A southern East African state, Zambia is bordered to the north by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to the northeast by Tanzania, to the east by Malawi, to the southeast by Mozambique, to the south by Zimbabwe (the Lake Kariba separates the two countries on part of the border), Botswana and Namibia, and to the west by Angola.
Zambia is a member of the Commonwealth. Joined the Commonwealth in 1964, following independence from Britain.
Zambia in 1 minut
Essentially famous for the Victoria Falls, Zambia has many other advantages: the country has several national parks and nature reserves which are home to large colonies of elephants, lions, leopards and giraffes. Zambia therefore offers many possibilities for safaris, far from the large overcrowded parks of South Africa or Namibia.
The capital of Zambia, Lusaka, is a dynamic city, which allows you to quickly immerse yourself in the culture of the country. A magical and peaceful destination, far from the main tourist trails. In the heart of Southern Africa, this natural paradise that is Zambia welcomes you with open arms!
Known throughout the world, the Victoria Falls marking the border with Zimbabwe, will certainly remain etched in your memory forever… Add to that national parks (Luangwa, Kafue) which are among the largest in Africa, a incomparable fauna and flora, rivers (Zambezi), lakes (Tanganyika), rivers, mountains and green valleys and your trip will take on a magical dimension… Special mention for Lusaka, the capital, which concentrates alone all the Zambian animation. The only watchword in this ecological sanctuary: escape!
What to see? What to do ?
Not to be missed during your stay in Zambia:
– visit of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia: the Statue of Liberty, the Zambian National Assembly, the Moore Pottery Factory, the Theater of Lusaka, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the National Museum of Lusaka, the Zintu Community Museum and the Political Museum
– visit of Livingstone: the national museum
– Victoria Falls on the border with Zimbabwe
– Lake Tangayika: Kalambo Falls, Nsumbu National Park
– The Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage: sanctuary for chimpanzees, 60 km from Chingola
– Kafue National Park, the largest park in Zambia which is home to lions, elephants, leopards, buffaloes and hyenas
– South Luangwa National Park: lions, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, elephants, leopards, antelopes, hippos, crocodiles, birds
– Shiwa Ngandu Mansion, Kapishya Hot Spring and Shiwa Lake
– Ornithological safari on the Zamzebe river
– Safari in national parks
During your stay in Zambia, you can taste local specialties:
– Nashima: corn-based paste that accompanies vegetables or meat.
– Ifisashi: vegetables and peanuts.
– Samp: traditional dish made with cornmeal and beans.
– Chinaka: kind of sausage made from tubers.
– Caterpillars: boiled then served on vegetables.
Zambia, with a tropical climate tempered by the altitude, is formed mainly by hills and plateaus. The majority of the population lives from agriculture (mainly corn), but it is the mines (mainly copper, cobalt, gold, silver, etc.) of the Copper Belt that provide the bulk of the country’s resources, which suffers of its confinement.
1. THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT
Zambia is a highland region, most of which is between 1,200 and 1,500 m above sea level. Several cycles of erosion have leveled the old Precambrian bedrock, giving a relief of hills or plateaus where inselbergs stand. Elevation is higher towards the Katanga border, in the Muchinga Mountains to the east, and along the northeastern border, where a few peaks exceed 2,000 m. A series of tectonic trenches line up from northeast to southwest (Luangwa and Zambezi trenches); to the west, the bedrock is covered by Kalahari sand deposits. Precipitation increases from the south (less than 700 mm of rain per year) to the north, where it reaches 1,100 to 1,500 mm. The rainy season lasts about 6 months (November to April), but interannual variability is quite large, and the country experiences years of abnormal drought, disastrous for agriculture. Altitude lowers temperatures; during the cool season (April-August), they can drop below 10°C, and frost is not uncommon locally; the maximum is reached at the end of the hot season (November: over 30°C).
Most of the country is open forest, or miombo (loose deciduous trees, grass cover), but its clearing has led to the extension of the savannah. Vast areas periodically flooded occupy depressions: West of the country, basin of Lake Bangweulu. Along the Luangwa and the Zambezi stretches a baobab savannah. Three quarters of the country are drained by the Zambezi and its tributaries, the Kafue and the Luangwa; waterfalls separate the gently sloping reaches, where the waters sometimes spread out in swamps. The North-Northeast belongs to the Congo Basin.
Fauna and flora
The landscapes of Zambia are characterized by the presence of the bush.
