Zambia is a large landlocked country in South-Central Africa with the shape of a butterfly. Mostly known for the Victoria Falls, the country is blessed with 17 other magnificent falls, an unmatched proportion of land (almost 30 percent) set aside for nature reserves and national parks, breathtaking landscapes, and a profusion of birds and wildlife.
Zambia became a republic immediately upon attaining independence in October 1964. The constitution promulgated on August 25, 1973, abrogated the original 1964 constitution. The new constitution and the national elections that followed in December 1973 were the final steps in achieving what was called a "one-party participatory democracy."
The territory of Northern Rhodesia was administered by the [British] South Africa Company from 1891 until it was taken over by the UK in 1923. During the 1920s and 1930s, advances in mining spurred development and immigration. The name was changed to Zambia upon independence in 1964. In the 1980s and 1990s, declining copper prices and a prolonged drought hurt the economy. Elections in 1991 brought an end to one-party rule, but the subsequent vote in 1996 saw blatant harassment of opposition parties.
With some of Africa’s finest walking safaris and with some of the best guides and smallest camps on the continent, Zambia is well regarded as a connoisseur's destination. The Luangwa Valley, Lower Zambezi and Kafue are spectacular parks, with a wild, raw atmosphere that is rare elsewhere. Victoria Falls only adds to the Zambia's impressive list of attractions.
Significant progress has been made on child health, education and HIV and AIDS in Zambia. However, around eight million people still live below the poverty line and only a quarter of young children have enough to eat.
Private sector investment and increased revenues from mining hold the key to a sustainable graduation from aid. And we will encourage Zambia to harness the transformative power of its own resources.
Zambia is ranked 164th of 187 on the Human Development Index and was recently reclassified as a lower middle income country by the World Bank. Poverty and food insecurity are widespread in both rural and urban areas, and the country remains extremely vulnerable to recurring natural disasters, including floods, drought and animal disease.
Corruption is a major constraint to Zambia’s development. USAID supports the Government of Zambia’s goal to provide a system of governance that creates conditions for markets to function, facilitates the efficient and effective delivery of basic services, ensures civil society participation in decision-making, and maximizes the welfare of Zambian communities and individuals.
The men live in camping tents while working on the new building yet seem proud of their situation. One even tells me Zambians are "blessed people" and therefore it's their responsibility to maintain the natural attractions. It wasn't a salesperson's pitch, or a canned, prepared response, it was genuine expression of appreciation that people from all corners of the globe come to their home.
This town is nestled a few kilometers away from the magnificent natural wonder of Victoria Falls, split down the middle by the Zimbabwe-Zambian border. For decades the Zimbabwean side received much more attention, more tourists and as a result more income.
More recently, Zimbabwe's political instability has meant Zambia has a real chance of being the destination of choice, but there's a great deal of catching up to do.
The Global Compact was first introduced to Zambia in 2002. A Steering Committee was established, consisting of representatives from business, government, donors, multilateral NGOs, the UN system and civil society.