Zambia is a mission in Democracy 3 Africa.
The Republic of Zambia is a large, landlocked country in Southern Africa, bordering the Great Lakes region. The Copperbelt runs through the north of the country, providing the extensive natural resources on which the economy is dependent. Volatility in the copper market continues to directly impact the public finances of Zambia.
Zambia declared its independence from the United Kingdom in 1964, with their first president establishing a socialist regime. The struggles of Zambia's neighbours for independence during the 1970s resulted in an influx of refugees, curtailed international transportation, and increased the country's isolation. With Chinese assistance, Zambia built a railway to the Tanzanian coast for trade in 1975, but depressed copper prices drastically increased public debt. Zambia's public debt per capita was the highest in the world by the mid-1990s.
Public dissatisfaction with the first president's regime lead to riots in 1990, followed by an attempted coup. In 1991, the president agreed to reinstate a multi-party democracy, having instituted single-party rule in 1972. Presidential power was further curtailed by a subsequent change to the constitution in 1996, which limited presidents to two four-year terms.
46% of population is rural, with most being subsistence farmers. 78% of the rural population are below the poverty line, most in extreme poverty. This is in contrast to formal sector workers, who have well-resourced pension, sickness and disability benefits. Tactical aid does not result in strategic poverty elimination, and as population growth outpaces economic growth, social indicators continue to decline. Gender inequality indicators are very high in Zambia, including a significant gap in literacy rates.
Zambia struggles with seasonal flooding, a high HIV/AIDS burden, power shortages, poor governance, a large civil service wage bill, and widespread corruption.