Zambia is home to mopane forests, vast grasslands, thickets of acacias, kigella africana, mahogany and chigomiers.
The various national parks of Zambia are home to significant wildlife: they are home to colonies of elephants, buffaloes, lions, leopards, giraffes, zebras, hyenas and antelopes.
In South Luangwa Park, hippos, crocodiles and baboons can also be seen.
Thornicroft’s giraffe is a subspecies found only in the Luangwa Valley.
Zambia’s lakes and rivers are home to large and small Nile perch, tiger fish and “yellow belly”.
More than 750 species of birds have been recorded in Zambia, including one endemic: Chaplin’s barbican.
More than 70 ethnic groups, mainly Bantu, make up the population of Zambia. Coming from the north between the 16th and 18th centuries, the Bantu ethnic groups belong, for the most part, to the zone of matrilineal tradition (where authority over children is exercised by the maternal uncle) which extends from Mozambique ( with the Makonde) to Angola (where it includes the Ambos and the Tchokwés). Among the matrilineal ethnic groups, the Lozis inhabit the Barotseland plain to the south-west, the Bembas in the North-East, the Tongas and the Ilas in the South. The patrilineal ethnic groups, who arrived later in Zambia, mainly include the Kololos (mixed with the Lozis) and the Ngonis, a Zulu clan originating from Natal, established in the South. Many of the approximately 70,000 Europeans in the country before independence left Zambia.
The average population density, which is very low (17 inhabitants per km2), does not reflect the unequal distribution of the population. The densities are indeed much higher in the mining area (the Copper Belt, or “Copper Belt”), in the north, where the main cities are located (Kitwe, Ndola, Mufulira), with the exception of Lusaka, the capital city. The rate of urbanization is progressing rapidly (Lusaka has 1.3 million inhabitants). Population growth, around 3.2% per year between 1975 and 1979, has slowed down. The population is now growing at the rate of 1.9% per year, the birth rate (41‰) and the fertility index (5.9 children per woman) remaining, however, still very high. The population is extremely young (46% of Zambians are under 15, only 2% are over 65). Life expectancy at birth, 45 years, is the third lowest in the world, after that of the inhabitants of Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.
3. THE ECONOMY
The majority of the population lives from agriculture, but it is the mines of the Copper Belt that provide the bulk of the country’s commercial resources. The population explosion and the scale of the foreign debt explain both the great poverty of the inhabitants and the need to appeal for international aid.
EThe low agricultural production is not enough to feed the population and the country resorts to imports. Farmers still practise, especially in the East, a low-yield slash-and-burn cultivation (“chitimene system”), which consists of sowing poor cereals in the ashes of cut and burnt tree branches, without prior ploughing. Food production is mainly based on cassava, cereals (maize) and vegetables (beans). In Barotseland, cassava is planted on the heights spared by the seasonal rise in water levels, while, when the water level recedes, the plain provides pasture for herds of cattle. Maize is grown by the Tongans in the Lake Kariba riparian region.
Commercial agriculture developed mainly under the impulse of the colonists: the European planters, who had settled along the railway line crossing the country from north to south, still own a few hundred large farms providing about 45% agricultural production (corn, tobacco, cotton, sugar cane, milk). The bovine herd occupies a dominating place in the breeding, far in front of the goats, in particular in the West (Barotseland). Fishing is active in the lakes and rivers of Barotseland and the North (Lakes Moero and Bangweulu).
3.2. COPPER INDUSTRY
The copper deposits – which extend those of Katanga, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) – are showing signs of exhaustion. The government of President Chiluba – in power from 1991 to 2002 – undertook to privatize the mines, originally owned by the South African consortium Anglo-American and the American company American Metal Climax, but 60% nationalized by his predecessor Kenneth Kaunda. Zambia’s subsoil also contains cobalt, at Kabwe (formerly Broken Hill), zinc and lead. Coal (non-coking) production in Maramba has halved since 1970.
The industrial sector (as well as the banks) was nationalized from 1968, up to 51%. State shares were vested in a government agency, the Industrial Development Corporation (INDECO), which in 1991 controlled 75% of manufacturing output.
INDECO encouraged, under K. Kaunda’s presidency, the creation of industrial enterprises in association with foreign companies, but several have collapsed, including a textile factory in Kafue or the Tika iron and steel complex. As with mining, the government of F. Chiluba has launched a program to privatize these state companies. The industrial sector, today, is based mainly on the Ndola refinery, which processes crude oil transported by a pipeline from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, on metallurgy, copper refining, textiles, agribusiness, chemicals and several car or tractor assembly plants (European or Japanese brands).
