oriented economy, significantly reducing hunger and poverty, and reaching middle income status. The first step came in July 2011 when Zambia was classified a lower middle income country by the World Bank.


Zambia has had a decade of rapid economic growth. A combination of prudent macroeconomic management, market liberalization and privatization efforts, investments in the copper industry and related infrastructure, and steep increase in copper prices helped achieve an average annual growth of about 5.7% during the last decade. Foreign direct investment rose from approximately US$164.9 million in 2003 to US$1.73 billion in 2010 with most investments going to mining, manufacturing wholesale and retail trade. The Zambian government consolidated macroeconomic stability under International Monetary Fund (IMF) programs (latest concluded in 2011) and successfully navigated the shocks connected with the 2008 global economic and financial crises. Annual inflation declined from about 30% in 2000 to 7.2% in 2011. Debt relief improved Zambia’s external position and helped build foreign-exchange reserves to a comfortable level.


However, Zambia’s economic growth has not translated into significant poverty reduction. Sixty percent of the population lives below the poverty line and 42% are considered to be in extreme poverty. Moreover, the absolute number of poor has increased from about six million in 1991 to 7.9 million in 2010, primarily due to population growth. The urban picture is far better than the rural: in the Copper-belt and Lusaka provinces, for example, poverty incidence is fairly low (22% and 34% respectively), whereas in the rest of the country, which is dominated by agriculture, poverty rates are greater than 70%. Almost 90% of Zambians who live below the extreme poverty line are concentrated in rural areas, and the poverty gap ratio (a measure of how far average incomes fall below the poverty line) is far higher for the rural population than their urban counterparts (20% and 3.7%, respectively). Accelerating growth and reducing poverty will necessitate increasing the competitiveness of the Zambian economy by reducing the cost of doing business and ensuring that the rural economy, upon which much of the population depends for its livelihood, contributes meaningfully to overall growth. Despite vast potential and stated commitments to diversification, the mining sector continues to dominate the economy.


Zambia’s economy extended its growth momentum in 2012. Growth was driven by expansion in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, transport and finance. Economic prospects for the future appear bright if growth can be sustained and broadened to accelerate job creation and poverty reduction. After a successive slump in output, copper mining is expected to rebound in 2013, and is projected to reach 1.5 million tonnes by 2015. This is largely due to investment in new mines and the expansion of capacity at existing plants. Robust international copper prices will provide additional stimulus to mining.

Growth in other sectors is expected to remain equally robust, supported by infrastructure development and improvements in the business environment. In the agriculture sector, the government’s input subsidy to smallholder farmers will continue while growth in construction and transport will benefit from the government’s Link 8000 road infrastructure project. Expansion in energy infrastructure, a boost in the services sector from rising urban incomes and improvements in the regulatory environment will further strengthen Zambia’s medium-term growth.

However, Zambia’s growth will remain redundant unless there is a corresponding increase in job creation and progress on poverty reduction, and further progress in tackling the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Zambia’s natural resources have not been harnessed to foster structural transformation and inclusive job creation. The country is dependent on copper mining, which accounts for about 80% of foreign exchange earnings and only 6% of total revenues. Thus, Zambia’s long-term economic prospects hinge on the prudent capture and deployment of copper revenues as well as harnessing the potential of non-copper minerals and other natural resources. Ultimately, manufacturing activity, driven by the private sector, and directly or indirectly linked to these natural resources, will be critical to the country’s long-term prosperity.

Zambia Economic progress

The outlook for the Zambian economy remains favourable in the medium term, underpinned by robust growth and single-digit inflation. The economy is projected to grow 6.9% in 2012, picking up to 7.3% in 2013, while inflation should remain in single digits, at 8.0% and 8.5% respectively. The country, however, remains vulnerable to external shocks, with a sluggish global economic recovery a concern for its key mining exports. High youth unemployment and slow progress in poverty reduction may also overshadow the gains made from strong growth and limited inflation [38] .

Zambia’s economic growth slowed to 6.6% in 2011 from 7.6% in 2010, mainly as a result of a weaker mining sector performance. However, the medium-term economic outlook appears favourable, underpinned by sustained expansion in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, transport and communications, and by a rebound in mining. Inflation is projected to remain in single digits, reflecting prudent monetary policy, while the objective of exchange rate policy is to maintain external competitiveness. Increasing domestic revenue collection remains a priority for the medium term and large infrastructure developments will require additional resources. The government plans to raise USD 700 million (US dollars) via a bond issue in 2012 to cover a funding gap for infrastructure projects. This infrastructure investment is expected to boost growth by up to 2 percentage points per annum. Risks to the outlook include Zambia’s vulnerability to external shocks and a sluggish global economic recovery, which could reduce demand for exports. Moreover, maintaining investor confidence has emerged as a key issue after the government reversed the privatisation of Zambia’s telecoms company.


Tackling high youth unemployment and poverty remains a top priority, with as much as 60% of the population below the poverty line, although there are wide disparities between rural and urban areas. Part of this high level of poverty is due to lack of employment opportunities for youth. As a proportion of the labour force, 63% of the urban 15-19 age group are out of work and this improves to only 48% in the 20-24 age category. In rural areas, 16% of the 15-19 age group and 7% of the 20-24 age group are unemployed but these figures mainly reflect informal agricultural employment. Significant gender disparities are also prevalent. With about 300 000 young people entering the labour market each year, the government has put in place a National Youth Policy and the Youth Enterprise Fund which focus on promoting business activity to create jobs. The government has also announced plans to transform Zambian national service into a Zambian youth training service with a mandate to strengthen youth skills training.

Recent Developments & Prospects

Zambia’s growth slowed to 6.6% in 2011 from 7.6% in 2010, mainly because of a weaker mining sector performance. The main contributors to growth were agriculture, manufacturing, transport and communications, wholesale and trade, and construction, which collectively accounted for more than 70% of gross domestic product (GDP). After two successive years of strong growth, the gain in mining faltered to 1.3% reflecting a 2.2% reduction in mineral output.

The country’s medium-term prospects look favourable, with real GDP growth projected to increase to 6.9% in 2012 and then 7.3% in 2013. Growth will be underpinned by sustained gains in construction, manufacturing, and transport and communications and a rebound in mining activity. An expected expansion in non-maize agriculture may also add impetus. So far, Zambia has not been significantly affected by the European debt crisis but remains vulnerable to risks posed by any global economic slowdown, which could dampen the country’s export performance. Agriculture, accounting for 21% of the economy, is vulnerable to weather conditions and could also suffer from reduced rainfall.

Agriculture has been robust in recent years, producing bumper harvests since 2009, with staples and maize in particular to the fore. Non-maize production, however, is gaining pace, reflecting increasing diversification in the sector. Although agriculture is expected to be the main contributor to growth in 2012, this is likely to be below the three-year average mainly because of delayed rains and rural infrastructure challenges which continue to hamper timely distribution of agriculture inputs. To address infrastructure deficiencies, the government has increased the agriculture budget allocation in 2012 by 6.1%, with the bulk of the funding going to the Farmer Input Support Programme and crop purchases for the strategic food reserve.

Other key areas are development of irrigation infrastructure, and livestock, fisheries and aquaculture development. Output in the mining and quarrying sector fell 0.7% in 2011 as uncertainty over the outcome of presidential elections saw investment decisions on major projects deferred. As a result copper output was down 2.2%. With the elections having gone smoothly, mining investment should now pick up, barring any adverse international developments. The mining sector accordingly is projected to grow 10.6% and 10.3% in 2012 and 2013.

The construction sector has been pivotal to Zambia’s growth in recent years, accounting for some 21.1% of the economy in 2011. The rebound in mining activity and increased public expenditure on infrastructure are expected to boost construction, giving an average sector growth rate of 17% in 2012 and 2013. Growth in transport and communications slowed to 12.7% in 2011 from 15% in 2010, mainly because of problems with railway infrastructure and slower growth in air transport and communication. In 2012, growth in the sector could fall further as the reversal of Zamtel’s privatisation may dampen investor confidence and hamper investment. Zambia’s prospects for sustained growth depend on increased economic diversification, away from mining.

The manufacturing sector is especially important to the country’s long-term growth and employment strategy. In 2011, manufacturing growth was 5%, in line with industry estimates, but the sector accounted for 9.1% of the economy, down from 11.2% in 2006. Growth was mainly driven by increased investment, particularly in agro processing; in response to prudent economic management and business reforms Sustained growth in manufacturing and other sectors depends on improved access to a ordable nance and continued implementation of structural reforms to spur private sector participation. High interest rates remain a barrier to accessing credit, especially for small businesses. In a bid to reduce lending rates the government cut the corporate tax rate in the banking sector from 40% to 35%. Additionally, the central bank lowered the statutory reserve ratio requirement to 5% from 8% to free up more of the commercial banks’ resources for private sector lending. At the same time, however, the government increased the bank sector’s minimum capital base to ZMK 104 billion (Zambian kwacha) for local banks and ZMK 520 billion for foreign banks, from the previous ZMK 12 billion across the industry.

Following the expiry of Zambia’s Extended Credit Facility (ECF) agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in June 2011, discussions on a new arrangement began. During the ECF period, Zambia’s economic performance and policy management were deemed satisfactory and in line with agreed benchmarks. Accordingly, the World Bank reclassified Zambia as a lower middle-income country and it secured a "B+" credit rating from Fitch and Standard and Poor’s. These gains need to be consolidated for Zambia’s growth to be inclusive.

Fiscal Policy

To maintain macroeconomic stability in 2011, the fiscal deficit, at 2.6% of GDP, was kept within the sustainable limit of not more than 3% of GDP whilst strengthening domestic resource mobilisation. Total government expenditure stood at 19.3% of GDP in 2011, down from 21.5% in 2010. The main spending pressures in 2011 were related to the general elections and larger-than-anticipated maize purchases. However, recurrent expenditure was kept largely in line at 15.4% of GDP, compared with 15.8% in 2010, with salary costs unchanged at 7.7%. Capital expenditure increased marginally to 3% of GDP from 2.8%, reflecting additional spending on infrastructure, particularly the maintenance of urban roads. Domestic revenues fell to 14.7% of GDP in 2011 from 16% in 2010 and are projected to fall further to 13.6% and 12.6% in 2012 and 2013.


The overall balance in the public finances showed a deficit of 2.6% of GDP in 2011, down from 3.0% in 2010, but the shortfall is expected to increase to 3.6% in 2012 before easing again to 3.0% in 2013. The expected widening of the public deficit in 2012 reflects the new government’s policy of increased expenditure on social and infrastructure development. Domestic revenues are expected to fall to 13.6% of GDP in 2012, largely because of an increase in the tax relief granted to low income earners. To partly cushion the impact of this measure, the government has raised the mineral royalty rate to 6% from 3%. Grants are expected to be unchanged at 1.2% of GDP in anticipation of reduced aid flows.

Additional spending on infrastructure will be financed by external borrowing, of which the USD 700 million bond issue will be the major component. The main challenge for fiscal policy remains that of widening the tax base, increasing the tax take from the mining sector and allocating these resources to productive uses. Vision 2030 and the Sixth National Development Plan continue to provide overall guidance in fiscal management. Reforms are needed, among them a gradual withdrawal of widespread tax breaks and the introduction of a property tax. A 2012 budget proposal to remove copper and cobalt ores and concentrates from the Import VAT Deferment Scheme would significantly enhance revenue mobilisation efforts.

Monetary Policy

Monetary policy in 2011 focused on sustaining macroeconomic stability by restricting inflation to single digits while ensuring adequate levels of liquidity for the growing economy. Market-based instruments remained the hallmark of the central bank’s monetary policy supported by a flexible exchange rate regime, aimed at absorbing external shocks to contain inflationary pressures. Inflation in 2011 was held at 8.7%, up from 8.5% in 2010. Tight monetary policy and a reduction in fuel prices towards the end of the year helped slow the increase in non-food inflation while food prices were kept in check by adequate stocks following successive bumper harvests. Food price inflation declined to 3.9% in 2011 from 4.4% in 2010 while non-food inflation fell to 10.2% from 11.3%. Inflation in 2012 and 2013 is projected at 8.0% and 8.5% respectively. The government’s expansionary fiscal policy to fund increased infrastructure spending and possible accommodation of wage demands in the public sector may add to inflation pressures. The Zambian kwacha depreciated 5.3% in 2011, mainly because of uncertainty about the outcome of the elections, which heightened risk aversion towards the local currency. The rate of depreciation would have been higher but for central bank intervention to smooth out sharp movements in the exchange rate and maintain external competitiveness. The Bank of Zambia remains committed to a floating exchange rate regime.

Economic Cooperation, Regional Integration & Trade

Zambia remains committed to a liberal trade regime and e orts to deepen this process further have continued through regional and multilateral arrangements. This is important in promoting export-led growth and economic diversification. Zambia hosts the headquarters of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and remains active in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). It is a founder member of both groups. Zambia’s pro-trade policies and improved trade-related infrastructure such as the One Stop Border Post at Chirundu with Zimbabwe and Kasumbalesa with the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the launch of the Simplified Trade Regime at the Mwami border post with Malawi, have yielded benefits. The 2011 Global Competitiveness Report showed that Zambia was ahead of many of its peers in institutional strength and in financial and goods markets efficiency.


The external sector remained strong in 2011, with an increase in the current account surplus to USD 951 million, equal to 5.4% of GDP, from USD 614.7 million or 3.6% in 2010 as mining sector exports grew 15% to USD 7 billion from USD 5.8 billion, accounting for more than 80% of total merchandise exports. The strong external performance bolstered the level of gross international reserves to more than four months of import cover. In 2012, the current account surplus is expected to narrow to 3.6% of GDP, largely thanks to elevated oil prices and a possible reduction in mining earnings in view of the sluggish global economic recovery. In 2013, a recovery in the global economy will benefit metal prices and revive demand for Zambia’s non-traditional products, which should boost the current account surplus back to 4.0% of GDP. There is growing concern that the dominance of the extractive sector in Zambia’s exports is a major source of vulnerability and e orts to diversify away from its traditional reliance on copper should be accelerated.

Debt Policy

Zambia’s risk for external debt distress remains low, mainly because of the government’s cautious approach following a significant reduction in borrowings under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries and Multilateral Debt Relief initiatives of 2005 and 2006. These initiatives significantly improved Zambia’s external debt sustainability, with the debt service to exports ratio falling to less than 4% in 2011 from 11% in 2005. The government’s current debt strategy focuses on limiting non-concessional borrowing to economically productive investments. In 2011 the government contracted some USD 505 million to finance infrastructure projects, compared with debt repayments worth USD 200 million in the year. In 2012 the government plans to issue a USD 700 million bond to cover an infrastructure finance gap estimated at USD 500 million. This will increase Zambia’s external debt but the current level of economic growth means it should be sustainable.


The government is trying to improve and consolidate debt management, tightening up oversight procedures. The government has also agreed to share information with the IMF before contracting any non-concessional loans. In 2011 a debt management performance assessment made recommendations in areas needing improvement.

Economic & Political Governance

Private Sector

Since 2004 the government has been implementing institutional and other structural reforms in line with the Zambia Private Sector Development Reform Programme (PSDRP), which aims to improve the business environment, encourage competitiveness and promote export diversification. These reforms have paid o with improvements in the general business environment. In 2010, the World Bank hailed Zambia as one of the best reformers in Africa. However, risks to further progress remain and there has been some slippage. In the latest World Bank Ease of Doing Business survey, Zambia dropped to 84 from 80 in the overall rankings. At the same time, Zambia was ranked 8, second only to South Africa on the continent, on ease of obtaining credit. The government has also embarked on a programme of harmonising business sector legislation but the controversy over the Zamtel privatisation risks damaging private investment.


Financial Sector

The banking sector accounts for more than 90% of Zambia’s total financial industry assets. At the end of 2011 there were 19 commercial banks in Zambia, up from 18 in 2010. Credit supplied to the private sector, however, was below 10% of GDP in 2011 as the commercial banks prefer to invest in public debt instruments. In 2011 they accounted for more than half of total treasury security holdings. Some 67% of the population is without access to financial services, meaning that e ective savings mobilisation is inhibited. Low domestic savings in turn are another hindrance to financial intermediation, with the country lacking the critical mass of resources to finance investment and spur growth.


High interest rates upwards of 25% have also shut out many borrowers. Improved macroeconomic stability manifested by the fall in inflation, the reduction in government borrowing and the central bank’s moves to reduce statutory reserves justify lower interest rates. The authorities also want to improve access to credit by encouraging competition in the banking sector and improving the reach of innovative banking and financial services. The government’s Financial Sector Development Plan resulted in the establishment of the Credit Reference Bureau in 2009 to increase credit information. However, the banks’ response to this policy initiative has been slow, as manifested by continued low private sector credit availability, an issue that is especially acute for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Generating long-term finance requires incentives to encourage new entrants, especially institutional investors, to improve market liquidity. The Lusaka Stock Exchange has only 20 listed companies with a combined market capitalisation of about 60% of GDP.

Public Sector Management, Institutions & Reform

Zambia’s constitution provides a dual legal system based on customary or statute law for the ownership of land and housing. The availability of land covered by statutory law is limited, while customary land allocation is at the mercy of local traditional chiefs, many of whom are reluctant to release it for investment. As a result, many people have either limited or no access to land title and property rights in general are weak, constituting a major obstacle to development. Statutory law requires proof of financial capacity to develop land and such proof is most often deemed to be provided by having a bank account. Given low rates of access to financial services, however, few people have the capacity to acquire land under statutory law. Under customary law, Zambians can apply to the traditional authority in the area who in turn may allocate land for individual use over a limited period of time or for indefinite use, but without title of ownership. The resulting limited access to land has serious implications for economic growth since banks require title of ownership to provide credit, dampening investment and growth, and thereby slowing down poverty reduction.


The country’s push towards better public sector management and administration continues to revolve around the ongoing implementation of public sector reforms. In October 2011 the government launched new procurement guidelines to improve transparency and e ciency in an e ort to combat corruption. The main concern has been slow progress towards implementation of the decentralisation and pay reform programmes. Zambia’s participation in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has enhanced transparency in the utilisation of resource revenues. In August 2011 the EITI board noted the country’s “significant progress” in implementing EITI due processes. An audit conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers at the initiative of the government noted some misreporting of earnings by some mining companies and the new government has called for the extractive industries to ensure beneficial gains for Zambians, including creating more jobs.

The Environment Council of Zambia (ECZ) was set up in 1992 to manage environmental policy but it was criticised for failing to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements. In June 2011 the ECZ was replaced by the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) which has a broader mandate to ensure environmental protection and proper management of natural resources. The major challenge facing ZEMA is lack of adequate financing to allow it to enforce regulations. The recent merger of the Environment and Lands ministries may streamline ZEMA’s overall performance and improve service delivery.

Political Context

Zambia has held democratically contested elections since 1991, culminating in the September 2011 polls won by the opposition Patriotic Front, with Michael Sata becoming president on promises to help the poor and ensure all get the benefits of the country’s mineral wealth. Zambia has ratified the UN Convention against Corruption and introduced a number of measures aimed at both preventing and prosecuting corrupt practices. In 2010 the government began work on legislation to protect "whistle blowers" and transformed the anti-fraud and money-laundering unit into the much stronger and independent Financial Intelligence Unit. The o ce of the auditor general has improved the time it completes the audit process. Out of 53 African countries in 2011, Zambia was ranked 16 on the Mo Ibrahim Index of governance while the fight against graft saw its ranking improve to 91 in 2011 from 101 in 2010 out of 183 countries on the Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by Transparency International.


Social Context & Human Development

Building Human Resources

In 2011, Zambia was ranked 164 out of the 187 countries on the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI) with a score of 0.43, which was lower than sub-Saharan Africa’s mean HDI of 0.46 and Angola’s 0.49, a country that was until a decade ago a icted by civil war. However, the country has recorded improvements in some of social indicators. According to the 2011 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) progress report, there was full primary education enrolment by 2009, up from 80% in 1990, supported by the increased construction

of schools and the adoption of Free Basic Education and Re-entry Policies. The primary school completion rate rose to 91.7% in 2009 from 64% 1990. The main challenges are to improve adult literacy levels, at 71% in 2008, and a low secondary school completion rate of 19% in 2009. More emphasis should go on improving quality and not just quantity of education, and access to post-secondary education and skills training. A 2010 report on technical and literacy levels indicates that Zambia lags behind all its regional peers.

The latest figures show a decline in the infant mortality rate to 86 per 1 000 live births in 2009 from 88 in 2008, compared with the MDG target of 63.6. The pattern for under-5 infant mortality is similar, showing a decline to 141 per 1 000 live births in 2009 from 145 in 2008, compared with a target of 35.7 by 2015. The figures point to the importance of continued and e ective child immunisation programmes, alongside improved prevention and management of common childhood illnesses if the country is to achieve the MDG targets. Zambia also faces a serious challenge in terms of maternal mortality, despite the decrease from 649 deaths per 100 000 live births in 1996 to 591 in 2007. Improvement here requires training, oversight and incentives for midwives in conjunction with improved access to and monitoring of rural health posts, and curbing unsafe home-based birth practices.

Poverty Reduction, Social Protection & Labour

Some 59% of the population were classified as living in extreme poverty in 2006, up from 58% in 2004. In rural areas, it is higher at 67% compared with 20% in urban areas. To reverse the increase in poverty, Zambia’s economy needs to grow by more than 7% while policy should ensure that growth is inclusive. Macroeconomic and structural policies that promote job creation, social empowerment and significant levels of investment in health and education are essential to achieve economic inclusion. In particular, investment in infrastructure and commercialisation of small scale agriculture and diversification of the rural economy o er potential bene ts. Direct help for households needs to be more widely available in order to protect the most vulnerable from the adverse effects of poverty.


The government’s Social Protection Strategy of 2005 continues to guide and co-ordinate social protection. The plan stresses the importance of social protection as both a relief for the poor while encouraging them to become engaged in the productive economy. Institutionally, the social protection sector advisory group operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Community Development. The work includes providing subsidised agriculture inputs to vulnerable but viable farmers, micro-credit funding for women and other vulnerable sectors of the community and a public works programme. Recent reports suggest progress is being made in the basics of providing adequate food and improved health care. Key challenges are limited capacity and inadequate funding while the increase in rural poverty presents an additional burden. There is also concern about weaknesses in coordination and insu cient monitoring and evaluation to ascertain the direct impact of the programmes on poverty reduction.

Gender Equality

Zambia is a signatory to a number of protocols protecting women and girls and has established a gender ministry to address issues related to gender and development. However, progress on gender equality has been slow. Women’s representation in parliament stood at 14% in 2009 relative to the MDG and SADC target of 30%. In 2011, this figure fell to 11.3%. Some achievements have been made, especially in primary education. The ratio of girls to boys in primary education improved from 0.90 in 1990 to 0.96 in 2009 – but fell to 0.88 in 2009 from 0.92 in 1990 in secondary education. This figure suggests that the government’s policy of allowing school re-entry for pregnant girls may not be fully understood. Early marriages based on traditional cultural and social factors have deterred girls from continuing in school and the policy was designed to enable them to return to education.

Thematic analysis: Promoting Youth Employment

The problem of youth unemployment in Zambia poses significant policy challenges to the country’s long-term growth, with nearly half of its some 14 million people under the age of 15. A 2008 survey showed that in the urban areas 63% of the 15-19 age group were out of work while the rate of unemployment for those in the 20-24 age categories was 48%. In rural areas 16% of the 15-19 age group and 7% of those aged 20-24 were unemployed although these figures mainly reflect informal agricultural employment. Significant gender disparities are also prevalent.


About 300 000 young people enter the labour market each year and with few employment opportunities the large number of unemployed youth is creating political and economic tensions in the country. It is widely understood that growing youth disillusionment over unemployment was one of the reasons behind the defeat of the incumbent government in the last election. Obstacles to youth employment include the inability of the educational system to equip people with relevant skills required by the job market, high school dropout rates, a lack of entrepreneurial opportunities and poor access to labour market information for job seekers and employees.


The new government has made it a priority to implement projects and programmes stressing creation of youth employment through entrepreneurship. To address the issue of technical skills, the government reorganised the Zambia National Service into the Zambian Youth Training Service with a mandate to strengthen youth skills training. In the 2012 budget the government increased funding for education and skills development by 26.7%. In 2011 the government carried out national consultations under the theme “Let the Youth Be Heard: Dialogues and Mutual Understanding” as it sought to address this key issue for the country. Calls were heard for a review of the education system to tailor it towards an entrepreneurial system and for more tertiary institutions, education loans and youth scholarships.


Establishment of Industrial Development Corporation (IDC)

Zambia has launched the Industrial Development Corporation, (IDC) which has just been incorporated under the Companies Act and is a 100% government owned corporation which will be the holding company of all state owned enterprises that are incorporated under the Companies Act or the Banking and Financial Services Act [39]

Its initial authorized capital is K20 millions of which K10 million is already paid up using funds from the Privatisation Revenue Account as sanctioned by Section 39 Subsection (2) (J) of the Privatisation Act, Cap 386 of the Laws of Zambia. President Sata has directed that a Sovereign Fund, which will initially be supported by the IDC after Parliament passes a statute to give effect to the Sovereign Fund be constituted with due dispatch. 75% of the dividends from the IDC itself and its subsidiaries will be paid into the Sovereign Fund. Some of the balances of the Privatisation Revenue Account which are substantial will provide the initial capital stock of the Sovereign Fund. The Sovereign Fund will and should be an inescapable duty and obligation of a responsible nation. The Sovereign Fund constitutes Zambia’s positive legacy to posterity.


The IDC has been incorporated to promote an open economy in order to attract investment and expand Zambia’s export opportunities through the accelerated development of multi-facility economic zones and thus create jobs. Its focus is on developing labour-intensive industries and enterprises in the key areas of agriculture, construction, manufacturing, tourism, science and technology.

The role of a parastatal is to develop human resource capacity in Zambia, encourage transfer of skills from more developed economies. It will attract foreign investment into Zambia due to its capacity to show that certain investment areas are viable. And because IDC is a parastatal with Government backing and guarantees, it can bring into Zambia equipment and technology that the private sector would struggle to achieve those results. China’s economic success is an example as it was largely developed by parastatal, which became the motivators and facilitators of private sector investment. The government is not resurrecting INDECO but establishing a whole new public holding company, necessitated by today’s realities. The IDC will come with a new strategic vision and mandate to be an alternative engine of economic growth. The Government will put in place viable management structures and systems and ensure that there is no political interference.


Zambia and Germany ink agro deal

Zambia and Germany have signed a Joint Declaration of Intent on a Bilateral Cooperation Project aimed at promoting sustainable and modern agriculture in the country. The Joint Declaration of Intent on the establishment of the agricultural demonstration and training centre on the premises of the Golden Valley Agricultural Research Trust (GART) was signed on the side-lines of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture conference in Berlin.
The aim of the project is to provide sustained support of cereal and potato cultivation in Zambia through training and the professionalization of production systems.
The establishment of the centre will enable farmers and technicians to receive hands-on training in modern agricultural engineering, sustainable cultivation techniques and good farm management [40] .

Zambia’s agriculture sector is progressing reasonably well, and there’s for inspiring partnerships such as the Agriculture Bilateral Cooperation Project. The country is progressing well in terms of production of maize and that increased yield could be achieved with the acquisition of improved German technologies. The bilateral agreement is aimed enhancing the capacity to support the farmers in accessing credit on an annual basis, provision of extension services, access to research and development of seeds, products and programmes such as conservation farming, and also to ensure that farmers have enough commodities that they can sell to improve their standard of living.


Construction of new oil refinery plant

The construction of the Bwana Mkubwa Oil Refinery project through a joint venture has been set for 2016 at a cost of about US$1.6 billion. Maysen and Borowski Claymont Joint Venture (MBCJV) of Australia in partnership with Phoenix Material and Constructing Company will construct the new refinery with a capacity to process about five million metric tonnes of oil per annum. The new refinery pipeline will triple the current national crude oil supply. Bwana Mkubwa Oil Refinery, which will be situated at the Sub-Sahara Gemstone Exchange (SGE) Industrial Park in Ndola is anticipated to employ over 13,000 jobs.

The capital cost of the Bwana Mkubwa pipeline is approximately at US$1.6 billion. Once fully operational, the new refinery will be capable of processing up to five million metric tonnes of crude oil per annum. The construction of the project is expected to start in 2016 and if successful, the project will be one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Zambia. The new plant will be fed with crude oil through a new pipeline that will be built alongside the 1,800-kilometre Tazama pipeline. The new refinery, which will stimulate the growth of other auxiliary industries, will also include the development of commercial entities, warehousing, dry port, container depot, a skills training centre, houses and a green space.


The project will also include developing two new exporting lines to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania to provide efficient regional distribution of refined oil products.
In 2013 the Government gave approval to conduct a bankable feasibility study. The group will spend close to US$3 million this year in completing the study. The project is being developed in co-operation with a number of companies including Samsung Engineering of South Korea. Zambia’s oil demand is projected to increase beyond the current capacity of Indeni Petroleum Refinery resulting in inflated prices. The SGE industrial park project will be built at a cost of about US$1.7 billion and will be a multi-function economic development zone located next to the current Indeni refinery site in Ndola [41] .


Smallholder farmers receive support

ABOUT K2 million has been disbursed to nine smallholder farmers under the Bunjimi Asset plus programme, - aimed at enhancing productivity and value addition among the farmers. The programme that is being spearheaded in partnership of Zambia National Farmers’ Union (ZNFU) and National Savings and Credit Bank (NATSAVE) was launched in October to improve smallholder farmer access to financial services using nonfixed asset collateral. ZNFU senior agribusiness manager Mwaka Kayula said, nine smallholder farmers have so far benefit from the programme.

The Bunjimi Asset plus will increase capacity of smallscale farmers to service debt through improved bankable business plans and forward market contracts and will access financial services from NATSAVE bank.  Under the programme, farmers will obtain loans from the bank to purchase tractors, irrigation and treadle pumps, and other agricultural equipment. The value, crop diversification and mechanisation among smallholder farmers play a critical role in the development of agriculture sector. About 1,000 farmers are expected to benefit from the project by the end of 2014 because the ultimate goal is to empower the small-scale farmers so that they graduate to emergent farmers and eventually to commercial farmers. ZNFU and NATSAVE are already processing loans for 200 farmers planning to acquire diary animals and milk processing equipment [42] .



The mining industry has been the economic and social backbone of Zambia since the first major phase of exploitation of the Copper belt's Cu-Co deposits commenced in the early 1930's. Since that time a wide spectrum of other metalliferous and non-metalliferous resources have been discovered in Zambia and, although exploitation of these has been limited, they clearly demonstrate the considerable opportunities for further exploration and mining [43] .


The Government has adopted a pragmatic mineral policy which is designed to enhance investment in the mining industry and to ensure the development of a self-sustaining minerals-based industry. The recent privatization of the copper mining industry, formerly managed under the parastatal umbrella of Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Ltd (ZCCM), is a clear demonstration of this intent. Enactment of this policy is being promoted by the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development through the technical support available from its three constituent departments - Geological Survey, Mines Development and Mines Safety [44] .


The Mining Policy

Key objectives of the Government's Mining Policy, published in 1995, are as follows:

  1. To make the private sector the principal producer and exporter of
    mineral products through putting in place a privatization programme and to promote private sector initiative in the development of new mines in order to increase and diversify mineral and mineral-based products and exports. This will maximize long-term economic benefits to the country.
  2. To promote the development of the small-scale mining industry which has the potential to significantly contribute to the economy
  3. To promote the development of gemstone mining and facilitate liberalized marketing arrangements in order to realize the industry's potential to contribute to the development of the economy.
  4. To promote the exploration and exploitation of industrial minerals and energy minerals and to encourage the establishment of a ferrous industry.
  5. To reduce the danger of ecological damage arising from mining operations as well as damage to the health of workers and inhabitants of the neighbourhood through air, water and land.
  6. To promote the local processing of mineral raw materials into finished products for added value.

vii.          The policy is aimed in particular at encouraging private investment in exploration and in the development of new mines. In addition to returning the major copper mines to the private sector, thus encouraging cost-effective management and greater exploitation of the enormous copper resources, the policy seeks to direct attention to the exploitation of the very diverse range of metalliferous deposits, industrial minerals, gemstones, and energy resources that are present throughout Zambia.

Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development

Policy decisions within the ministry are made by the Minister, assisted by the Deputy Minister. The chief executive is the Permanent Secretary who directs four statutory departments - Geological Survey, Mines Development, Mines Safety and Headquarters, the latter being devoted to administrative matters [45] .

In its role as the national depository for geological information the Geological Survey has accumulated a wealth of maps, publications, reports, and data generated by the Survey staff and also derived from external sources including exploration reports and international journals. These are archived and maintained by the Technical Records office, Archive, and Library which comprise the Information Section.

Mines Safety Department

The Department is divided into four technical sections - Mining, Explosives, Machinery and Environment - which variously enforce the relevant legislative and statutory instruments, formulate new legislation and regulations, evaluate all aspects of safety in mining operations, appropriate offer technical advice and training, and offer exemptions from the relevant regulations where appropriate.


Mines Development Department

Key responsibilities for the Mines Development Department are the issuance of all prospecting, retention and mining licences, together with the monitoring of mining operations to ensure that development is in line with approved programmes of operations and in accordance with the Mines and Minerals Act. The Department also issues Gemstones Sales Certificates and undertakes reconnaissance surveys, demarcation of plots, placement of beacons and mine pit surveys.

In line with its stated Mining Policy, the Government of Zambia enacted new legislation - the Mines and Minerals Act (1995) - which greatly simplifies licensing procedures, places minimum reasonable constraints on prospecting and mining activities, and creates a very favourable investment environment, whilst allowing for international arbitration to be written into development agreements, should this be deemed necessary. A framework for responsible development has also been created through publication of the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations, 1997.

Licensing System

Three types of licence are available to the large-scale operator [46] :

  1. Prospecting Licence: this confers the right to prospect for any mineral over any size of area for a period of two years renewable.
  2. Retention Licence: the right to retain an area, subject to the Minister's agreement, over which feasibility studies have been completed but market conditions are unfavourable to development of a deposit at that time. Size of the area may be that covered by a Prospecting Licence or smaller area as redefined by the Licence holder. Duration would be for three years renewable for another single period of three years.
  3. Large Scale Mining Licence: this confers exclusive rights to carry out mining operations and other acts reasonably incidental thereto in the area for a maximum of 25 years. The area to be held should not exceed the area reasonably required to carry out the proposed mining operations. Applications need to be accompanied by environmental protection plans and by proposals for the employment and training of citizens of Zambia.

Similar rights are available to smaller operators, but on a reduced scale

  1. Prospecting Permits: relate to areas of 10 km2 and have duration of 2 years non-renewable.
  2. Small Scale Mining Licences: relate to areas not exceeding 400 hectares and have duration of 10 years renewable.
  3. Artisans Mining Rights: give the right to local people to mine on an artisanal basis an area not exceeding 5 hectares for a period of 2 years non-renewable.
  4. Gemstone Licences: holders may carry out mining operations over an area not exceeding 400 hectares for a period of not more than 10 years. 

Environment Framework

Key steps in establishing a project as laid down by the 1997 regulations are:

  1. Preparation of a project brief to the Director of Mines Safety describing the site, proposed activities, and all aspects of potential environmental impact.
  2. Director may request more information or can forward the project brief to the Environmental Council of Zambia recommending one of: rejection; acceptance after submission of a full Environmental Impact Statement; the project be accepted and allowed to proceed immediately.
  3. Preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement and submission to the Director of Mines Safety.
  4. The Director of Mines Safety submits his recommendations to the Environmental Council which makes the final decision.
  5. Environmental Impact Statements, if called for, to be updated annually or within fifteen months of the first statement.
  6. Environmental audits of projects to be completed annually.
  7. If a developer finds the provisions of any regulation unduly onerous, he may apply to the Minister or Director of Mines Safety for an exemption from that regulation. The exemption may be granted under prescribed conditions.
  8. Developers of large-scale mining projects to contribute to the Environmental Management Fund for rehabilitation purposes.

Export Procedures

In all cases a Customs and Excise Declaration form has to be completed, usually accompanied by a letter of authorization from the Mines Development Department. Additional procedures have to be followed for different commodities:

  1. Gemstones: Valuation Certificate required from Government Recognised Valuer.
  2. Precious metals: provision of a sample for analysis.
  3. Base metals: a one-year letter of authority is issued by the Mines Development Department, rather than for individual shipments.
  4. Rock and soil samples of no commercial value: the samples to be physically checked before export.


Mineral Endowment

Zambia is internationally recognized as a major producer of copper and cobalt; in 1966 it ranked as the world's seventh largest producer of copper, generating 3.8% of the western world's production, and the world's second highest producer of cobalt (21.8%) behind the leading producer, D. R. Congo which sources its Cu-Co ore from the strike-extension of Zambia's Copper belt mineralization. Significant quantities of selenium (18.6t in 1996) and silver (8.7t), together with minor gold and platinum group elements, are produced as important by products of the copper mining and processing.

Mining and the Economy

The mining sector contributed US$822 million to the total export earnings of US$1050 million in 1997 and of this; US$798 was realized from sales of copper and cobalt. The balance of mining-sector earnings come from sales of gold, silver, and selenium, mostly by-products of copper mining, and from emerald sales [47] .


      i.          Contributions of industrial and manufacturing sectors to Zambia's export earnings
(Total value=US$1050million)

    ii.          The vulnerability of Zambia's economy due to its reliance on copper mining has been exposed in the very recent past by the falling copper price and by falling production as a result of limited re-investment in the mining industry. However, the privatization process has already led to significant inflow of investment to the mining sector, and a reversal of fortunes is confidently predicted for the copper mining industry within the next 2-3 years. Re-inforced by future production of additional metals and minerals, there is no doubt that the mining industry will continue to provide both a sound base and a stimulus for growth in the other sectors of the economy, leading to long-term prosperity.

  iii.          Value of mineral sales in Zambia during 1997
(Total value=US$914million)

Surcharges on mineral production compare very favourably with most countries in terms of royalties and taxes, and a number of financial incentives have been created specifically to encourage investment in the mining industry.

A royalty is payable calculated at 2% of the market value of minerals f.o.b. less the cost of smelting, refining and insurance, handling, and transport from the mining area to the point of export or delivery within Zambia. Royalty payments may be deferred if the cash operating margin of a holder of a Large Scale Mining Licence falls below zero.

Corporate Tax

Exporters of copper and cobalt are levied 35% of taxable income whereas other mineral and 'non-traditional' commodities (i.e. excluding copper and cobalt) attract a levy of 15%. Companies listed on the Lusaka Stock Exchange are levied at 30% of taxable income.


Relief from Income Tax

Any investment in mining, including prospecting, attracts deductions from income tax on the following expenditures:

  1. capital expenditure: allowances of:
    1. 25% on plant, machinery, and commercial vehicles;
    2. 20% on non-commercial vehicles; 
    3. 5% on industrial buildings.
  2. Prospecting expenditure under special circumstances.
  3. Mining expenditure under special circumstances.
  4. Mining expenditure on a non-producing mine.
  5. Mining expenses incurred by a mine of irregular production close to the end of its life.


Relief from Other Surcharges

A holder of a mining right is exempt from customs, excise and VAT duties in respect of all machinery and equipment (including specialized motor vehicles) required for exploration or mining activities.

There are no restrictions in respect of the amount of profits, dividends, or royalties that may be externalized, although a withholding tax of 15% is levied.
  Zambia's diverse mineral endowment is entirely a function of the variety of geological terrains and the multiplicity of thermal and tectonic events that have overprinted and shaped these terrains. The resulting geological domains each have specific metallogenic characteristics in terms of known mineral occurrences that can be successfully utilized to direct further exploration. Equally importantly, the understanding of the processes that formed these domains has reached a level at which lateral thinking and conceptual modelling can be used to generate important new exploration targets.

Industrial Minerals

A wide range of known industrial minerals in Zambia include feldspar, silica sand, talc, barite, phosphate (in carbonatite and syenite), limestone, clays (mostly ball clay and brick clay), graphite, and many varieties of possible dimension stone. Since 1967, coal has been produced continuously by Maamba Collieries from the fault-controlled Karoo basins of southern Zambia. Production in 1997 was 164,000t but the open-pit mining operation has the potential to return to past production levels of 500,000t.p.a.

Limited exploration for hydrocarbons to date has been unsuccessful but evaluation of existing data and re-interpretation of the sequence stratigraphy indicates significant potential in the lower and mid-Karoo sequences of the Luangwa and Mid-Zambezi graben.


The complex geology and multiplicity of tectono-thermal events reflect Zambia's somewhat unique position effectively sandwiched between the Kasai, Zimbabwe-Kaapvaal, and Tanzania cratons. Differential movements between these stable blocks, together with their buttressing effects, have played an important role in the geological evolution of the country and hence in the genesis of the country's mineral and energy resources.

The oldest succession of rocks in the country, the Basement Supergroup, consists mostly of granitic gneisses and migmatites which are evident throughout eastern, central and southern Zambia, in places in-folded with meta-carbonate, meta-quartzite, and meta-pelite units. The Super group rocks are mostly younger than 2050Ma.

The overlying meta-sedimentary Muva Supergroup generally exhibits a tectonized contact with the Basement sequences. In central and eastern Zambia the sequence of meta-pelites and meta-quartzites is commonly infolded and even imbricated with the Basement rocks, the two sequences being later folded to form the core of the Irumide Belt extending north-eastwards from Kabwe to Mpika, and also forming a major component of the Zambezi Belt south and east of Lusaka. Within the Bangweulu Block of northern Zambia the sedimentary sequence is very different, comprising a lower 5000m-thick succession of cont-inental sediments (rudites, arenites, quartzites and argillites) - the Mporokoso Group, overlain by quartzites, hematitic sandstones, mudstones and minor conglomerates of the Kasama Formation which ranges in thickness from c.100m over the Bangweulu Block to 3500m southwards into the Irumide Belt. Sedimentation commenced around 1800Ma and ended c.1250Ma.

The Katanga Supergroup overlies the Basement and Muva sequences with marked angular unconformity and spans an approximate time interval of 1000Ma - 500Ma. The rocks are exposed throughout the Copperbelt and north-western Zambia, partially overlie the southern edge of the Bangweulu Block, and also occur within the Zambezi Belt south and east of Lusaka. The lower part of the almost exclusively sedimentary sequence is the economically important Mine Series Group which hosts the bulk of the copper-cobalt mineralization of the Copperbelt. This sequence was deposited in response to a NE-directed marine incursion across a deeply dissected continental landscape, the lowest unit - the Lower Roan Formation - comprising conglomerate and aeolian sandstones succeeded by siliciclastic sediments and finally by argillites, dolostones and arenites. The overlying Upper Roan is a predominantly dolomite-argillite sequence which is succeeded conformably by carbonaceous shales, argillite and minor carbonate rocks of the Mwashia Formation.

A hiatus of as much as 100 million years was succeeded by a period of glaciation and the deposition of a tillite unit, the "Grand Conglomérat", at the base of the Kundelunguu Group. This was followed by a thick sequence dominated by dolomitic limestones, shale, a further tillite and a fine shale-dominated unit. A poorly defined unit, the Kataba Group, comprising unmetamorphosed marine sandstones and mudstones, has been intersected by drilling beneath basal Karoo rocks and has been broadly dated as Ordovician-Silurian. The extent of the unit is not known.

Rocks of the Karoo Supergroup (late Carboniferous to Jurassic) occupy the rift troughs of the Mid-Zambezi, Luangwa, Luano-Lukusashi and Kafue valleys and also outcrop in western Zambia. The Lower Karoo Group comprises a basal conglomerate, tillite and sandstone overlain unconformably by conglomerate, coal, sandstone and carbonaceous siltstones and mudstones (the Gwembe Formation), and finally fine grained lacustrine sediments - the Madumabisa Formation. The unconformably overlying Upper Karoo essentially comprises a series of arenaceous continental sediments and overlying mudstones capped by basalts of the Batoka Formation.

In western Zambia and within the Zambezi Valley, the Batoka basalts are unconformable overlain by up to 100m of continental sandstones and mudstones of Cretaceous age, and much of western Zambia is covered by aeolian sands and minor epiclastic sediments of Quaternary - to - Present age comprising the Kalahari Group.

Tectono-thermal Events

A number of major tectono-thermal events have affected Zambia and have often contributed directly to the accumulation of metals, minerals and even energy resources. The earliest recognizable event in the region was the Ubendian Orogeny, c.2000-1800Ma, which generated the NW-SE-trending fold belt of high-grade metamorphic rocks that demarcates the north-eastern margin of the Bangweulu Block. Intrusive granitic magmatism accompanied the orogeny in the Choma-Kalomo Block (1345-1200Ma), and charnockitic granites were emplaced in the Basement-Muva terrain east of the Luangwa Valley at about 1100Ma.

The Irumide Belt has been interpreted as a NW-facing, 350km-wide foreland folds and thrust belt resulting from NW-SE-directed crustal shortening. In the northern sector of the belt, this contraction was accommodated by the Luongo Fold and Thrust Zone near the southern margin of the Bangweulu Block and by the Shiwa Ngandu Fold. Shortening in the south-western part of the belt was taken up within the Mkushi Gneiss Complex, which has been interpreted as a "pop-up" structure. The subsequent Lomamian and Lufilian Orogenies, the latter broadly equivalent to the continent-wide Pan-African Orogeny, were represented by a complex series of tectonic and thermal events in the approximate time interval 950 - 450Ma. 
Two somewhat different domains were generated - the Lufilian Arc and the Zambezi-Mozambique Belts, separated by the Mwembeshi Shear Zone. Key events have been recognized in the formation of these still poorly understood terrains:

  1. Early recumbent folding of the Lower Roan sequence during the c.950Ma Lomamian Orogeny (although there is some debate as to whether this represents a discrete major orogenic event).
  2. ENE-directed thrusting contributing to the development of the Kafue Anticline and other Domes as Basement culminations. Concommittant WSW-directed thrusting of the Zambezi Belt, the Zambezi and Lufilian Arc terrains being separated by the Mwembeshi Shear Zone, a transform shear forming part of a major inter-cratonic zone of dislocation.
  3. "Lusakan Folding" event at c.850Ma that accompanied deep burial of the Lower Roan.
  4. Main phase of NE-directed thrusting, probably c.850-750Ma, with nappe emplacement in the Shaba Province of D. R. Congo and possibly also in the Copperbelt. Syntectonic emplacement of batholithic granites into the Zambezi Belt c.820Ma.
  5. Strike-slip faulting and late folding c.690-540Ma.
  6. Emplacement of syn- to post-tectonic granites: Mtuga Granite and Mkushi aplites c.607Ma; Hook Granite Complex 570-530Ma; Sinda Batholith near Petauke at c.490Ma.

The final tectono-thermal event was the Karoo Rifting associated with the break-up of Gondwanaland during the Permian followed by opening of the proto-Indian Ocean in the Jurassic; and a final episode of rifting related to the development of the East African Rift system in late Cretaceous and early Tertiary times. The Permian rifting was accompanied by reactivation of the Mwembeshi Shear Zone. The complex history of rifting in the region accounts for the marked variations in sedimentation within Zambia's rift valleys, culminating in the eruption of the late-Karoo Batoka basalts.

 Zambia's amazingly wide spectrum of mineral resources spans a range of metals, particularly copper-cobalt and gold, gemstones, a variety of industrial minerals and potential energy resources - uranium, coal and hydrocarbons. Ranging in size from world-class operating mines to small prospects, the multiplicity and variety of resources demonstrate clearly the opportunities for further exploration and exploitation.

Copper mineralization was first discovered at the turn of the century but large-scale production only commenced in the 1930's with the start-up of Roan Antelope (Luanshya - 1931), followed rapidly by Nkana (1932), Mufulira (1933), and then Nchanga in 1939 [48] . Copper production exceeded 400 000 t.p.a. in the late 1950's and passed the 600 000 t.p.a. mark in the mid-1960's before beginning a progressive decline in 1976-77 and sinking to a 1996-low of 350 000 t.p.a. However, the move to privatization of Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) should halt this decline and, with a total mineral resource of at least two billion tonnes on the Copper belt alone, there is no doubt that copper and cobalt production will soon begin a dramatic upward trend.

In excess of one billion tonnes of ore (c.2.7% Cu) have been mined from the mines of the Copper belt and conservative estimates suggest that a further two billion tonnes await exploitation. The copper-cobalt mineralization is stratabound within arenites, shales and carbonate rocks of the lower-Katanga Mine Series Group. Copper resources have also been identified in the thrust zones of north-western Zambia which represent zones of detachment between Basement and Katanga sequences, and in western and central Zambia where shearing and intrusion emplacement through the lower Katanga succession have generated a considerable number of lode, stockwork, breccia and skarn deposits. Other types of deposit include the disseminated copper mineralization in the granites and aplites of the Mkushi area and copper-bearing stratiform sulphides in the Lusaka area.

Zambia has a history of gold mining on a relatively small scale, with the twenty larger deposits having produced slightly more than 2t of gold since modern mining began in 1902. The largest past producers are Dunrobin (990kg gold), Sasare (390kg), and Matala (225kg); Dunrobin has recently been re-opened by Reunion Mining and is scheduled to produce 500-600kg gold per annum. More than 300 gold occurrences have been reported throughout the country and some of these are currently being-re-evaluated. The other important metal production has been zinc and lead from the carbonate-hosted deposits of Kabwe which, with a total of 11Mt of ore containing 40% combined zinc and lead, ranks as one of the highest grade Zn-Pb deposits of probable Mississippi Valley - type in the world. Similar styles of mineralization have been recognized over a wide area to the north of Kabwe.

More than 300 gold occurrences have been recorded but most are only prospects; largest historical producers are Dunrobin (990kg) and Matala (225kg) in the Mumbwa area, Jessie (390kg) in the Rufunsa area, and Sasare (390kg) in eastern Zambia. Dunrobin was re-opened by Reunion Mining in 1997 as an open-pit, heap-leach operation and is producing 50kg gold per month. The majority of the deposits are lode-type bodies associated with the Mwembeshi Shear Zone and related syntectonic intrusions. Significant gold mineralization also occurs, variously with copper and uranium, in major thrust zones near the base of the Katanga succession Minor palaeo-placer gold has also been reported in the Mporokoso Group in the Bangweulu Block.

Substantial resources of iron are known in central and western Zambia, occurring as ironstones and lesser skarn deposits but have yet to be exploited. Amongst other metalliferous occurrences reported are sedimentary and fracture-hosted manganese and orthomagmatic and shale-hosted nickel, together with tin and tungsten. Substantial resources of iron have been identified, occurring primarily as sedimentary ironstones in the lower-Katanga Mine Series successions of central and western Zambia. Total resources of more than 900Mt with an iron content around 50% have been provisionally estimated, with some individual deposits up to 200Mt in size. Small, high-grade skarn and replacement deposits are associated with Pan-African felsic and mafic intrusions that have penetrated the lower Katanga succession in western Zambia, particularly around the Hook Granite Complex, but such deposits have rarely been fully evaluated.

Zinc and Lead

Carbonate-hosted Zn-Pb ore has been mined from the Kabwe deposit in central Zambia where 11Mt of ore averaged close to 25% Zn and 15% Pb. The stratabound mineralization comprises massive, breccia and replacement sulphides within carbonate rocks marking the transition from Lower Roan to Upper Roan. Similar styles of mineralization at the same stratigraphic position, some copper-rich, are evident throughout the Kabwe area and northwards to Kapiri Mposhi. Carbonate-hosted Pb-Zn has also been recorded in Lower Roan limestones in the Copperbelt and in lower Kundelungu rocks in western Zambia. Stratabound, probably exhalative, Cu-Zn-Pb deposits occur in Basement and Muva sequences of south-eastern Zambia.

Occurrences are numerous but mostly small, occurring as tabular, probably stratiform exhalative, deposits within Basement and Muva sequences, and as supergene enrichments, either capping low-grade sedimentary accumulations or concentrated within sub-vertical fractures of limited vertical extent. Nickel and Platinum Group Elements Orthomagmatic nickel occurrences are known in the Basement sequences east and south of Lusaka and include one near Mpala Gorge which may be a faulted remnant of ZimbabweÕs Great Dyke. Sediment-hosted nickel deposits in Mwashia and Mine Series rocks of north-western Zambia are associated with gabbroic intrusions and often show evidence of hydrothermal enrichment. Minor platinum group elements are produced as a by-product of copper-refining on the major Copperbelt mines.

Tin  (-tantalum)

Small quantities of cassiterite have been recovered from complex quartz-muscovite-feldspar pegmatites of probable Irumide age in the Choma-Kalomo area in southern Zambia. Columbite-tantalite has also been extracted in very minor quantities.



Wolframite has been noted in pegmatite of the Choma Tin Belt, and lode-type scheelite-bismuth mineralization is associated with a two-mica granite of early Lufilian age at Unda Unda, 80km east of Lusaka.



Alluvial diamonds have been reported throughout much of northern, north-eastern and western Zambia and in many places are accompanied by indicator minerals. Kimberlite and lamproite intrusions occur within and near to the western flank of the Luangwa River and also in southern Zambia but no diamond-bearing diatremes have yet been discovered. Alluvial diamonds have been recovered throughout Zambia, accompanied in places by indicator minerals but, despite the discovery of a number of kimberlite and lamproite intrusions, the sources of the diamonds have yet to be found. Zambia's high-quality deep green emeralds are in demand world-wide and, since 1970, have been mined continuously on the southern margin of the Copperbelt where they are hosted by pegmatite bodies. Pegmatites are also common in eastern Zambia where they have been exploited for aquamarine and tourmaline.

Other gemstones

Aquamarine and tourmaline are mined in the Lundazi and Nyimba areas of eastern Zambia where they occur in pegmatites that were broadly synchronous with the c.486Ma Sinda batholith. Amethyst is currently being mined in the Mwakambwiko Hills near Lake Kariba where it occurs in veins and stockworks generated during late-Karoo or post-Karoo tectonism.

Zambia produces about 20% of the world's emeralds and they are much sought after due to their deep green colour. The gemstones are recovered exclusively from the Ndola Rural area of the southern Copper belt where they are hosted by Muva-age talc schists intruded by tourmaline- and phlogopite-bearing pegmatite bodies

Industrial Minerals

Zambia boasts a wide range of industrial minerals capable of underpinning the anticipated growth in the mining, manufacturing and agricultural sectors.

In recent years the demand for feldspar has been from local ceramic producers and also from Kapiri Glass Products Ltd., based at Kapiri Mposhi. Production has mostly come from two pegmatite deposits - a 4m-thick body of alkali-feldspar-pegmatite containing minor muscovite and quartz near Siavonga and a 5m-thick, partially kaolinized, pegmatite at Shipingu, near Kapiri Mposhi.

Silica Sand

Sands of various specifications occur throughout Zambia but the only occurrence to have been exploited is the deposit of high-quality glass sand at Kapiri Mposhi which was the basis for glass manufacture by Kapiri Glass Products Ltd., until the recent closure of the company. The sand is an unconsolidated eluvial deposit derived by the weathering of quartzites of the Muva Supergroup.

The current small demand for talc within Zambia is met partly by local production but good quality white talc for the pharmaceutical industry is imported. Deposits in Zambia have not been extensively evaluated but range from talc derived during metamorphism of dolomites near Lusaka to a hydrothermally altered mafic to ultramafic intrusion, also in the Lusaka area, and talc schist occurring in the footwall of copper mineralization near Ndola.

A variety of deposit-types are known, the most significant being the vein and replacement bodies hosted by red shales and marls of the Mporokoso Group within the Luongo Fold and Thrust Zone of the Bangweulu Block. Vein-type mineralization also occurs within the Irumide Belt and rare occurrences have been reported associated with the Hook Granite Complex and also hosted by Karoo sediments within the Mid-Zambezi Rift.

Apatite, the most important potential source of phosphate, occurs in significant concentrations in syenitic intrusions and carbonatite bodies. Significant syenite-hosted deposits include the apatite-quartz bodies of Chilembwe, near Petauke in eastern Zambia, and breccia and pegmatite bodies in syenite intrusions near the north-eastern margin of the Hook Granite Complex. Carbonatites in Zambia are mostly related to Karoo-age rifts and very substantial low-grade apatite deposits have been noted in two of these - Kaluwe in the Rufunsa-Feira area and Nkombwa Hill at the northern end of the Luangwa Rift.

Carbonate rocks are a common component of the Katanga Supergroup and also occur within the Basement Supergroup. Limestone and dolomite are abundant in the area around Lusaka and these and other deposits in the Southern, North Western, Northern and Luapula Provinces have been identified as being suitable for agricultural use. High-purity, low-MgO limestones are currently being exploited from the lower Katanga succession near Ndola on the Copperbelt.

Dimension Stone

A very wide variety of potential dimension stones are present in Zambia but they have rarely been evaluated fully as to their suitability. They are mostly of igneous origin and include gabbroic and doleritic rocks of the Basement and Muva terrains in eastern and central Zambia, granites of the Mpika area in north-eastern Zambia, and the extensive granitic and charnockitic rocks of the Chipata area in eastern Zambia. A very attractive pink and green, sodalite-rich, syenite occurrence has been exploited near Solwezi, and grey and white marbles are currently being mined for export on the western outskirts of Lusaka.

A considerable number of deposits of ball clay and brick clay are known but they have rarely been subjected to bench tests and firing tests. Large deposits of ball clay occur at Solwezi and at Kasanka, 60km north of Serenje, and kaolinite-rich clays have been recorded at Masuku in southern Zambia and near Shiwa Ngandu. Brick clays are exploited at an artisanal level throughout Zambia.

Industrial Minerals

 Zambia is favoured with considerable resources of feldspar (Pan-African pegmatite bodies), silica sand (Muva-age quartzites), limestone (mostly lower Katanga), and a variety of rock types potential suitable for dimension stone. Numerous occurrences of ball clay and brick clay are evident throughout the country but the quality of the clays has rarely been thoroughly investigated. Good quality talc has yet to be discovered but the focus of interest would be on hydrothermally altered ultramafic rocks and on metamorphosed dolomites in the Lusaka and Copperbelt areas. Major targets for barite exploration would be vein and replacement deposits in the Luongo Fold and Thrust Belt of the Bangweulu Block. Any search for phosphate (apatite) would necessitate re-evaluation of the carbonatite-hosted deposits associated with the Karoo-age rifts of southern, central, and eastern Zambia. Medium- to high-grade graphite deposits are confined to the high-grade metamorphic terrains of eastern Zambia.


These include graphite, gypsum, kyanite and asbestos, with moderate resources of graphite having been identified at a number of occurrences in the high-grade metamorphic terrains of eastern Zambia. A major fluorite deposit has been defined at Sianyolo in the Mid-Zambezi Valley.



Three important types of uranium occurrence have been recorded in Zambia: in Karoo sandstones; associated with the copper mineralization of the Copper belt; and structurally controlled mineralization in the Basement domes of north-western Zambia. The Karoo occurrences comprise presumed detrital concentrations, up to 1000ppm U, in the Escarpment Grit Formation, and fracture-controlled autunite-torbernite-pitchblende in the same arenitic units of the Mid-Zambezi Rift. Uranium occurrences associated with the Copperbelt mineralization variously consist of pitchblende, coffinite, and brannerite, or meta-torbernite and other secondary minerals concentrated near the base of the copper mineralization or within the footwall rocks immediately underlying the orebodies. A total of 120,000kg of U3O8 was produced from Nkana Mine in the period 1957-1959. Uranium mineralization in the Basement domes is variously accompanied by copper and gold and almost invariably occurs in kyanite-bearing schists which are now known to represent major thrust zones developed along the Basement-Katanga contact and propagated up-sequence northwards and eastwards. The Lumwana Malundwe deposit in the Mwombezhi Dome, as an example, contains some 4000t of U3O8, in addition to at least 19.5Mt copper ore at 1.4% Cu and minor gold.

Zambia possesses substantial coal resources and has been producing coal continuously since 1967. The bulk of the coal has come from the Maamba coal mine, an open-cast operation in the southern part of the country near Lake Kariba. The Maamba deposit and other known coal occurrences are confined exclusively to the lower-Karoo Gwembe Formation, within the series of fault-controlled basins that comprise the Mid-Zambezi Rift Valley. The Maamba deposit occurs within the Kazinze Basin but coal seams have also been discovered in the adjacent basins. Thin coal seams and carbonaceous shales have also been identified in the lower Karoo (Gwembe Formation) of the Luangwa and Luano-Lukusashi Valleys and in the eastern part of the Barotse Basin in western Zambia. Additional coal resources are most likely to be found in the fault-bounded Karoo basins of the Mid-Zambezi Rift, particularly in the Mulungwa Coalfield, the area between the Mulungwa and Siankondobo Coalfields, and in the Siambabala area. Some limited potential also exists in the Luangwa and Luano Valleys.

Two exploration programmes by Mobil and Placid Oil between 1986 and 1991 failed to discover oil but, of two boreholes within the Luangwa Rift Valley, one was terminated before intersecting the most favourable reservoir horizons. Considerable thicknesses of littoral and continental sediments underlain by carbonaceous rocks with oil-generating potential are present within the Karoo-age graben of both the Luangwa and Mid-Zambezi Valleys.

The mining legislation enacted in 1995 and favourable investment environment has created a high level of interest both in existing mining operations and in the exploration potential. Currently approximately 50% of the country is covered by existing Prospecting Licences and by applications for licences. Exploration in many cases is focused on areas where minor past production or prospects indicate some potential, but a significant level of activity is also being devoted to green fields’ exploration in areas with little or no history of discoveries. Companies active in the mid-1990 include Anglo American, AvMin, Billiton, Caledonia Mining, Cyprus Amax, Equinox Resources, Falconbridge, Phelps Dodge, RTZ Mining and Zamgold.

Although still to be completed privatization of ZCCM has led to a flurry of interest in the mining sector and an encouraging level of physical investment. Important developments include:

  1. Purchase of the Luanshya/Baluba mining and metallurgical complex (now known as Roan Antelope Mining Corporation Group) by the Binani Group for US$35 million, with a commitment to further capital expenditure of US$69 million.
  2. Sale of Chambishi Mine to the Non-Ferrous Metal Industry of China for US$20 million.
  3. A feasibility study of Konkola Deep by Anglo American-controlled Zambian Copper Investments, a project which will ultimately require an investment of around US$750 million.
  4. Sale of Kansanshi to Cyprus Amax subject to the results of a phased exploration programme which would ultimately necessitate a total investment of US$48 million by Cyprus Amax prior to securing project financing.
  5. Commitment by Avmin (formerly Anglovaal) to US$12.5 million of exploration expenditure, mostly directed to evaluation of Konkola North.
  6. Construction of a US$30 million-plant at Bwana Mkubwa by First Quantum Minerals for re-treatment of copper oxide tailings.
  7. sale of Chibuluma Mine to Metorex Pty. for US$17.5 million and a commitment to US$34 million for the development of Chibuluma South.
  8. Purchase of ZCCMÕs Power Division by the Copperbelt Consortium Ð two UK-based power companies, National Grid and Midlands Power, and a team of ZCCM managers.

Another exciting development has been the opening up of the old Dunrobin goldmine by Reunion Mining as an open pit heap leach operation which poured its first gold late in 1997. Production of 50kg of gold per month for at least three years is anticipated and the potential for proving further ore in the area is reported to be high.

The complex geological evolution of Zambia, together with the abundance and diversity of mineral deposits and other natural resource deposits, are pointers towards the considerable potential for the discovery of new occurrences through exploration based on empirical models driven by known deposits and exploration formulated on conceptual models.


The great majority of gold deposits in Zambia are mesothermal lode deposits (veins and more dispersed occurrences in brittle and brittle-ductile shear zones). Most are localized within structures related to the Mwembeshi Shear Zone in central Zambia. This major inter-cratonic shear zone was undoubtedly trans-crustal in vertical extent and clearly acted as an important conduit for fluid flow and magma emplacement. It also exhibits a history of multiple reactivation throughout the Lomamian and Lufilian (Pan-African) Orogenies (c. 950-450 Ma) and was even reactivated during Karoo rifting. Consequently there was considerable potential for the genesis of substantial lode deposits, particularly where dilational zones (releasing bends, dilatational jogs, etc.) facilitated maximum fluid flow, and where the shear zone traversed the carbonate rocks, carbonaceous siltstones, and ironstones of the lower Katanga sequence which would have proved highly efficient chemical traps for hydrothermal gold.


