The Republic of Zambia is a landlocked nation in Southern Africa, bordered to the north by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. Lusaka, Zambia’s capital city, is located in the country’s south-central region. The population is centered mostly around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province in the northwest, which are the country’s primary economic centres.
The region, which was originally populated by Khoisan peoples, was influenced by the Bantu invasion of the thirteenth century. Following European explorers’ travels in the eighteenth century, Zambia became the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia at the end of the nineteenth century. Zambia was administered for the majority of the colonial period by an administration selected from London on the recommendation of the British South Africa Company.
Zambia gained independence from the United Kingdom on October 24, 1964, and Prime Minister Kenneth Kaunda was inaugurated as the country’s first president. From 1964 through 1991, Kaunda’s socialist United National Independence Party (UNIP) ruled the country. Kaunda was a significant figure in regional diplomacy, working closely with the US to find solutions to crises in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Angola, and Namibia. Zambia was a one-party state from 1972 until 1991, with the UNIP being the sole legal political party operating under the slogan “One Zambia, One Nation.” In 1991, Kaunda was replaced by Frederick Chiluba of the social-democratic Movement for Multi-Party Democracy, ushering in an era of social-economic development and government decentralisation. Chiluba’s chosen successor, Levy Mwanawasa, reigned over Zambia from January 2002 until his death in August 2008, and is associated with anti-corruption and anti-poverty efforts. Rupiah Banda served as Acting President upon Mwanawasa’s death until being elected President in 2008. After barely three years in power, Banda resigned after being defeated in the 2011 elections by Patriotic Front party leader Michael Sata. Sata died on October 28, 2014, becoming Zambia’s second president to die in office. Guy Scott served as interim president until fresh elections were held on January 20, 2015, at which time Edgar Lungu was elected as the sixth President.
Zambia was rated one of the world’s fastest-reforming economies by the World Bank in 2010. The headquarters of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) are in Lusaka.