Politics and Economy of Zambia

State structure and political system of Zambia

Under the 1996 Constitution, Zambia is a republic. The head of state, government and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces is the president, who is elected by universal direct and secret suffrage for a term of 5 years and may be re-elected for another term. Legislative power is exercised by the president and a unicameral parliament – the National Assembly, consisting of 150 deputies elected through general elections and 8 deputies appointed by the president. Elections to the National Assembly are held simultaneously with presidential elections. Executive power is vested in the president, who appoints the vice president and ministers from among the members of the National Assembly and is the chairman of the cabinet. Since 2001, the President of the Republic of Zambia is L. Mwanawasa, the Speaker of the National Assembly is A. Mwanamwambwa. Check cancermatters for political system of Zambia.

Administrative division: 9 provinces, consisting of districts. 42% of the country’s population lives in cities, incl. 78% in 10 communities along the railway from the Copper Belt to Lusaka and Victoria Falls. Large cities (thousand people): Lusaka, Ndola (346.5), Kitwe Nkana (303.7), Kabwe (208.2).

The Constitution establishes a multi-party system. More than 20 parties are active in the political arena. The ruling party is the DMD (has 69 seats in parliament), founded in 1990. The United Party for National Development, the United National Independence Party, and the Forum for Democracy and Development also have representation in the National Assembly.

The largest trade union association is the Congress of Trade Unions of Zambia, founded in 1965. It includes 18 branch trade unions.

The armed forces number 21.6 thousand people, incl. Air Force – 1.6 thousand people. There are paramilitary formations – 1.4 thousand people. and the National Defense Force. Military service in Zambia is voluntary.

Zambia has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR on October 30, 1964).

Economy of Zambia

Zambia is one of the least developed countries in the world. GDP $3.6 billion, or $350 per capita (2001). The average annual GDP growth rate in 2000–01 was 4.05%. 24% of GDP is formed in agriculture, 25% in industry, and 51% in services. 85% of the economically active population is employed in agriculture (the total economically active population is 3.4 million people), in industry – 6%, in the service sector – 9%. Inflation 26.7% (2002).

The basis of the Zambian economy is the mining and processing of copper ore, the export earnings of which provide up to 90% of the country’s foreign exchange earnings and 75% of government revenues. Therefore, the country’s economic situation largely depends on world copper prices. Industry, in addition to mining enterprises, is represented by facilities for processing agricultural raw materials, enterprises of the food, textile, chemical, woodworking and pulp and paper industries. In 2002, the mining sector mined (thousand tons): copper ore – 337.7, cobalt – 3.98, precious stones (kg): amethyst – 1,157,866, beryls – 6941, emeralds – 770, tourmalines – 30,755. Electricity generation 7.678 billion kWh (2002). Agriculture is predominantly oriented towards domestic consumption. Main crops (2002, thousand tons) – corn (601.6), millet (37.6), cassava (850.5), sorghum (16.8), peanuts (41.4), wheat (74.5), rice (11.6), sugarcane, cotton. Animal husbandry has not been developed due to the infestation of the territory with the tsetse fly.

The length of railways is 2157 km (cargo transportation in 2002 – 1887 thousand tons); highways 66,781 km. The waterways are estimated at 2,250 km (this includes the Zambezi, Luapula and Lake Tanganyika rivers). The major port is Mpulungu (cargo transportation in 2002 was 50.9 thousand tons). Oil pipeline – 1724 km. There are 11 international airports.

Budget (2001, billion US dollars): revenues 1.2, expenditures 1.25. External debt 6.49 billion US dollars, payments on account of its repayment 11.7% of export earnings (2002).

Unemployment – 50% (2000). More than 80% of the population lives below the poverty line.

Foreign trade turnover in 2002 amounted to almost 2.077 billion US dollars: exports 920 million dollars, imports 1.167 billion dollars. In the structure of exports: copper (58% of the value, 349 thousand tons), cobalt (4.3 thousand tons), electricity, tobacco, flowers, cotton. Main export partners: Great Britain (25.2%), South Africa (24.5%), Switzerland (9.4%), Malawi (7.5%). Imports include machinery, equipment and vehicles, petroleum products, electricity, fertilizers, food, clothing. Among import partners: South Africa (67.1%), Great Britain (9.8%), Zimbabwe (7.5%), USA (5.9%).

Science and culture of Zambia

The country introduced compulsory seven-year primary education. In fact, primary education covers up to 75% of children of the corresponding age group. In the higher education system, the University of Zambia in Lusaka and Copperbelt University in Kitwe operate, in 2002 5895 and 2670 students studied here, respectively. There is a scientific council for science and technology.

Politics of Zambia