Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Zambia at a glance - ahead of elections

10 August 2016, 12:08

Lusaka - Zambia, which holds general and presidential elections on Thursday, is a copper-rich nation in southern Africa that has been hit by falling global commodity prices.

The leading candidates are interim President Edgar Lungu of the Patriotic Front (PF), who narrowly won election in January 2015 and Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development (UPND). The last election took place after the sudden death of president Michael Sata.

Zambia, known as Northern Rhodesia under British rule, has been billed an African success story.

But a sharp decline in copper prices and weaker exports to China, a key trading partner, along with a series of government policy reversals, have undermined international investor confidence.

Here is a brief look at the country.

Economy: Copper is king

Copper accounts for more than 70 percent of Zambian exports, making it the second biggest producer in Africa after the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the eighth producer in the world.

But a drop in copper prices of almost one-third from their peak in February 2011 caused the national currency, the kwacha, to fall in value against the dollar by 42 percent last year.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that inflation will spike to 22.5 percent in 2016 before dropping back to around 9.9 percent next year.

Annual economic growth that reached seven percent in 2010-2014 is forecast at 3.4 percent this year and 4.8 percent in 2017.

Zambia also faces serious energy problems, with an erratic supply of electricity due to poor rains and low water levels in the Kariba dam.

That has hurt heavy industries like copper mines and caused massive blackouts last year in eight provinces, including the capital Lusaka.

Most of the copper companies are owned by foreign, notably Chinese investors.

The country's major crops are sugar cane, maize, tobacco, peanuts and cotton.

Stubborn poverty

Despite its economic potential, 60 percent of Zambia's 16.2 million population live in poverty, according to the World Bank "and 42 percent are considered to be in extreme poverty".

The number of poor has risen owing to a rapidly growing population.

Per capita gross national income was $1,500 in 2015, down from $1,750 in 2013, World Bank data shows, and life expectancy stands at 61 years.

In 2014, roughly 1.15 million people were estimated to have contracted HIV/AIDS in Zambia, the ninth highest level worldwide, according to the CIA Factbook.

In addition to its own population, Zambia hosts hundreds of thousands of refugees from elsewhere in Africa.

It covers 752,614 square kilometres (291,000 square miles), making it larger than France and slightly smaller than Turkey.

The Victoria Falls

Zambia is the home of several animal reserves but its main tourist attraction is the Victoria Falls, one of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world.

Located on the Zambezi River, the fourth largest river in Africa, the Falls lie on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and both countries share the flow of tourists.

Situated a dozen kilometres from the Victoria Falls, the tourist town of Livingstone was the former capital of Northern Rhodesia at the time of British colonisation.

It takes its name from David Livingstone, the first European to explore the region.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...