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Zambia vs. Democratic Republic of the Congo

Introduction

ZambiaDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Background
Multiple waves of Bantu-speaking groups moved into and through what is now Zambia over the past thousand years. In the 1880s, the British began securing mineral and other economic concessions from various local leaders and the territory that is now Zambia eventually came under the control of the former British South Africa Company and was incorporated as the protectorate of Northern Rhodesia in 1911. Administrative control was taken over by the UK in 1924. 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, economic mismanagement, and a prolonged drought hurt the economy. Elections in 1991 brought an end to one-party rule and propelled the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) to government. The subsequent vote in 1996, however, saw increasing harassment of opposition parties and abuse of state media and other resources. The election in 2001 was marked by administrative problems, with three parties filing a legal petition challenging the election of ruling party candidate Levy MWANAWASA. MWANAWASA was reelected in 2006 in an election that was deemed free and fair. Upon his death in August 2008, he was succeeded by his vice president, Rupiah BANDA, who won a special presidential byelection later that year. The MMD and BANDA lost to the Patriotic Front (PF) and Michael SATA in the 2011 general elections. SATA, however, presided over a period of haphazard economic management and attempted to silence opposition to PF policies. SATA died in October 2014 and was succeeded by his vice president, Guy SCOTT, who served as interim president until January 2015, when Edgar LUNGU won the presidential byelection and completed SATA's term. LUNGU then won a full term in August 2016 presidential elections.

The Kingdom of Kongo ruled the area around the mouth of the Congo River from the 14th to 19th centuries. To the center and east, the Kingdoms of Luba and Lunda ruled from the 16th and 17th centuries to the 19th century. in the 1870s, European exploration of the Congo Basin, sponsored by King Leopold II of Belgium, eventually allowed the ruler to acquire rights to the Congo territory and to make it his private property under the name of the Congo Free State. During the Free State, the king's colonial military forced the local population to produce rubber. From 1885 to 1908, millions of Congolese people died as a result of disease and exploitation. International condemnation finally forced Leopold to cede the land to Belgium, creating the Belgian Congo.

The Republic of the Congo gained its independence from Belgium in 1960, but its early years were marred by political and social instability. Col. Joseph MOBUTU seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. He subsequently changed his name - to MOBUTU Sese Seko - as well as that of the country - to Zaire. MOBUTU retained his position for 32 years through several sham elections, as well as through brutal force. Ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a massive inflow of refugees in 1994 from conflict in Rwanda and Burundi, led in May 1997 to the toppling of the MOBUTU regime by a rebellion backed by Rwanda and Uganda and fronted by Laurent KABILA. KABILA renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), but in August 1998 his regime was itself challenged by a second insurrection again backed by Rwanda and Uganda. Troops from Angola, Chad, Namibia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe intervened to support KABILA's regime. In January 2001, KABILA was assassinated and his son, Joseph KABILA, was named head of state. In October 2002, the new president was successful in negotiating the withdrawal of Rwandan forces occupying the eastern DRC; two months later, the Pretoria Accord was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting and establish a government of national unity. Presidential, National Assembly, and provincial legislatures took place in 2006, with Joseph KABILA elected to office.

National elections were held in November 2011 and disputed results allowed Joseph KABILA to be reelected to the presidency. While the DRC constitution barred President KABILA from running for a third term, the DRC Government delayed national elections originally slated for November 2016, to 30 December 2018. This failure to hold elections as scheduled fueled significant civil and political unrest, with sporadic street protests by KABILA’s opponents and exacerbation of tensions in the tumultuous eastern DRC regions. Presidential, legislative, and provincial elections were held in late December 2018 and early 2019 across most of the country. The DRC Government canceled presidential elections in the cities of Beni and Butembo (citing concerns over an ongoing Ebola outbreak in the region) as well as Yumbi (which had recently experienced heavy violence).

Opposition candidate Felix TSHISEKEDI was announced the election winner on 10 January 2019 and inaugurated two weeks later. This was the first transfer of power to an opposition candidate without significant violence or a coup since the DRC's independence. 

The DRC, particularly in the East, continues to experience violence perpetrated by more than 100 armed groups active in the region, including the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), and assorted Mai Mai militias. The UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) has operated in the region since 1999 and is the largest and most expensive UN peacekeeping mission in the world.

