Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in south-central Africa (although some sources consider it part of East Africa). Its neighbors are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique to the southeast, Zimbabwe and Botswana to the south, Namibia to the southwest, and Angola to the west. The capital city is Lusaka, located in the south-central part of Zambia. The population is concentrated mainly around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province to the northwest, the core economic hubs of the country.
Originally inhabited by Khoisan peoples, the region was affected by the Bantu expansion of the thirteenth century. Following European explorers in the eighteenth century, the British colonised the region into the British protectorates of Barotziland-North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia towards the end of the nineteenth century. These were merged in 1911 to form Northern Rhodesia. For most of the colonial period, Zambia was governed by an administration appointed from London with the advice of the British South Africa Company.
On 24 October 1964, Zambia became independent of the United Kingdom and prime minister Kenneth Kaunda became the inaugural president. Kaunda's socialist United National Independence Party (UNIP) maintained power from 1964 until 1991. Kaunda played a key role in regional diplomacy, cooperating closely with the United States in search of solutions to conflicts in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Angola, and Namibia. From 1972 to 1991 Zambia was a one-party state with the UNIP as the sole legal political party under the motto "One Zambia, One Nation". Kaunda was succeeded by Frederick Chiluba of the social-democratic Movement for Multi-Party Democracy in 1991, beginning a period of social-economic growth and government decentralisation. Levy Mwanawasa, Chiluba's chosen successor, presided over Zambia from January 2002 until his death in August 2008, and is credited with campaigns to reduce corruption and increase the standard of living. After Mwanawasa's death, Rupiah Banda presided as Acting President before being elected President in 2008. Holding office for only three years, Banda stepped down after his defeat in the 2011 elections by Patriotic Front party leader Michael Sata. Sata died on 28 October 2014, making him the second Zambian president to die in office. Guy Scott served briefly as interim president until new elections were held on 20 January 2015, in which Edgar Lungu was elected as the sixth President.
In 2010, the World Bank named Zambia one of the world's fastest economically reformed countries. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is headquartered in Lusaka. Read more...
Kenneth David Kaunda, (born April 28, 1924) was the first President of Zambia, serving from October 24, 1964 to November 2, 1991. Kaunda was the youngest child of the Reverend David Kaunda, an ordained Church of Scotland missionary and teacher. He originally trained as a teacher but gave up teaching 1951 to become the Organising Secretary of the Northern Rhodesian African National Congress for Northern Province, and in 1953 he became the Secretary General of the party. However, after differences with the party president, Harry Nkumbula, Kaunda left to form the Zambian African National Congress (ZANC) in 1958 but was imprisoned in 1959 after the new party was banned. While Kaunda was in prison, several nationalists broke away from the ANC and formed United National Independence Party as a successor to ZANC. When Kaunda was released from prison in January 1960 he was elected President of UNIP. In July 1961 Kaunda organized a civil disobedience campaign in Northern Province, which consisted of burning schools and blocking roads. Kaunda ran as a UNIP candidate during the 1962 elections, which resulted in a UNIP–ANC Coalition Government, with Kaunda as Minister of Local Government and Social Welfare. UNIP won the 1964 general election under the new Constitution and Kaunda was appointed Prime Minister. On 24 October 1964 he became the first President of independent Zambia. (continued...)