Zambia

Zambia, home to one of the world’s largest waterfalls, the beautiful Victoria Falls, is a landlocked country in southern Africa. It is one of the most highly urbanized countries in sub-Saharan Africa, with 44% of the population concentrated in a few urban areas along the major transport corridors, while rural areas are sparsely populated. The population comprises approximately 72 ethnic groups and Zambia is home to more than 100,000 refugees from the surrounding nations.

Unemployment and underemployment in urban areas are serious problems, while most rural Zambians are subsistence farmers. Income disparity between the wealthy and poor is a very real issue in this country, as the overall percentage of Zambians living beneath the national poverty line of $2/day is just under 60% of the population, increasing to almost 80% in rural areas.

Per capita annual incomes are currently at $395, placing the country among the world's poorest nations. Social indicators continue to decline, particularly in measurements of life expectancy at birth and maternal mortality. The country's rate of economic growth cannot support rapid population growth or the strain which HIV/AIDS related issues place on the economy.

Zambia is officially a Christian nation, with more than 80% of its population categorizing themselves as Christians. However, many Zambians belong to independent churches which combine Christianity and African religions.

EDUCATION

Currently Zambia’s formal education system has a 7-5-4 structure, with seven years of primary education (four years of lower and three years of upper primary), five years of secondary (two years of junior and three years of senior secondary), and four years of university to first degree level. Transition from lower to higher educational levels is determined by national competitive examinations at the end of Grades 7, 9 and 12.

Historically, primary and secondary levels of education were offered in separate institutions, but this changed with the development of basic schools which provide the first nine years of schooling. This means that currently there are two parallel, but related, paths for educational progression after Grade 7: some pupils proceed into Grade 8 in a basic school, while others proceed into conventional secondary schools that run from Grade 8 to Grade 12. All, however, must have performed well in the selection examination held at the end of Grade 7, since there is room in Grade 8 for only one-third of those who complete Grade 7.

Illiteracy is only 29%, but the drop-out rate at schools is very high. In rural areas, the standard of education is hampered by lack of facilities, transportation and teachers.

Zambia Statistics

  • Language:

    English
  • Area:

    752,610 km²
  • Capital:

    Lusaka
  • Population:

    12.9 million
    46.2% of population under the age of 14
    Only 3% of population over 65
    59.3% of population at or below poverty line ($2/day)
  • Currency:

    Kwacha
  • Life Expectancy:

    46 years
  • Agriculture:

    corn, sorghum, rice, groundnuts, sunflower seeds, flowers, tobacco, cotton, coffee
  • Natural Resources:

    copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium
  • Terrain:

    high plateaus;
    some hills & mountains
  • Climate:

    tropical, rainy season October through April
  • Economy:

    48.9% Services;
    29% Industry;
    22% Agriculture
    Top 10% of population holds 38.9% of income
    Lowest 20% of population holds 3.6% of income
Esther
Jan 5, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Hi! i'm just wondering if you have a trip planned to Africa sometime this summer, because i might be able to go. please let me know how i can find out more info, if this trip is happening! thanks in advance.

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