 

Geography

ZambiaDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Location
Southern Africa, east of Angola, south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Central Africa, northeast of Angola
Geographic coordinates
15 00 S, 30 00 E
0 00 N, 25 00 E
Map references
Africa
Africa
Area
total: 752,618 sq km
land: 743,398 sq km
water: 9,220 sq km
total: 2,344,858 sq km
land: 2,267,048 sq km
water: 77,810 sq km
Area - comparative
almost five times the size of Georgia; slightly larger than Texas
slightly less than one-fourth the size of the US
Land boundaries
total: 6,043.15 km
border countries (8): Angola 1065 km, Botswana 0.15 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 2332 km, Malawi 847 km, Mozambique 439 km, Namibia 244 km, Tanzania 353 km, Zimbabwe 763 km
total: 10,481 km
border countries (9): Angola 2646 km (of which 225 km is the boundary of Angola's discontiguous Cabinda Province), Burundi 236 km, Central African Republic 1747 km, Republic of the Congo 1229 km, Rwanda 221 km, South Sudan 714 km, Tanzania 479 km, Uganda 877 km, Zambia 2332 km
Coastline
0 km (landlocked)
37 km
Maritime claims
none (landlocked)
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: since 2011 the DRC has a Common Interest Zone agreement with Angola for the mutual development of off-shore resources
Climate
tropical; modified by altitude; rainy season (October to April)
tropical; hot and humid in equatorial river basin; cooler and drier in southern highlands; cooler and wetter in eastern highlands; north of Equator - wet season (April to October), dry season (December to February); south of Equator - wet season (November to March), dry season (April to October)
Terrain
mostly high plateau with some hills and mountains
vast central basin is a low-lying plateau; mountains in east
Elevation extremes
mean elevation: 1,138 m
lowest point: Zambezi river 329 m
highest point: unnamed elevation in Mafinga Hills 2,301 m
mean elevation: 726 m
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Pic Marguerite on Mont Ngaliema (Mount Stanley) 5,110 m
Natural resources
copper, cobalt, zinc, lead, coal, emeralds, gold, silver, uranium, hydropower
cobalt, copper, niobium, tantalum, petroleum, industrial and gem diamonds, gold, silver, zinc, manganese, tin, uranium, coal, hydropower, timber
Land use
agricultural land: 31.7% (2011 est.)
arable land: 4.8% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 26.9% (2011 est.)
forest: 66.3% (2011 est.)
other: 2% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 11.4% (2011 est.)
arable land: 3.1% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0.3% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 8% (2011 est.)
forest: 67.9% (2011 est.)
other: 20.7% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land
1,560 sq km (2012)
110 sq km (2012)
Natural hazards
periodic drought; tropical storms (November to April)

periodic droughts in south; Congo River floods (seasonal); active volcanoes in the east along the Great Rift Valley

volcanism: Nyiragongo (3,470 m), which erupted in 2002 and is experiencing ongoing activity, poses a major threat to the city of Goma, home to a quarter million people; the volcano produces unusually fast-moving lava, known to travel up to 100 km /hr; Nyiragongo has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; its neighbor, Nyamuragira, which erupted in 2010, is Africa's most active volcano; Visoke is the only other historically active volcano

Environment - current issues
air pollution and resulting acid rain in the mineral extraction and refining region; chemical runoff into watersheds; loss of biodiversity; poaching seriously threatens rhinoceros, elephant, antelope, and large cat populations; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; lack of adequate water treatment presents human health risks
poaching threatens wildlife populations; water pollution; deforestation (forests endangered by fires set to clean the land for agricultural purposes; forests also used as a source of fuel); soil erosion; mining (diamonds, gold, coltan - a mineral used in creating capacitors for electronic devices) causing environmental damage
Environment - international agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification
Geography - note
landlocked; the Zambezi forms a natural riverine boundary with Zimbabwe; Lake Kariba on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border forms the world's largest reservoir by volume (180 cu km; 43 cu mi)

note 1: second largest country in Africa (after Algeria) and largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa; straddles the equator; dense tropical rain forest in central river basin and eastern highlands; the narrow strip of land that controls the lower Congo River is the DRC's only outlet to the South Atlantic Ocean

note 2: because of its speed, cataracts, rapids, and turbulence the Congo River, most of which flows through the DRC, has never been accurately measured along much of its length; nonetheless, it is conceded to be the deepest river in the world; estimates of its greatest depth vary between 220 and 250 meters

Population distribution
one of the highest levels of urbanization in Africa; high density in the central area, particularly around the cities of Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe, and Mufulira as shown in this population distribution map
urban clusters are spread throughout the country, particularly in the northeast along the boarder with Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi; the largest city is the capital, Kinshasha, located in the west along the Congo River; the south is least densely populated as shown in this population distribution map

Demographics

ZambiaDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Population
17,426,623 (July 2020 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