Significant skarn and breccia deposits were probably developed adjacent to syntectonic granitoidal and even syenitic intrusions associated with the shear zone although to date only relatively small occurrences have been identified in the Mumbwa area around the Hook Granite Complex and satellitic intrusions. A similar prospectivity can be assigned to the poorly-known Kapiri Mposhi - Kipushi Shear Zone and adjacent NNE-trending zones of deformation. In eastern Zambia, key targets related to the Mwembeshi Shear Zone include areas where it traverses the restricted occurrences of volcanosedimentary rocks (eg. Sasare area) and also the offset zones related to the West Mvuye and Chindeni Dislocations, the former appearing to have been a focus for fluid flow (and wallrock alteration) and the latter as it also traverses mafic volcanic rocks.


Within the Zambezi Belt south of the Mwembeshi Shear Zone, thrusting and faulting of the complex Basement-Muva-Katanga terrain was accompanied by widespread de-watering, resulting in the genesis of a considerable number of gold prospects, screening of which could pinpoint optimum potential in terms of host structure and country rocks. Similar and probably more substantial fluid flow occurred within the early Lufilian thrust zones of the Domes Region of north-western Zambia to generate complex copper ± gold ± uranium lodes within the lower Katanga sequences and these represent important exploration targets.


In north-eastern Zambia a similar lode-gold potential, not yet investigated, exists within the Luongo Fold and Thrust Zone, the Chambeshi Fold and Thrust Zone, and the Shiva Ngandu Fold Zone, where leaching of Basement rocks and de-watering, quite possibly on a massive scale during the Irumide-age crustal shortening, could have created conditions favourable for gold metallogenesis. The minor occurrences of placer gold within the lower Mporokoso Group littoral sediments of the Bangweulu Block have some similarities to Witwatersrand-type mineralization and merit a basin-wide evaluation.


Combined reserves and resources of copper-cobalt ore in operating mines of the Copper belt exceed two billion tonnes and these have mostly been delineated for exploitation after privatization of the industry has been completed. Somewhat similar styles of copper mineralization, variously containing gold, uranium, and cobalt, are evident in the Domes Region to the west of the Copper belt and are attractive exploration targets. Recognition that a number of these deposits are hosted by thrust zones, however, offers greater opportunities for locating deposits at higher elevations within the Katanga sequence than normally anticipated. Precious-metal enrichment is also more probable in such zones, and manto-type copper-gold deposits may be developed in adjacent carbonate and shale units. Recognition of thrust-hosted copper mineralization also encourages critical evaluation of the established synsedimentary or syndiagenetic model for the Copper belt mineralization in the search for new deposits.


Widespread scapolitization of the Katanga sequence in the Domes Region attests to another phase of hydrothermal activity, involving NaCl-brines probably derived by dissolution of evaporites, and the occurrence of copper enrichment (0.8%) in scapolite-schists in the Mujimbeji prospects of the Kabompo Dome indicates yet another potential type of exploration target. Vein, breccia, and skarn deposits of copper are likely to be developed in any area where the copper-rich lower Katanga succession has been overprinted by faulting or intruded by felsic to mafic bodies, features particularly evident in central and western Zambia. The regional coincidence of evaporites (n the Lower Roan), granitic intrusions, widespread scapolitic alteration, and Cu (Fe)-Co-Au-U mineralization also offer the intriguing possibility for the occurrence of deposits belonging to the enigmatic Fe-oxide (REE-Cu-Au-U) spectrum of deposit-types which includes, amongst many other, Olympic Dam. The granitic association of copper in the Irumide Belt near Mkushi also merits a careful re-evaluation of the genesis and potential of this style of mineralization. Copper-bearing massive sulphide deposits of possible exhalative origin discovered in the Lusaka area and south-eastern Zambia point to additional targets for copper exploration.


Other Base Metals and Rare Metals

Zinc and lead deposits discovered to date are hosted entirely by carbonate rocks occurring stratigraphically at the Lower Roan - Upper Roan transition. Considerable potential remains in the Kabwe area, and the Katanga-age carbonate sequences northwest of Mumbwa offer a similar potential. The migration of NaCl-rich brines, indicated by the distribution of scapolite in north-western Zambia, could have led to extensive mobilization of Pb and Zn and the subsequent genesis of vein and replacement deposits in lower-Katanga carbonate rocks and even in overlying Kundelungu carbonate units. The common occurrence of vein and replacement deposits of barite within the early Proterozoic sequences of the Bangweulu Block, where caught up in the Luongo Fold and Thrust Zone, also suggest the activity of NaCl-enriched brines and thus imply that conditions heretoo may have been favourable for the transport and precipitation of Pb and Zn.

Substantial resources of iron have been identified, mostly in lower Katanga successions, and the requirement here is for thorough evaluation of known deposits within the context of potential demand from a burgeoning Zambian industrial and manufacturing sector and a wider demand throughout central Africa. Manganese occurrences also are known but there is potential for the discovery of further supergene-enriched deposits throughout the Muva terrains of northern Zambia.

No major layered intrusions have been identified in Zambia but the mostly likely hosts for orthomagmatic nickel deposits are gabbroic intrusions south and east of Lusaka and the possible faulted extensions of the Great Dyke near Mpala Gorge in the southern part of the country. Some of the sediment-hosted occurrences of metal associated with gabbroic bodies in north-western Zambia also have modest potential.

The tin (-tantalum) potential lies in a thorough re-evaluation of the Choma Tin Belt in southern Zambia and in detailed prospecting of the pegmatitic areas of eastern Zambia. The Hook Granite Complex and granitic bodies intruding the Irumide Belt merit some attention for tin and/or tungsten mineralization and the unusual scheelite-bismuth mineralization of the Unda Unda area, 80 km east of Lusaka, would be a priority for tungsten exploration. Syntectonic and post-tectonic granitic magmatism associated with the Irumide Orogeny in north-eastern Zambia may have led to tin and tungsten enrichment in the Chambeshi Fold and Thrust Zone and Shiwa Ngandu Fold Zone.


The abundance of diamonds and indicator minerals in Zambia highlight the considerable exploration potential. The most favourable terrains are the stable cratonic Bangweulu Block and possibly the Kabompo area of western Zambia where alluvial diamonds are particularly abundant. The rift-related kimberlites and associated rocks of eastern Zambia have limited potential as they were probably derived from younger, locally diamond-depleted, mantle.

Systematic exploration of the Ndola Rural area utilizing a combination of radiometric surveys and soil geochemistry, supported by detailed mapping, offers considerable potential for the discovery of additional deposits of the high-quality gemstones.

The greatest potential for uranium appears to be vein and disseminated mineralization hosted by Lower Roan and Upper Roan sequences and most commonly occurring within the footwall rocks immediately underlying some of the copper orebodies of the Copperbelt and Domes Region. It also shows significant enrichment in the thrust-hosted copper (± gold) mineralization of the Domes Region. Calcrete deposits within the basal sandstones of the Kalahari sequence in western Zambia may be analogous to the calcrete deposits of Namibia and thus merit investigation.


The petroleum potential of Zambia can be considered unexplored. The Luangwa and Mid-Zambezi graben have a favourable history of lower-Karoo hydrocarbon generation and upper-Karoo development of structural traps during rifting. Potential reservoir units occur in the lower-Karoo Luwumbu Formation and upper-Karoo Escarpment Grit in the luangwa graben and in the Siankondobo and Gwembe Formations of the lower Karoo in the Mid-Zambezi graben.



The Chamber of Mines of Zambia is registered as an association for mining employers, be they large mining companies or single employers. It was originally formed in September 1942 as the Northern Rhodesia Chamber of Mines. It operated until 1965 when the Copper Industry Service Bureau (CISB) replaced it. The Chamber of Mines was re-established in 2000 after the privatisation of the mining assets were completed [49] .


Mission Statement

The institution aims to promote the interests of its members, and encouraging, protecting and fostering the Mining Industry of Zambia and doing everything necessary and advisable for the advancement /achievement of those objectives.



The Policy Making Body of the Chamber of Mines of Zambia is the Council whose composition is as below:

      i.          One representative from each Class A Member

    ii.          One representative elected by Class B Members jointly amongst their number. Other Class B Members may be elected if in the opinion of Council, their capacity and technical capability warrants individual representation

  iii.          One representative elected by Class C Members jointly from their number

   iv.          One representative elected by Associate Members jointly from amongst their number.


The Chamber of Mines in Zambia was originally formed in September 1942 as the Northern Rhodesia Chamber of Mines. It operated until 1965 when the Copper Industry Service Bureau (CISB) replaced it. However, with the nationalisation of the mining industry the necessity for the Chamber of Mines fell away.


The Chamber of Mines was re-established in 2000 after the privatisation of the mining assets were completed. The Objectives for which the Chamber of Mines of Zambia has been established are detailed in the Constitution. The Chamber is established for the purposes of promoting the interests of its members, and encouraging, protecting and fostering the Mining Industry of Zambia and doing everything necessary and advisable for the advancement /achievement of those objectives. The main role of the Chamber of Mines of Zambia (CMZ) is advocacy in creating synergies. CMZ aims to influence policy in the mining sector to reflect the vision and dreams of its members as well as to promote economic growth in Zambia. CMZ further seeks to create stakeholders linkages with various players in the country and abroad with a view to establishing productive partnership that will help realize its full potential as a central organ in the mining industry in Zambia.



The Zambia–China Cooperation Zone (ZCCZ) was the first Chinese economic and trade co-operation zone to be established in Africa. The project emerged from converging interests on both sides: China’s interest in Zambia’s copper reservoirs and Lusaka’s desire to develop a manufacturing base around its mining sector. The policy briefing analyses how the zone came into being, its achievements and the current challenges it faces. It highlights a number of shortcomings at the implementation level that need to be addressed urgently, by both Chinese investors and Zambian authorities, if the ZCCZ is to move beyond low-skilled labour employment and resources supply [50] .


Lusaka is conceivably Beijing’s most paradigmatic example of an ‘all weather friendship’ in Africa. Diplomatic ties stretch back to Zambia’s independence in 1964 and encompass one of the richest historical records on China’s co-operation with the continent. For decades China has provided support in vital sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, education and infrastructure. The construction of the Tazara railway in the early 1970s, linking Zambia’s Copper belt Province with the port of Dar-es-Salam on the Indian Ocean, remains one of the most iconic illustrations of China–Africa co-operation to this day. However, it was only in the 2000s that the commercial dimension of the relationship finally gained momentum. Bilateral trade grew from $108 million in 2000 to $1.39 billion in 2009 and further to $2.85 billion in 2010, [51] greatly boosted by the dramatic swelling of China’s copper imports in recent years. By the end of 2010, China was the second-largest destination for Zambian copper exports.


Likewise Chinese investment flows to Zambia have intensified significantly over the past decade. Although Chinese investments (private enterprises and state- owned enterprises or SOEs) cover a wide range of sectors (such as manufacturing, agriculture, infrastructure, technology, energy supply and telecommunications), the lion’s share of these has gone to the mining sector mostly channelled through SOEs. China is presently the third- largest investor in the country. [52] In 2010 China’s investment stock in Zambia ($944 million – up from $148 million in 2004) was it’s third-largest on the continent, after South Africa and Nigeria [53]


The establishment of the ZCCZ

The idea of establishing a special economic zone (SEZ) ostensibly surfaced in 2004, initiated by Non-Ferrous Metals Corporation Africa (NFCA). The NFCA is the Zambian subsidiary of China Non-Ferrous Metal Mining Group Company (CNMC, a mining SOE), which had been exploring Chambishi copper mine in Zambia’s Copper belt since 1998. The NFCA approached the Zambian government with a proposal to set up an industrial park for copper processing in Chambishi.

Lusaka responded to the idea with great enthusiasm. However, an on-going review of the legal framework in Zambia delayed the project’s commencement. [54] The new Multi-Facility Economic Zones (MFEZ) regulations, envisaging the provision of a competitive environment for investors to process Zambia’s natural resources within its borders, was issued finally in 2006 (the Zambia Development Agency Act No 11 of 2006). That same year, China announced its intention to establish three to five economic and trade co-operation zones (ETCZs) in Africa as an instrument to promote economic development within the framework of the Forum on China–Africa Cooperation. In this context, the ZCCZ became both Zambia’s first MFEZ and China’s first ETCZ in Africa. Demonstrating the high importance of the project for both parties, President Hu Jintao and late President Levy Mwanawasa officially inaugurated the ZCCZ in February 2007. In January 2009, President Rupiah Banda and the Chinese Minister of Commerce inaugurated a subsection of the ZCCZ (Lusaka East) near Lusaka International Airport.


The CNMC, the formal developer, administers the zone through ZCCZ Development Limited, a subsidiary created for that purpose and registered in Zambia. The ZCCZ has head offices in Kitwe and Lusaka, and is in charge of developing the zone (the Chambishi and Lusaka East subsections). Its responsibilities range from general planning and co-coordinating on-site construction to attracting investors. The ZCCZ is also responsible for liaising with and providing quarterly reports to the Zambia Development Agency, the government body responsible for co-coordinating all MFEZs. The Chambishi ZCCZ occupies an area of 11.58 square kilometres within the mining concession of the NFCA (41 square kilometres) in Kalulushi Municipality in the Copper belt Province. Set in a mining area, the zone aims to channel investment primarily into non-ferrous metals metallurgy (copper and cobalt) and to process by-products (including electrical wire and cable, mine equipment, construction equipment, chemical products, fertilizers, and pharmaceuticals) and provide supporting services such as storage, transportation and housing. Production is aimed at supplying the local and regional markets. [55]


The East Lusaka ZCCZ covers an area of 5.7 square kilometres adjacent to Lusaka’s international airport. Taking advantage of its proximity to the airport facilities, this subsection was designed to work as an international commercial hub. It aims to create a light industry cluster (manufacturing, assembly and packaging of goods) that is connected to non-ferrous metals (household appliances) as well as other sectors (garment and food-processing), wholesale facilities, logistics and real estate.


Agreement details and preferential policies

The ZCCZ agreement was negotiated between the CNMC (supported by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, the Association of Chinese SEZ and the local embassy) on the Chinese side and the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA), the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Finance on the Zambian side, within the framework of the MFEZ Act. According to the ZCCZ management, the land lease is for 76 years in Chambishi and 80 years in Lusaka East.


Secrecy surrounding the negotiations has resulted in strong criticism of the agreement and a widespread belief that the land was given free of charge. Although both the ZDA and the ZCCA management have denied this, [56] the amount paid by the Chinese remains undisclosed and is believed to be very low. The preferential policies to be implemented inside the zone have been far less controversial, as they follow closely the incentives stated in the MFEZ Act. Investment incentives in the Chambishi and East Lusaka ZCCZs are the same.

These are exemption from tax on dividends for five years from the year of first declaration of dividends; 0% corporate tax for five years from the first year profits are made, with 50% of profit to be taxed in years six to eight, increasing to 75% in years nine to ten; 0% import duty rate on raw materials, capital goods and machinery for five years; and deferment of VAT on machinery and equipment imports. The developer is responsible for providing the on-site infrastructure, including roads; telecommunications; electricity and water supply; and facilities for administration, commerce, exhibitions and training. Although designed to attract primarily Chinese private capital, the zone is open to other foreign investors as well as local entrepreneurs. There is, however, an investment threshold of $500,000. All foreign investors are required to register in Zambia.

The current status

The Chambishi ZCCZ is currently China’s only ETCZ in operation in sub-Saharan Africa and, even then, only partially so. When driving inside the zone there is little more to see than the main gate, a smelter, the administration building, basic roads, a power supply station and a couple of buildings under construction. The on-site infrastructure (phase 1) is only now at the end of 2011, nearing completion. The master plan has been designed to accommodate 50 to 60 companies.


As of July 2011, 14 investors (the majority of which are Chinese) had settled inside the zone with accumulated investment nearing $1 billion. Most of these can be traced back to the CNMC, as a significant number of the investors are subsidiaries of or companies affiliated with the CNMC. Most of the remaining companies are Chinese construction companies carrying out infrastructure projects in the zone. They have registered inside the zone to enjoy the incentives it provides. According to ZCCZ Development Limited, negotiations are underway with a few more investors, including local entrepreneurs.


The biggest showpiece inside the zone is the copper smelter, recruiting nearly half of the 6 658 employees working inside the zone (934 of whom are Chinese). Almost three years after its launching, the Lusaka East ZCCZ, where 13 300 jobs are expected to be created, is still at an early stage of infrastructure construction (both on site and off site). Nonetheless, there are already interested entrepreneurs and the subsection is expected to start receiving investors by April 2012.


The challenges

Although five years have passed since its launching, the Chambishi ZCCZ is only partially operational and struggling to produce expected benefits for the domestic economy. Some sectors of civil society have criticized the slow pace of development of the Chambishi ZCCZ, which has been under construction for five years. They claim it has failed to stimulate Zambia’s manufacturing sector and job creation, and have accused the CNMC of being mostly interested in minerals extraction. [57]


Although it is far too early to write off the ZCCZ as a failed venture, major challenges should be identified and tackled. Currently the existing obstacles seem to be related more to implementation than to policy and design. The main implementation challenge seems to be the poor condition of infrastructure surrounding the ZCCZ, particularly in the remote area of the copper belt Province. Although there is a transportation network in place – in the form of a national road and railway – it needs to be rehabilitated and extended.


The current state of the network seriously compromises not only supply to the zone but also product distribution to national and regional markets, a key factor for the success of any SEZ. Another major obstacle is the lack of a cohesive absorbent regulating frame [1] to ensure the necessary domestic spill overs, such as transfer of expertise and technology and integration of the domestic private sector. Local entrepreneurs feel left out because the investment threshold has been set too high.


Local suppliers also fear this will be a missed opportunity. The loose regulations on local content enable investors to choose their supply sources. Owing to language and culture barriers and the much cheaper options back home, Chinese investors tend to rely on their own supply chains. Despite several pleas by the Miners Suppliers Association to establish a framework to ensure their participation in the process, Lusaka has made no progress in this regard so far. [58]


A further important challenge is to make the ZCCZ process less secretive and elitist (with the presidency and Chinese government being the sole interlocutors to date) to better inform and integrate local stakeholders. Local entrepreneurs, civil society and communities seem to know little about the ZCCZ and its goals. The zone is therefore largely regarded as a Chinese enclave, resulting in misapprehension among the general public. Although these challenges may apply to all Zambian MFEZs, there are also obstacles of a more abstract nature that are specific to the ZCCZ.


These include fundamental differences in work ethics, business culture and the language barrier. These differences have been particularly problematic when it comes to labour issues. The stipulation of Zambian law that most labour be hired locally has placed a large pool of local workers under Chinese management. This has created serious misunderstandings, [59] mostly owing to a large gap between Chinese labour practices (including longer hours, lower salaries and lower safety standards) and local work ethics, [1] being shaped primarily by western standards. Other challenges include the low returns for the host government in the early stages of the ZCCZ project and the difficulty being experienced in bringing new investors on board. Although the former may undermine Lusaka’s interest in the zone, particularly in a context of political alternation, the latter may endanger the overall success of the zone, as the ZCCZ remains sparingly populated – well below its expected capacity.



Post privatization expectations and disappointment [60]

Zambia’s mining sector was privatised roughly between 1997 and 2002. Shortly thereafter copper prices began rising, prompting rapid expansion by Western as well as emerging-economy investors and raising prospects for a revitalisation of the long-stagnant sector. Yet Zambia’s copper mines have failed to live up to their development potential for a number of reasons, including the government’s limited ability to capture fiscal benefits: incoming investors negotiated highly concessional tax and royalty rates at privatisation, when Zambia was a forced seller in a buyer’s market. Consequently, in 2007 the government collected just 3% of the $4.7 billion earned by copper and cobalt exports.


Popular pressure on government to secure a larger share of benefits from copper extraction grew throughout the boom, but attempts to revisit the provisions of state–firm contracts through a formal renegotiating process failed. In early 2008, the government announced a new tax regime that would raise taxes on mining companies. Their responses varied. Several Western mining companies, including First Quantum Minerals and Mopani Copper Mines, threatened to go to international arbitration and quietly scaled back their investment plans, while most emerging market firms, including China’s Non-Ferrous Metals Corporation Africa (NFCA), were silent on the issue.

Local regulatory capacity has not kept pace with the rapid acceleration in mining sector investment. High-profile examples of regulatory failure include a now-infamous incident in 2005 when the explosives manufacturing facility of BGRIMM (Beijing General Research Institute of Mining & Metallurgy, a subsidiary of NFCA) literally blew up, killing over 50 Zambian workers. When the Indian-owned Konkola Copper Mines polluted the Kafue River in 2007, it caused Zambia’s largest environmental disaster, but ministerial intervention prevented the Environmental Council (the regulator) from bringing charges against the company. These shortfalls in regulation have added impetus to the calls for reform. High on the agenda are proposals for new licensing procedures, increased resources, and limitations on government interference. However, progress has been stalled.

In 2008 foreign direct investment (FDI) to developing countries fell by 30% (to $385 billion)

– the first such drop since the East Asian crisis of 1997.5 The financial crisis limited the ability of many investors to raise the capital required to repay existing debt or finance new projects. The immediate impact on the Zambian mining sector was significant. Forecasts for the production of finished copper in 2009 halved, from 1 200 to 600 kilo tonnes, and about a third of directly employed mineworkers were made redundant. The impact of the crisis on Western firms operating in Zambia was exacerbated by the uncertainty caused by the governments’ U-turns on fiscal matters in 2008. Sudden policy reversals represent a significant risk for firms reliant on highly sophisticated but fickle institutional investors. Thus, when the crisis hit, many were already reconsidering their investments. The mood of mining companies was described as ‘very suspicious’, because there was ‘no guarantee of stability, the government can turn around again anytime’.


However, outward FDI from China continued to grow. Investment into non-financial sectors reached $41 billion in 2008, a year-on-year increase of 64%.7Chinese companies are far less vulnerable to a global ‘credit crunch’ because their government can instruct the state-owned banks to continue lending, even when pure market logic might dictate otherwise. Moreover, higher capital reserves and trading restrictions meant that Chinese banks were less exposed to exotic (and toxic) mortgage-backed securities.


Zambia benefited through various high-profile investments from China. In May 2009 NFCA, competing against Vedanta Resources and the Luanshya Mineral Resources consortium, acquired Luanshya Copper Mines, which was being sold as a direct result of the low copper prices. Similarly, the Jinchuan Group Company ‘saved’ Albidon’s Munali nickel mine through an injection of equity. In North-Western province Zhonghui Mining was awarded a prospecting licence in February 2010, having undertaken to invest up to $3 billion.8 The Minister of Commerce said the government was ‘grateful’ that, despite the global downturn, Zhonghui’s investment budget had increased.


The nature and implications of investor diversity

The entry of Chinese actors into the African mining industry represents a tremendous opportunity for the continent’s resource-rich countries, yet it poses certain problems for policymakers. Zambia’s influx of Eastern and Western companies from markedly different institutional and cultural backgrounds means that the regulatory framework will have to accommodate widely divergent ways of doing business. These variations cover involvement with home governments, embeddedness in international capital markets, and the business culture developed by each company over time.


For example, Chinese state-owned companies are often both influenced and protected by the state, so their exposure to markets is only partial. NFCA is a subsidiary of the state-owned China Nonferrous Metal Mining (Group) Company, which plays a very specific role in China’s foreign policy, operating all the large Chinese mines on the Copper belt, and pioneering the development of ‘special economic zones’ in Africa. Chinese investors often enter Zambia through ‘closed-shop’ negotiations between the presidency and Chinese officials. The government is rewarded by large loans from China. Chinese investors appear to look to cultivating close relationships with members of Zambia’s central government rather than fostering community relations and demonstrating corporate social responsibility to ensure the stability of their on-going operations.

Chinese companies also enjoy an advantage in raising capital. For most firms, raising debt capital on international markets is increasingly associated with regulatory pressures. International banks require compliance with the Equator Principles, which provide for regular audits, by independent consultants, of the applicant’s social and environmental management systems. Moreover, firms listed on stock markets must report audited financial accounts prepared to international accounting standards. Chinese state-owned companies that do not raise capital on international markets are not subject to these reporting requirements. NFCA was the only one of the five companies I studied in Zambia that did not produce auditor sign-off on the accounts lodged with the Zambia Revenue Authority, a significant omission given the evidence of transfer pricing in the sector.

Again, the informal norms and practices of Chinese companies are distinct in ways that affect regulatory compliance. For instance, the typical period that NFCA managers spend at the company is three years, an unusually high management turnover that may lead to short-term incentives: managers focus more on near-term production and profit to the detriment of investment in longer- term projects, like improving environmental and safety standards. Moreover, segregated managerial practices and language problems increase the propensity for dangerous mistakes. An NFCA employee reported that poor communication was the reason for his company’s having the highest number of fatalities underground.


How diversity undermines reform

Zambia’s regulatory framework for its mining sector relies on co-operation, consultation, self-reporting and mutual accountability. Regulators are viewed as partners who should support and enable, as well as control and constrain, private sector interests, with the aim of creating ‘a win–win situation, so that when we regulate, we regulate such that they are more than willing and glad to comply’. However, where investors follow different standards and practices, regulators cannot rely on consensus. Firms that already have adequate reporting and control systems, like most of the Western mining companies, need not fear that regulatory reform will impose higher compliance costs. However, companies that do not have such systems in place are unlikely to support stricter standards. A mining manager from Chambishi Metals said that his firm fully supported reforms that would sharpen the regulatory ‘teeth’ of the Mines Safety Department, but described NFCA’s mood as ‘apprehensive’.

Zambia’s ‘presidential’ political culture, in terms of which large foreign investors are expected to brief the president on their investment plans, also complicates reform efforts because it engenders an interventionist approach. What should be relatively straightforward bureaucratic regulatory policymaking and enforcement becomes politicised. For example, a mines safety department official divulged that the ministry of mines was resisting plans for a more independent regulatory agency because it does not wish to relinquish control.


The recent crisis showed African governments just how sensitive private investment can be to the vagaries of international capital markets and a global downturn. In contrast, Chinese investors, who are often supported by the state through direct ownership or debt financing, have been able to offer long-term commitment, a matter of key importance to African governments that rely heavily on foreign investment to develop their resource sectors [61] .


Differences between Chinese and Western companies in practice and standards can impede their agreement on regulatory reform. Moreover, the tendency among Chinese investors to cultivate relationships with executive-level members of government may entrench personalised and discretionary arrangements that undermine the drive towards regulatory reform. Under the new administration of President Rupiah Banda, Zambia’s commitment to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and greater transparency remains ambiguous. For example, the government rejected donor proposals to involve external consultants in assessing bids, and failed to disclose its reasons for awarding the Luanshya Copper Mines to NFCA.

If Zambian copper is to support economic and social development, the government must strengthen and clarify the mandates of the regulatory agencies involved in the mining sector. This can be done only if policymakers become less reliant on collaboration with the mining companies. Although self-regulation and consultation over policy formulation have merits, they can be counter-productive when there are wide divergences in the culture and interests of the companies requiring regulation.



A semblance of central banking started in Zambia through the establishment in 1938 of the Salisbury (Harare) based Southern Rhodesia Currency Board. Its jurisdiction extended to Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland because of a monetary agreement that existed between Southern Rhodesia and these territories. In 1954, the Southern Rhodesia Currency Board was renamed the Currency Board of Rhodesia and Nyasaland when its ownership changed from the Southern Rhodesia government to the Federal government of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

Currency boards are not central banks and they do not offer banking services. Their sole function, in contrast to the multiple functions of central banks, is to issue currency. In the case of the Central African Currency Board, and its predecessor they issued the Central African pounds which were 100 percent backed by pound sterling reserves in London. In other words, if the territories' foreign exchange reserves rose, the Board increased its issue of local currency. If they declined, the local currency issued also had to be reduced.

With time the Currency Boards existence was hotly debated with some people saying that it needed to be replaced by a central bank. At the time, one of the popular views held by economists was that monetary policy could play a direct role in promoting economic growth primarily through credit expansion. The strict rules on monetary creation under the currency board, which made it conditional on developments in the balance of payments, did not accommodate discretionary credit expansion. In general, it was also considered more preferable to have a central bank which could conduct monetary policy and counter unfavorable cyclical developments.

Another major criticism that was made on the currency board was that the system for issuing currency under it imposed a heavy opportunity cost on the economy. Since the domestic currency on issue required 100 percent pound sterling cover, the utilization of foreign reserves to import capital for development was restricted.

In one important aspect, there is an important lesson to be learnt from the currency board arrangement. Firstly, it was cheap to administer. This was because it was a tiny organization. Secondly and perhaps more important, monetary restraint was much easier to establish under the currency board arrangement because government borrowing, the usual source of monetary expansion in most countries, was not allowed. Maintaining low inflation rates is therefore much simpler compared to modern central banking which permits government to print money for spending. Many central banks in the world, including the Bank of Zambia, which was forced to rapidly expand credit to their governments during the 1970s and the 1980’s discovered they could do little to stop inflation. That is why in the recent years many governments are moving away from borrowing from their central banks.

Social Stratification

Since independence came to Zambia, there has been an obvious gap between the rich and the poor. The elite have adopted a Western standard of living and in essence have created their own class. In both rural and urban societies, there are definite lines of wealth and poverty [62] . In the village a man is considered wealthy by having a large, healthy family, as well as his material goods. In the cities, there is greater emphasis on material wealth. The white and Asian populations have traditionally owned businesses and have done well over the years.

With the loosening of trade restraints, the gap between rich and poor has only widened. At the same time, the government is working to increase foreign investment in the country, while national priorities such as education and health care declined in importance .   Concrete blocks and tin roofs—once provided by the government for palace construction within the villages—became a symbol of wealth and prestige. If a family did well financially, they would attempt to copy this construction fashion.

In small cities where electricity is available, appliances such as refrigerators, stoves and especially televisions and video cassette recorders are an indication of wealth. In all communities, a vehicle is an obvious indicator of wealth and success. In the cities, foreign imports are frequent sights on the streets.

An individual's house is also a symbol of wealth and success. In the cities, large houses with pools and manicured gardens enclosed in a large fence can be found. In the villages, a family's homestead reflects wealth through the number of structures, particularly if those structures include granaries, which hold a family's maize harvest.

The Establishment of Central Bank

As the view grew stronger that a currency board was inappropriate, the Bank of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was established in March, 1956. It was equipped with the full powers of a conventional central Bank such as conducting monetary policy, banker to government and commercial banks, manager of foreign exchange reserves and so on. The bank was also empowered to lend to the territorial and the Federal governments up to a limit based on their expected revenues in that fiscal year [63] .

The Bank of Zambia was established to take over from the Bank of Northern Rhodesia on the 7th of August, 1964 although its Act was only passed in June, 1965. The Bank of Northern Rhodesia was itself constituted from the Lusaka branch (established in September, 1961) of the Bank of Rhodesia and Nyasaland after it broke up together with the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland on the 31st of December, 1963.

The Bank started operations with about 100 staff organized around only two departments, namely the Chief Cashier's or General Manager's department and the Secretary's department. The former was responsible to the Governor for monetary policy implementation, currency issue, banking, government securities, exchange control and foreign exchange management. The Secretary was responsible for personnel, administration, internal auditing and the Board. With time, the number of departments at the Bank started to increase. One of the earliest to be established was the Research Department in 1967. The Operations Department was created in 1976, and later, especially in the 1980s, the pace accelerated when other departments such as Personnel and Administration (1977) Exchange Control. Import and Export Control, Estate and Properties (all in 1981) were created. They were followed in 1982 by Banking and Currency, Small Scale Industries, Inspection and in 1984 by National Debt, Transport, and Government Securities.

The increase in the number of departments at the Bank partly reflected the increased demand on the functions which it had to perform, most of which centered on administering government imposed regulations such as exchange controls and import and export controls. In turn there was higher demand by the Bank on support services for these core activities. In addition, however, it is also true that the Bank, like many other organizations both inside and outside Zambia then, did not make hard distinctions between core and peripheral responsibilities and, hence, utilize resources accordingly. To give a concrete example, it was an accepted practice in Zambia that employers should find accommodation for their employees and in some cases, even furnish that accommodation. Institutions therefore acquired substantial property which required manpower and organization to manage. In some cases there were economic arguments, which were considered sound then, which led to organizational expansion.