Internal communications remain mediocre and external connections are complicated by the country’s isolation. The main railway, the TAN-ZAM, built by the Chinese and completed in 1975, connects Dar es Salaam to the Copper Belt. The north-south line connects the country to South Africa, via Zimbabwe, and to Angola, via the Democratic Republic of Congo (this is the Benguela railway, put out of use during the war civilian in Angola). The Kariba (on the Zambezi) and Kafue dams supply the country with electricity.
Foreign trade is often in deficit. Zambia’s main suppliers are South Africa, Germany and the United States. Japan (first buyer of Zambian copper) is the main customer.
ARTS AND CULTURE
1.1 Arts and crafts
Zambian handicrafts consist essentially of pottery, basketry (baskets, trays, carpets, etc.) – that of the Lozi of Barotseland being particularly famous -, and wood carving (ebony, mukwa, jacaranda) practiced between others in the village of Mukuni, near Livingstone. On the jewelry side, you can find some pretty malachite pieces from the north of the country. The chitenges, these loincloths printed in bright colors, are very popular gifts. Finally, the batiks of the Tribal Textile company, located in South Luangwa, are sold in all souvenir shops in the country. Featuring ethnic motifs in warm colors, their exceptional quality results from traditional manufacturing methods and the exclusive use of natural pigments (flowers, seeds, etc.).
Apart from local production, there are many objects in Zambia from neighboring countries: sculptures from Zimbabwe, raffia fabrics from the Congo…
There are many traditional dances. Among the most common, the chtelele is practiced to celebrate happy moments and the nsongwe, which is accompanied by pieces of struck metal, takes place during ceremonies. The makishi, probably inherited from the Congo, is danced in many places in the country during ceremonies, by men only, masked and dressed in loincloths. Dancing is not just a hobby for Zambians. It is, above all, a form of communication, which evokes historical events and reinforces spiritual beliefs. Any local festival is a pretext for dance sessions that bring together the whole village.
A country with a strong oral tradition, Zambia has produced relatively few writers. The best known are Fwayanga Mulikita, who in the 1960s published a collection of short stories, A Point of No Return, and Dominic Mulaisho, author in the 1970s of The Tongue of the Dumb and The Smoke that Thunders. In the 1980s, President Kenneth Kaunda’s profession of faith, Zambia shall be free, was one of the most widely read works. In recent years, a new generation of authors has appeared who all question the question of Zambian identity, and more broadly African, taking into account political, economic, environmental problems… Bitterness, by Malama Katulwende, Negotiating Blood, by Hannilie Zulu, Silent Whispers, by Evans Munyemesha, or even The Sack by Namwali Serpell, which won the Caine Prize in 2015, are interesting examples of new Zambian literature. None are translated into French. Finally, the book on economic policy Aide Mortelle, published in 2009, by the Zambian Dambisa Moyo, was a resounding worldwide success.
The Zambian theater scene is particularly dynamic. In the capital, the Lusaka Playhouse and the Alliance française offer performances by local playwrights, which can take the form of burlesque pranks or political criticism.
Foreign plays are sometimes played. Nationally, the Zambian People’s Theater Alliance performs across the country. The troupe goes from village to village, learns about the issues that concern the communities and stages them in the form of plays including music, percussion and songs.
4. The oral tradition
Oral tradition in Africa is the main tool for transmission between generations of the history of the ethnic group, the family, the clan… and the codes of behavior that bind the different societies. The Elders are the custodians of the history and traditions that they pass on to generations and they are obviously called upon in the event of disputes. Traditionally, conflicts or problems that arise in a community are discussed among the members of the latter under the “palaver tree”. Each member of the community has the right to express themselves (from the oldest to the youngest) and to give their opinion on the issues raised. Generally, it is the village chief who presides over the palaver, but the final decision rests with a council made up of the elders (the elders) of the community.
The musical traditions specific to each ethnic group have very marked characteristics. In Zambia, there is no music without percussion. Among the most typical, we must mention the maoma, giant drum of the Lozi, the imangu, friction percussion of the Bemba, and the kachacha, bell instrument of the Luvale. The mbira, a mini-piano with iron keys, and the kalimba, a kind of xylophone, are used throughout the country. Musical instrument making is one of Zambia’s great artistic traditions, with many Zambian musicians using both traditional and Western instruments.