101,780,263 (July 2020 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

Age structure
0-14 years: 45.74% (male 4,005,134/female 3,964,969)
15-24 years: 20.03% (male 1,744,843/female 1,746,561)
25-54 years: 28.96% (male 2,539,697/female 2,506,724)
55-64 years: 3.01% (male 242,993/female 280,804)
65 years and over: 2.27% (male 173,582/female 221,316) (2020 est.)
0-14 years: 46.38% (male 23,757,297/female 23,449,057)
15-24 years: 19.42% (male 9,908,686/female 9,856,841)
25-54 years: 28.38% (male 14,459,453/female 14,422,912)
55-64 years: 3.36% (male 1,647,267/female 1,769,429)
65 years and over: 2.47% (male 1,085,539/female 1,423,782) (2020 est.)
Median age
total: 16.9 years
male: 16.7 years
female: 17 years (2020 est.)
total: 16.7 years
male: 16.5 years
female: 16.8 years (2020 est.)
Population growth rate
2.89% (2020 est.)
3.18% (2020 est.)
Birth rate
40.4 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
41 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Death rate
11.6 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
8.4 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Net migration rate
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
-0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
Sex ratio
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.87 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.78 male(s)/female
total population: 99.8 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
total population: 99.9 male(s)/female (2020 est.)
Infant mortality rate
total: 56 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 61.1 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 50.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
total: 64.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 70.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 58.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
Life expectancy at birth
total population: 53.6 years
male: 51.9 years
female: 55.3 years (2020 est.)
total population: 61 years
male: 59.3 years
female: 62.8 years (2020 est.)
Total fertility rate
5.49 children born/woman (2020 est.)
5.77 children born/woman (2020 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate
12.1% (2019 est.)
0.8% (2019 est.)
Nationality
noun: Zambian(s)
adjective: Zambian
noun: Congolese (singular and plural)
adjective: Congolese or Congo
Ethnic groups
Bemba 21%, Tonga 13.6%, Chewa 7.4%, Lozi 5.7%, Nsenga 5.3%, Tumbuka 4.4%, Ngoni 4%, Lala 3.1%, Kaonde 2.9%, Namwanga 2.8%, Lunda (north Western) 2.6%, Mambwe 2.5%, Luvale 2.2%, Lamba 2.1%, Ushi 1.9%, Lenje 1.6%, Bisa 1.6%, Mbunda 1.2%, other 13.8%, unspecified 0.4% (2010 est.)
more than 200 African ethnic groups of which the majority are Bantu; the four largest tribes - Mongo, Luba, Kongo (all Bantu), and the Mangbetu-Azande (Hamitic) - make up about 45% of the population
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS
1.2 million (2019 est.)
520,000 (2019 est.)
Religions
Protestant 75.3%, Roman Catholic 20.2%, other 2.7% (includes Muslim Buddhist, Hindu, and Baha'i), none 1.8% (2010 est.)
Roman Catholic 29.9%, Protestant 26.7%, Kimbanguist 2.8%, other Christian 36.5%, Muslim 1.3%, other (includes syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs) 1.2%, none 1.3%, unspecified .2% (2014 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths
17,000 (2019 est.)
15,000 (2019 est.)
Languages
Bemba 33.4%, Nyanja 14.7%, Tonga 11.4%, Lozi 5.5%, Chewa 4.5%, Nsenga 2.9%, Tumbuka 2.5%, Lunda (North Western) 1.9%, Kaonde 1.8%, Lala 1.8%, Lamba 1.8%, English (official) 1.7%, Luvale 1.5%, Mambwe 1.3%, Namwanga 1.2%, Lenje 1.1%, Bisa 1%, other 9.7%, unspecified 0.2% (2010 est.)

note: Zambia is said to have over 70 languages, although many of these may be considered dialects; all of Zambia's major languages are members of the Bantu family; Chewa and Nyanja are mutually intelligible dialects