This was an acceptable position at the time in the developing world and one of its strongest proponents among practitioners was the Reserve Bank of India. Applied to Zambia, it included the establishment of a department for Small Scale Industries and, later, a credit guarantee scheme. The expansion of the functions of the Bank saw a rise in the number of staff from 400 by 1975, to 1 226 in 1988 and to 1 400 in 1994. The Bank premises therefore had to be extended to accommodate the numbers. The new building (currently corporate head office) opened in 1975 while the Regional office in Ndola opened in 1979. Annex buildings were subsequently added to Lusaka and Ndola.

This expansion resulting from this extension of functions was unfortunately, not underpinned by a strong organizational structure. The Structure of the Bank has evolved over time more in response to staffing factors than the real needs of the Bank. One major cause for this has been the extreme rapid turnover of Governors. Since 1964, there have been ten appointments to the post (excluding the current Governor) over a period of 28 years making an average tenure of 2.8 years for each. With instability at the top, continuity and strategic planning for the future were bound to suffer.

The Changing Roles of Central Bank

The Bank of Zambia Act of 1965 and its subsequent amendments charge the institution with the usual central bank responsibilities such as being banker to government, issuer of currency, manager of foreign exchange reserves, controller of commercial banks' liquidity and with responsibilities for the formulation and implementation of monetary policy. Although maintaining price stability is referred to in the Act as one of the Bank's objectives, it was not considered with any particular emphasis in practice. This was not unique to Zambia. Many other central banks followed the received wisdom of the times regarding the possibility of a tradeoff between inflation and employment - the Phillips Curve idea which stipulates that higher levels of employment could be attained if higher inflation rate could be tolerated. The thinking at the Bank of Zambia - and at many other central banks - was that putting special emphasis on the central bank's objective of maintaining price stability was focusing the function of a central bank much too narrowly. Interpreting its position correctly the Bank of Zambia acquired an equity stake in the Development Bank of Zambia and in the Zambia National Commercial Bank. At one time, thought was even given to the possibility of establishing and running a commercial farm.

Meanwhile in the major central banks of the world, the idea that the main role of central banks should be the maintenance of price stability without which a stable macro-economic environment was not possible, was gaining ground. It was also increasingly being felt that there was little else that a central bank can do to promote economic prosperity and attempting to do so through easy money just led to higher inflation. As a result of this realization, Central Banks started to re-orientate their activities accordingly. This new view on the appropriate role for central banks is only now beginning to be accepted. In 1991, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) came to power, replacing the United National Independence Party (UNIP) which had ruled for 27 years.

The new government's priorities were the restoration of economic future growth and employment to the Zambian economy. Liberalizing the economy and thereby allow market forces a greater role in the allocation of resources was to be the main means of achieving this. Price controls were abolished, as were subsidies on all consumer items.
Macroeconomic management in Zambia has not been the same since. Although the ultimate economic objective has remained the same, namely growth and employment, it is now generally accepted that investment and subsequently growth, is unlikely to take place if the economy remains characterized by macroeconomic instability such as high inflation, shortage of foreign exchange, scarcities of commodities and so on.

Consequently, from 1992 the emphasis has been on creating a stable macroeconomic environment as a prelude to sustainable economic growth. The government's focus on price stability as a key contribution to future economic growth prospects has paused a new but welcome challenge for the Bank. Hence, for example, although it reluctantly got involved in things like providing credit to parastatal organizations; it has begun to re-orient its activities towards meeting the core objective of maintaining price stability and ensuring a sound financial system

Board of Directors

The Board of the Bank of Zambia is composed of the Governor, who is the Chairperson, and six other Directors appointed by the Minister of Finance and National Planning from among persons with professional or academic experience in business or financial matters and who are not officials or employees of the Bank. All Directors of the Board are non-executive directors. The Secretary to the Treasury is an ex-officio member of the Board and without power to vote. The Secretary to the Treasury also does not count for a quorum. The Vice Chairperson is elected by the Board from among the members of the Board. Directors of the Board are appointed for a period of three years and are eligible to be reappointed for another three years. The Board is the overall authority in which all the power of the bank are vested. It is responsible for formulation of the Bank of Zambia policy.


Since its inception the Bank of Zambia has gone through various changes in its organizational structure. Overtime, this has resulted into an organizational structure which has become more focused on the core activities of the central bank. Furthermore the Bank has shed off staff in areas where outsiders could easily be contracted to provide the same services more satisfactorily. The areas now being contracted to external bodies include: outside security, canteen services, club and maintenance. As a result of the restructuring exercise, the Bank has seen the total number of staff fall from 1,400 to well below 850. But while more such functions have been dropped, others more critical in the new liberalized environment have emerged. These new areas are mainly in the policy making arena.


Legal Tender

The Bank of Zambia is the authority by law mandated to issue Zambian Currency banknotes and coins as legal tender. This is according to section number 4[2] of the Bank of Zambia Act 1996 [64] .  Legal tender comprises of banknotes and coins issued by the Bank of Zambia for circulation in the Republic of Zambia. The Zambian currency is known as the Zambian Kwacha and Ngwee (where 100 Ngwee is equal to K1). Zambia currently has nine banknotes and five coins in circulation. These are: K50,000, K20,000, K10,000, K5,000, K1,000, K500, K100, K50, K20 banknotes K10, K5, K1, 50N and 25N coins.



The general height of the land gives Zambia a more pleasant climate than that experienced in most tropical countries. There are three seasons - cool and dry from May to August, hot and dry from September to November, warm and wet from December to April. Only in the Valleys of the Zambezi and Luangwa is there excessive heat, particularly in October and, in the wet season, a high humidity. In the warm wet season, frequent heavy showers and thunderstorms occur, followed by spells of bright sunshine. Plants grow profusely and rivers and streams fill up almost overnight.


During the cool dry season, night frosts may occur in places sheltered from the wind. The countryside dries up gradually and grass fires, fanned by high winds are a feature of this time of the year. In depressions, radiation occurs on cloudless nights. Temperatures rise high during the hot, dry season but new leaves appear on the trees before the start of the rains and new grass brightens the countryside. The main growing period of woody vegetation is between August and November .


Although Zambia lies within the tropics, much of it has a pleasant climate because of the altitude. Temperatures are highest in the valleys of the Zambezi, Luangwa, and Kafue and by the shores of Lakes Tanganyika, Mweru, and Bangweulu. There are wide seasonal variations in temperature and rainfall. October is the hottest month. The main rainy season starts in mid-November, with heavy tropical storms lasting well into April.


The northern and north-western provinces have an annual rainfall of about 125 cm (50 in), while areas in the far south have as little as 75 cm (30 in). May to mid-August is the cool season, after which temperatures rise rapidly. September is very dry. Daytime temperatures may range from 23° to 31° C (73–88° F ), dropping at night to as low as 5° C (41° F ) in June and July. Lusaka, at 1,250 m (4,100 ft), has an average minimum of 9° C (48° F ) and an average maximum of 23° C (73° F ) in July, with averages of 17° C (63° F ) and 26° C (79°  F)



While the rainfall pattern over the whole country is similar - between November and March, the amount of rain varies considerably. The climate is affected most by the movement of the inter-tropical convergence zone, which is the meeting place of the sub-tropical high-pressure areas of the northern and southern hemispheres. Over the sea, this zone approximates to the equator, and when the sun is overhead at the equator, heavy rains may fall in the equatorial regions of Africa. The zone moves southward with the apparent movement of the sun in the southern summer and brings rain to the greater part of Zambia.


In the north of the country rainfall is 1250mm/ (50 inches) or more a year, decreasing southwards to Lusaka where it is about 750mm/ 30 inches annually. South of Lusaka rainfall is dictated more by the east and Southeast trade winds, which have lost much of their humidity by the time they have reached so far inland. Rainfall in this area is between 500 and 75omm / 20 and 30 inches. In exceptional years the influence of the inter-tropical zone is felt much farther to the south, resulting in excessive rain in the Southern Province and partial drought in the north. Except for very rare falls in August, rainfall is confined to the wet season, which sometimes starts as early as October and finishes as early as March. At the height of the wet season, it rains on seven or eight days out of ten.


Average temperatures are moderated by the height of the plateau. Maxima vary from 15oC to 27o C in the cool season with morning and evening temperatures as low as 6oC to 10oC and occasional frost on calm nights in valleys and hollows, which are sheltered from the wind. In the cool season the prevailing wind, dry south easterlies come from the southern hemisphere belt of high pressure. Invasions of cold air from the southeast bring cloudy to overcast conditions. During the hot season, maximum temperatures may range from 27o C to 35o C.


It can be seen that annual temperature variation is greatest at Livingstone, the most southerly town, and the smallest at Mbala, the town nearest the equator. Zambia’s vegetation is of the savanna type and over half the country is covered by trees, varying from the more open conditions in the drier south to tall dense woodlands in the north and north-west. These woodlands contain only hardwoods. The trees are bare for a brief period only and the spring leaves appear before the start of the rains. Grass fires spread rapidly in the dry season but new blades of grass soon push through the blackened earth. Zambia’s climate makes possible the cultivation of a wide range of crops; maize, tobacco, cotton, rice, wheat and groundnuts. All kinds of vegetables can be grown, together with citrus fruit, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, avocados and even grapes. Lichis are also a high potential export crop. Tea and coffee are also grown successfully in fact the coffee produced is of a very high quality. Sugar cane is grown both by villagers and commercially.


Electricity is relatively cheap due to the abundance of hydroelectric power sources as well as reasonably large coal reserves. Most of the electricity is supplied from major hydropower stations located in the Kafue Gorge, Lake Kariba north bank and the Victoria Falls as well as from the mini-hydro power stations in Lusiwashi, Musonda Falls, Chishimba Falls and Luzua. The domestic electricity supply is 240 volt, 50-hertz alternating current, with 415-volt single and three-phase supply available for industrial use.


Natural Resources

Apart from its abundant wildlife, rivers, and lakes, Zambia holds 6% of the world’s copper reserves and is the fourth largest copper producing nation in the world. Zambia is internationally recognised as a major producer of emeralds, aquamarines, amethyst and tourmalines and the quality of the gems are highly competitive with world markets. Water is provided principally by the civic authorities in all cities and towns. Many residential properties are served by borehole systems.



Zambia's education is generally regarded as a basic human right and is vital to the development of a nation. Education empowers people, enabling them to be proactive, to control their lives and broaden economic and social opportunities. A long-standing educational goal in Zambia has been that every child who enters Grade 1 should be able to complete Grade 9. This aspiration goes back to the time of the struggle for independence when the nationalist movement established the goal that every Zambian should be able to complete at least a junior secondary education. In later years, this crystallized as ten years of compulsory schooling for every child, but the 1977 Educational Reforms reduced this to nine years. The structure proposed in 1977 was that eventually every primary school would extend its offerings up to Grade 9, so that there would be a continuous programme from Grade 1 to Grade 9, with the curriculum organized on the basis of six years of primary and three years of junior secondary education. The education to be provided during these nine years was referred to in the 1977 and subsequent documents as "basic education".


The rationale for proposing this extended period of education was twofold. Basic education was to provide general education in basic subjects, skills training and productive work. Thereby, it was seen as enabling pupils to achieve a standard of functional education, which would equip them to live productively in society, and to possess occupational competence in a skill or group of skills. In other words, its aim was to provide general education, including some practical skills and a sound preparation for further education (full-time or part-time). Secondly, it was seen that nine years of compulsory education would allow pupils to grow two years older before they would have to fend for themselves in the world of work, if they did not continue with full-time education or training. It was believed that on completion of nine years of schooling the learner would be more mature when facing career or educational choices, and would base these on a fuller realization and understanding of his or her abilities, talents and interests.


It was recognized in 1977 and subsequently that the achievement of nine years of full-time education for all would take a long time. Financial constraints did not allow the government to proceed vigorously with the provision of additional facilities to make this goal a reality. Ongoing efforts to expand secondary provision brought about some increase in the number proceeding from Grade 7 to Grade 8, but because of the rapid growth in Grade 7 enrollments, the numbers leaving the school system on completion of Grade 7 increased very rapidly.


This situation prompted communities to adapt or provide facilities in primary schools for the commencement of Grade 8 and Grade 9 classes. Thus began the "basic schools movement" which has gathered momentum over the years. The number of basic schools rose from 51 in 1986 to 399 in 1994, and their number continues to grow. Their contribution to educational provision can be gauged from the fact that they now account for more than half the Grade 8 entry. In two respects, this popular movement has set the stage for the future development of education in Zambia: it sets down a major parameter for the structure of the education system, and it points to the all-important role of the community in educational provision.



Primary Education

The Zambian education system has a 7-5-4 structure, namely 7 years at primary school, 2 and 3 years at junior and higher secondary school respectively, and 4 years at university for undergraduate degrees. While the intention is that school education should be mandatory for all, sadly many poorer children drop out along the way. Important steps were taken to make the primary education available to all the children between three to ten years. At present, there are almost 4,000 government schools and basic schools opened up in Zambia, where large numbers of students are being enrolled. Today even the girl child is not lagging behind in education. Literacy rate among the girl students are also going up in Zambia. English along with the native languages are being taught in the schools. Even the rural schools have started teaching the students English and the native languages.


Middle Education

Those who elect to study on at higher secondary school must first write a transitional selection examination. Thereafter, they may spend 4 years in an academic environment, where they hope to reach the standard required for their further university education. The first 2 years of secondary school are spent at middle schools. Many students go off to work after this, because the prevailing culture is that they have completed a decent education. The valid age to get entry in secondary level is fourteen years. Sometimes students are enrolled on the basis of quota systems.


Higher Zambia Education

Educational opportunities beyond high school are rather limited in Zambia. There are few schools offering higher education and most Zambians cannot afford the fees . The University of Zambia is the primary institution of higher learning. Several teacher-training colleges offer two-year programmes beyond high school, and there are several Christian schools, which offer seminary-level training.


Higher education is also available to the people of Zambia, where the entrance age is twenty to twenty four years. Copper-belt University and Azzalia University are the two popular University college of Zambia. Over the years, important and meaningful expansion has taken place in the educational sector of Zambia. However, the majority of the Zambia population are very poor and cannot afford the education for their children. Thus, USAID is an US based financial agency that is working hard to improve the condition of Zambia education. 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. One of the most famous private schools is the Roman Catholic run St Mary's Seminary located in Eastern Province . Private schools operate under either the British or American way of schooling. The education system in Zambia has suffered a decline over the past two decades as a result of a drop in national revenue, linked to the low copper prices and substantial increase in fuel costs.


Despite this set, back the Zambian government has made serious effort to recover and reform the education sector. The Zambian government is committed to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA) objectives. The Ministry of Education is supportive of free primary education that has resulted in a massive increase in enrolment. The Government has recognized in the newly created Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) the role of education in poverty reduction and the need for early childhood education. In addition, the Ministry of Education is fully aware of the needs of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). Though a great deal needs to be done for orphaned children, there is a sound platform to work from.


The HIV/AIDS pandemic remains one of the most formidable challenges within the country. Unfortunately, there remains a lack of HIV/AIDS education and support services for students and teachers. Teachers are just beginning to come forward for HIV/AIDS counselling and testing. Decentralization of the education sector has slowly progressed since 1990. Education Boards for basic schools, high schools and teacher-training institutions have been established. These boards, however, do not yet have the full authority to be effective. Zambia despite its reforms in education is still not adequately investing in education. The National Development Plans targets a 4% of the GDP but depends on external sources to reach this target. USAID's objective is to improve the quality of education by closely collaborating with the Ministry of Education to bring about positive reforms. USAID has been supporting the Ministry of Education for nine years. During this period, more USAID has provided more than 70 million dollars for the support of education. Currently, USAID is funding four (4) separate education initiatives in Zambia: Education Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP2); Quality Education Services through Technology (QUESTT); Community Health and Nutrition, Gender and Education support (CHANGES2); and the Textbook and Learning Materials Project (TLMP).


All USAID's education programs are designed to complement and contribute to enhancing the quality of education. USAID supported EQUIP2 program is embedded in the MOE headquarters and is considered part of the MOE structure. This program assists the MOE with collecting information on the schools, supports implementation of the annual school census and preparation of the Education Statistical Bulletin, and contributes to national policy development, institutional management and organization of an information technology network. The EQUIP2 program also implements a unique HIV/AIDS workplace service for teachers and their families. The overall purpose of the workplace program is to encourage MOE personnel to join counseling and take advantage of HIV testing opportunities. In addition, the EQUIP2 program is assisting the MOE design and monitor regular classroom based student assessment techniques and is introducing a global learning portal that will allow teachers and administrators to access a wide range of new topics through the internet.


USAID also supports The Quality Education Services through Technology (QUESTT) Program. The core strategy of the QUESTT is to continue to expand basic education through Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI).The radio program learning at Taonga Market is created for children that are not in a conventional schools. The children sing and complete class lessons in consent with the teacher on the radio. The Learning at Taonga Market radio program reaches more than 80,000 children. The QUESTT program also assists the Department of Open and Distance Education (DODE) in the development of radio programs and materials for grades 1-9 ensuring a full cycle of basic education is available to the children. QUESTT also uses radio instruction and other technologies to support the pre-service and in-service teacher training in order to ensure the quality of teaching.


The CHANGES2 program designed to support schools directly is also funded by USAID and is an expansion and enhancement of the successful CHANGES program, implemented from 2001 - 2005. The current program is strengthening basic education teachers' professional skills, with a special focus on HIV/AIDS prevention and mitigation. In addition, CHANGES2 supports the Ministry of Education's school health and nutrition activities, and empowers students, teachers and community members to improve education, gender equity and health in schools and communities. CHANGES2 works in four provinces and in 400 schools per year and trains at least 800 teachers annually. .In addition CHANGES2, provides small grants for schools to begin income-generating activities, produces learning materials on HIV/AIDS, school health and nutrition, to support effective teaching in schools and communities. The CHANGES2 program provides 4,000 scholarships a year to orphans and vulnerable children in secondary school to allow them to continue their studies. CHANGES2 also works in partnership with the Ministry of Education to improve curriculum and teaching methods in the Teacher Education colleges. Finally, USAID is supporting through Mississippi Consortium for International Development the production of 600,000 new maths books for students in grades four and five.


Vocational Education

The Zambian government regards the development of the nation’s skill base as fundamental to its economic growth. With this in mind, the technical education, vocational and entrepreneurship, training program is being redeveloped, to realize the full potential of the nation's people.


Tertiary Education

There are just 5 universities in the whole of Zambia, namely the Copper belt University in Kitwe, the Zambia Adventist University in Monze, the Northwest University in Ndola, and the Cavendish University and the University of Zambia in Lusaka. The last-mentioned is the oldest having been established in 1964, and is illustrated here. It has schools of agricultural sciences, education, engineering, humanities & social sciences, law, mines, medicine, natural sciences, and veterinary medicine. English is the official language of instruction in schools from preschool to tertiary education.


Universal primary education

The Government of Zambia has established access and quality of education [1] , especially for girls, as a national priority, even in hard economic times. Efforts have ranged from far-reaching policy reform to expanded access to education [66] . Zambia is addressing poor access to education through MDG 2. In 2002, the Ministry of Education enacted the Free Basic Education policy, which has subsequently led Zambia to dedicate substantially more domestic resources to education. From 2006 to 2010, funding to the education sector steadily increased from 2.9% to 3.5% of GDP. Zambia improved school infrastructure, including water, and sanitation. Teacher training programs have increased the teacher supply to match the expansion of school enrollment. The number of teachers increased from 50,123 (27,559 males and 22,564 females) in 2002 to 77,362 (39,733 males and 37,629 females) in 2009.

Student enrolment has increased from 2.5 million students in 2005 to 3.3 million in 2009. Furthermore, the participation of girls increased from 1.4 million in 2005 to 1.65 million in 2009. The Gender Parity Index (GPI) improved from 0.95% to 0.99%. Over one third of the girls who became pregnant returned to school between 2002 and 2009. Over 200,000 students in basic schools were reached with improved water and sanitation. The policy offers diverse approaches to bring children to education. Women are particularly supported by the policy through bursaries or scholarships and by encouraging them to return to school after pregnancy. Radio campaigns are encouraging girls and children from low socio-economic status to go into schools.

The policy also created opportunities for communities to initiate and manage local schools for their children; the number of community schools grew from less than 200 in 1996 to over 3,000 in 2009. Monica Hangwinto is one happy 11-year-old because, since last year, she can attend school here in Shimballa village, just a 20-minute walk from home. Before the school was built in 2009, she could not get an education. The nearest classroom was a two hour walk away. Monica could not easily trek that far, and her parents were afraid something might happen to her on her way, as has been the case with other playmates who were harassed, assaulted, or killed in traffic accidents.



The Ministry of Education in 2002 enacted the free basic education policy (Grades 1-7). In 2007, the Ministry implemented the Every Child to School policy, which concentrated on infrastructure development and led to the building of 4,627 new classrooms. This initiative builds on the 1996 national education policy. In 2008, the Education for All - Fast Track Initiative (EFA FTI) endorsed Zambia’s national education strategy. FTI was an important factor in the prioritisation of education in national policies, supporting the Zambian Government with a US$60 million allocation to the sector budget. Partnerships with non-governmental organizations and local communities have also been key. Even at a time of economic difficulty, The Government of Zambia has maintained its focus on improving access, and investing in education. The focus now is moving to driving up quality standards.


Increasing access to quality basic education for all children   

Education is not only a human right, but it is also an essential tool for individuals to break the poverty cycle and to building the human capital of nations.  Zambia is one of the poorest countries in the world and is home to 6 million children under the age of 18 of which 4 million children are of the primary school age (7-14). Though Zambia made commendable progress in increasing access and gender parity, more than a quarter million children are out of school and 47% of those enrolled in school do not complete the primary cycle.

The current UNICEF country programme (2011-2015) focuses on capacity and systems strengthening for improvement of quality of education, equity in participation and progression from pre-primary to primary and lower secondary education, particularly for girls, rural children, and other excluded groups.   HIV prevention and behavioural change are promoted through life skills programme for children who are in school and out of school.   The programme has three results areas:

    1. Early Childhood Care and Development Education (ECCDE)
    2. Quality Basic Education
    3. HIV and AIDS and Life Skills Education


Early Childhood Care and Development Education (ECCDE)

UNICEF is providing support to help the GRZ promote Early Childhood Care and Development Education (ECCDE) for children aged six and below. Children who participate in early childhood education are more likely to enrol and remain in primary school (and achieve better results) than those who cannot access comprehensive early childhood care.  UNICEF supports establishment of child-friendly early learning centres, developing national curriculum and learning and development standards, and training of teachers and care givers. More than 40 centres are providing school readiness instruction to 7,000 children in 5 districts. ECCDE centres are also entry points for monitoring child health and nutrition.


Quality Basic Education

Since the introduction of the free basic education policy in 2002, enrolment in basic education levels has steadily increased. However, children from poor households, rural children and girls are the last to enrol in school and the first to drop out, and are significantly underrepresented in the upper grades of basic education as well as the secondary level. UNICEF supports the Ministry of Education, civil society, and communities to ensure that children and adolescents are able to develop, learn and participate in a protective, inclusive and child-friendly enabling environments. At the national level, support include training of teachers and school administrators on inclusive education, interactive teaching and other classroom subjects; technical assistance for curriculum and student assessment reviews; and advocacy for policy and systemic reforms.

At sub-national level, community schools that serve rural and marginalized children are the priority for UNICEF support: 10,000 children are learning in newly constructed child-friendly 60 classrooms with clean water and gender sensitive sanitation facilities and more than 20,000 pupils have received adequate teaching learning materials. 306 community School teachers (146 male, 160 female) have benefited from professional training on teaching skills.

HIV/AIDS and Life Skills Education

As part of UNICEF’s strategy to fight HIV and AIDS among youth, the programme includes Life Skills Education as a methodology assisting learners to have comprehensive knowledge on HIV prevention and risk reduction skills. At national level, UNICEF assisted the Ministry of Education in the development of Life Skills materials for grades 1 to 9, development and implementation of HIV workplace policy and capacity development of teachers in life skills provision. As of 2009, 60% of the basic schools were providing life skills to learners.

Through NGOs UNICEF supports interventions that include life-skills through sports and peer to peer counselling which reaches over 500, 000 children in and out of school with Life skills and HIV prevention messages in 6 provinces [67]

  $211 million for free education up to grade 12

Government through the  ministry  of education, science, technology,  vocational  training and early education has signed a mutual accountability framework with its cooperating partners for the third national implementation framework (NIF III) of the education sector under the sixth national development plan for 2011-2015. A total of 211.25 million United States dollars has been committed for the period of the third national implementation framework up to 2015. The committed resources will be critical in programmes such as the implementation of the free education policy up to grade 12, upgrading of community schools into fully fledged primary schools as well as promoting gender equality and equity.


Unless attention is paid towards improving literacy and numeracy levels particularly for the early graders, performance among children will forever remain at the tail end in the SADC region. Zambia is resolute in its quest to attain the education for all and millennium development goals by 2015 and the government has prioritized education as one of the key sectors for increased investment during the period of the sixth national development plan (SNDP) and beyond. No nation can aspire to substantive economic and social progress without investing in quality education. Strengthening and building capacity in the educational planning, use of accurate and timely data for evidence based decision and policy making is vital for effective implementation of the third national implementation framework [1] .


Education policy framework

Zambia has ratified most international treaties that protect the right to education. Although the 1991 Constitution of the Republic of Zambia does not protect the right to education, it is under review, and the right to education is expected to be included in the revised constitution. Because the current constitution does not include the right to education, however, there are currently few redress mechanisms for the right to education in Zambia. Zambia’s main legislation on education is the Education Act 2011, which identifies each person’s rights to early childhood education, basic education and high school education. Since 2006, government education policies have focused on access, but there is a recent shift towards improving quality of education in addition to addressing accessibility issues.


According to  World Bank data public expenditure on education in Zambia equalled 2.8% of GDP and 14.8% of total government expenditure in 2004, but had decreased to 1.3% of GDP by 2008. This figure is considerably lower than neighbouring countries. In Angola, public expenditure on education in 2008 equalled 6.4% of GDP and 22.4% of total government expenditure. In Tanzania, public expenditure on education in 2008 equalled 6.8% of GDP and 27.5% of total government expenditure. Moreover, the government is not upholding its policy commitments on education expenditure.

Advocacy opportunities

  1. The key immediate advocacy opportunity is to influence the national constitution revision process and to focus on the implementation of the right to education, following the adoption of the new constitution, including changes to laws, policies and redress mechanisms to support the right to education contained within the constitution.
  2. The  1996 Educating Our Future  policy, which still orientates the education efforts of the governments should also be revised and updated. It should in particular clarify the commitments regarding early child care and development education, which are vague and limited.
  3. The budget allocated to education is below government commitments and international standards in comparable countries. As an immediate step, government should be pressured to maintain their budget commitments and prioritise education in budget decision-making processes, spending the maximum available resources towards education.
  4. Although education is theoretically free up to grade 7, indirect fees such as fees for PTA funds, are still used, and should be abolished. In addition, to address the high drop-out rates after grade 7, advocacy could be directed towards also eliminating fees at higher grades. The recently elected government has committed to abolish examination fees up to grade 9, and some other political parties even promised abolishing fees up to grade 12; these promises should be translated into laws and policies.
  5. Minimum ages legislation (for marriage, employment, and criminal responsibility) in Zambia is far from being coherent with the right to education (see generally  RTE’s report  on the topic). If there have been recent progress, in particular in the draft constitution which recognises 18 as a minimum age for marriage, this should be a priority area for reform [1] .


I. International Obligations

The major UN conventions (listed below) each have provisions relevant to education, non-discrimination or access to justice, and they can all be signed up to by states, thereby obliging these to respect, protect and fulfil human rights. When States ratify international treaties, they legally commit to respect its provisions, and the concrete situation in the country can therefore be measure against the standards set in the treaty. The ratification of treaties further indicates that the right to education does not come out of a vacuum, but corresponds to international standards that many States have committed to enforce. It is sometimes possible to bring complaints before national courts if these treaties are not respected by States. Some conventions, either in their core text or in optional protocols, also specify routes of individual complaints to the different committees of independent experts [68] .





International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights  (ICESCR)

10 Apr 1984

Optional Protocol to the ICESCR

Not signed

Convention on the Rights of the Child  (CRC)

6 Dec 1991

Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure

Not signed

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

21 Jun 1985

Optional Protocol to the CEDAW

Not ratified

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

10 Apr 1984

Optional Protocol to the ICCPR

10 Apr 1984

International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial

4 Feb 1972

Discrimination (CERD)

 4 Feb 1972

ILO C87 Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise

02 Sep 1996



ILO C98 Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention

02 Sep 1996

ILO C111 Convention concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation

23 Oct 1979

ILO C138 Minimum Age Convention

09 Feb 1976

ILO C182 Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention

10 Dec 2001

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights

10 Jan 1984

Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the

Not ratified

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

02 Dec 2008

  Establishment of an African Court on Human and Peoples' Rights

 10 Jan 1984

UNESCO Convention Against Discrimination in Education

Not signed



National laws and policies are important because they define concretely the framework of rights and obligations for actors in the country. The Constitution is the highest legislative norm; it sets out general principles to which all other national laws and policies have to adhere. It is usually the text where human rights, including the right to education, are or should be defined. If a policy or law does not respect the Constitution, it can usually be challenged before courts.


The list of laws and policies presented below is not exhaustive; it gives an indication of the relevant existing policies and their relation with the right to education. It can constitute a basis for further research, and it should be considered critically together with the observations made by NGOs and international organisations.



The Constitution includes human rights guarantees, but not the right to education.


Key provisions

1.1     Part IX - Directive principles of state policy and the duties of a citizen

 Art.112 - Directive principles of state policy

  (e) The State shall endeavour to provide equal and adequate educational opportunities in all   fields and at all levels for all.


1.2   Child Rights

Art.24 - Protection of young persons from exploitation

No young person shall be employed and shall in no case be caused or permitted to engage in any occupation or employment which would prejudice his health or education (…).


1.3   Religion

Part III - Protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual

Art.19 - Protection of freedom of conscience

(1) Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of conscience, and for the purposes of this section the said freedom includes (…) freedom, either alone or in community with others, and both in public and in private, to manifest and propagate his religion or belief in (…) teaching, (…).

(2) Except with his own consent (…), no person attending any place of education (…) shall be required to receive religious instruction (…) if that instruction (…) relates to a religion other than his own.

(3) No religious community or denomination shall be prevented from providing religious instruction for persons of that community or denomination or from establishing and maintaining institutions to provide social services for such persons.


Fee or for free education: 

Zambia was one of the governments which formally acknowledged their inability to ensure free primary education when it ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights in 1984. It stated that “the financial implications are such that full application cannot be guaranteed at this stage”. In 1999 the government self-critically stated that ‘it cannot meet all the expectations in the area of education. Private and community schools provide basic education outside the formal system and it is encouraged as an alternative avenue”. It affirmed in 2002 that “there is no legislation that guarantees the right to education”.


In the early 1990s, families financed just under a half (44%) of the cost of primaryschooling but by the endof the decade, their financial contribution increased to twice as much as the government's. Direct charges increased from k20 in 1991 to k1,000 in 1994 with the annual cost of keeping one child in primary schools estimated at $24. Widespread impoverishment reduced the parental ability to pay for the schooling of their children but, nevertheless, a child could be excluded from school for the failure to pay fees even if the parents are unable to pay then. The background was that too many parents were still unable to finance the education of their children.

A commitment to seven years of free basic education was announced in February 2002 by the president of Zambia. This included the abolition of school fees and obligatory school uniforms. This commitment was repeated in the PRSP one month later. The government recalled the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, where by elementary education should be free and compulsory and highlighted the high cost as the principal obstacle to universalizing education.

The commitment to free education was made for primary school alone while secondary while secondary schools were to be funded 80% by user fees.


Although the government formally declared that primary education should be free as of 2002, this pledge has not been translated into reality. Human Rights watch found in 2005 that schools continue to charge fees.

Some of the fees were abolished but others were merely re-named as Venkatesh Seshamani. Although the government abolished user fees, this did not effectively reduce the financial burden of the parents since practically all schools simply raised the PTA charges to cover the lost fees. The conditions Zambia had to meet to reach the completion point and, thus, attain debt relief pitted the ministries of finance and education against each other. Reduced budgetary allocations to education were needed to qualify for debt relief and educational retrogression continued.