Among the styles of contemporary music, the kalindula surged in the 1980s. It combines popular and traditional music punctuated by a bass guitar and banjos plus percussion. Larry Maluma is the most illustrious representative, while the groups Serenje Kalindula, Green Mamba, Mashombe Blue Jeans and Amayenge are the most famous. Illustrating themselves in various styles, we can cite artists such as Angela Nyirenda, Bina Nkwasi, Bwalya , Chilu Lemba, Dominic Kakolobango, Black Muntu… The most popular Zambian singer is Emmanuel Mulemena, who died in 1982, while Maureen Lilanda, nicknamed “Mama Africa”, is a very popular young artist. Combining Zambian tradition and contemporary music, it is recognized on the international scene.
Today, young Zambians particularly appreciate reggae, whose most famous national representatives are the Real African and Bantu Roots. Finally, the kwasa kwasa, a kind of rumba of Congolese origin, is broadcast on a loop in bars and nightclubs.
6. Painting and graphic arts
In the field of contemporary art, some high quality Zambian artists are recognized on the international scene. The most famous is the painter Henry Tayali, who died in 1989, who left his name to a gallery in Lusaka. His work, described by some critics as “charged social realism”, has inspired many Zambian painters. Among the new talents, Victor Mutale, Mwamba Mulangala, William Mikko, Stephan Kapata, Victor Makashi, Mulenga Chafilwa or even Godfrey Seti and Enock Ilunga are the most productive. Their works are generally colourful, realistic and urban inspired.
Carving is also widespread. The leaders of the Zambian school are Friday Tembo, a wood carver, and Flinto Chandia, known for his trophies. Linda Chandia is renowned for her mosaics.
The history of this country is rich:
1. FROM ORIGINS TO COLONIZATION
Zambia is rich in prehistoric remains, such as the skull of Homo rhodesiensis, believed to be between 100,000 and 300,000 years old, discovered in 1921 at Broken Hill, in a zinc mine in the town of Kabwe, by the Swiss Tom Zwiglaar .
The first inhabitants of Zambia were San living by hunting and gathering. From the 4th century many Bantu-speaking peoples settled and formed chiefdoms, a sort of autonomous principality; they are distinguished from the first inhabitants by their mastery of agriculture, they also possess the art of making pottery and weapons. Private ownership is not known and the land is still cultivated collectively.
A metallurgical activity of copper ore transformation began in the 5th century, in the north of the current territory of Zambia.
Like many countries in the region, Zambia was originally populated by the Twa, Pygmies living by hunting and gathering. They are overwhelmed from the second millennium by Bantu farmers who introduce metallurgy and develop the exploitation of copper deposits. The Tongans and the Ilas probably left the eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika to settle in the territory of present-day Zambia from the twelfth century. They were followed by other immigrants from the Lunda and Louba countries of the Katanga region, including the Bembas, who probably crossed the Luapula River before the end of the 17th century.
The Lozis, who had settled around the same time in Barotseland (Western Province), were subject to the 19th century. by a Sotho clan from southern Africa, the Kololos.
The Lozis escaped this domination in 1864 by massacring all the kololo chiefs in one night.
The Ngonis, who arrived in Zambia at the beginning of the 19th century, were part of the troops of the Zulu Empire of Chaka (1818-1828) who migrated to southern Africa towards the end of his reign (1826).
2. BRITISH COLONIZATION
2.1. THE BRITISH SOUTH AFRICA CHARTERED COMPANY
At the end of the 19th century, the British South Africa Chartered Company, created by Cecil Rhodes, Prime Minister of the British colony of Cape Town, obtained a concession in Barotseland and signed protectorate agreements with Bemba chiefs.
2.2. NORTHERN RHODESIA, SOUTHERN RHODESIA AND NYASSALAND
In 1911, the entire region corresponding to today’s Zambia was proclaimed a British colony under the name of Northern Rhodesia. It adjoins two other possessions of the British Crown, Southern Rhodesia (the future Zimbabwe) and Nyasaland (the future Malawi).
After the Second World War, the supremacy of the majority Europeans in the legislative councils of the three territories began to be challenged by African movements.
In 1948, Harry Nkumbula thus created a party renamed three years later the African National Congress (→ African National Congress, ANC) of Northern Rhodesia, of which Kenneth Kaunda, a teacher of Bemba origin, became secretary general in 1953.
