Zambia Geography and Population

Zambia – Geography

Zambia Geography, The location of the country in the middle of southern Africa has been crucial to development opportunities; in particular, the difficult access to the sea has caused major problems. The distances from the capital, Lusaka, to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and to the west coast of Angola are both about 1600 km. To the south through Zimbabwe and South Africa is 1000 km further, and this route, like the connection to the sea via Mozambique, has for some time been closed for political reasons. The expectations that Zambia’s central location should provide the country with great opportunities for trade with the country’s eight neighbors have not yet been met.

Physical Geography

Zambia forms part of the East African Plateau. The terrain is generally very flat, and the monotony is broken only in a few places by weak slopes, smaller ridges and rivers. Elevations are found in the northwest and northeast of the country and spread in the surrounding flat land, for example around Lusaka. The highest is the mountains on the border with Malawi. River valleys and river plains are located in the western and southern parts of the country around Zambezi and its tributaries Kafue and Luangwa. The lowest parts of the country are found on Lake Tanganyika and in the Zambezi Valley below Victoria Falls as well as in the Luangwa Valley.

The climate is tropical, but in areas over 900 m night frosts can occur. Characteristic of the climate is the division into a rainy seasonand a dry season, which together with the temperature variation divides the year into a rainy season, a warm and a cool time. The rainy season is from October/ November to April/May. Precipitation decreases from 1500 mm annually in the north to 500 mm in the south. But rainfall can vary a great deal from year to year, which can have serious consequences for agriculture, especially in the southernmost part of the country. The warm season lasts from September to a little into the rainy season. The average temperatures are 21-26 °C, but in October daytime temperatures above 30 °C are normal. The cool time is from May to August with average temperatures of 13-21 °C. All in all, a climate that is pleasant outside the rainy season.

Plant growth and wildlife. The most common vegetation is forest saws with deciduous trees. The forest thins out to the south as the rainfall decreases. Grass vegetation covers the extensive river plains and swampy areas. Wildlife is rich and dominated by the savannah species. 19 national parks, which together cover approximately 60,000 km2, offers some of Africa’s best opportunities to see big game and offers tourism opportunities that are far from being exploited due to poor transport conditions and lack of hotels. Although Zambia’s nature is in a relatively good constitution, logging is a growing problem. The wood is used to make charcoal, and a lot of forest is also cleared in connection with traditional welding.

Population and occupation

Compared to the size of the country, a population of approximately 10 million little; especially not when more than half live in cities, most of which lie along the railroad from the Copperbelt in the north over Lusaka to Livingstone in the south. But population growth is large, approximately 3% a year, and the population has tripled since independence. The African population is divided into more than 70 ethnic groups, but none is numerically dominant. The largest tribes are tonga, bemba and lozi.

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Mining was the basis of European colonization, and since independence, the country’s economy and development has also been based on the mining and sale of copper, first and foremost. In 1969, when copper production culminated, the state bought the majority stake in the larger mining companies as part of a Zambianization and to gain control of the mining industry. But along with the steeply falling copper prices of 1970, the acquisition has been to blame for many of the financial problems the country has since struggled with. Most of the mines are in the Copperbelt in the northern part of the country. There are both underground and open mines, but they are outdated, obsolete, run down, poorly managed and have too high production costs. The government is now trying to rectify this by privatization.

Agriculture is the industry that engages most. There are two types: commercial and self-sufficient farming. Climate and soils provide good conditions for plant breeding in large parts of the country, but only approximately 20% of the arable land is used. Corn is the most important crop; others are cassava, peanuts, millet, sorghum, rice, wheat, sunflower seeds, tobacco, cotton, sugar cane and vegetables. Cattle and other livestock are widespread in most of the country. Good opportunities for irrigationis exploited from afar, which impedes agricultural production and exposes farmers to the effects of drought. Commercial farming was initiated during the colonial era by the growth of mining. White farmers were attracted and allocated land along the railroad from Livingstone to the Copperbelt to grow maize, which was and is the staple food of the African people. Today, many of the large commercial farms have gone to cultivate other crops such as tobacco, cotton and coffee; In addition, vegetables are increasingly being sent to Europe by air.

Self-sufficiency agriculture, which comprises more than 90% of farmers, grows approximately 80% of the agricultural land. These are small farmers who do not usually own the land; much cultivated by women and children, while men seek work in the cities and mines. The mode of operation is traditional with no means other than a pick; in the northern part of the country often as sweat. Poor transport conditions make it difficult to distribute agricultural necessities and to sell production. The government has in 2000-t. reformed agricultural policy, including by a split of state-owned land for small-scale farming with private ownership of the land.

Industry is found in the Lusaka area and in the Copperbelt in connection with the mining industry. For many years, the industry has been characterized by state and semi-state companies with low productivity and poor product quality. It is produced for the domestic market in food, tobacco, textile, metal, machinery, paper, chemicals and rubber. The liberalization of foreign trade initially meant that the protected industries were exposed to competition from abroad, which caused production to decline significantly. The companies that survived, and often privatized, gave the sector a new growth in the food, tobacco, textiles and leather industry.

Tourism is growing despite infrastructure problems. because political turmoil in Zimbabwe has caused part of tourism in this country to shift to Zambia.

The country’s reform-oriented policy has meant that the government has received substantial support from international donors. Socially, however, it had a number of negative consequences. The privatization of mining and several other major companies led to rising unemployment. Rising copper prices in 2000-t. however, has again increased investment and employment in the mining sector. For culture and traditions of Zambia, please check allunitconverters.