One of the first necessary steps is an increase in teachers’ salaries. In 1999, the 

World Bank found that “at starting salary of about $660 annually teachers are paid almost 25% below the CSO (Central Statistical Office) estimate of poverty

line for a household with two adults and four children”. In 2004, the monthly cost of living on the basis of a minimal bread- basket was calculated at $160 while 

average teachers’ salaries were $130 [1] .


Article 11 of the  1991 Constitution of the Republic of Zambia  identifies that “every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual”. Part III of the Constitution expands on these fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, which include protection from discrimination (article 23) and the protection of young people from exploitation (article 24). While its preamble specifically “pledg[es] to every citizen the right to education”, no provision in the constitution specifically protects the right to education. Children’s rights (beyond the right of children of a Zambian citizen to citizenship, and protection from exploitation) are not specifically identified in the constitution.

A new constitution is currently under review, and early drafts show that human rights, including the right to education, are likely to be incorporated into the document.



The  First Draft Constitution of the Republic of Zambia  incorporates a Bill of Rights. This includes

a)     the right of persons to education (article 62),

b)     the right of children to free basic education (article 55),

c)      the right to non- discrimination (article 27),

d)     the right of women and men to equal treatment (article 51),

e)      youth access quality and relevant education and training (article 56),

f)      and the right of persons with disabilities to education (article 58) .


However, the draft constitution has a number of shortcomings that should be addressed. In particular, it does not clearly spell out the State’s obligation under international law to fulfil human rights to the maximum of its available resources and its immediate obligation to fulfil certain elements of the right to education such as the immediate obligation to provide free basic education [69] .


Key provisions of the draft constitution protecting children’s rights

Part IV: Bill of Rights

Article 55: Children

(1)It is the duty of parents and the State to nurture, protect and educate children.

(2)All children, whether born in or outside wedlock, are equal before the law and have equal rights. […]

(5)Every child has a right – […]

(c) to free basic education;

(d) to be protected from discrimination, neglect, abuse and harmful cultural rites and practices, including female genital mutilation and body mutilation, and to be protected from marriage before attaining the age of eighteen years;

(e) To be protected from any work that is exploitative or likely to be hazardous or adverse to the child’s welfare; […]

(g) not to be subjected to corporal punishment or any other form of violence, or cruel and inhuman treatment, in the home, school and any institution responsible for the care of children; […]

(k) To a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development; […]

(q) to survival and development

(6)Children with special needs, orphans, a child whose parent is in prison, children with disability, refugee children and homeless children or children living or who spend time, on the streets, are entitled to the special protection of the State and society.


Article 62: Economic and social rights

(1)A person has the right to – […]

(f) Education



The education system in Zambia is organised as follow: 9 years of basic education, 3 years of high school and 4 years of higher education (based on competitiveness).


4.1   BUDGET

i.       The  Poverty Reduction Strategy Report (PRSP) (2007)  identifies that the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) 2006-2010 target in 2007 was to increase government funding to the education sector to 4.4% of GDP and to raise the education and skills development budget to at least 22.4% of the national budget by 2010.

ii. The  Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP)  2011-2015   identifies education and skills development is a strategic focus of the SNDP, and a focus of discretionary expenditure.



                      i.          Educating Our Future ” (1996) is the third major education policy in Zambia. It guides the current action of the Ministry of Education. This policy focuses on equitable access to quality education at all levels. Actual implementation of the policy has, since 2003 been based on various education sector Strategic Plans.

                    ii.          The  Education Act 2011  identifies that every person has a right to early childhood education, basic education and high school education (s14), and that every child has the right to free basic education (s15). The act prohibits discrimination by education institutions (s19) and ensures equal access to all learners, including poor and vulnerable children (section 22).

                  iii.          The  Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP)  2011-2015  (January 2011)  is the sixth medium term plan that outline strategies for development, including education and skills development. The SNDP aims to improve the quality of education and skills development outlining the necessary policies and reforms, as well as objectives, strategies and programmes for education and skills development.

                   iv.          The Education and Skills chapter of Zambia’s  Fifth National Development Plan  2006-2010  (2007) which was implemented though the  Education Sector National Implementation Framework  focuses on improving the quality of education and training within and outside the public education and training system. It also introduces measures that aim to improve access to education for vulnerable children, increase the retention and completion rates of girls, and address the adult literacy rate of 55.3%.

                     v.          The National Child Policy (2006) constitutes core guidelines for improving the welfare and quality of life of children as well as for protecting their survival and developmental rights. It aims at reducing moderate to severe malnutrition in children, and expanding early childhood care [1] .



The PF policy proposals for education are set out under three main areas:

Early education

It intends to "provide and facilitate early childhood education centres and teachers in all local government wards in Zambia". There are also promises to equip teachers with training at diploma and degree levels in early childhood education [70] .


Primary and secondary

The PF will re-introduce “free and compulsory education for all (that is from grade one to grade twelve)”, accompanied by a new commitment to a twin track approach to education with students having the choice to pursue an “academic route” or “technical” path. This is new and seeks to respond to concerns that the current approach is too focused on getting a job rather than entrepreneurship or other innovative practices. Perhaps the most eye catching proposals relate to provisions to look after the teachers in rural areas. There are promises of increasing rural hardship allowance, providing new housing and government guaranteed mortgages or loans.


Tertiary education

PF are planning to increase the number of public universities by converting existing colleges into public universities. The focus is therefore on a public funded higher education system. There’s also a proposal to introduce a new bursary scheme for tertiary education for all pupils who qualify to higher learning institutions. The beneficiaries would either repay the money or “work off” the benefit they have received. Finally, PF will create a new independent regulatory body to register and enforce education standards in public and private universities. The last two proposals are similar to plans already being taken forward by the MMD administration and therefore some might contend that it is unclear what PF proposals add to the table [1]



In John Banda v The People HPA/6/1998, Zambia’s High Court ruled in 1999 that corporal punishment as a sentence for crime is unconstitutional as it contradicts article 15 of the constitution, which prohibits torture and inhuman or degrading punishment. The lessons of this ruling have been incorporated into the Education Act 2011  which prohibits corporal punishment or degrading or inhuman treatment (s28).


The recommendations and observations made by national or international bodies provide a critical view of the laws and policies in a country, and can constitute a useful tool to identify the gaps related to the right to education. They also give arguments for national advocacy, and can be useful forum to mobilise people and drive change on the right to education.

Recommendations are often made by NGOs in the context of the reporting to UN bodies. They give the point of view of civil society and affected people. At the national level, independent monitoring bodies, such as national human rights institutions, can also make recommendations on human rights, normally giving a neutral domestic perspective on the state of human rights in a country. The performance of States to respect their obligations is also reviewed by other States through Universal Periodic Review (UPR), which is a peer review mechanism taking place at the Human Rights Council. The recommendations made in this context, are often rather general, but carry a significant political weight. The analysis made by UN human rights bodies related to treaties which States have signed up to provide more specific recommendations, and constitute one of the most authoritative sources of critical analysis on human rights in a country. Other international mechanisms, such as UN Special Rapporteurs and UN Agencies (including UNICEF, the World Bank, etc.) can be another useful source of information.



In their submission to the UN Human Rights Council for the UPR in 2008, NGOs working in Zambia reported that the government had mainstreamed human rights and children’s rights education into the high school civic education curriculum. The World Organisation Against Torture expressed concern that although it is unlawful, corporal punishment and other forms of humiliating and degrading punishment are still widely practiced against children in Zambia as a means of discipline in education, and indicated a need for raising public awareness for nonviolent forms of discipline. Franciscans International and Edmund Rice International (FI-ERI) highlighted that rapid privatisation of social services (including education) between 1997 and 2000 in the Copper belt region of northern Zambia has deepened poverty and has affected social services, including education.

FI-ERI indicated that while school enrolment has increased in Zambia, fewer children complete their primary education; in 2005, 93% of girls and 91% of boys were enrolled in primary school, but only 83% of children completed primary school. FI-ERI also stated that the government needs to contribute to the running costs of community schools, in line with its Educating Our Future document, as these schools currently rely on private donor funding. Other concerns expressed by NGOs elsewhere includes the fact that although the government has committed to early childhood education, its involvement remains limited it leaves it to private players, NGO’s and local councils to provide early childhood care and education [71] .


Though government spells out the education system of 9, 3, 4, in the policy, this is almost an attainable considering that there hasn’t been steady improvement of resources. E.g. in Nakonde (and the picture is the same for many other rural parts of Zambia), there are only 3 institutions which go up to grade 12 against over 60 basic schools which becomes systematically limiting to learners completion of school.



UN universal periodic review recommendations

The UN agencies on the human rights situation in Zambia recommended as follows

      i.          Increase resources for education to help children to go to school, including secondary school

    ii.          Introduce human rights into the school curricula

  iii.          Provide children with a safe school environment by, inter alia, taking all necessary steps to prevent abuse and exploitation of children by school personnel, taking effective disciplinary measures against school personnel who have committed those offences and encouraging the reporting of these incidences to the competent authorities, notably through child-sensitive structures for complaints


Children with disabilities

      i.          Establish a comprehensive policy for children with disabilities

    ii.          Establish special education programmes to facilitate the inclusion of children with disabilities into the regular education system

  iii.          Seek technical cooperation to train professional staff to work with children with disabilities

   iv.          Increase resources for special education and vocational programmes for children with disabilities, and to support families of children with disabilities



The analysis of the human rights situation in Zambia made by UN agencies, including the right to education, can be found in the  Compilation of UN information  prepared for the UPR. The  OHCHR office in Zambia  gathers information regarding human rights in Zambia and the  UN field office  gathers additional UN documents.

The  2011-2015  United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF)  highlights that basic education completion is low (while completion rates for grades 1-7 are high at 94.7%, completion rates for grades 8-9 are low at 51.2%). Other factors that limit girls’ progression in education at secondary and tertiary levels include early marriage/early pregnancy, low appreciation for girls’ education, gender-based violence, inadequate sanitation facilities in schools and the burden of care caused by the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Quality of primary education also needs improvement.


The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepulveda Carmona, identified the impact of discrimination on access to education in Zambia when on a mission to Zambia in August 2009  ( A/HRC/14/31/Add.1 ) . She noted that discrimination in Zambia is pervasive, and limits women’s opportunities to access education. As a result of discrimination, women are more likely to be unemployed, are less literate and are underrepresented in political and decision-making activities. Social discrimination impedes refugees’ and asylum seekers’ access to the education system, making them vulnerable to extreme poverty.



English is the official language as the country was once an English colony (1924–1964). While many people speak English, in rural areas tribal languages are spoken, in addition to a few other vernacular languages. Each of the seventy-five tribes living in the country has its own dialects and language. The main vernacular languages are Bemba, Lozi, Luanda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, and Tumbuka.


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. Others are Lozi, Kaonde, Tonga, Lunda and Luvale, which feature on the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC)'s local languages section. The total number of languages spoken in Zambia is 73.


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 Copper belt; Nyanja is dominantly spoken in Lusaka and Eastern Zambia. English is used in official communications and is the chosen language at home among – now common – intertribal families. If one does visit Zambia it becomes evident that language continuously evolves and has led to  Zambian slang  which can be heard in daily life throughout Lusaka and other major cities. Intentions of introducing other languages, like Portuguese, into the school curriculum have been discussed by the government. [1]  French is commonly studied in private schools, while some secondary schools have it as an optional subject. A German course has been introduced at the University of Zambia (UNZA) [72] .


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. [52]  Some analysts describe the programmes' coverage as patchy and transitory and not especially coherent or logical [73] .

Public works, such as PUSH, and  cash transfers  are the main instruments used to protect consumption among low-capacity households by providing

                         i.         Seasonal safety nets to address cyclical poverty and vulnerability at times of need by offering employment and

                       ii.         Community assets that is 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 of 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. [6]  A balance between protection, prevention and promotion, however can only be achieved through more and consistent resources. Further improvements might also include

a)     improved implementation of existing programmes; and

b)     Better co-ordination between different implementers and programmes.

Social protection for LGBT is non-existent in Zambia and any expression thereof is illegal.



Zambia has recently articulated an ambitious national health program designed to meeting health-related MDGs. Public expectations are high and Zambia continues to receive significant resources from global and bilateral donors to support its health agenda [74] . Although the lack of adequate resources presents the most important constraint, the efficiency with which available resources are being utilised is another challenge that cannot be overlooked. Inefficiency in producing health care undermines the service coverage potential of the health system. This paper estimates the technical efficiency of a sample of hospitals in Zambia.

Zambia's health system is poised for a major challenge of executing an ambitious health programme designed towards improving health service delivery and meeting its health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2006, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced an ambitious national plan to scale-up a range of interventions for fighting the Zambia's leading health problems. Public expectations are high and Zambia continues to receive significant resources from various donors and development agencies to support its health programme. By 2006, the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) alone had given about US$120 million. More resources are likely to be available through the Highly-Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative [75] . These resources will continue to enhance Zambia's capacity to extend coverage of a range of key interventions to its citizens. With total health expenditure currently estimated to be only around US$ 25–30 per capita, there is no doubt that Zambia will need external support in order to further its health agenda.

The Ministry aims to address and share ideas with the public on various topics in the health field and related services under the vision of providing the people of Zambia with equity of access to cost effective, quality healthcare as close to the family as possible. The public health sector has taken significant steps towards meeting the objectives of the health reforms, particularly in improving access to health care, afford-ability of health services and health systems strengthening. The country is also under significant pressure to reduce the disease burden, improve the health status of Zambians as well as accelerate the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Ministry of Health has health facilities that aim at delivering health care to the community classified as either hospitals, Health Centres or Health Posts.


In Zambia, hospitals are at the centre of implementing interventions and policies, which are crucial to the attainment of the recently articulated health targets. In particular, hospitals provide the largest share of services in antiretroviral therapy (ART), prevention of mother to child transmission of Human Immune-deficiency virus (PMTC), Tuberculosis treatment, safe deliveries and many other services. Besides their political clout, hospitals are consumers of a substantial proportion of health sector resources. When hospitals consume excess resources in producing their services this invariably results in misallocation and loss of potential care to other beneficiaries. This in turn raises important sustainability and equity implications. Thus, improving efficiency would increase the service potential of existing health infrastructure and provide opportunities for re-allocating resources to other areas.

The hospitals are divided into three categories namely; Level 1hospitals at District level also known as the primary level hospital, Level 2 hospitals at Provincial level also referred to as secondary hospitals and Level 3 hospitals also referred to tertiary hospitals at the central level. The intensity of care also differs as the hospital level changes. The referral system also comes in as soon as these levels of care are adhered to. Health Centres too are divided into either Urban Health Centres or Rural Health Centres. For Health Posts, the health sector aims at taking the most basic health care as close to the family as possible as stated in the Basic Health Care Package. The construction of these facilities targets a certain radius in given catchment population area.

Prevention, Care & Treatment Partnership program is managed by Family Health International. The Prevention, Care & Treatment Partnership (ZPCT) works in concert with the Ministry of Health to strengthen and expand comprehensive HIV/AIDS services in the central, copper belt, luapula, north-western, and Northern Provinces. This partnership focuses on services provided at health facilities, supports referral linkages between communities and the health system, and assists the Ministry of Health and National AIDS Council to develop strategies, guidelines, and standard operating procedures. It covers prevention of mother-to-child transmission, HIV counselling and testing, anti-retroviral therapy and other treatment and care, TB/HIV, health worker and counsellor training, and lab and pharmacy support. ZPCT partners are Management Sciences for Health, Churches Health Association of Zambia, Kara Counselling & Training Trust, and Expanded Church Response.

The Health Services & Systems Program (HSSP), led by Abt Associates, works in partnership with the Ministry of Health at all levels to support increased access to quality health services and to strengthen health systems. HSSP assists the Ministry of Health to strengthen antenatal, post-abortion, and emergency obstetric care; address childhood immunization and micronutrient needs; integrate management of childhood illnesses; and, expand long-term family planning methods. HSSP also provides significant assistance to the National Malaria Control Center in rolling out the national indoor residual spraying program and in strengthening case management of malaria in children and presumptive treatment for pregnant women. HSSP also supports the underlying systems that are required to make a public health service function. This includes the health management information system and health sector planning. Lastly, HSSP provides support for human resources: pre-service training, human resource planning and management, and the rural retention scheme. HSSP partners include Abt Associates, JHPIEGO, International Science & Technology Institute and Save the Children.

USAID's health program supports Zambia's National Health Strategic Plan to combat malaria and tuberculosis; improve maternal and child health; promote family planning and reproductive health; and, prevent HIV and provide care and treatment for those already infected with the virus. USAID supports capacity development to promote behaviour change, increase demand for and access to quality health services, strengthen the health system, and procure key commodities. USAID works through partners that provide direct assistance to the public and private sectors throughout Zambia.

With a national prevalence of 15.6 percent among Zambians aged 15-49 (women 18 percent; men 13 percent), according to the 2001/2 Demographic & Health Survey (DHS), the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zambia overwhelms the health system. USAID, under the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), supports comprehensive activities under the Ministry of Health and National AIDS Council national plans. In five provinces, USAID partners work directly with the Ministry of Health to expand quality services for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, HIV counselling and testing, anti-retroviral therapy, and other treatment and care. USAID also supports private sector HIV counselling and testing through the New Start network of clinics. At the national level, USAID invests in the supply chain system for HIV/AIDS-related commodities. USAID procures anti-retroviral drugs, HIV test kits, and HIV-related lab equipment and supplies for the public sector.

Malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Zambia, with nearly 4.3 million cases and 50,000 deaths per year. It is responsible for one quarter of childhood deaths and accounts for almost 50 percent of hospitalizations nationwide. USAID support to the National Malaria Control Program focuses on the most vulnerable: pregnant women and children under age five. USAID helps expand availability and use of proven preventive measures, including long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs) and targeted indoor residual spraying. Activities also address the dangers of malaria in pregnancy by reaching pregnant women with preventive treatment, and strengthening diagnosis and treatment of malaria-especially for children. USAID procures LLINs, insecticides for indoor residual spraying, diagnostic equipment, and other commodities for the national malaria program.

The incidence of tuberculosis in Zambia is on the rise, with new infections fuelled by a 70 percent HIV co-infection rate. USAID helps the Ministry of Health strengthen Zambia's capacity to deliver proven, cost-effective interventions. USAID's partners work in three provinces to expand and enhance Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) and improve the co-management of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

Zambia's maternal mortality ratio (729 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births) is one of the highest in the world, and only 43 percent of deliveries are attended by a medically trained provider. As for child health , although under-five mortality has been decreasing, it still remains at an unacceptably high level (168 deaths per 1000 live births), with malaria and HIV being the principal causes of death in this age group. USAID supports priority activities under Zambia's National Health Strategic Plan via technical assistance and training that strengthen antenatal, post-abortion, and emergency obstetric care; address childhood immunization and micronutrient needs; expand an integrated approach to managing childhood illnesses; and, make clean drinking water more available.

Investing in family planning and other reproductive health services is vital in mitigating the economic and environmental impact of population growth, and in improving maternal and child health-especially with Zambia's high HIV prevalence. Family planning and reproductive health services are not uniformly available around the country and are not always well linked to HIV/AIDS interventions. Only 25 percent of married women currently use a modern method of family planning, with total fertility at 5.9. USAID helps achieve Zambian family planning and reproductive health goals by providing technical assistance and training to expand access to family planning services in the public sector, and through social marketing and support of communication for behaviour change.

Health Communication Partnership uses community mobilization and communication tools to promote better health-seeking behaviour. The program strengthens community organizations and leadership around key health issues in 22 districts. It also supports national health information, education and communication campaigns by developing job aids, radio programs, health talk lines and video- and poster-based media. Two HIV/AIDS-related videos produced by HCP, Tikambe and Road to Hope, have won international awards. HCP partners are the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs, Save the Children, and International HIV/AIDS Alliance.


Zambia, in southern Africa, has one of the world’s most devastating  HIV  and  AIDS  epidemics. More than one in every seven adults in the country are living with HIV [76]  and life expectancy at birth has fallen to just 49.4 years [77] . In 2011, nearly 42,000 adults and 9,500 children were newly infected with HIV that is about 115 new infections each day [78] . After four decades of independence, Zambia has found peace but not prosperity and today it is one of the poorest and least developed nations on earth.

Zambia's first reported AIDS diagnosis in 1984 was followed by a rapid rise in the number of people living with HIV. Although Zambia has received hundreds of millions of dollars for HIV programmes from rich country governments, HIV prevalence has not dropped significantly, remaining more or less stable since the mid-nineties. As of 2011, overall HIV prevalence was 13 percent; however, it has been reported as considerably higher in some urban areas [79] .


The impact of HIV/AIDS

Unlike in some countries, HIV in Zambia does not primarily affect the most underprivileged; infection rates are very high among wealthier people and the better educated. HIV is most prevalent in the two urban centres of Lusaka and the Central Province, rather than in poorer rural populations [80] .

The collapse of copper prices in the 1970's weakened Zambia's economy and saw an increase in the number of men seeking work away from home. The movement of miners, seasonal agricultural workers and young men between rural areas and urban centres has been shown to spread HIV to new areas [81] . Zambia is now the most urbanised country in sub-Saharan Africa, with only a third of its population living in rural areas. Although the HIV epidemic has spread throughout Zambia and to all parts of its society, some groups are especially vulnerable - most notably young  women  and girls. Among young women aged 15-24, HIV prevalence is more than twice that of men in this age category.

A number of factors resulting from gender inequality contribute to the higher prevalence among women. Women are often taught never to refuse their husbands sex or to insist their partner uses a condom. In a Zambian behavioural survey, around 15 percent of women reported forced sex, although this may not reflect the true number as many women do not disclose this information [82] . In addition, young women in Zambia typically become sexually active earlier than men, with partners who will be on average five years their senior and who may already have had a number of sexual partners [83] . An estimated 15 percent of men and women aged 15-24 years, were younger than 15 years the first time they had sex.

In 2011, a long awaited law protecting women from gender violence was enacted. It is hoped the Anti-Gender Based Violence Act, outlawing gender-based violence, such as, physical, sexual, economic and psychological violence, will reduce the increased risk of HIV infection faced by women. The impact of AIDS has gone far beyond the household and community level. All areas of the public sector and the economy have been weakened, and national development has been stifled. As Zambia's Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper acknowledges, "the epidemic is as much likely to affect economic growth as it is affected by it".

The loss of workers due to AIDS can lead to a large reduction in a nation’s economic productivity. Agriculture, from which the vast majority of Zambians make their living, is particularly affected by the impact of AIDS. A decline in the number of individuals able to work at the crucial periods of planting and harvesting can significantly reduce the size of the harvest. AIDS is believed to have made a major contribution to the food shortages that hit Zambia in 2002, which were declared a national emergency.

Children have been much affected by the AIDS epidemic in Zambia, where 170,000 children are estimated to be living with HIV. However, being HIV infected is not the only way that children are affected by HIV and AIDS. In 2009 there were 690,000  AIDS orphans  in the country [84]  and AIDS orphans made up half of all orphans in the country. Children may be abandoned due to  stigma  or a simple lack of resources, while others run away because they have been mistreated and abused by foster families.

In 2003, it was revealed that increasing numbers of child rape cases were being fuelled by the "virgin cure" myth (which wrongly claims that sex with a virgin can cure AIDS). A 2005 study by the Applied Mental Health Research Group (part of the John Hopkins School of Public Health) reported that child sexual abuse was "a major problem" among the HIV-affected population of mothers and children studied in Lusaka, Zambia.

HIV/AIDS Prevention in Zambia

HIV and AIDS  prevention  through awareness-raising began early in Zambia. An American journalist in 1988 reported, "Zambia is waging one of the world's most aggressive educational campaigns against AIDS, surpassing anything being done in the United States". Much of the early campaign involved pamphlets and posters that warned of the dangers of AIDS and promoted abstinence before marriage, for example: "Sex thrills, but AIDS kills". Over the years, a wide range of media has been used to carry messages about AIDS, and children have been taught at least the biological facts in school.



It has been conclusively proven that  condoms  are highly effective at preventing sexual HIV transmission, when used correctly and consistently. Nevertheless, the role of condoms in curbing the spread of Zambia's epidemic has been a subject of prolonged controversy in this mainly Christian nation. In 2002 the three main churches in Zambia passed a resolution endorsing condom use for preventing HIV transmission between married couples. In all other cases the churches encourage abstinence only , which many AIDS experts consider to be an ineffective approach:

"We do appreciate the crucial role the Church has continued to play in building good moral values in our society and its active role in home-based care; however, the Church could do even more if it stops treating the condom as an instrument of immorality but a life saving device." - Chris Zimba of Youth Change Impact.

Additionally, top government officials have publicly criticised condom use. Near the end of his presidency, Frederick Chiluba said, "I don't believe in condoms myself because it is a sign of weak morals on the part of the user". Although total condom sales more than doubled from 4.7 million in 1993 to 10.6 million in 2002, the use of condoms remains infrequent, especially in rural areas. One issue is availability and affordability: many villages are miles from the nearest outlet.

Issues of stigma, lack of knowledge, and gender inequality also present major obstacles to people using them. More recently, total condom distribution has been dropping in Zambia, particularly in non-health facilities where condom distribution dropped by 46 percent in 2007 and then a further 10 percent in 2008. Although condom distribution from health facilities went up by 13 percent in the same period, this general decline does not bode well for efforts to promote better sexual health in a country where condom use is not widespread. Only 1 in 10 men and women who engaged in higher risk sex (those had more than one sexual partner in the last 12 months) reported using a condom with their last partner [85] .


HIV/AIDS education

There are still many misconceptions about HIV and AIDS in Zambia. In 2009 only around one third of young people aged 15-24 had comprehensive HIV/AIDS knowledge. If behaviour is to be changed, young people must be a priority target. It is often said that Zambia's youth offer the nation a "window of hope" – the hope of an AIDS-free future. Nearly half of all Zambians are between 0 and 14 years old; relatively few of these young people have HIV, and they are all eager to learn. Effective education therefore has the power to change attitudes and behaviour for life. Unfortunately, the government has not always taken the lead:

"It must be acknowledged that the Ministry of Education has made a late start on interventions, mainly because HIV/AIDS was generally viewed as a Health issue." - Ministry of Education, September 2000 [86] .

In recent years the Ministry has sought to better integrate  AIDS education  into more parts of the school curriculum. A government case study in 2009 showed that about two thirds of teachers had knowledge about HIV and AIDS education and could integrate them into their lessons but that many did not, and lacked sufficient resources or the skills to use them. In those schools where life based skills HIV and AIDS education was provided, the response has been very positive. However, 17 percent less 15-24 year olds were reached with HIV and AIDS education in 2008 compared to 2006, so there is obviously a need to step up these efforts if sustainable prevention efforts are to succeed.

Zambia's  prevention of mother-to-child transmission  (PMTCT) initiative was launched in 1999, beginning with a three-year pilot programme in Copper belt Province. In 2004 it had expanded so that 74 health facilities in four provinces offered antiretroviral drugs (primarily nevirapine) to expectant mothers and new-born infants, increasing to 939 by the end of 2008. In 2007 an estimated 47 percent of pregnant women living with HIV received ARVs for preventing mother-to-child transmission. By the end of 2011, 95 percent of pregnant women received the most effective antiretroviral regimens (i.e. not single-dose nevirapine, which is no longer recommended by WHO) to prevent transmission to their baby.

Zambia's commitment to providing antiretroviral prophylaxis to HIV-positive pregnant women has been rewarded; a vast reduction in annual new HIV infections among children is evident between 2009, when 21,000 children were newly infected, and 2011, when 9,500 children were newly infected.

  1. In the late 1980s, one school in Zambia became perhaps the first in the world to set up an Anti-AIDS club, and by 1992 there were 1,150 registered clubs. Members are encouraged to spread messages about safer behaviour and compassion for those living with HIV. So long as their influence extends beyond their membership and reaches the most vulnerable children, Anti-AIDS clubs can be very effective.
  2. Television, radio and the press have also proved to be influential in raising awareness, even though not all people have direct access to them. Some 71 percent of urban and 37 percent of rural youth saw at least some of the HEART television campaigns in 2000, and it seems that their behaviour was influenced as a result.
  3. Music, drama, group discussions and role play exercises have been employed by the Copperbelt Health Education Project (CHEP) to raise AIDS awareness, particularly in rural areas. In 2003, through its in-school youth programme, the CHEP educated some 25,000 students using these methods. Peer-centred education also reaches sex workers, street children and soldiers, and the CHEP has established youth-friendly health services, in which trained peer educators work alongside clinic staff.
  4. Truck drivers have been identified as key players in the spread of HIV due to the high levels of mobility along main transport routes. Prevention programmes targeting this high-risk group seem to have had a positive effect on behaviour: reported condom use for truck drivers increased from around 50 percent in 2000 to almost 70 percent in 2006. 'Corridors of Hope' is a project funded by USAID and implemented by RTI International and Family Health International. It aims to reduce HIV transmission among transportation corridor communities in seven countries, including Zambia.

Just 15 percent of Zambian adults aged 15-49 received a test in the last 12 months and know their HIV status. Those who do not know they are infected with HIV can spread the virus to others before they become ill. Moreover, those who are not diagnosed early may not get the treatment and care they need. Because they fear stigma and social rejection many people are reluctant to come forward to be tested, waiting instead until they fall ill. People may also not go for testing because they cannot see the advantage of knowing their status – especially if they are unlikely to receive antiretroviral therapy. Even those who want to be tested may find that accessing services is difficult or costly. The extremely low level of HIV testing in Zambia has been highlighted as one of the main reasons people are failing to access HIV treatment.


In early 2001, Zambia's largest mining company, Konkola, caused much controversy by forcing hundreds of its employees to undergo anonymous HIV tests. Many groups complained that the miners might suffer discrimination as a result. However, the company insisted that without this action it would be unable to plan its future operations and improve the health of its workers. Results from the testing programme found that 18 percent of the 8,532 employees were infected with HIV.


In 2004 Zambia's National AIDS Council called for mandatory HIV/AIDS testing in all hospitals in an effort to control the epidemic. Their views provoked strong criticism from human rights activists and people living with HIV, who saw mandatory testing as a breach of human rights. In 2005, the Zambian government stated that it would not encourage anonymous (without consent) testing and it would discourage mandatory testing for employment and scholarships. 48  It would, however, encourage (VCT) voluntary counselling and testing, and promote universal routine counselling and testing (i.e. routine opt-out testing) of all at-risk patients entering a health facility.


As of 2009, all 1,563 private and public health facilities in the country offered VCT services. In that year more than one and a half million people aged 15 and over were tested for HIV and received their results; double that of the previous year and quadruple that of 2006. In 2010, the number of HIV testing and counselling facilities expanded further to a total of 1,689. Unfortunately, this increase in facilities did not result in an overall increase in the uptake of HIV testing and counselling in 2010, with reports showing that the number of people who received HIV testing and counselling was 200,000 people less than in 2009.


HIV/AIDS treatment

State provision of antiretroviral therapy began in Zambia in late 2002, although initially very few people could afford the monthly payments towards the drugs. Provision of free treatment started in June 2004 [87] , made possible by an unprecedented amount of funding from the Global Fund (in 2004 it committed $254 million over 5 years), PEPFAR (Zambia is one of the programme’s most highly funded focus countries, receiving $149 million in 2006 alone) and other sources. The delivery of the programme relies on the involvement of many NGOs, churches and communities.

At the end of 2011, 82 percent of the 510,000 people in Zambia needing ARV treatment were receiving it [88] . This estimation of treatment coverage is based on the  2010 WHO guidelines . Although access to antiretroviral treatment is high and increasing among adults, coverage among children remains worryingly low, with only 1 in 3 children in need of treatment receiving it in 2011. However, the Ministry of Health has further increased access to treatment by creating 68 new antiretroviral therapy (ART) sites in addition to supplying drugs to all existing ART sites nationwide in 2013. As a result of this, and support from the Global Fund, approximately 400,000 people now have access to free treatment. 

Ultimately, Zambia aspires to provide  universal treatment access , so that ARV therapy is equally available to everyone who is clinically eligible. However, some current schemes try to make it easier for particular groups to gain access, including civil servants, teachers, university students and mothers and children (through "PMTCT Plus"). Additionally, some employers run private schemes – particularly the mining companies. In general, accessing treatment is a great deal easier for city-dwellers than for those living in rural areas.

The treatment programme's greatest handicap is the inadequacy of the healthcare system, which suffers from high patient numbers, lack of physical space and infrastructure, and – most critically – too few staff. There is a critical shortage of doctors (in 2006 there were only 646 doctors in a country of almost 12 million people), nurses, lab technicians and other health professionals. Zambia currently has under a third of the doctor-patient ratio recommended by the WHO.

