Zambia. A constitutional change adopted by Parliament was approved by President Frederick Chiluba in late May. The change required candidates in presidential elections to have their parents born in Zambia. It effectively excluded opposition leader and former president Kenneth Kaunda, with roots in neighboring Malawi, from being elected. The change in the constitution caused Western countries such as Norway, the United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States to withdraw their aid to the country. Since President Chiluba was elected in 1991, Zambia has received around $ 1 billion a year in aid. The donor countries wanted the corporate change of the constitution to be the subject of a referendum.
At the November presidential election, President Chiluba got about 70% of the vote (about 40% of those voting went to the polls), and the ruling party got 80% of the 150 parliamentary seats.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: What does ZA stand for? In the field of geography, this two letter acronym means Zambia. Check this to see its other meanings in English and other 35 languages.
The government hopes for an interest-free half-year
A government official announces that the government has asked international lenders for a six-month postponement of the country’s interest payments. The reason is stated to be the corona pandemic’s negative effect on the country’s economy, but the reasons for the country’s crisis economy go back much further. Falling world market prices for copper have also contributed to reduced government revenues. Zambia is Africa’s second largest copper producer and completely dependent on world commodity prices. On November 18, an interest claim of the equivalent of 42.5 million US dollars expires. The interest debt is not paid and Zambia is reported for negligence.
President Edgar Lungu fires the country’s central bank governor without further explanation. The decision is heavily criticized internationally and the central bank’s independence is questioned. Zambia’s economy is in a state of emergency and has entered a recession. Inflation is around 16 percent at the same time as debt and the budget deficit are rising.
According to Countryaah.com, the population of Zambia in 1996 was 9,096,496, ranking number 80 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.510% yearly, and the population density was 12.2367 people per km2.
Population, society and rights
Zambia is one of the sub-Saharan African countries with the highest rate of urbanization (about 40%), mainly due to the development of the mining sector which attracts workers from the countryside. The country has demographic characteristics very similar to most of the southern African states: the HIV epidemic has reduced life expectancy and demographic growth. At the same time, the population under the age of 15 has increased exponentially, and today represents 46% of the population.
Zambia has more than 70 ethnic groups (equal to about 97% of the population), but this does not constitute a factor of fragmentation and polarization in political and economic life. The main ethnic group is that of the Bemba (18% of the population).
Refugees from neighboring states who have found hospitality in Zambia are just over 25,000 and come from Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia. Their number has been greatly reduced in recent years, thanks to repatriation programs and the conclusion of some conflicts in the area. These official refugees are joined by tens of thousands of illegal immigrants, mainly from Zimbabwe.
Like many states in sub-Saharan Africa, the government in Zambia is also committed to substantially increase the provision of essential services, first and foremost education and health services. However, Zambia remains one of the poorest countries in the world, penalized both by its economic structure and by its geographical position. Lusaka does not have an outlet to the sea and for its interchanges it has to resort to the ports of Tanzania and Mozambique.
In May 2013, the arrest of two young men accused of homosexuality, a crime punished with a sentence of up to 14 years by the Zambian penal code, sparked protests from human rights associations, which condemned the severe discrimination against gay. The story is part of a general tightening of African regimes against homosexuals.