Facts about Zambia

Zambia, proud host of AfDB’s 2016 Annual Meetings, and home of the mighty Victoria Falls, is located in the heart of Southern Africa and shares borders with eight other countries namely: Tanzania, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Botswana. 

Shaped like a butterfly (that is spreading its wings) and covering an area of 750 square kilometres (290,000 square miles), Zambia’s terrain is mostly high plateau with a tropical climate that makes the country’s weather enjoyable throughout the year.

Zambia is the land of the legendary walking safari, offering Africa’s best on-foot wildlife experience, the wild Zambezi River and breathtaking lakes and wetlands. Zambia also boasts a profusion of birds, abundant wildlife spread over 20 National parks and 34 Game Management Areas (GMAs) and pristine wilderness areas of “Africa-untouched”

Zambians are friendly and peaceful people who attach great importance to greetings (especially when dealing with visitors). Despite having 73 tribes, all speaking different dialects, Zambia is a country at peace with itself  and its neighbours with no history of political strife or tribal war fare within its borders or beyond making it ‘an oasis of peace’ and ‘Africa’s shining beacon’. 

And lest we forget, Zambia was the first country Nelson Mandela visited (27 February, 1990) after being released from prison. 

  • Area:  752,614 sq km of land, slightly larger than the state of Texas. The country lies mostly between latitude 8 degrees and 18 degrees South and longitude 22 degrees and 34 degrees East.
  • Capital City:  Lusaka (named after ‘MwaLusaka’ the Chief of the original inhabitants of the area)
  • Other Cities:  Ndola, Kitwe, Livingstone, Chingola, Kabwe
  • Population:  14 million (Estimated)
  • Independence Day: 24 October, 1964 (from British Rule)
  • President:  His Excellency Edgar Chagwa Lungu (6th democratically elected President, in power since January, 2015)
  • Vice president: Inonge Wina (the First Zambian female Vice-President)
  • Government system: Parliamentary Democracy (modelled along the British system)
  • Membership:  SADC, COMESA, African Union (AU), Great Lakes Region. The Headquarters of COMESA is in Lusaka, Zambia.                    
  • Language:  English (official)
  • Local Languages: Bemba, Kaonde, Lozi, Lunda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga 
  • Religion:  Christian 87%, Muslims 1%, Others: 12% 
  • Climate: Zambia has a tropical climate which is modified by altitude. There is one rainy season which lasts from October to April. The hottest period is from September to November. 
  • Lakes:  Bangweulu, Tanganyika, Kariba, Mweru
  • Rivers: The Zambezi, Kafue, Luangwa, Luapula, Chambeshi  
  • When to visit Zambia: Anytime as Zambia has a lot to offer all year round.
  • Currency: Zambia Kwacha. The coins are called ‘Ngwee’.  The two combine to make a popular historic phrase ‘Kwacha-Ngwee!’ that ushered in the modern Zambian Republic. ‘Kwacha’ means ‘Dawn’ while ‘Ngwee’ means ‘bright’.

Despite the impact of western influence Zambia has a rich and diverse cultural heritage reflected in over 60 colorful traditional ceremonies occurring annually in different parts of the country. To experience these ceremonies is to be a privileged witness to the tradition, rhythm and beat of Africa.

On the economic front, Zambia is one of the most attractive destinations for foreign investments with annual economic growth of about 7%. In 2010, the World Bank named Zambia one of the world’s fastest economically reformed countries. Investment opportunities abound in tourism, manufacturing, agriculture and mining, the main economic activity. Apart from being one of the largest copper producers in the world, the country is endowed with an array of some of the finest precious stones such as emeralds and amethyst.

 Whatever your preference, Zambia has something for you! Those who visit this amazing country leave enriched by the experience, and are always eager to return.

Zambia is waiting to welcome you. So come on – Let’s explore!

For more on this amazing country, visit www.zambiatourism.com or www.facebook.com/zambiatourism


International telephone services are available to allow for direct communication between Zambia and other countries. There are internet and phone booth cards that can be used for both domestic and international calls. Mobile phone SIM cards will be available during registration for participants who wish to use local mobile phone networks for the duration of their stay in Zambia. Telephone and telefax services and internet wireless network are available in hotels at the delegates' expense.

Climate change is the most important development challenge of our time. Though currently a small emitter of green-house gases, African countries suffer disproportionately from climate impacts.

Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President