Zambia is located in the south of Africa. It is one of the few African countries that did not get involved in any conflict. Zambia is one of the friendliest and safest countries in the African continent. Nevertheless Zambia is among the poorest countries in the world, more than 60 % of its inhabitants live below the poverty line and 17 % of the population is infected with HIV.

Capital City: Lusaka

Area: 752, 614 km ²

Population: 17, 1 mil (2017), population density: 22, 7/km2

Official language: English

Currency:  Zambian Kwatcha (ZMW)

How people live in Zambia

There are 72 tribes in Zambia, each of these tribes has its own language and tradition.

In Zambian culture greetings are very important. People greet each other with the phrase Mulishani? (How are you?) Followed by the answer Bwino (Great). Another important part of Zambian society are proverbs, thatare, passed on from generation to generation.

Zambia was a British colony and gained independence on 24th October 1964.



Healthcare in Zambia is not available for great number of the population. HIV, AIDS and tuberculosis, infection diseases, malaria and cholera affect many of them. Average age is 38 years. Despite of it Zambians keep smiling.



Elementary education is not compulsory. Children can study for free at state elementary schools. Unfortunately plenty of families cannot afford it. They have to pay for school uniforms, lunches, teaching aids and contribute to e.g. school reconstruction and cultural activities. Education in state schools is of low quality, with high rates of teacher absenteeism, so pupils often leave school without learning basic literacy and numeracy.

Elementary school education takes nine years and if students succeed in final exam they can continue in a high school that takes three years. From high school they can advance to the further education or university (6 months or 4 years). There are also apprenticeship schools, where children learn handicrafts for one year.


Around 1/3 of Zambian territory is suitable for agricultural activities, out of it only 5 % is arable land and the rest is used for farming and forestry.  Only 15 % of arable land is currently used for agriculture. Only small part is irrigated- most of the crop production depends on rainfalls. (in the years 2014-2016 whole region was affected by droughts.)

The most important crop is maize, followed by cotton, tobacco, grains, millet, rice, peanuts, sunflower, sugarcane, tapioca and coffee. Cut flowers are becoming successful export commodity.

Zambians breed cattle, goats, pigs and poultry. They are successfully producing milk, eggs and leathers.  Fish farming seems to be perspective area of agriculture too.



Blackouts are very common in Zambia. In the dry season blackouts have negative impact on industry. Because of this, households and companies often need the help of electric generators.

Only 25 % of people have access to electricity, there is a great difference between cities and rural areas (in urban areas 40 – 50 % of people have access to electricity, in the rural areas it is only 4 %)

Ethnic make-up

Zambia is multi-ethnic state with more than 70 ethnic groups. Zambian population is comprised of 99,5 % of native Africans, with most important ethnic groups:  Bemba 21 %, Tonga 13,6 %, Chewa 7,4 %, Lozi 5,7 %, Nsenga 5,3 %, Tumbuka 4,4 %, Ngoni 4 %, Lala 3,1 %, Kaonde 2,9 %, Namwanga 2,8 %, Lunda 2,6 %, Mambwe 2,5 %, Luvale 2,2 %, Lamba 2,1 %, Ushi 1,9 %, Lenje 1,6 %, Bisa 1,6 %, Mbunda 1,2 %. In economy, most important groups are Indians, Lebanese, Zimbabweans and South Africans.

Religious make-up

  • Christians (Majority protestants, followed by Catholics and members of African Christian churches)               92 %
  • Muslims 3 %
  • Other (Buddhists and Hindus) 3 %
  • Local religions 2 %