Zambia is a diverse place. It has over 72 tribes each with its own language, culture, and challenges. However, they do share the same colonial history, economy, and government. Also, comparing nationally-averaged statistics is a helpful way to contrast life in Zambia with your home country.
1793: The Bantu tribes within modern-day Zambia are contacted by a Portuguese trading company.
1855: David Livingstone witnesses the Mosi-Oa-Tunya, re-naming them the “Victoria Falls”.
1891: Through the efforts of Cecil Rhodes, “Northern Rhodesia” falls under British rule.
1953: Northern Rhodesia joins Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Nyasaland (Malawi) in a federation opposed by the general population.
Mid 20th Century: Indigenous oppression increases unrest and political organization.
1964: Kenneth Kaunda and UNIP (United National Independence Party) achieve a peaceful hand over of power from British colonial rule.
1991: Kaunda surrenders power following the results of the first multi-party election.
The largest contributor to Zambia’s GDP is the mining and exportation of copper. This causes the economy, currency, and cost of living to fluctuate with the rise and fall of copper prices. However, few Zambians are actually involved in the industry. Agriculture employs the majority, largely in the form of rural, subsistence maize farming. These farmers rely on a single harvest to feed and fund their family for the year.