The crisis stems from a variety of factors, most notably a large-scale emigration of trained professionals to other countries in Africa and abroad, where salaries and conditions are more favourable. Zambia is now trying to recruit as many health workers as it possibly can, and has implemented a variety of initiatives to retain health staff, expand the workforce, and improve the wellbeing of doctors and nurses [89] . ‘Task-shifting’ is a strategy that has been introduced to delegate certain health-care duties to lay people or community workers to reduce the workload of doctors and nurses. Still, human resource challenges are continually cited as a major impediment to effective treatment programmes. 

An analysis by USAID found that the gap in finances available to achieve Zambia's country targets (increase the number of people on ART by 24 percent from 2010 to 2015) was likely to be $8.2 billion in 2011, increasing to $57 billion in 2015. According to 2006 data, Zambia's funding for HIV treatment comes mainly from international sources, raising the concern that Zambia's increasing level of treatment coverage may not be sustainable without consistent foreign donor support.

HIV/AIDS funding

In 2009, after it was revealed that donor aid to the Zambian Ministry of Health had been embezzled, Sweden and the Netherlands suspended $30 million in aid for health programmes [90] . The Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Malaria and TB also suspended more than $137 million later that year [91] . In 2010, it was revealed that around $7 million from the Health Ministry had been stolen in total. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) responded by suspending a $14.5 million aid program for the Health Ministry [92] . Although the Zambian government reimbursed the Swedish and Dutch governments for their stolen funds, and partly reimbursed Canada, these countries had not resumed their health aid as of August 2010. They insisted that funding would not resume until certain internal reforms and audits were carried out. The Global Fund on the other hand, resumed its funding but is instead channelling it through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) [93] .

Almost three quarters of funding for HIV and AIDS Zambia is from foreign donors, and it has been reported that HIV programmes are amongst some of the worst affected by the corruption scandal and resulting disruptions in donor funding. The majority of Zambia's donor funding comes from PEPFAR (50 percent), followed by the Global Fund and the World Bank. 65  Concern about this reliance on donor funding has been voiced by the Southern African AIDS Trust which has urged the Zambian government to scale up its funding for HIV and AIDS programmes.


So far, Zambia has had notable success in scaling up ARV treatment. The government can take much of the credit for providing strong leadership while at the same time recognising that they cannot succeed alone. They have involved faith-based organisations, civil society and NGOs, and have also entered into a partnership with the private sector to administer some of the treatment. Zambia must continue to strive to make ARV therapy equally accessible to all those in need; the abolition of user charges was a crucial step towards this goal. However, the scale up of treatment faces serious challenges due to human resource and funding shortages.

Even if treatment scale up proceeds, it is vital that prevention programmes are also expanded. The ARV programme itself can help this process because it offers an incentive to be tested, and those who know they have HIV are less likely to infect others. The decline in HIV prevalence among some young women suggests that some prevention campaigns may be working. However, it is clear that stigma, gender inequality and opposition to condoms remain deeply entrenched. All sectors of society must fight their hardest to change attitudes.

First AIDS Case

Zambia’s first AIDS case was reported in 1984 [94] . Within two years the National AIDS Surveillance Committee (NASC) and National AIDS Prevention and Control Programme (NAPCP) were established to coordinate HIV/AIDS-related activities. In the early stages of the epidemic much of what was known about HIV prevalence was kept secret by the authorities under President Kaunda. Senior politicians were reluctant to speak out about the growing epidemic (the President’s announcement in 1987 that his son had died of AIDS [95]  was a notable exception), and the press did not mention AIDS.

By the early nineties it was estimated that as many as 1 in 5 adults had been infected with HIV, leading the World Health Organization to call for the establishment of a National AIDS Advisory Council in Zambia. According to Stephen Lewis, the former UN's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, throughout the 1990s the government was ‘disavowing the reality of AIDS’ and doing ‘nothing’ to combat the problem [96] .

The new millennium signalled a marked change in political attitude and, according to Stephen Lewis, ‘an entirely new level of determination’ 70  to confront the epidemic. The National HIV/AIDS/STD/TB Council (NAC) became operational in 2002 when Parliament passed a national AIDS bill that made the NAC a legally-established body able to apply for funding (the prospect of a large World Bank grant provided much of the necessary motivation). At the passing of this bill, the NAC became the single, high-level institution responsible for coordinating the actions of all segments of government and society in the fight against HIV and AIDS and is in charge of guiding the implementation of the National HIV and AIDS Strategic Framework (2006-2010).

In 2004, President Mwanawasa declared HIV/AIDS a national emergency and promised to provide  antiretroviral drugs  to 10,000 people by the end of the year. Having exceeded this target, he set another to provide free treatment for 100,000 by the end of 2005. Government ministers and officials at all levels are now much more willing and able to talk about the epidemic. Even former president Kaunda has changed – he is now one of the most vocal and committed AIDS activists in the country. In 2008 UNAIDS reported a stabilising of Zambia's epidemic and some evidence of favourable behaviour change [97] .


Assessment of overall health sector response and capacity

The government has demonstrated a high level of political commitment to address HIV/AIDS. Several national support structures have been put in place. As early as 1986, Zambia created the National AIDS Surveillance Committee and the National AIDS Prevention and Control Programme [98] . In 1987, a short-term emergency plan was established to deal with the safety of blood supply. Two medium-term plans were subsequently implemented. In December 2002, the National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Council (NAC) was established to coordinate the national multi-sectoral response, one component of which is the health sector response.


The NAC includes representation from government, nongovernmental organizations, religious and traditional leaders, mass media, youth and the private sector and integrates the participation of multilateral and bilateral agencies. The National HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Intervention Strategic Plan 2002–2005 was developed with the following priority interventions: promoting behaviour change, reducing mother-to-child transmission, ensuring safe blood transfusion, providing care, treatment and support to people living and affected by HIV/AIDS, improving care and support for orphans and vulnerable children and strengthening multi-sectoral coordination of interventions. A high-level Cabinet Committee on HIV/AIDS has also been established to provide policy direction and regularly report to the Cabinet on HIV/AIDS issues [99] .


Zambia has developed various policies, planning frameworks, guidelines and protocols to guide the national response. A national implementation plan for scaling up antiretroviral therapy in Zambia in 2004–2005 was developed with the objective of expanding access to treatment in the country. The plan for 2006–2008 is being developed. In addition, Zambia has been scaling up the health sector response to HIV/AIDS through several initiatives, including the Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme, the Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative, the Zambia Social Investment Fund, the Zambia National Response to HIV/AIDS Project (funded through the World Bank Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Program for Africa) and grants from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.


This response includes expanding voluntary counselling and testing, providing antiretroviral therapy, developing home-based care, managing opportunistic infections, strengthening laboratory capacity, ensuring blood safety, managing sexually transmitted infections and encouraging behaviour change. The government is also addressing the human resources needed by introducing retention schemes based on incentives for doctors and rural health workers and conducting training of health workers using the WHO Integrated Management of Adult and Adolescent Illness (IMAI) approach. Communities of people living with HIV/AIDS, nongovernmental organizations, faith-based organizations and the private sector also contribute to the national response to HIV/AIDS and implement various activities around the country.


Critical issues and major challenges

The lack of trained human resources is one of the most significant challenges to scaling up the health sector response to HIV/AIDS in Zambia. The high prevalence of HIV-related illness in Zambia has seriously overburdened the health care system at all levels, accentuating the burden on a thinly stretched workforce whose numbers are also diminishing due to HIV/AIDS. The situation is further exacerbated by the emigration of skilled health workers to other countries. Health infrastructure needs to be strengthened, including laboratory services. Health infrastructure is particularly constrained in rural, remote areas. Systems for drug procurement and supply management need to be strengthened. In addition, the current restructuring of the Central Board of Health has adversely affected staff productivity [100] . There are also concerns regarding the continuing availability of adequate funding to sustain the government’s programme of providing antiretroviral therapy services free of user charges in the public sector. Information regarding transmission of HIV is limited in rural areas. Much stigma is still associated with HIV/AIDS, limiting the number of people who seek HIV testing and care.


Marriage, Family, and Kinship

Traditionally, people would marry within their tribe, rarely going outside that circle to find a mate, but marriage within a clan group is considered taboo. Tribal customs vary but there usually is a mediator who serves as a go-between for a man and his desired bride. The man and his negotiator will meet with a prospective bride's family and in addition to getting to know each other, start negotiations for a lobola (dowry) [101] . This lobola traditionally involves cattle or other livestock, but in modern times, money settlements have been accepted. The lobola is considered compensation to the family for the lost services of the woman.


Christian weddings are very common even in villages, although traditional religious customs are still practiced in both cities and rural areas, with variations from tribe to tribe. A Bemba custom calls for the man to live with his bride's parents for a period, to prove his ability to take care of his wife.  The main domestic structure is the extended family, common throughout Africa. The system grew out of a need to help family members in times of trouble. For example, if a family had a year of bad crops, their relatives would be expected to provide assistance. If a mother and father died, their children would be cared for by relatives.

The issue of inheritance is handled differently throughout the country, reflecting the different customs of the numerous tribes. Traditional methods call for disputes to be settled within the clan or at the next level, which is the chief. In disputes involving men and women, the clans traditionally favour the male's position. In urban areas, the courts resolve these disputes. The Goba tribe has what is called dihwe [102] . Many Zambians, especially in cities, now create a will and last testament.

Discriminatory family code

Marriage in Zambia is governed by a dual legal system of statutory and customary laws. The Marriage Act provides for the minimum age of 16 for either male or female. Parental consent is required if either part is below 21 [103] . Under customary law it is legal to marry a girl child who has attained puberty [104] . The law required marriage to be entered into with the consent of both parties, however it is reported that some customary marriages take place without the consent of the woman or her parents [105] . The government reports that the payment of a bride price is still prevalent for statutory and customary marriages [106] . The United Nations reports, based on 2002 data that 27 % of girls between 15 and 19 years of age were married, divorced or widowed in Zambia, compared to 2 % of boys in the same age range. In 1969, 41 % of girls aged between 15 and 19 were married; divorced or widowed which indicates that societal acceptance of early marriage has declined in recent decades [107] .

Polygamy is not permitted under statutory marriages entered into under the Marriage Act [108] . However, polygamy is permitted and accepted as normal under customary laws in Zambia, particularly in patrilineal societies [109] . A 2007 Demographic and Health Survey found that polygamy affected 15 % of married women in Zambia. The prevalence of the practice varies according to region and level of education: it is more common in rural areas, although the figures have recently risen in urban areas, and the incidence is very low among women who have received higher education. Data from previous Demographic and Health Surveys show that the incidence of polygamy has decreased from 18 % in 1992, indicating that the acceptance of the practice is slowly declining [110] .

Husbands are traditionally the heads of families in Zambia. In 2010, the government reported that the payment of a bride price provides husbands with absolute rights over children and the reproductive rights of the wife [111] . In the event of divorce following a legal marriage, the courts grant child custody in the best interests of the children. However, in the case of separation after a customary marriage, the children typically stay with the father [112] .

The Intestate Succession Act of 1989 recognises women’s rights to inheritance whether married under statutory or customary Laws. [1] According to the law, widows have the right to inherit 20 % of their husbands’ property. 50 % of the estate goes to the children of the deceased (irrespective of gender), 20 % to the parents of the deceased and 10 %%% to other dependents [113] . In polygamous marriages, half of the inheritance is divided between the children (irrespective of gender) and the remainder is split equally between the wives [114] . Further, under some customary laws, women and children are not allowed to inherit [115] . According to the Chronic Poverty Research Centre, 31.77 % of widows inherited majority of assets after their spouses in 2007.


Despite the 1989 law, property grabbing from widows is a common practice, particularly in rural areas. A 2006 survey by the Central Statistical Office of Zambia found that three out of four victims of property grabbing did not take any action to change their circumstances. Further, 22 % of children of widows were affected by inheritance issues, with female children being twice as likely to be affected as male children [116] . Widows are also discriminated against in the practice of being claims by their deceased spouses’ relatives. The 2006 survey found that 15 % of female widows were married off to a relation of the deceased, compared to 4 % of males. The practice is more common in rural areas [117] . Women’s position in the family can also be gleaned from their participation in house-hold decision making. Data from the 2007 Demographic Health Survey provides a snapshot of gender equality in house-hold decision making in Zambia. For large household purchases, 42 % of married women reported that decisions were made jointly with their husbands and 44 % reported that decisions were made solely by their husbands. Decisions about daily household needs are primarily made by women themselves (60 %) [118] .



The Penal Code in Zambia prohibits rape with heavy penalties including life imprisonment

Marital rape is not prohibited under the Penal Code [119] .There is no specific law against domestic violence; however the Penal Code’s assault provisions can apply to cases of spousal abuse. According to the US Department of State, sexual harassment in the workplace is prohibited in Zambia [120] .

It should be noted that a number of non-governmental organisations have proposed a Sexual Offences and Gender Violence Bill. The proposed bill would make substantive amendments to criminal law with regard to violence against women and children. The draft bill defines gender-based violence, including explicit psychological and economic violence, marital rape, dowry violence, widow inheritance or property grabbing, female genital mutilation, female infanticide, child marriage, among other offences occurring in the family, as well as exploitation and trafficking. It also provides for aggravated sentences when rape results in HIV transmission and for the presumption of lack of consent when the victim is a child or unable to resist. It provides for the creation of a Sexual Offences and Gender Violence Court and the granting of protection orders to victims [121] . In 2010, the government reported that it intends to facilitate debate on the proposed bill through the Zambia Law Development Commission [122]

Survey data indicates that violence against women is common in Zambia. The 2007 Demographic Health Survey found that one in five women reported that they have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives. The majority (64 %) of women reported that their current or former husband, partner, or boyfriend committed the act of sexual violence. For women who were younger than 15 years old when their first experience of sexual violence occurred, 19 % reported that the perpetrators were a relative [123] .

With respect to domestic violence, the 2007 Demographic Health Survey found that almost half of all women had experienced physical violence since they were 15. Of those who experienced physical violence since the age of 15, 77 % reported that their current or former husband or partner. This indicates that the vast majority of physical violence experienced by women in Zambia is from their husbands and partners [124] . A factor contributing to the high prevalence of domestic violence is the acceptance of violence in the community. The 2007 Demographic Health Survey found that significant numbers of both women (62%) and men (48 %) believe that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife in certain circumstances [125] .

Human Rights Watch reports that sexual violence and other severe forms of violence against women are common for women in detention, primarily perpetrated by police officials. They report that police officers try to coerce female detainees into sex in exchange for their release [126] .  The US Department of State also reports that there have been recent reports that police officers raped women and young girls while they were in custody [127] .

Key challenges in Zambia are the lack of enforcement of the law and culture of impunity for perpetrators of violence against women. The World Organisation against Torture reports that although the government has established specialist units with the police force to respond to violence against women, discriminatory attitudes amongst the police and judiciary prevent women from reporting violence. It is reported that women are often pressured by law enforcement officials into withdrawing complaints of violence or reconciling with abusive husbands [128] .

The US Department of State reports that increased public awareness of violence against women has resulted in increased reports to police in recent years. Further, the government has established shelters, a toll-free phone line, provided training for police officers on gender-based violence and set up a number of comprehensive support services. Female genital mutilation reportedly is not practiced in Zambia [129] .

Limitations on women’s reproductive rights also infringes upon women’s physical integrity in Zambia. The 1972 Termination of Pregnancy Act allows access to safe abortion on medical or social grounds. However, due to a lack of awareness of the legality of abortion amongst women and health care providers, many maternal deaths are the result of complications from unsafe abortions [130] . The 2007 Demographic and Health Survey found that overall 41 % of married women use contraception and 33 % use modern methods of contraception. Access to reproductive health services is a challenge with 26 % of married women reporting an unmet need with respect to family planning.


Son bias

Gender disaggregated data on rates of infant mortality and early childhood nutrition are not available for Zambia. With respect to access to education, the World Economic Forum reports that Zambia has reached gender parity in primary school enrolments which indicates that there is no preferential treatment of sons with respect to primary school education. However, a gender gap persists in secondary and tertiary education enrolments, suggesting that the education of sons continues to be more highly valued than the education of daughters [131] . The male/female sex ratio for the total population in 2012 is 1 [132] . There is no evidence to suggest that Zambia is a country of concern in relation to missing women.


Restricted resources and entitlements

Zambia has a two tier system of land ownership which consists of state and customary land [133] . Although the government passed the Land Act in 1996 which guaranteed women the possibility of being land owners, the legislation allows for customary laws to dictate land ownership which mainly confers land ownership to men. Under customary law, men dominate the allocation, inheritance and use of land. Women generally lack control over land but may have access and user rights to the land [134] . To improve women’s access to land, the Ministry of Justice has issued a circular allocating 30 % of all advertised land to women; however there is no monitoring mechanism to guarantee women have access to this land [135] . In 2010, the government reported to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against women, that it was considering an amendment to the Lands Act to reserve 30 % of titled land for women. With respect to women’s access to property other than land, to a statutory marriage, women are entitled to enter into contracts and have access to property other than land, either individually or jointly with their husbands. Women who enter into customary marriages are not authorised to acquire possessions; after a divorce, they are entitled to keep only kitchen utensils and gifts received from their husbands. The difficulties Zambian women experience in obtaining access to bank loans is related to their lack of ownership rights and lack of economic empowerment. Most women are unable to provide the required guarantees and, although the practice is illegal, banks often demand that women provide proof of their husbands’ consent when applying for loans. It is reported however, that sue to advocacy and lobbying efforts, there has recently been a significant increase in the number of women with access to credit, particularly in urban areas.


Restricted civil liberties

There are no reported legal restrictions on women’s freedom of movement in Zambia. However, in practice men continue to control women’s movement. For example, the 2007 Demographic Health Survey shows the extent to which men in Zambia support women’s right to make decisions about their movement. When asked who should make decisions about visits to a wife’s family or relatives, only 7% of married men said the wife should make the decision, and 54% said the husband should make the decision [136] . The US Department of State reports that the government in Zambia generally respects the right to freedom of association. There is evidence to suggest that Zambia has an active women’s movement with the civil society organisations leading major reforms such as the proposed bill on gender-based violence. With respect to women’s participation in political life, the World Economic Forum reports that women make up only 14 % of Zambia’s parliamentarians and 17% of Ministerial positions. In addition to the non-discrimination provisions in the constitution, Industrial and Labour Relations Act specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in employment. Further, the Employment Act provides for paid maternity leave of 12 weeks at full pay [137] .



The influence of Christian missionaries is evident. An estimated 53 percent of the population considers themselves Catholic. The country's official religion has been Catholicism since 1993 when then President Chiluba officially declared it so. There are other religions, including a large Muslim population primarily in Eastern Province. This is a result of the immigration of Arabs from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, largely due to the slave trade [138] . There are Hindus, Jews, and Pentecostals, who, combined, comprise only 1 percent of the population. Animism is practiced by a large amount of the population, even if they are Catholic, Seventh Day Adventists, or practitioners of another religion. Animism beliefs vary from tribe to tribe, but most are based on beliefs in the power of ancestors and in nature. Some people call this witchcraft and indeed such terms as "wizards" and "witches" are used. Many areas believe that crocodiles have strong powers.


Missionaries have a long history in the country although for many years there have been Zambian priests, especially in cities. A mission will periodically send a priest into the bush country for services and other religious duties. There is recognition of witch doctors, which use traditional medicines made from roots or plants. The major holy places are the many waterfalls, where people believe certain spirits live. Traditional healers will often go into the woods or bush to contact spirits. The various tribes have many rituals. For example, the Litunga tribe performs a ceremony that is called Kuomboka. This signifies the tribe's movement in the rainy season from the floodplains to higher ground. Hundreds of canoes travel down the river with the chief leading the way. Umutomboko is performed once a year by the Kazembe Bemba and is a ceremonial re-enactment of a migration that took place in the early 1800s. Much dancing culminates with the chief's dance.



A 1996 amendment to the constitution declared the country a Christian nation while providing for freedom of religion in practice, [1]  but a wide variety of religious traditions exists. The government requires registration of all religious groups; however, all applications reportedly are approved without discrimination. An estimated 85% of the population professes some form of Christianity. Another 5% are Muslim; 5% subscribe to other faiths, including Hinduism, Baha'ism, and traditional indigenous religions; and 5% are atheist.


The majority of Christians are either Roman Catholics or Protestants. Currently, there is also a surge in new Pentecostal churches, which have attracted many young followers. Muslims tend to be concentrated in parts of the country where Asians have settled—along the railroad line from Lusaka to Livingstone, in Chipata, and in the eastern province. Some members of the Muslim community have complained of discrimination since the country was declared a Christian nation. They claim they cannot freely teach and practice Islam; however, other Muslim organizations state they have not experienced any restrictions on their activities.


Zambia  is officially a  Christian  nation according to the 1996 constitution, Traditional religious thought blends easily with Christian beliefs in many of the country's  syncretic  churches. Christian denominations include: 

               i.          Presbyterianism

             ii.          Roman Catholic

           iii.          Anglican

            iv.          Pentecostal

              v.          New Apostolic Church

            vi.          Lutheran

          vii.          Seventh-day Adventist

        viii.          Jehovah's Witnesses

            ix.          The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

              x.          Branhamism

            xi.          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.


Zambian-born  Archbishop   Emmanuel Milingo  was a high-ranking Bishop at the Vatican until he left to marry Maria Sung, a 43-year-old Korean acupuncturist, at a ceremony officiated by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon  in New York (May, 2001). He was ex-communicated by the Roman Catholic Church in September, 2006 for conducting a  consecration  of 4 married men as bishops.


Approximately 1% of the population is  Muslims  with most living in urban areas. [3]  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.   Ismaili  Muslim,  Hindu  and  Sikh communities exist owing to the  Indian  and  Pakistani   diasporic community  in Zambia. The  Bahá'í  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.


International religious freedom report 

The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally respected religious freedom.  The trend in the government’s respect for religious freedom did not change significantly during the year.   There were reports of societal discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.  Prominent societal leaders, however, took positive steps to promote religious freedom.  U.S. embassy representatives discussed religious freedom with the leaders of all major religious groups, the diplomatic community, and government officials. 


Religious Demography 

According to the 2010 census, the population is 13.1 million.  Approximately 87 percent of the population is Christian, 1 percent is Muslim or Hindu, and 12 percent adhere to other belief systems, including indigenous religions.  Many people combine Christianity and indigenous beliefs.  Muslims are primarily concentrated in Lusaka and in the Eastern and Copper belt provinces; many are immigrants from South Asia, Somalia, and the Middle East who have acquired Zambian citizenship.  A small minority of indigenous persons are also Muslim.  Most Hindus are of South Asian descent. 


Legal/Policy Framework 


The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom 

The constitution declares Christianity the official religion of the country, while upholding the right of all persons to enjoy freedom of conscience or religion.  The constitution provides for freedom of thought and religion for all citizens; freedom to change religion or belief; and freedom to manifest and propagate religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice, and observance.  Other laws address religious freedom violations [139] .


Religious groups must register with the registrar of societies in the Ministry of Home Affairs and pay regular statutory fees.  To apply, a group must have a unique name, possess a constitution consistent with the country’s laws, and display general compatibility with the peace, welfare, and good order of the country.  The government may subject unregistered religious groups to fines and imprison group members for up to seven years.  The government requires religious instruction in all schools from grades one through nine.  Religious education after grade nine is optional, although not all schools offer it.   The government observes the following religious holidays as national holidays:  Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Easter Monday, and Christmas. 


Government Practices 

There were no reports of abuses of religious freedom; however, the government imposed restrictions that affected members of religious groups.  In July the government deported a Catholic priest to his native Rwanda on the grounds that a sermon he delivered, in which he criticized government agricultural policies, might incite anti-government uprisings.  The government revoked the deportation order in November due to pressure from civil society groups and the Catholic Church. 


In October the chief registrar of societies announced that he would revoke the registration of all religious groups and communities taking an active role in politics, although he had not done so by year’s end.  The law does not allow revocation of registration on that basis.  In June the registrar threatened to revoke the registration of religious groups, churches, mosques, community organizations, and other similar societies for failing to pay their fees.  On October 11, the chief registrar revoked the registration of the Independent Church of Zambia (ICOZ) for non-payment of fees. 


In August the registrar revoked the registration of the Mount Zion Spiritual Church in Zambia because police arrested its bishop in connection with the killing of a college student.  By law, the registrar may revoke the registration of a group for a number of reasons, but criminal involvement of one member is not among them.  Although all religious leaders were relatively comfortable with religious freedom provisions in the existing constitution, some expressed concern that on-going constitutional reform discussions retained emphasis on Zambia as a Christian nation. 


Status of Societal Respect for Religious Freedom 

There were reports of societal abuses or discrimination based on religious affiliation, belief, or practice.  Prominent societal leaders, however, took positive steps to promote religious freedom.  In September residents of Chambishi in Copper belt province burned to death four persons suspected of Satanism.  Subsequent clashes between residents and police attempting to restore order resulted in several injuries.  Police arrested several people whose trials continued at year’s end.  Government and religious leaders condemned the killings, called for calm, and called on police to arrest culprits.  The government also criticized the police for neglecting warning signs before the murders.  The government did not make public its investigation of police conduct. 


Leaders of ecumenical movements, including the Zambia Episcopal Conference, the Christian Council of Zambia, and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia, held regular meetings to promote mutual understanding and to discuss national concerns. 


U.S. Government Policy 

The U.S. ambassador and embassy representatives discussed religious freedom with religious leaders, the diplomatic corps, and government officials.  Embassy officials met with religious leaders to discuss how on-going constitutional reform would affect religious freedom.  On August 9, the ambassador hosted an after for representatives of the Islamic Supreme Council, the diplomatic corps, and members of the Muslim community within the U.S. mission.


Death and the after-life

Funerals are a major event, with family members coming from great distances to attend. A funeral may last for many days, with the men outside drinking and talking, and women inside, wailing. The delay gives people travelling from long distances time to arrive. After a period, the group will proceed to a graveyard where services, usually Christian, will be held. Unfortunately, funerals have become an everyday occurrence due to the high death rate associated with AIDS and other illnesses.

There are separate ceremonies for the burial of village chiefs, along with their ancestors. A Bemba tradition is that if a paramount chief dies, his body will not be buried for a week but is protected because a clipping of his hair or a fingernail could be a very powerful item in traditional religions. Traditional religions also have their specific beliefs on death and afterlife.


Transport is critical to poverty reduction but if inappropriately designed, transport strategies and programs result in networks and services that heighten the conditions of the poor, harm the environment, ignore the changing needs of users, and exceed the capacity of public finances. Transport is capable of generating growth by facilitating trade both nationally and internationally, and by increasing access to social services like health and education [140] .


At the macroeconomic level, investment in transport raises growth by increasing the social return to private investment.  Similarly, at the microeconomic level, improvements in transport often lower agricultural input prices and hence the costs of 56oduction. In addition access to markets generally improves and hence facilitates the development of the non-agricultural rural economy and tourism. In urban areas, the quality of transport service influences the location of firms and individuals. The cost of labour and the efficiency of the labour market are also determined by transport.  

Without an efficient transport system, it is harder and costly to move goods, resulting in loss of market competitiveness and lower economic growth.  Further, Zambia can benefit from her central location by serving as a hub of economic development in the region as a transit route. In the rural areas where poverty is more extensive, a cause of poverty is inadequate transport, which leads to restricted access to markets. 


The Transport Situation 

The main modes of transport in Zambia are rail, road, air and maritime. The rail network work comprises the Zambia Railways, running from the Zimbabwean border in the south to the Congolese border in the north.  The Tanzania Zambia Railways (TAZARA), jointly owned by Zambia and Tanzania, links the former to the port of Dar es Salaam. A smaller rail line links Livingstone with Mulobezi and was previously used for ferrying timber.  It is now dysfunctional. 


Both Zambia Railways and TAZARA were constructed primarily to serve the mining industry.  As farming took root along the line of rail, especially along the Zambia Railways, haulage of agricultural produce created extra business.  The decline of mining and agriculture has reduced the volume of business available to the railway lines.  This has been compounded by lack of maintenance, resulting in inefficient operations and the road sub-sector taking a larger share of business. 


The road network is the backbone of the Zambian transport system reaching to remoter areas where other modes cannot.  Zambia has a gazetted road network of approximately 37,000 km of which 6,476 km are bituminous and surfaced to Class 1 standard.  The gravel and earth roads account for 8,478 km and 21,967 km respectively.  In addition there are about 30,000 km of ungazetted community road network comprising tracks, trails and footpaths. A large part of the main road network was constructed between 1965 and 1975. Over the years the country’s road Infrastructure has been eroded through lack of maintenance. The main problems have been institutional and financial which relate to: 


a)     Inadequate and erratic flow of funding;

b)     The inadequacy of the institutional framework within which roads were managed;

c)      Poor terms and conditions of employment;  

d)     Lack of clearly defined responsibilities among road management actors; 

e)      Lack of managerial accountability. 


The inadequate institutional framework as well as lack of clearly defined responsibilities is manifested in the present arrangement. The responsibilities for planning, preparing design standards, construction and maintenance of roads are fragmented among the various government institutions. These are the Ministry of Communications and Transport; the Roads Department in the Ministry of Works and Supply; Department of Infrastructure and Support Services in the Ministry of Local Government and Housing; Zambia wildlife Authority (ZAWA) in the Ministry of Tourism and to some extent the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries; and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for the Social Recovery Project dealing with rehabilitation of community roads. 


With respect to air transport, there is need to improve air services to complement other transport modes and to make Zambia a regional Air transport hub. 


Water transport in Zambia is presently not significant although it is critical to some places in the Western, Northern and Luapula provinces where it is the only reliable form of transport. The country has abundant navigable lakes and rivers but the development of the sector has been inhibited by lack of technical know-how in the management of inland waterways. The situation has been exacerbated by lack of handling equipment at harbours and inadequate dredging facilities particularly for canals and rivers. There is need to develop Zambia‘s lakes, rivers, ports, and harbours to increase alternate use of transport modes and improve trade with neighboring countries. Development of Mpulungu habour in Northern Province will lead to increased volume of exports through east sea routes. 


PRSP Interventions in Transport 

The primary goal for the PRSP interventions on transport are first and foremost to support the economy to grow, thereby enabling more resources to be generated for more public interventions in all areas, including transport.  For sustainable national development there is need for a national transport policy that requires the development of a comprehensive transport programme which is divided into three priority categories.

a)     Preserving investment already made in Infrastructure roads through maintenance.

b)     Establishing infrastructure, which aid economic recovery and poverty reduction.

c)      Establishing infrastructure which bring environmental and social benefits, and

d)     Instituting effective management systems.



As the mining industry slowly recovers followed by the related sectors the volume of business for railway will also recover, provided they can match the competition from road transport.  A well-functioning railway system is important for enhancing export competitiveness, economic growth and poverty reduction since railway haulage tends to be cheaper than other modes where speed is not a major consideration. 


Government shall therefore focus on the following issues:

a)     Ensuring the rehabilitation and preservation of investment and the continuous improvement of the rail infrastructure

b)     Improving railway efficiency through concessioning to the private sector.  

c)      Make arrangements for new railway connection to areas that will come into new economic production especially large-scale mining.

d)     Level the playing field between roads and rail so that it is not economic for very heavy cargo to be transported by roads in order to reduce pressure on roads.

e)      Expand and strengthen government capacity to develop supportive regulatory and investor-friendly legislation, monitor compliance with policies and legislation;

f)      Standardising practices and procedures in line with SADC member states to provide seamless and predictable service throughout the region;

g)     Provide a competitive, cost- effective, commercial, efficient and market-driven railway transport system.

h)     Foster inter-modal co-operation between road and rail, especially for the movement of international freight and passengers;

i)      Promote co-operation with regional railways to ensure undisrupted movement of cargo at interchange points. 

j)       Promote collabouration between Zambia Railways Limited and TAZARA.  

k)     Evaluate and implement extension of the railway network like Chipata-Mchinji rail link and the Kasama-Mpulungu rail link as part of railway network development strategy;


Although all the above objectives are important, the first five take priority.    