2.3. THE FEDERATION OF RHODESIA AND NYASSALAND
The same year, a federation grouping the two Rhodesias and Nyasaland was imposed by the European minority, led by Sir Roy Welensky, despite the opposition of the black nationalist parties. Their leaders, K. Kaunda in Northern Rhodesia – nicknamed the “Black Gandhi”, and who, separated from Harry Nkumbula, became in 1960 president of the United National Independence Party (UNIP) –, Joshua Nkomo in Southern Rhodesia and Hastings Kamuzu Banda in Nyasaland, obtained in 1963 the dissolution of the Federation of Rhodesias and Nyasaland.
3. INDEPENDENCE AND THE REGIONAL CONTEXT
The UNIP won by a wide margin over the ANC in the 1964 elections on internal autonomy, and the country gained independence in October of the same year under the name of Zambia, while remaining within the Commonwealth.
K. Kaunda is elected President of the Republic. Nyasaland became independent the same year under the name of Malawi, while in 1965 Southern Rhodesia unilaterally severed its ties with the United Kingdom, and took the name of Rhodesia for short. The new regime, dominated by whites and led by Ian Douglas Smith, is supported by South Africa and by Portugal (which still controls its colonies of Angola and Mozambique).
During the next twenty-five years, Zambia, a landlocked country, made every effort to free itself from the economic grip of the “white bastion” of southern Africa (Portuguese colonies, Rhodesia and South Africa), through which transits all its foreign trade, in particular its copper exports. The noose around Zambia loosened in 1975 with the accession to independence of Mozambique and Angola, and the completion of the railway built by the Chinese between Dar es Salaam and the province of Copper. Belt (“Copper Belt”). But the negotiations K. Kaunda lends himself to, both with Rhodesia and with South Africa, end in failure. So as not to depend on the electricity supplied by the Kariba dam power station erected on the Rhodesian side, K. Kaunda had a power station built on the Zambian side and a dam on the Kafue.
Zambia sheltered black liberation movements from Angola, then from Rhodesia, whose camps were bombarded respectively by the Portuguese and Rhodesian air forces. The noose loosened further after Rhodesia – which then became Zimbabwe – gained independence in 1980.
Zambia, which is one of the black “front line” states opposed to South Africa , now has only the latter as an adversary, whose army carries out reprisal operations to dissuade it from granting asylum to the South African and Namibian liberation movements. The release of Nelson Mandela in 1990, which will lead to the definitive dismantling of apartheid, will put an end to twenty-five years of confrontations which have exhausted Zambia.
4. NATIONALIZATION AND ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SINGLE PARTY
Shortly after coming to power, President Kaunda put an end to the royalties paid by Northern Rhodesia to the British South Africa Chartered Company for the mining concessions granted at the beginning of colonization, in return for compensation paid in equal parts by Zambia and the UK.
He then embarked on a program to nationalize private companies, then copper mines, in which state organizations acquired the majority of the capital. However, he had to face opposition from the left wing of the UNIP, led by vice-president Simon Kapwepwe, a Bemba like K. Kaunda, a supporter of rigorous socialism and close to the People’s Republic of China.
He went into dissidence and in 1971 founded his own party, the United Progressive Party (UPP). S. Kapwepwe was arrested and then released in 1973, while H. Nkumbula, an Ila, and his party, the ANC, rallied to the government formation (1972), which S. Kapwepwe also rejoined. Zambia now lives under one-party rule.
In 1978, President Kaunda was forced to reopen the border with Rhodesia, which had been closed since 1973, to allow the transport of fertilizers needed for the next corn harvest. The same year, he dismissed the candidacies of H. Nkumbula and S. Kapwepwe in the presidential election, where he was the only candidate. In 1986, the South African air force bombed a camp of the South African ANC, while an increase in the price of maize (staple food of the population) caused serious disturbances.
5. THE RESTORATION OF MULTIPARTYSHIP AND ECONOMIC DIFFICULTIES
5.1. THE RESTORATION OF MULTIPARTYSHIP
Despite strikes and plots, the UNIP and K. Kaunda – elected for a sixth term in 1988 – remained in power until 1991. In 1990, the price of maize doubled following the abolition of subsidies imposed by the Monetary Fund (IMF), while inflation exceeds 120%. After serious riots, which killed around thirty people, and the failure of a coup d’etat, the president reestablished the multiparty system demanded, among others, by the Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD), created by the leader Bemba trade unionist Frederick Chiluba. The latter and the MMD largely won the legislative and presidential elections (1991) that followed and K. Kaunda accepted his defeat and that of the UNIP.
