5 issues to find out about Zambia

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Zambia, which holds presidential elections on August 12, is a copper-rich nation in southern Africa as soon as hailed as a regional success story.

Over the previous decade nonetheless, it has been hit arduous by political and financial issues.

– Copper is king –

Zambia is the second greatest producer of copper in Africa after the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the eighth producer on the earth.

However a pointy decline in copper costs in 2011 and weaker exports to China, together with a collection of presidency coverage reversals, have undermined worldwide investor confidence.

Many of the copper firms are owned by international, notably Chinese language, traders.

– Debt disaster –

Lengthy thought-about a promising African nation with annual development exceeding 10 % within the 2000s, Zambia has been in extreme financial and monetary issue for a number of years due to the drop in copper costs.

It additionally faces critical power issues, with an erratic electrical energy provide that may see lengthy cuts lasting as much as a number of hours in a day, with devastating penalties for the economic system.

In 2020 Zambia did not pay $42.5 million in curiosity on its debt, turning into the primary African economic system to default throughout the pandemic. It missed one other compensation this yr.

– Meals insecurity –

Based on UN estimates from 2020, practically 2.3 million of Zambia’s 17 million persons are threatened by meals shortages brought on by drought in 2019, the worst the nation has seen in 35 years.

– Victoria Falls –

The nation covers 752,614 sq. kilometres (291,000 sq. miles) — bigger than France and barely smaller than Turkey.

House to a number of animal reserves, its most important vacationer attraction is the Victoria Falls, one of many world’s most spectacular waterfalls.

Positioned on the Zambezi River, the fourth-largest river in Africa, they lie on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe, and the 2 nations share the circulation of vacationers.

– ‘African Gandhi’ –

Kenneth Kaunda, who died in June, was Zambia’s first president, taking energy in 1964 when the nation gained independence.

Chief of the primary nationalist celebration and nicknamed the “African Gandhi” for his non-violent activism, he dominated for 27 years underneath a single-party system earlier than leaving energy peacefully.

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