Road Transport-Road Infrastructure 

Being a large but poor country, Zambia will continue to depend on road transport. There are two major challenges associated with this, however. Firstly, her extensive road infrastructure is in need of rehabilitation and maintenance. A stagnant economy, heavy debt burden and wrong priorities have all contributed to road deterioration.  The second challenge is linking this important transport mode with increased overall productivity for the economy.  

Over the next three years, Zambia intends to continue putting greatest priority on rehabilitating and maintaining all her road network from feeder to trunk roads. This is important for the following reasons: 


a)     Delay in maintenance and rehabilitation increases costs eventually.  

b)     Economic growth and poverty reduction require that the roads and other transport systems are efficient and cost effective and this is not possible with poor roads.

c)      Efficient delivery of services including emergency relief requires good roads.

d)     Road rehabilitation creates jobs and business opportunities, often at the lower end of the labour market and this has direct impact on reducing income poverty.


Zambia has been undertaking road repair under Road Sector Investment Program (ROADSIP), which is a partnership between road users, the government and donors to promote development through roads. The first phase was launched in 1998.  ROADSIP’s objective has been to bring a core network of the road to maintainable condition and already positive impact has been registered with the percentage of paved roads in good condition having risen from 20 in 1995 to 44 in 1999 and the paved roads in poor conditions falling from 51 percent in 1995 to 29 percent in 1999. Over the first PRSP period, ROADSIP II will be launched and it will continue with the objectives set out in phase I.  


For the size of her economy and the population parameters, Zambia’s paved road network is quite extensive, exceeding that of the average for Sub Saharan Africa and even that for Zimbabwe and South Africa.  This partly explains the difficulty in keeping abreast with maintenance and rehabilitation. The implication is that Zambia will minimize construction of new paved roads and pay more attention to looking after what she already has including rural feeder roads.  Further, economic and social rates of return will be applied for trunk, main and urban roads in the selection of roads for improvements.   


Many of Zambia’s paved and other roads were not necessarily constructed as part of an organised package to enhance national productivity or capitalize on her central location for trade. With the emphasis now being placed on growth, the roads must be integrated into the overall plan to make this happen.  This will be done as follows:

a)     Rehabilitation and maintenance of all roads to enhance efficiency. 

b)     Where new mining areas are to be opened up as anticipated in the Lumwana area in the North-Western Province, appropriate road connections will be done to complement the railway connection

c)      In agriculture new farming blocks will be established in rural Zambia to take advantage of the land and water resources to produce high value products. Farm blocks must be near existing roads but where this is not feasible new roads, not necessarily paved, will be constructed.  

d)     A similar approach will be taken for tourism. In all tourist zones, the minimum intervention will be to ensure continued accessibility through good roads.  


Rural Travel and Transport

Poverty is said to be highest in most of the Zambian rural areas because of the lack of access to market for agricultural produce as well as productive inputs. This has been worsened by the poor transport systems that exist in rural areas. Therefore, if the poverty situation in rural areas has to be addressed the issue of transport has to be of paramount importance .In order to improve the rural travel and transport; the following measures have been proposed: 


a)     Establish an institutional framework for the development and management of rural transport and travel in the country; 

b)     Improve the planning, management and financing of rural road transport as well as upgrading the road infrastructure such as community roads, paths, tracks, trails and footbridges through community participation; 

c)      Facilitate the rural communities with establishment of sustainable approaches to the construction and maintenance of rural transport infrastructure; 

d)     Facilitate the introduction and promotion of appropriate motorized and non- motorized means of transport aimed at improved mobility in rural areas; 

e)      Encourage the development of industries for the design, manufacture, repair and maintenance of intermediate motorized and non-motorized means of transport for rural areas, and 

f)      Ensure that gender issues are considered in rural travel and transport. 


Institutional and Management Issues in Roads 

For the goals outlined above to be realized, the government is aware that a number of institutional and management issues will need to be dealt with. The key issues are as follows:


1.      The multiplicity of authorities in the management of roads causes difficulties.  

2.      Within a rationalized authority for roads, Government’s role will primarily be to plan, facilitate, co-ordinate, implement, regulate and monitor developments in the infrastructure and industry.  The private sector will do the rest.

3.      Create a more credible and sustainable domestic system for financing and managing the road network to gradually reduce dependence on external financing. 

4.      Institutional reform and human resources development will be undertaken; 5. Promote the road transport growth in the region, by levelling the playing field with other countries and improved traffic handling at border points. 

Road Safety 

Zambia loses an average of 1,000 lives through road accidents and it is estimated that road accidents in Zambia cost the country about 2.3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually.  Costs include direct costs such as damage to vehicles, policing and administration costs, medical expenses and insurance costs. In order to reverse this trend, Government will focus on the development of appropriate legislation to ensure satisfactory safety levels, and the Implementation of efficient and effective law enforcement procedures in line with regional norms. 


These issues would be tackled through pursuance of the goal of protecting the lives of road users and property through the introduction of appropriate road safety measures and enforcement of regulations. In achieving this goal government will put in place the following policy objectives


a)     Make road safety engineering aspects compulsory in the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of roads;  

b)     Improve the awareness of the need for better road safety behaviour among the road users through publicity and training; and 

c)      Improve the enforcement of traffic laws and regulations. 

d)     Based on the policy objectives Government shall: - 

(i)    Institute safety engineering within the present and future institutional arrangements in the road sector; 

(ii) Collabourate with relevant agencies in a national road transport authority for motor vehicle examination and testing in accordance with regionally accepted standards; 

(iii)         Integrate the National Road Safety Council into a national road transport authority for efficient management of the road safety; 

(iv)          Improve the reporting and analysis of road accident data in order to better target actions towards priority road safety measures; 

(v)   Ensure that the lives of all road users are protected through the introduction of appropriate road safety measures with strict enforcement of road traffic laws and regulations; 

(vi)          Improve the co-ordination between institutions involved in road safety activities at national and regional level. 

(vii)        Institute arrangements for a more efficient and effective enforcement of traffic regulations. 

(viii)      Introduce an insurance safety levy to finance road safety programmes.  


Civil Aviation 

Liberalizing of air transport since 1991 has resulted in the formation of private local airlines.  The reasons behind a slow growth in the industry can be attributed to factors such as unattractiveness of the Zambian market caused by small passenger loads, and lack of properly managed tourist destinations. 


Currently, there are 144 airports/aerodromes in the country of which National Airports Corporation manages the four major airports. Government or private individuals and organizations manage the rest. National Airports Corporation is providing air Navigation Services throughout the country. Expansion in the mining and tourism industries will revive air transport demand. Government shall ensure safe and efficient air navigation services in accordance with international civil aviation standards. She will also create a competitive environment so that private companies continue to provide transport services. Further, Zambia will ensure those airports that are critical for commerce and tourism; i.e. the Lusaka, Ndola, Livingstone and Mfuwe are always in good serviceable condition.


In the effort of achieving this, the government shall ensure that the following issues are addressed 

a)     Pursuing legal and institutional reforms aimed at  revamping the industry to meet the challenges of a liberalized environment; 

b)     Promoting civil aviation in accordance with the Convention on International Civil Aviation; 

c)      Ensuring compliance with regional and international agreements; 

d)     Educating, training and professional development of human resources in the aviation industry, and 

e)      Attracting international carriers to stimulate tourism and trade.   


Maritime and Inland Waterways  

Inland waterways are needed especially in areas that are inaccessible by other modes of transport and are accessible by water transport.  It has inherent advantage that the services can be operated wherever navigable waters are available without requiring huge investments. Sustainable investments would be required for the improvement and maintenance of navigable rivers, canals and channels and development of terminal facilities at harbours. The Government shall also ensure that water transport operators adhere to communications regulations on lakes and rivers.  


In order to achieve the above stated goal, Government shall:

a)     Improve the safety and efficiency of inland water transport system and shipping including promotion of regional co-operation; 

b)     Promote a safe and clean marine and inland waterways environment.   

c)      Prepare a comprehensive plan for ensuring proper navigability on all designated waterways in the country including canals;

d)     Encourage private sector participation in the operation of water transport services;

e)      Develop and improve the infrastructure at the existing ports to the standards of regional ports



The Central Statistical Office (CSO)

The Social Statistics Division forms the core of the central statistical office for it houses the census of population and housing which is the largest undertaking carried out by the office. The division has three branches; population and demography branch, geographic information branch and the labour statistics branch [141] .


The population and demography branch is responsible for conducting the census of population and housing that provides socio-economic and demographic information up to the lowest administrative levels. The branch also undertakes ad hoc surveys such as the  Zambia Demographic and Health Survey (ZDHS) , and the  Zambia Sexual Behaviour (ZSBS) . The ZDHS provides information on HIV and syphilis prevalence as well as other behavioural information required for programs monitoring and evaluation. The sexual behaviour survey provides information on knowledge, attitudes and behavioural practices that is also important in monitoring and evaluation programs. The branch also conducts other routine programs; Migration Statistics, the  Sample Vital Registration with Verbal Autopsy (SAVVY)  and the Maternal Mortality Survey. Under Migration Statistics information on numbers of people entering and leaving the country by various characteristics is provided. The Sample Vital Registration with Verbal Autopsy (SAVVY) provides information on numbers and causes of death as well as capturing information on births occurring in communities while the Maternal Mortality survey provides information on the maternal deaths occurring in the communities


The Geographic Information branch was created for the purpose of designing and producing census maps to use during census and survey data collection. It also provides the frame for all the other surveys conducted by the office, ministries, researchers and other organizations. The maps are meant to guide enumerators during data collection to ensure that they completely cover their areas of assignment. The maps are also meant to ensure that there are no overlaps or omissions during data collection. The branch comprises HQ and provincial staff whose duties include field mapping, a process through which geographic data is collected across the country using appropriate tools and equipment. This data is then compiled and used, in addition to other available map data to produce the census maps. The branch is also involved in the production and dissemination of census and survey data in form of maps and atlases.


The  Labour Statistics  Branch produces Labour force size, growth, composition and distribution. It also produces employment and underemployment statistics through the Labour Force Survey. The branch also compiles and maintains the Central Register of Business Establishments which forms the main sampling frame for establishment based surveys such as the Quarterly Employment and Earnings Inquiry. The Quarterly Employment and Earnings Inquiry is a survey used mainly to compile formal sector employment statistics. It focuses on the private sector, Non-government organization, the local government and the Central Government. Other statistics from the employment and earnings inquiry are the income statistics in the formal sector [1] .


The Central Statistical Office (CSO) is a department under the  Ministry of Finance  of the Republic of Zambia. The department is headed by a Director. According to the Census and Statistics Act, Chapter 127 of the Laws of Zambia, CSO’s mandate is to collect and analyse official data on economic and social indicators that are disseminated on a timely basis. CSO’s mission statement is to coordinate and provide timely, quality and credible official statistics for use by stakeholders and clients for sustainable development.


There are various statistical branches under the Economic and Financial Statistics division. These are Prices statistics, External Trades statistics, Living Conditions statistics, Public Finance statistics, National accounts statistics and Industrial Production statistics. Under the Agriculture and Environment Statistics division, there is agriculture branch and environment branch. Social Statistics division has also got various branches under it. These are Labour statistics, Demography and population statistics, Geographical Information System (GIS) statistics and Migration statistics branches.


Branches found under Information, Research and Dissemination division are Gender statistics, Library, Field Coordination, Operations, Sales office and Dissemination Branches. Data users are able to get information on various statistics such as GDP, Inflation rates, Production of major crops, Food balance sheet and Index of industrial production from our branches that are in charge of such statistics. CSO is also able to provide statistics tailored to our clients requirements.


CSO’s Mission

To coordinate and provide timely, quality and credible official statistics for use by Stakeholders and clients for sustainable Development"


Goal Statement

“To achieve an effective, efficient and coordinated National Statistical System (NSS) that will ensure sustainable production and disseminating of demand driven official statistics for national development” [142] .


The population of Zambia goes up to 14,075,099 people

Zambia  ended 2012 with a population of 14,075,099 people, which represents an increase of 441,303 people compared to 2011. Zambia is no. 70 among the 182. From 1960 until 2012, Zambia Population averaged 7.4 million reaching an all-time high of 14.1 million in December of 2012 and a record low of 3.1 million in December of 1960. The population of Zambia represents 0.20 percent of the world´s total population which arguably means that one person in every 518 people on the planet is a resident of Zambia.


Annual Rate of Population Growth

The Zambian population grew at a rate of 2.8 percent per annum during the intercensal period 2000-2010. This is an increase over the annual rate of population growth of 2.4 percent per annum recorded during the period 1990-2000. The urban population grew at a rate of 4.2 percent per annum in the period 2000 – 2010, compared to 1.5 percent per annum during the period 1990 – 2000. The rural population grew at a rate of 2.1 percent per annum during the same period 2000 –2010, a drop from the annual rate of 3.0 percent during the period 1990-2000. Lusaka Province was the fastest growing province with an annual rate of population growth of 4.6 percent, followed by Northern Province at 3.2 percent per annum and the newly created Muchinga Province at 3.1 percent per annum.


The female population is greater, with 7,052,869 women, representing 50.10% of the total, compared to 7,022,230 or 49.89% men. Zambia is a country with a very low population density, with 19 people per square km and it was in position 36th in our ranking of density population in 2012.


Population Composition and Distribution

Zambia’s total population is broken down into 49.3 percent (6,454,647) males and 50.7 percent (6,638,019) females. Zambia’s total population is distributed as follows: 60.5 percent (7,923,289) were in rural areas and 39.5 percent (5,169,377) were in urban areas. The percentage of the urban population increased from 34.7 percent in 2000 to 39.5 percent in 2010, consolidating Zambia’s position as one of the highly urbanized countries in Sub Saharan Africa. At Provincial level, Lusaka Province has the largest percent share of the population at 16.7 percent (2,191,225) of the total population. Copper belt Province is second with 15.1 percent (1,972,317), while Eastern Province is third with 12.2 percent (1,592,661) of the total population. Muchinga Province has the least percent share of the total population at 5.4 percent (711,657).


Population Density

Population density is defined as the total number of persons per square kilometre. Zambia has a land area of 752,612 square kilometres. Therefore, the country had a population density of 17.4 persons per square kilometre in 2010. The population density increased from 13.1 persons per square kilometre in 2000 to 17.4 persons per square kilometre in 2010, representing an increase of 4.3 persons per square kilometre. The most densely populated province in Zambia was Lusaka Province with a population density of 100.1 persons per square kilometre. Copper belt Province was second with a population density of 63.0 persons per square kilometre. North Western Province was the least densely populated province with a population density of 5.8 persons per square kilometre.


Household Size and Composition

Zambia had a total of 2,513,768 households as captured during the 2010 Census of Population and Housing. Male headed households made up 77.5 percent (1,947,501) of all households, while 22.5 percent (566,267) were female headed households


Green National Registration Card (NRC) Holders

All Zambian citizens qualify to obtain a green National Registration Card (NRC) upon attaining the age of 16 years. At the time of the 2010 Census, 6,412,290 Zambian citizens were aged 16 years and above, making them eligible to have NRCs. Copperbelt Province had the highest proportion of NRC holders with 87.7 percent followed by Luapula Province with 86.5 percent. Central Province had the least proportion of NRC holders with 80.6 percent.


Electoral Information

At the time of the 2010 Census, 5,857,806 Zambian citizens were aged 18 years or older, making them eligible to vote. Of these, 3,677,092 were registered voters. Of the total number of registered voters, 49.5 percent (1,818,517) were males and 50.5 percent (1,858,575) were females [1] .



The background of the national flag is green, symbolic of the country's natural beauty, with three vertical stripes in the lower right corner. The three stripes are: red, symbolic of the country's struggle for freedom; black, representing the racial makeup of the majority population; and orange, symbolic of the country's copper riches and other mineral wealth. A copper-coloured eagle in the upper right corner symbolizes the country's ability to rise above its problems.


Sources of law

Zambia does not have a single code containing its laws. These are drawn from a variety of sources. The following are sources of law in Zambia:

               i.          Constitution

             ii.          Legislation

           iii.          Common Law

            iv.          Judicial precedent

              v.          Customary Law

            vi.          Authoritative texts


Constitution of Zambia

The constitution was adopted in 1991 and was amended in 1996. It abrogates the 1973 constitution, which allowed, as stated above, only one political party. More political parties were allowed to participate as enshrined by the new constitution.



Legislation in Zambia is contained in statute books that are available in most libraries. The Ministry of Justice Law library offer legislation. The government website is also helpful in as far as legislation is concerned. Constitutionally, legislation refers to laws that have been passed by parliament and have been assented to by the President. Subsidiary legislation refers to laws passed by other bodies to which parliament have validly delegated such legislative powers. These include government gazettes and municipal byelaws, inter alia.


In Zambia the legislative vests in the National assembly and is assented to by the President. Parliament can confer power on any authority to create binding laws. Currently parliament consists of one House; the National assembly. In terms of the constitution, legislation brought through parliament has to be scrutinized by the National assembly before it goes for assent to the President (article 78(2)). A bill shall not become law unless the President has assented to it and signed it in token of that assent (article 78). By virtue of Article 54(2) (a), the Attorney General is charged with drafting and signing all bills presented before parliament. The Attorney General may delegate functions to the Solicitor General (article 55(5) (b)). Laws made by the National Assembly and assented to by the president shall be styled “Acts” and the words of enactment shall be “Enacted by the Parliament of Zambia” (article 78(8)).



Precedent forms part of the law of Zambia. Decisions of superior courts of record are therefore binding to lower courts. Decisions from South African courts are only persuasive, and courts refer to them in formulating their decisions. Decisions from similar jurisdiction can also be cited for their persuasive value. Magistrates' courts decisions do not become precedent since these are lower courts. They are however bound by decisions of the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal. Precedent assists in consistency in legal interpretation and application of the law. It has also been justified for bringing certainty and uniformity to the law. However, precedent has been blamed for causing rigidity of legal systems, preventing development of the law.


Authoritative texts

Written works of eminent authors have persuasive value in the courts of Zambia. These include writings of the old authorities as well as contemporary writers from similar jurisdictions.

International Law

Zambia is signatory to many international instruments. Although the country is quick to ratify, implementation is often slow or never materialises. Zambia belongs to the dualist tradition, thus views international law and domestic law as two separate legal systems. Hence, domestication of international law by an Act of Parliament is necessary before international law can be applied. This of course excludes customary international law, which is binding on all states. The Attorney General is mandated by article 54(2) (b) to draft and peruse treaties and agreements the government of Zambia is party to.


The Justice System of Zambia



The Judiciary of Zambia is an independent arm of the government. Under Article 91(2) of the Constitution, Judges, Magistrates and Justices shall be independent, impartial and subject only to the Constitution and the law. They shall also conduct themselves in accordance with the code of conduct promulgated by parliament.

Article 91(1) of the Constitution defines the composition of the Judicature of the Republic as consisting of:

               i.          The Supreme Court of Zambia;

             ii.          The High Court of Zambia;

           iii.          The Industrial Relations Court;

            iv.          The Subordinate Court;

              v.          The Local Court; and

Such lower Courts as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament. For example, the Small Claims Courts established by the Small Claims Courts Act Chapter 47 of the Laws of Zambia.

Article 98 (2) provides for the tenure of offices of the Judges that they shall vacate office on attaining the age of sixty-five and they may only be removed from office for inability to perform the functions of office, whether arising from infirmity of body or mind, incompetence or misbehaviour.

The Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court are appointed by the President on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, subject to ratification by the National Assembly as stated by Article 95 of the Constitution.

The Magistrates who preside over Subordinate Courts are appointed by the Judicial Service Commission, acting in the name of the President.

Under Article 91(3) of the Constitution the Judicature shall be autonomous and it is administered in accordance with the Judicature Administration Act Chapter 24 of the Laws of Zambia.

Judiciary Objectives

The roles or core functions of the Judiciary include the following:

               i.          Administer justice through resolving disputes between individual and individual, and between state and individual

             ii.          Interpret the constitution and the laws of Zambia

           iii.          Promote the rule of law and contribute to the maintenance of order in society

            iv.          Safeguard the constitution and uphold democratic principles

              v.          Protect human rights of individuals and groups


The Administration of Judicature

According to Section 3(1) of the Judicature Administration Act Chapter 24 of the Laws of Zambia, The President, on recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, appoints a Chief Administrator who is responsible for the day to day running of the Judicature and the implementation of resolutions of the Judicial Service Commission.

The Chief Administrator

               i.          is the Controlling Officer regarding the expenditure of the Judicature within the meaning of the Finance (Control  and Management) Act Chapter 347 0f the Laws of Zambia.

             ii.          Keeps books of accounts and other records in relation to the accounts of the Judicature.

           iii.          Prepares and submits financial reports concerning the activities of the Judicature to the President.

Method of Judicial Appointment

               i.          The Judicial Service Commission is responsible for identifying and recommending candidates to the President for appointment to judicial offices.

             ii.          Article 93(1) of the Constitution states that the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice shall subject to ratification by the National Assembly be appointed by the President.

           iii.          Article 95(1) of the Constitution states that the Puisne Judges shall, subject to ratification by the National Assembly, is appointed by the President on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission.

            iv.          The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Industrial Relations court are also appointed by the President on advise by the Judicial Service commission as stipulated by Article 95(2) of the Constitution.

              v.          The other members of the Judicature and its staff are appointed under section 4 of the Judicature Administration Act, Chapter 24 of the Laws of Zambia.

These include the High Court Registrar, Magistrates, Justices of the Local Courts, Sheriff and other members of staff who are appointed by the Judicial Service Commission.

The Judicial Service Commission

The Judicial Service Commission is chaired by the Chief Justice. Other members of the Commission include:

               i.          A Supreme Court Judge

             ii.          The Attorney General

           iii.          The Solicitor General

            iv.          A Member of Parliament

              v.          The Secretary to the Cabinet

            vi.          A Legal Practitioner

          vii.          President of the Law Association of Zambia

        viii.          Dean of the School of Law

            ix.          The Chairman of the Public Service Commission


At the apex of the Zambian justice, system is the Supreme Court, which is the final court of appeal on all matters. It has a supervisory and review jurisdiction over all courts of Zambia. The Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction for all legal and constitutional disputes. The High Court, which holds regular sessions in all nine provincial capitals, has authority to hear criminal and civil cases and appeals from lower courts. The Industrial Relations court deals exclusively with industrial and labour matters. There is also a Land Tribunal and Revenues Appeals Tribunal. Magistrate courts have original jurisdiction in some criminal and civil cases; local, or customary, courts handle most civil and petty criminal cases in rural areas.

Local courts employ the principles of customary law, which vary widely throughout the country. Lawyers are barred from participating in proceedings in such courts, and there are few formal rules of procedure. Presiding judges, who usually are prominent local citizens, have substantial power to invoke customary law, render judgments regarding marriages, divorces, inheritances, other civil proceedings, and rule on minor criminal matters. Judgments often are not in accordance with the Penal Code. For example, they tend to discriminate against women in matters of inheritance.

The Constitution and the Judiciary

Judicial power exclusively vests in the judiciary in terms of Article 91(2) of the Constitution. Article 91 (3) of the Constitution further provides that justice shall be administered in accordance with the provisions of an Act of Parliament which shall be independent and subject on. Article 91(1) provides that the judiciary shall consist of the Supreme Court of Judicature comprising:

(a)         The Supreme Court, and

(b)         The High Court

(c)          Such other courts as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament.


Chapter outline of the constitution

Zambia was the first British territory to become a republic immediately upon attaining independence. The constitution promulgated on August 25, 1973, abrogated the original 1964 constitution. The new constitution and the national elections that followed in December 1973 were the final steps in achieving what was called a "one-party participatory democracy." The 1973 constitution provided for a strong president and a unicameral National Assembly. National policy was formulated by the Central Committee of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), the sole legal party in Zambia. The cabinet executed the central committee's policy. In accordance with the intention to formalize UNIP supremacy in the new system, the constitution stipulated that the sole candidate in elections for the office of president was the person selected to be the president of UNIP by the party's general conference. The second-ranking person in the Zambian hierarchy was UNIP's secretary general.


  In December 1990, at the end of a tumultuous year that included riots in the capital and a coup attempt, President Kaunda signed legislation ending UNIP's monopoly on power. In response to growing popular demand for multi-party democracy, and after lengthy, difficult negotiations between the Kaunda government and opposition groups, Zambia enacted a new constitution in August 1991. The constitution enlarged the National Assembly from 136 members to a maximum of 158 members, establishing an electoral commission, and allowed for more than one presidential candidate who no longer had to be members of UNIP. The constitution was amended again in 1996 to set new limits on the presidency (including a retroactive two term limit, and a requirement that both parents of a candidate be Zambian-born.) The National Assembly is comprised of 150 directly elected members, up to 8 presidentially appointed members and a speaker. Zambia is divided into nine provinces, each administered by an appointed governor.


The constitution of Zambia is the supreme law and if any other law inconsistent with the constitution that other law shall, to the extent of its inconsistency, be void ( article1(3)). Therefore, Zambia has a constitutional supremacy. The constitution was adopted in 1991 after consultations with the citizens of Zambia. It was amended in 1996. It repealed the constitution of Zambia Act, 1973. It purports to be an autochthonous document. The constitution set out clearly the state structure, bill of rights, the separate arms of government as well as other administrative organs such as the public service commission.


Constitutional clauses analysis:

Fundamental rights and freedoms                                                                 Article11

Protection of right to life                                                                               Article 11(a), Article 12

Protection of right to personal liberty                                                        Article13            

Protection from slavery                                                                                 Article 14

Protection from inhuman or degrading treatment                                  Article 15

Protection from deprivation of property                                                    Article16

Right to a fair hearing                                                                                    Article 18(1)

Protection against arbitrary search or entry                                             Article 17(1)

Protection of freedom of conscience and religion                                   Article 19

Protection of freedom of expression                                                          Article 20

Protection of freedom of assembly and association                                Article 21

Rights of child                                                                                                 Article 24

Enforcement of protective provisions                                                       Article 28


National Sovereignty and the state

Zambia is defined as a unitary sovereign, multiparty and democratic state. (This part sets out that all power resides in the people who shall exercise their sovereignty through the democratic institutions of the state). This part also establishes the Public Seal. The supremacy of the constitution is set out in this part. The constitution also sets out the anthem and the National Emblem.



Citizenship is the state of belonging. Citizenship guarantees rights of nationality and all other rights from being a national of a particular country. Amongst other inherent rights is the ability to pass on to natural and adopted children since they cannot obtain their independent citizens at that stage. This part talks about acquisition and loss of acquisition. Citizenship in Zambia can be by way of descent, operation of the law or birth, marriage or by registration.


Most notable is the fact that either the mother or the father or both can confer citizenship on children (Article 5). Article 9 provides for the establishment of the Citizenship Board, which deals with any matters pertaining registration as citizens and powers of parliament in making provisions for acquisition of citizenship of Zambia by persons who are not eligible to become citizens of Zambia.


Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedom of the Individual

Part three is concerned with the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights and freedom of the individual.


Protection of the right to life

Zambia still retains the death penalty, whilst Article 12(1) states that no person shall be deprived of life, it permits the use of death penalty in the execution of the sentence of a curt in respect of criminal offence which that person has been convicted. This is not enough to ensure the full guarantee of the right to life. The right to life, as guaranteed by the second protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. Imposition of the death penalty itself is not only a violation of the right to life, but also the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment.


Protection of the right to personal liberty

The protection guaranteed in the international standards is missing or not fully recognized and entrenched in this constitution. For example, International standards of fair trial provide that anyone arrested or detained must be notified at the time of the arrest of the reasons of their arrest or detention and their right, including their right to counsel. This information is essential to allow detained persons to challenge the lawfulness of their arrest or detention and, if they are charged, to start the preparation of their defense. It is essential against arbitrary arrest and detention, to ensure that no detainee is held incommunicado detention, or in a place other than an official detention centre or prison or held in any manner intended to frustrate proper and prompt access to the detainee by legal representatives, doctors or next of kin. Finally, it is not clear why this part on the protection of the right to personal liberty should include exceptions allowing for orders requiring a person to remain within a specific area or prohibiting that person from being within such an area as envisaged by article 16(1)(i).


Protection of Women’s rights

The Zambian Constitution is silent on the issue of women’s equal participation in electoral politics.  Moreover, no provision of the Zambian Constitution ensures substantive equality between women and men, though Article 11 does include a blanket non-discrimination clause that guarantees everyone the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms regardless of “race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status” (emphasis added).  Article 23 of the Constitution further guarantees that, except for certain limitations, “A law shall not make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.”


Article 23(4) of the Zambian Constitution allows discrimination in the area of customary Law, family law and other areas such as adoption, marriage, divorce and inheritance. Article 11(1) recognizes and declares every person in Zambia to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, whatever “his sex”. However, the same article states that the entitlement of these rights and freedoms are subject to limitations contained in this related to Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. Linked to Article 23(4), this means that discrimination against women in areas related to property and inheritance rights is allowed. Article 16 provides for protection against deprivation of property, which may only be carried out under an Act of Parliament providing for payment of adequate compensation.


The right of persons of with disabilities

There is no specific provision in the Zambian constitution that stipulates the rights of persons with disabilities. Article 23 proscribes discrimination in any form against any person and could be used to govern the rights of the disabled. Persons with disabilities should have their rights protected and guaranteed. However, Zambia has a specific legislation on the rights of disabled persons. It is contained in the Handicapped Persons Act of 1968 as amended. The Zambian statute establishes a Council of the disabled, which provides for voluntary registration of disabled persons and of associations that maintain their welfare. A commissioner of the disabled is responsible for the administration of the Act.



The Executive

Article 33(1) states that there shall be a president of the Republic of Zambia who shall be the head of state and of the government and the Commander-in-chief of the defense force. Article 33(2) clearly states that the executive power of the Republic of Zambia shall vest in the president and, subject to the other provisions of this constitution; shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinates to him. In line with the doctrine of separation of powers Article 33(2) emphasizes that exercise of executive power by the president shall be in accordance with the constitution. This serves to curtail any excess on the use of such power. The constitution further provides for the appointment of the Vice-President, ministers and their deputies.


The Attorney general

The attorney General (AG) plays the role of the legal advisor to the government, hence the relationship between the office of the AG and the ministry of justice. The AG is not part of the cabinet per se but works closely with the executive. Article 54(1) of the constitution which is the provision creating this office provides that the AG shall be appointed by the president. It further spells out the qualifications of the persons to be appointed. The AG is the Principal legal advisor to the government and an ex-officio member of cabinet. The AG represents the government in courts or any other legal proceedings to which government is a party.


Government also makes use of the office of the Solicitor General (SL) who shall be appointed by the president as per Article 55(1). The SL may exercise any power or duty imposed on the AG when the AG is unable to act owing to illness or absence and in any case where the AG has authorized the AG.


Apart from the AG’s office and the SL’s office government also makes use of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), mainly in criminal matters. Article 56(1) set up this office and provides for the appointment of the DPP. The DPP is appointed by the President subject to ratification by the National Assembly, and qualification for appointment to this office is the same as that for a judge of the High Court with experience biased on criminal law, (Article 56(2)).


Article 56(3) provides that the DPP shall have power in any case which he considers it proper to do so, to;

(a)   Institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person in any court, other than a court martial, in respect of any offence alleged to have been committed by that person;

(b)   Take over and continue any such criminal proceedings as have been instituted or undertaken by any other person or authority;

(c)    To discontinue, at any stage before judgment is delivered, any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by himself or any other person or authority.


The DPP in person or by delegation to subordinate officers has the power to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court. This office can take over and continue or discontinue any criminal proceedings instituted by any person or authority, at any stage before judgment is delivered. Although individuals can prosecute (that is institute criminal proceedings) at the private instance. The drawback of provisions allowing for prosecution at the private instance is that the DPP’s office never really gets to totally relinquish its powers to prosecute. Article 56(3) (b) of the constitution acts as a drawback clause that can easily be open to abuse, to frustrate any attempts at private prosecutions. Notwithstanding the issue of a nolle prosequi , the DPP’s office can still intercept private prosecution proceedings and take over in its capacity as a public prosecutor: thus effectively excluding the person or authority that initiated the proceedings. The DPP’s office need not give reasons for such move, save that it is proper to do so.


Further, after re-joining the fray, the DPP’s office may then exercise its powers under paragraph (c) to terminate any criminal proceedings, whether started by the office at the public instance or any person at private instance. It is submitted that this vicious cycle is open to abuse. In effect, it means that prosecution can only be undertaken by the DPP and no other individual or authority.