5.2. FREDERICK CHILUBA (1991-2002)
The new president F. Chiluba undertakes to privatize the companies under state control (including the copper mines), and to reduce the number of civil servants. The government is shaken by various financial scandals, and ex-president Kaunda is excluded from the presidential election by a law which excludes candidates whose parents are not Zambians (those of K. Kaunda are from Malawi). The MMD and F. Chiluba won the November 1996 elections, boycotted by the UNIP, with a very low voter turnout. In 1997, following a coup attempt, K. Kaunda, accused of conspiracy, was arrested. After various interventions in his favor, including that of South African President Nelson Mandela, he was dismissed from the start of his trial in June 1998.
In 2001, F. Chiluba – who lost a good part of his credit during his second mandate – tried to obtain a modification of the Constitution which would allow him to present himself a third time. Having failed, he gave his support to Levy Mwanawasa (MMD) who, at the end of a poll marked by large-scale fraud, was declared in January 2002 by the Supreme Court to be the winner by a short margin of the presidential election of December 2001 (with 28% of the vote against 27% for former businessman Anderson Mazoka, heir apparent to Kaunda and leader of the United Party for National Development, or UPND, a liberal party created in 1998). The new Assembly, on the other hand, is slightly dominated by the opposition, whose ten parties (UPND in the lead) are just ahead of the MMD (68 seats).
5.3. THE MMD IN POWER
Determined, Levy Mwanawasa tackled corruption throughout his tenure. As soon as he was elected, he urged Parliament to lift the immunity of his predecessor, impeached for embezzlement in February 2003. On September 28, 2006, L. Mwanawasa was re-elected as President of the Republic with 42.9% of the vote in front of Michael Sata, candidate of the Patriotic Front (PF) who won 29.3% of the vote and Hakainde Hichilema, of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and new president of the UPND, who won 25.3%. Contested by the opposition, the election was considered transparent and democratic by international observers, including the European Union, unlike that of 2002. In the National Assembly, the MMD obtained a narrow majority (thanks to the eight deputies appointed by the President ) in front of the PF and the UDA. Auditing the accounts of the State and counting among the African Heads of State most critical of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, L. Mwanawasa continued like his predecessor to open Zambia up to Chinese capital.
Following the death of L. Mwanawasa in August 2008, Rupiah Banda, current vice-president and candidate of the MMD, won the presidential election organized on October 30, 2008 with a very slight lead over Mr. Sata of the PF (40, 1% of the vote against 38.1%). Although contested by the opposition, the results are endorsed by SADC and the African Union. The new president, who is sworn in on November 2, completes his predecessor’s term until the general elections in September 2011.
5.4. THE PF IN POWER: MICHAEL SATA (2011-2014), EDGAR LUNGU (2015-)
Mr. Sata, in his fourth attempt since the creation of his party in 2001 – which is ahead of the MMD in Parliament – wins with 43% of the vote against the outgoing president. While the country’s overall economic situation has improved, it has mainly benefited from the rise in copper prices, an asset that has had little effect on poverty since the government only derives revenue limits of these exports.
After having denounced during his campaign the predominance of Chinese interests, the new Head of State, who has received the support of those marginalized from growth (6.7% in 2011), undertakes in particular to review the tax regime for foreign mining companies after consultation with the latter. Very controversial president, accused in particular by his opponents of wanting to muzzle the opposition and slowing down the economic development of the country, Mr. Sata had to be hospitalized and died in October 2014. On January 25, 2015, elected with 48.3% of the votes, Edgar Lungu, Minister of Defense and candidate of the Patriotic Front (PF ), succeeded him until the end of his mandate in 2016.
He was then narrowly re-elected in the first round of voting with 50.3% of the vote in accordance with the new majority rule introduced by the constitutional revision of January 2016 – while the PF won 80 seats out of 156 – ahead of H. Hichilema, beaten again. The UPND becomes the first opposition party with 58 deputies, the MMD being reduced to 3 seats.
The accusations of fraud having been dismissed without being examined, the result is validated by the Constitutional Court. Invested on September 13, the president must in particular face a critical economic situation (with a growth rate reduced to around 3%), weakened by the fall in the price of copper.