The Legislature

The constitution portrays the government in Zambia as a multi-party and democratic Sovereign State. The constitution further provides that parliament shall consist of the President and the National Assembly. In terms of Article 63(2), membership to the National Assembly is through ordinary elections and being voted into parliament. The elected members shall not exceed one hundred and fifty members (150), not more than eight (8) nominated members and the speaker of the national assembly. Since Zambia is a multi-party democracy members of parliament represent their respective political parties. The constitution is silent on the issue of Women’s equal participation in electoral politics.


  The Judicature


Administration of the Judiciary

According to Section 3(1) of the Judicature Administration Act Chapter 24 of the Laws of Zambia, The President, on recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, appoints a Chief administrator who is responsible for the day to day running of the Judicature and the implementation of resolutions of the Judicial Service Commission.


The constitution provides that the judicature shall be autonomous and shall be administered in accordance with the provisions of an Act of parliament. The judicature shall be independent and subject to only the constitution. The judiciary shall consist of superior court of judicature comprising of;


               i.          Supreme Court

             ii.          High Court

           iii.          Industrial Court

            iv.          Subordinate Courts

              v.          The Local Courts

            vi.          Such other courts as may be prescribed by act of parliament.


The judiciary has jurisdiction in all matters civil and criminal, including matters relating to the constitution, and such other jurisdiction as by law conferred on it. The superior courts are courts of record and have power to commit for contempt to themselves and all such powers as were vested in a superior court of record immediately before the commencement of the constitution.


Infringement on judicial independence

The constitution gives very wide powers to the head of state to appoint judicial officers. The president appoints the chief justice and the deputy chief justice. According to article 93(1) the chief justice and deputy chief justice shall subject to ratification by the national assembly, be appointed by the president. Article 93(2) gives the president the power to appoint judges of the Supreme Court. Article 95(1) states that puisne judges shall subject to ratification by national assembly be appointed by the president on the advice of judicial services commission. Furthermore, the president with the advice of the JSC appoints the chairman and deputy chairman of the industrial court. Section 96(1) states that any position appointed under article 93 to act as a judge of the Supreme Court shall continue to act for the period of that person’s appointment is marked by the president.


Judges and other judicial officers ought to be hired on full time basis to ensure that they enjoy security of the tenure to enable them to carry out their duties in a competence fashion without fear or favour. Judges on contract are under pressure particularly when their contracts are about to end. This is contrary article 91(2) which promotes judicial independence and frowns upon infringement on this independence by other organs of government. Appointment of judges on acting or contract basis is detrimental to judicial independence since such judges are put in a state of suspense regarding whether they would be confirmed or not. In such a situation, the judge may find himself/herself trying to please those with power to confirm him/her by deciding cases in their favour. The involvement of the head of state in the process of appointing judges intimidates against an independent judiciary. Due to this fact, such appointment cannot be free of political considerations. The constitution still rests arguably judicial powers on the president. In a situation where the appointing body is politically, influenced one cannot hope for independent judiciary. People seeking judicial appointments might be lobby appointed. Thus, such people would feel a sense of obligation to the executive and be inclined to favour the executive in the adjudicatory process.


Judicial tenure and remuneration

Article 98(1) provides a position holding the offices of a judge of the Supreme Court or the office of a judge of the high court shall vacate that office on attaining the age of 65 years. Provided that the president –(a) may appoint a judge of the supreme court, who has attained that age to continue in office for such further period, not exceeding seven years as the president may determine. Judges along with other specified officers such as attorney general, investigators- general solicitor- general director of public prosecutions are paid from the general revenues of the republic. Such salaries and or allowances may be presented by or under an act of parliament. Article 119(3) provides that the salary payable to the holder of any holder of office shall not be uttered to his disadvantage after his appointment. Note article 96.


Removal of judges from office

According to Article 98(2) a judge of the Supreme Court, high court chairman of deputy chairman of the industrial relations court may be removed from office only for inability to perform the functions of his office whether arising from infirmity of body or mind, incompetence or misbehaviour and shall not be so removed except in accordance with the provisions of this article. Article 98(3) provides for the establishment of a tribunal which will investigate the case of a judge before removal in which the tribunal consists of a chairman and not less than the other members who hold or have held high judicial office. This tribunal can be biased in the sense that the judge whose perpetual removal has been influenced by the political motives can collude to remove him from offices in order to gain favour from the executive. The tribunal after a proper inquiry represents the matter to the president and advices the president whether the judge ought to be removed from office for inability or incompetence or for misbehaviour for which the president has an obligation to remove such judge from office. Article 98 gives so much power on the president to remove and suspend judge and this compromises the independence of judiciary as narrated by article 91(2).


The Supreme Court

Article 92 establishes the supreme court of Zambia, which shall consist of: the chief justice, the deputy chief justice, seven Supreme Court judges or such greater number as may be prescribed by an act of parliament. The Supreme Court is a superior court of record.


The High Court

Article 97 establishes the high court of Zambia which shall have, except as to the proceedings in which the industrial relations court has exclusive jurisdiction under the industrial relations (act no.27 of 1993), unlimited or original jurisdiction to hear and determine any civil or criminal proceedings under any law and such jurisdiction and powers as may be conferred on it by this constitution or any other law. The high court shall be divided into such divisions as may be determined by an act of parliament 94(2). The chief justice shall be such an ex-offices judge of the high court (3). The other judges of the high court shall be such number of puisne judges as maybe prescribed by parliament.


Article 94(6) provides that the high court shall be a superior court of record. The high court has jurisdiction to supervise any civil or criminal proceedings before any subordinate court or any court martial and may such order issues such as writs and give such direction as it may consider appropriate for the purposes of ensuring that question as is duly administered by such court.


Specialist courts in Zambia

Apart from the Supreme Court and the High Court which are ordinary courts, Zambia also has specialist courts set up to deal with particular matters. These are creatures of statute, with limited jurisdiction as set out in the legislation establishing them. The Industrial Court and Local courts are examples of specialist courts in Zambia.


The Local Courts

The local courts play an important part in the settlement of disputes of the majority of the majority of the population the customary law itself is in a state of flux. The main thrust of the law governing the operation of the Local Courts, contained in Chapter 29 o the Laws of Zambia, is the administration of customary law. In reality, the Local Courts are the focal point of varied societal claims. Customary law is the ambiguous expression in which are hidden many legal claims. It can be safely asserted that Local Courts are the clearing grounds for simple torts, contracts, and petty crimes. However, the main workload of the courts is the law relating to non-statutory marriages. Divorce, reconciliation, custody of children, payment of mabolo or lobola, persons who die without a will-these are areas which affect the legal rights of the majority of the population. The effective handling of these disputes and their fair and just resolution assure stability in the community.


There is no uniform formal educational qualification for adjudicators of local courts. They bring important innovation in the administration of community justice derived in part from their practical understanding of the workings of a post-traditional society. These justices are often fluent in more than four local languages.


Small Claims Courts

There is on the Zambian statute books the Small Claims Court Act. The objective of the Act is to provide for the establishment, of Small Claims Courts to be situated in areas to be designated by the Chief Justice. The Small Claims Courts adopt arbitration as a mode of resolving disputes. The choice of this mode of dispute resolution is questionable because arbitration is typically adjudicative and is quite formal. Mediation would probably have been a more apt mode of resolving disputes in the Small Claims Courts. The tragedy of the Small Claims Court legislation is that although the legislation has been on the statute books for over a decade, the Small Claims Courts have not yet been operationalized. However, the idea of Small Claim Courts is a very good one. It depends on involvement of legal practitioners of 5 year standing with more personnel allocated to them. The Small Claims Court could utilize existing infrastructure such as school buildings, community halls and several others. If the existing mechanisms of resolving disputes in both rural and urban areas are adopted but also adapted to suit the needs of the poor the small claims court could work most effectively. Rules that normally apply to formalized courts should be more flexible to enable the poor .


The Legal Aid Board

The Legal Aid Act 70 was enacted on 20th November 1967. The objective of the Act is to provide for legal aid in civil and criminal matters and causes to persons whose means are inadequate to enable them to engage practitioners to represent them. The Directorate of Legal Aid Board operated as a department within the Ministry of Legal Affairs and consequently enjoyed limited autonomy. However, by the Legal Aid (Amendment) Act the Legal Aid department was transformed into a Legal Aid Board. The Legal Aid Board comprised the following part-time members appointed by the Minister:

a)     A person qualified to be a Judge of the High Court who shall be the Chairperson;

b)     A representative of the Law Association of Zambia;

c)      The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry responsible for legal affairs;

d)     A representative of the Ministry responsible for Home Affairs;

e)      The Director who shall be an ex officio member;

f)      A representative of a non-governmental organization active in the promotion of human rights; and

g)     One other person


Furthermore, the Legal Aid (Amendment) Act defined the functions of the Board as being to:


a)     Manage and administer the Legal Aid Fund; and

b)     To carry out any other activities relating to the provision for legal aid which are necessary or conducive to the performance of its functions under the Act


There was however, a proviso placed on this function, namely, that the Board would not be responsible for the supervision and administration of the Directorate. It is difficult to fathom the intention of the legislature in this respect because it is usual for boards of corporate bodies to superintend secretariats or directorates. A further amendment was made to Legal Aid legislation in 2005. By the Legal Aid (Amendment) Act, the Legal Aid Board was re-constituted as a body corporate, with perpetual succession and legal capacity to sue and to be sued. The composition of the Board was enlarged to include representatives from the Ministries responsible for finance and national planning; community development and social welfare; labour and sport and child development.


Furthermore, the functions of the board were reformulated and enlarged. The functions of the Board are to


a)     Administer and manage the Legal Aid Fund;

b)     Facilitate the representation of persons granted legal aid under the Act;

c)      Assign practitioners to persons granted legal aid under the Act;

d)     Advise the Minister on policies relating to the provision of legal aid and implement Government policies relating to the same; and

e)      Undertake such other activities relating to the provision of legal aid and which are conducive or incidental to the performance of its functions under the Act.


Although the Legal Aid Board has been established as a body corporate, it has not been delinked from the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry still recruits, disciplines and determines the conditions of service for legal aid personnel. The Ministry is also still responsible for mobilizing and disbursing resources to the Board. The de-linkage is important in order to establish an independent body that can effectively plan for expansion, hiring and retention of staff as well as mobilize resources from either Government or cooperating partners. The formality surrounding the Legal Aid Board still makes it difficult for the ordinary person to easily approach the Board.


The Legal Aid Board has offices in Lusaka, Kitwe, Ndola, Kabwe and Livingstone. It has on its establishment a total of twenty-one lawyers, out of an establishment of thirty four. 79 the lawyers for the Board are faced with crashing case loads. Apart from facing a critical shortage of staff, the Board has inadequate transport and operational tend to suffer. In view of the preceding constraints, the Board tends to limit the grant of legal aid to accused persons facing serious criminal cases mostly in the High Court. The Board therefore handles a very limited number of civil cases. The woes of the Board are also worsened by the fact that the Board is unable to attract and retain lawyers due to the poor conditions of service. The failure to decentralize the Board and its myriad of administrative and logistical problems has resulted in denying many indigent persons especially in rural areas legal aid.


Law reports

Zambia has a law report series known as the Zambia Law Reports (ZLR). These Law reports are available online and they are obtainable at the high court. The statutes of Zambia are available online and are listed by name. Supreme Court, High Court, Industrial Relations Court, Land Tribunal, Revenue Tribunal rulings are also found online . The Zambian Law Journal ’ is found at the school of Law in the University of Zambia. The Laws of Zambia ’ is a 1996 compilation of 26 Volumes containing all the laws and the entire respective various Republican Constitutions since independence. Volume 1 Contains the Index of the Laws of Zambia. The Laws are in read only PDF format . Zambia law Reports can also be obtained at the University of Pretoria. There is also ‘ Zambia Law Reports Consolidated Index containing the cumulative indexes of cases reported, cases referred to, legislation referred to, and subject matter from 1963 to 1978 Published in 1984, Council of Law Reporting, and High Court for Zambia (Lusaka, Zambia).

The Zambia Legal Information Institute (ZamLII) was established by the Law School of the University of Zambia in 1996, in partnership with Zamnet . It has received important start-up assistance from the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School. The Institute's aim is to improve access to judgments, statutes and other legal materials of the Republic of Zambia within both Zambia and elsewhere and to connect lawyers, judges, academics, students and others within Zambia with the growing collection of legal information available around the globe via the Internet. ZamLII provides on-line research of Zambian and foreign legal information and general information about Zambia. Our collection of legal information in Zambia includes The Constitution of the Greater Republic of Zambia , rules and selected decisions of the courts , selected acts , l egal commentary , a legal directory , and finally, information about the U niversity of Zambia School of Law . ZamLII also provides links to foreign legal information in and outside of Africa. You can also find general information about Zambia through our link with Zamnet .


Government Gazettes

The government of Zambia publishes a gazette that contains all relevant announcements and enactment or amendments of laws and regulations. It incorporates various government decisions, and once they feature in the Gazette, government decisions are deemed and laws and regulations are deemed to have been published and validly promulgated.


Gazettes are used by both the government and ordinary citizens to convey information to the public. The following are some of the normal uses of gazettes:


               i.          Notices to creditors and debtors in administration of estates.

             ii.          Publication of amendments to existing laws, regulations and rules.

           iii.          Publications of newly enacted laws, regulations and rules.

            iv.          Invitation for tenders from government departments.

              v.          Insurance of trading licenses for companies.

            vi.          Publication of title deeds and deed of transfer in respect of property.


Law schools in Zambia

There is a school of law in the University of Zambia . It has a law department within the faculty of law that offers Bachelor of Laws degree. The law school in collabourations with Zamnet established The Zambia Legal Information Institute (ZamLII). It has received important start-up assistance from the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School.


Access to information

Access to information is impeded by a number of factors such as limited and uneven distribution of libraries and information materials, restrictive library regulations and lack of awareness among members of the general public of their rights of access to information. These limitations inhibit citizens from effectively participating in national affairs. Having said that legal information is available at the School of law and the internet as discussed above.


The Law Association of Zambia

The Law Association of Zambia is a professional organization bringing together more than 600 legal practitioners. The Association was founded in 1973 and brings together all practicing members of the legal profession. Prior to this, the Association was called the Law Society of Zambia. As in most other jurisdiction, the Law Association of Zambia regulates the legal profession. The Law Association of Zambia is a professional organization bringing together more than 600 legal practitioners. The Association was founded in 1973 and brings together all practicing members of the legal profession. Prior to this, the Association was called the Law Society of Zambia. Members of the association are Individual advocates practicing in Zambia and students enrolled in the University of Zambia Law School. Amongst others, the law association seeks to further the development of law as an instrument of social order and justice and as an essential element in the growth of society, To provide a means by which lawyers, whatever their particular field of activity, can participate together fully and effectively in the development of society and its institutions and To encourage lawyers as individuals to join actively in the life of, and identify themselves with people and to utilize their skills and training in their service.


The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is a body corporate established by the Law Association of Zambia Act, Chapter 31 of the Laws of Zambia. Being a body corporate, the Association can sue and be sued and is competent to enter into any contractual obligation of its choice. The Association’s main policy-making body is the Annual General Meeting, comprising all registered members of the Association, which membership presently stands at five hundred. In between the Annual General Meetings, the Association elects an Executive, comprising the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer and eleven Council Members to run the day-to-day affairs of the Association. The Association has various committees of duly appointed Advocates responsible for various activities of the Association. Membership is open to individual advocates practicing in Zambia and students enrolled in the University of Zambia Law School.


Political Parties

Significant political developments have occurred in Zambia since the 2001 tripartite elections. After having had two previous elections in 1991 and 1996, the 2001 elections produced a multiparty Parliament for the first time since Zambia’s independence in 1964. These elections seem to signal that the country has moved from a dominant one party political system to a competitive multi-party system. Despite these positive political developments, political parties and the party system in Zambia still remain relatively undeveloped. This trend in Zambian political culture may be partly due to the short time period in which political parties have had to organize, a lack of organizational funds, and a host of legal and political obstacles that have exacerbated political party fragmentation. Political parties play a vital and indispensable role in modern political systems and are the raison d’être of a multiparty system.


To its credit, Zambia has been deemed an “oasis of peace” in Africa since its independence. Although the country experienced one-party rule for 27 years, there was not the degree of repression and social anarchy that characterized many other African countries. Because of this unique attribute, Zambia’s political transition in 1991 was peaceful; Zambia successfully held presidential and parliamentary elections in 1996 and 2001. Despite disputes over the election results in 1996 and 2001, the country has been able to utilize constitutional provisions to resolve political differences.

The MMD government was elected in 1991 and within six months of assuming office; fragmentation began to surface within the ruling party. Several MPs resigned in the fracas. In 1993, several former cabinet ministers and notable MPs left MMD to form the National Party. Although several MPs successfully won their seats on the NP ticket, the party atrophied and failed to offer a serious challenge to the MMD government. Due to continued dissatisfaction with MMD, two other parties, the Zambia Democratic Congress (ZDC) and the Agenda for Zambia (AZ) were formed in 1995 and 1996 respectively.


Faced by a perceived threat from the political opposition, by 1996 the MMD government orchestrated a constitutional amendment to preclude the strongest challenger, UNIP’s Kenneth Kaunda, from competing in the 1996 elections. Traditional tribal chiefs were also barred from standing as candidates. In a backlash attempt by supporters of UNIP, the 1996 elections were widely boycotted by civil society representatives, and supporters of UNIP, resulting in a consolidation of MMD’s dominance in Parliament. That year, the MMD increased its parliamentary seats from 125 to 131, while the political opposition remained largely fragmented. Both parties were led by individuals who held senior positions in the first MMD National Executive Committee and were ministers in Chiluba’s first cabinet.


With the combined opposition parties winning only nine seats and the independent candidates having won ten seats, this parliamentary result followed serious irregularities in the electoral process. The alleged irregularities included poor management of the voter registration process, resulting in a massive reduction in voters eligible to participate in the elections. The overwhelming evidence of widespread vote rigging and other forms of electoral fraud in the 1996 elections led to the elections result being challenged in the Courts.


Amid popular contestation, Chiluba announced in May 2001 that he would not seek a third presidential term on the MMD ticket. In late August 2001, Levy Mwanawasa emerged as the party’s choice for its presidential candidate. The election date was announced at the end of November, in the middle of the rainy season and well after the MMD had commenced its election campaign. At the dissolution of Parliament, prior to the election, MMD held 89 seats as compared to 131 when elected in 1991. The opposition UPND, NP and UNIP held twenty seats in sum. Forty seats in Parliament were vacant. After a split within the MMD, forty seats that were occupied by that party were left vacant, as several MP’s who left the government either joined the opposition or formed other parties.

The 2001 tripartite elections were also widely regarded as flawed by both domestic and international observers. There were serious doubts as to whether the results reflected the will of the people. The final results released by the Electoral Commission of Zambia indicated that about 70% of the registered electorate cast their votes for president. Of these votes, the MMD party received 28.69%, while the UPND receiving 26.76%, a difference of 30,000 votes. Expressed as a percentage of registered voters, the MMD received less than 20% of the vote, which makes it the only party to win the government with such a narrow margin of victory since independence, in spite of allegations against the party over vote rigging and other alleged abuses of electoral fraud.


The 2001 elections seem to highlight the risks associated with transitioning from a dominant single party system to a non-authoritarian competitive party system. Of the seven political parties in Parliament, no party had an absolute majority. The MMD won less than 50 % of the seats (46%), while the UPND had just about a third (33%). Combined, MMD and UPND shared about 80% of seats in Parliament. Together, UNIP and FDD accounted for 17% of the seats while the remaining three opposition parties shared 5% of the seats. At the local government level, opposition parties controlled key city and municipal councils in about six provinces.


Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD)

The MMD originally formed during a planned referendum in July 1991 as a pressure group to campaign for the restoration of a multiparty system to contest the ruling party UNIP. In January 1991, MMD transformed itself into a political party with diverse representation, including trade unions, commercial farmers, the clergy, students, academics, businesspersons and former UNIP politicians. Under the leadership of the former Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) chairman-general, Frederick Chiluba, the party united around a cohesive platform to remove UNIP from power. As MMD consolidated power in 1991 and 1996 elections, with the party leadership garnering the majority vote, there were fears that the country was regressing back to a one-party state. As Although legislation severed the formal links between the party and government, MMD’s priority position in government allowed it to use the incumbency to access state resources, especially during election campaigns. As a result of discord within the party over governance issues, between 1993 and 1996 the party experienced several defections and resignations leading to the formation of rival political parties.

In 2001, the MMD had an organizational presence in every province within the country. Consequently, the party could boast of national structures and coverage and it held regular elections for its national leaders. However, as the 2001 elections drew nearer, the party was faced with the prospect of defeat, triggered by the desire of
President Chiluba to run for a third term in office. As public pressure against the third term mounted and senior party leaders began denouncing the action, the party began to lose its popularity. Eventually, the president declared he would not seek a third term and the MMD went on to win its third mandate. However, MMD’s electoral performance was very poor -having gained less than 30% of the national vote and winning less than three seats in four provinces. This was perhaps the lowest mandate won by any ruling party in Zambia since independence and posed serious challenges to the new leadership.


The MMD manifesto is based on the promotion of a free market economy and good governance. Since 1991, the party has implemented a very ambitious economic reform program. It has liberalized the economy and removed most of the controls that characterized the Zambian economy in the Second Republic. These policies have
produced a serious social impact, which has contributed to deterioration in living standards and a high incidence of poverty. The party faces a number of challenges, as has been reflected in the party’s declining representation in Parliament, considering that since the 2001 elections the MMD no longer commands an absolute majority.

The United Party for National Development

United Party for National Development (UPND) was formed the UPND in 1998. The party was established on a social democratic platform of providing free health and educational services to the Zambian people. It also articulated a commitment to providing agricultural subsidies to rural farmers to increase agricultural production. The UPND’s performance in local government and parliamentary elections between 1998 and 2000 made it the main opposition party to the MMD. The party won more than 60 local council seats in the 1998 local government elections and six parliamentary by-elections in Southern, Western and Central provinces. It also controlled one council in north-western province. Although the party claimed an organizational presence in almost all of Zambia’s nine provinces, it was better
organized in Central, north-western, Southern and Western provinces.


UPND finished second to the MMD presidential candidate in the 2001 elections. The party won the majority of local government seats in Western, Central, north-western, Southern and Lusaka provinces. With these 49 seats, UPND was the second largest party in Parliament. Historically, UPND has strong ties to other opposition parties, with which it contested the results of the 2001 election in the Supreme Court. The party has encountered serious leadership and organizational challenges, including its level of dependency on the patronage of its party president.


Although the party’s national leadership is representative of all the ethnic groups, the electorate perceives it as a regional or ethnic party. Additionally, the party has had difficulty asserting itself as the main opposition party in the country. Without recognition as the official opposition, on account of falling short of the threshold of 53 seats, the party has been unable to systematically challenge government policy in Parliament and to initiate legislation. Notwithstanding these shortcomings, UPND has been internally cohesive and self-confident, as evidenced by very few defections among the senior leadership. Additionally, it is the only political party that successfully expelled its MP for accepting a ministerial appointment in the MMD government.


United National Independence Party (UNIP)

UNIP is the oldest African political party in Zambia. It was established in 1959. It was briefly involved governmentwiththeANCbetween1962-1964and it was the governing party in Zambia from 1964-1991.The leader of the party until 1992 was former President Kenneth Kaunda, who was the first president of the independent country of Zambia. He voluntarily stepped down in favour of Kebby Musokotwane, but returned to the party in 1995 to increase the party’s chances of defeating the MMD in 1996. Kaunda was excluded from running on the party’s ticket in 1996 due to a controversial constitutional amendment passed by the ruling MMD, which barred persons whose parents were not born in Zambia from contesting the presidency.

Between 1992 and 1998, UNIP suffered harassment under the government’s rule, including arrests and detentions over allegations that the party conspired to overthrow the Government. The most controversial of these alleged conspiracy acts were the “Zero Option” and “Black Mamba” “plots” that resulted in a number of UNIP leaders being detained, including the party’s vice president Chief Inyambo Yeta. Additionally, UNIP president Kenneth Kaunda was detained in connection with an alleged coup attempt to overthrow the MMD government in December 1997.

Although the party can legitimately claim to have countrywide organizational structures, the party has experienced serious organizational problems since leaving office in 1991. During the one-party era prior to 1991, UNIP benefited from the use of public funds because there was no distinction between the ruling party’s purse and the government as evidenced by the fact that party officials were paid from the public treasury, the party used government vehicles and the State financed party offices. Since leaving office, UNIP has had to rely upon its own resources and properties, which has translated into a diminution of the party’s organizational capacity. The Central Committee that was formerly full-time is now part-time and a number of staff have been laid off or have not been paid for a significant period of time. Due to financial problems, the party has not been able to hold important party meetings.

In addition to organizational problems, the party has also experienced serious leadership problems since 1992. Internal bickering and factionalism has led to frequent leadership turnover, suspensions and sometimes expulsions. The influence of the party’s founder and former president Kenneth Kaunda may have had a negative
impact on party organization and membership morale, as the party seems to be divided between two camps between supporters of the former president, and those who want fresh leadership without formal ties to Kaunda.

A leadership crisis in 2000 led to the ouster of party president Francis Nkhoma and his replacement by Kaunda’s son and UNIP’s secretary general, Tilyenji Kaunda, who later contested the 2001 presidential elections. There are concerns within the party over Tilyenji Kaunda’s leadership ability, as he is perceived to be directing the affairs of the party from outside the country and lacking necessary organizational experience. UNIP espouses a distinct social-democratic ideology that calls for more state- involvement in the economy and the provision of state resources for social services. However, the perceived failure of its past policies, coupled with its serious leadership problems have contributed to the party’s failure to offer a formidable opposition to the ruling MMD.


Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD)

This party was formed in July 2001 by senior party and government officials who were expelled from the MMD for opposing a third term of the country’s president. The original founders included the former Vice President of Zambia, Christon Tembo, cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and MPs. In September 2001, Tembo was elected as the party’s first president, with a similar manifesto as the MMD. In the 2001 elections, the FDD won 12 MP seats in Lusaka and Eastern provinces. It also gained control of the Lusaka City Council. Additionally, its candidate in presidential elections finished third, managing to win 13% of the national vote. Additionally, the party fielded the largest number of councilors and MPs and won the mayoral ticket. Unsatisfied with the results, however, the FDD have joined in collabouration with other parties to contest the 2001 elections results in the Supreme Court. The party has an organizational presence in all nine provinces of the country. Although relatively well organized, lately a significant number of FDD party members have defected to the MMD government. Recently three of its MPs were appointed to governmental ministerial positions without party consultation. While the party supports a Government of National Unity (GNU), as it has sought to negotiate its involvement in the MMD government with the President to date it has been unable to reach a workable partnership.

Heritage Party (HP)

Godfrey Miyanda, former Zambian Vice President from 1994 to 1997 founded the HP. Like other opposition parties, the HP was formed in protest of the government’s bid for a third presidential term. HP is committed to promoting integrity in public office, transparency and greater public accountability. The party’s leader is a central force in the party’s operation. 
Although the party contested the 2001 elections and finished fifth with about 8% of the national vote, it obtained only four MPs in the most recent elections. Since those elections, two of these MPs have defected to the ruling party, while the remaining two HP MPs have both been appointed to Deputy Ministerial positions in the MMD government party approval. The party views this action as “poaching” and because there is no expulsion clause in the HP constitution, it has not challenged with the “erring” MPs. Currently HP is one of the parties challenging the election of the country’s president in the Supreme Court


Zambia Republican Party (ZRP)

Many former MMD members claim that their only quarrel with the MMD was Chiluba’s desire to run for a third term. This explains why a number of FDD members and officials have gravitated back to the MMD after Levy Mwanasa was elected President. The ZRP was formed in early 2001 through an alliance of four parties including the Republican Party. The ZRP presidential candidate in the 2001 elections did not perform well finishing sixth with less than five percent (4.8%) of the national vote. Although the party did win one Parliamentary seat in Lusaka Province, the MP has since been appointed by the government as Cabinet Minister. The party’s policy direction does not differ fundamentally from the MMD. ZRP supports a free-market economy based on private entrepreneurship, good incentives to the private sector and a Government that is responsive and responsible to the citizens.


Patriotic Front (PF)

In September 2001 Michael Sata, a former Cabinet Minister and the MMD National Secretary, formed the PF. It was the last of the parties to be formed as a result of MMD succession problems. The party was organized quickly to contest the 2001 elections and consequently it did not perform well. The PF secured under 4% (3.3%) of the national vote and won only one MP seat. The party’s main policy platform is the reduction in taxes and prudence in the management of public resources. The party’s leader is a central force in the party’s operation. However, the main problem the party faces is a public perception that its leader supported Chiluba’s third term bid and was at the forefront of prosecuting those opposed to it through suspensions and expulsions. The are other political parties which have contested parliamentary seats and they include National Citizens Coalition (NCC), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Zambia Alliance for Progress (ZAP), National Leadership for Development (NLD) and the NCC (National Citizens Coalition).


Civil society

Zambia has a variety of non-governmental organizations working on issues of human rights and related fields. Despite the euphoria over the defeat of President-since-independence, Kenneth Kaunda's, United National Independence Party (UNIP) in Zambia's first ever multi-party elections, it has become clear that elections did not herald an end to the prominence of human rights issues in the political life of the country. The then ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD has been beset by political scandal, defection, corruption and allegations of involvement in the traffic of illegal drugs. The new government has also demonstrated a certain degree of intolerance by declaring a state of emergency and detaining several opponents, following claims of a coup plot hatched by members of UNIP. At the same time, law enforcement agencies for the most part remain fixated on their erstwhile methods of operation, which were, to say the least, not human rights-sensitive. The press is often targeted for harassment.


Human rights organizations (HROs) in Zambia are, in the main, faced with extending the experience they gained in the monitoring of elections and civic education to other areas of human rights work. While the elections were an issue around which it was fairly easy to galvanize interest and attention, there is a need to aggressively promote knowledge of human rights among the general populace--broadly described as "apathetic". Some prominent cases from the past regime, such as the detention-without-trial of Katiza Cebekhulu (the key witness in the trial of Winnie Mandela, who was spirited away from South Africa in order not to give testimony expected to be potentially damaging), have been passed over to the new government, but the government has done little to address the concerns expressed by human rights groups about them. Torture is reported to take place on a regular basis. In addition, there have been reports of a number of incidents where police have detained the relatives of their intended victims, in order to flush them out of hiding--the case of opposition UNIP member, William Banda, being the most prominent. The new HROs that have come into existence are largely believed to be "elitist", and need to cooperate more effectively with the press and others involved in the human rights struggle.


Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (CHRD)

The Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (CHRD) has yet to make a significant impact on the human rights scene in Zambia, although it runs an office for pro bono counseling on legal and human rights matters. The Centre faced initial problems with registration, as the authorities suspected their motives. Although the registration matters were overcome, it continues to encounter problems with government obstruction of receipt of external funding granted to the organization. The Centre is nevertheless looking around for alternatives, and intends to organize a paralegal training course to be conducted in June 1994.


Christian Council of Zambia (CCZ)

The Christian Council of Zambia (CCZ) was part of the group that was active in the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP), but it has, in general, adopted a low profile with respect to advocacy on human rights issues in Zambia. Instead, it deals with questions such as refugees and relief, some gender questions, ethics, development and unemployment. This activity is all conducted under the auspices of the Social Justice Committee of the CCZ.


Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP)

Initially begun as a monitoring group prior to the 1991 general elections, FODEP is an umbrella organization comprised of several church groups, women's organizations, the Law Association and the Press Association. Today, FODEP has broadened its mandate to cover civic education for the purposes of enhancing the general awareness of the population. Drawing on its experience in the elections, FODEP intends to focus on civil and political rights at the local level, and to involve parliamentary and other elected representatives in the dissemination of knowledge and information about these rights.


Human Rights Committee of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ)

The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), a statutory body recognized by law in 1973, established a Human Rights Committee to function under its auspices. The Committee was heavily involved in civic education around the elections and produced a number of programs for the broadcast media on elections and civic rights. The Committee transcribed the notes from these seminars and circulated them as a further mechanism of sensitization. In conjunction with the Catholic Secretariat, it has also designed a program for the conduct of simultaneous seminars on human rights in all the provincial centres of the country, as a starting-point for the sensitization of the broad populace on general human rights issues. A series of seminars