French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba
Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write English
total population: 86.7%
male: 90.6%
female: 83.1% (2018)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write French, Lingala, Kingwana, or Tshiluba
total population: 77%
male: 88.5%
female: 66.5% (2016)
Major infectious diseases
degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
animal contact diseases: rabies
degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and trypanosomiasis-gambiense (African sleeping sickness)
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
animal contact diseases: rabies
note - on 18 October 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Travel Health Notice for an Ebola outbreak in the South Kivu (Kivu Sud), North Kivu (Kivu Nord), and Ituri provinces in the northeastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; travelers to this area could be infected with Ebola if they come into contact with an infected person’s blood or other body fluids; travelers should seek medical care immediately if they develop fever, muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhea, weakness, vomiting, stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising during or after travel
Education expenditures
NA
1.5% of GDP (2017)
Urbanization
urban population: 44.6% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 4.23% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
urban population: 45.6% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 4.53% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
Drinking water source
improved: urban: 89.5% of population
rural: 50.9% of population
total: 67.5% of population
unimproved: urban: 10.5% of population
rural: 49.1% of population
total: 32.5% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 84.3% of population
rural: 32.4% of population
total: 55.2% of population
unimproved: urban: 15.7% of population
rural: 67.6% of population
total: 44.8% of population (2017 est.)
Sanitation facility access
improved: urban: 69.6% of population
rural: 24.8% of population
total: 44.1% of population
unimproved: urban: 31.4% of population
rural: 75.2% of population
total: 55.9% of population (2017 est.)
improved: urban: 54.7% of population
rural: 29.8% of population
total: 40.7% of population
unimproved: urban: 44.5% of population
rural: 70.2% of population
total: 59.3% of population (2017 est.)
Major cities - population
2.774 million LUSAKA (capital) (2020)
14.342 million KINSHASA (capital), 2.525 million Mbuji-Mayi, 2.478 million Lubumbashi, 1.458 million Kananga, 1.261 million Kisangani, 1.078 million Bukavu (2020)
Maternal mortality rate
213 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
473 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight
11.8% (2018/19)
23.4% (2013)
Health expenditures
4.5% (2017)
4% (2017)
Physicians density
0.16 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
0.07 physicians/1,000 population (201)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate
8.1% (2016)
6.7% (2016)
Mother's mean age at first birth
19.2 years (2013/14 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

19.9 years (2013/14 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Demographic profile

Zambia’s poor, youthful population consists primarily of Bantu-speaking people representing nearly 70 different ethnicities. Zambia’s high fertility rate continues to drive rapid population growth, averaging almost 3 percent annually between 2000 and 2010. The country’s total fertility rate has fallen by less than 1.5 children per woman during the last 30 years and still averages among the world’s highest, almost 6 children per woman, largely because of the country’s lack of access to family planning services, education for girls, and employment for women. Zambia also exhibits wide fertility disparities based on rural or urban location, education, and income. Poor, uneducated women from rural areas are more likely to marry young, to give birth early, and to have more children, viewing children as a sign of prestige and recognizing that not all of their children will live to adulthood. HIV/AIDS is prevalent in Zambia and contributes to its low life expectancy.

Zambian emigration is low compared to many other African countries and is comprised predominantly of the well-educated. The small amount of brain drain, however, has a major impact in Zambia because of its limited human capital and lack of educational infrastructure for developing skilled professionals in key fields. For example, Zambia has few schools for training doctors, nurses, and other health care workers. Its spending on education is low compared to other Sub-Saharan countries.

Despite a wealth of fertile soil, hydroelectric power potential, and mineral resources, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) struggles with many socioeconomic problems, including high infant and maternal mortality rates, malnutrition, poor vaccination coverage, lack of access to improved water sources and sanitation, and frequent and early fertility. Ongoing conflict, mismanagement of resources, and a lack of investment have resulted in food insecurity; almost 30 percent of children under the age of 5 are malnourished. The overall coverage of basic public services – education, health, sanitation, and potable water – is very limited and piecemeal, with substantial regional and rural/urban disparities. Fertility remains high at almost 5 children per woman and is likely to remain high because of the low use of contraception and the cultural preference for larger families.

The DRC is a source and host country for refugees. Between 2012 and 2014, more than 119,000 Congolese refugees returned from the Republic of Congo to the relative stability of northwest DRC, but more than 540,000 Congolese refugees remained abroad as of year-end 2015. In addition, an estimated 3.9 million Congolese were internally displaced as of October 2017, the vast majority fleeing violence between rebel group and Congolese armed forces. Thousands of refugees have come to the DRC from neighboring countries, including Rwanda, the Central African Republic, and Burundi.

Contraceptive prevalence rate
49.5% (2018)
20.4% (2013/14)
Dependency ratios
total dependency ratio: 85.7
youth dependency ratio: 81.7
elderly dependency ratio: 4
potential support ratio: 25.3 (2020 est.)
total dependency ratio: 95.4
youth dependency ratio: 89.5
elderly dependency ratio: 5.9
potential support ratio: 17 (2020 est.)

Government

ZambiaDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Country name
conventional long form: Republic of Zambia
conventional short form: Zambia
former: Northern Rhodesia
etymology: name derived from the Zambezi River, which flows through the western part of the country and forms its southern border with neighboring Zimbabwe
conventional long form: Democratic Republic of the Congo
conventional short form: DRC
local long form: Republique Democratique du Congo
local short form: RDC
former: Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo/Leopoldville, Congo/Kinshasa, Zaire
abbreviation: DRC (or DROC)
etymology: named for the Congo River, most of which lies within the DRC; the river name derives from Kongo, a Bantu kingdom that occupied its mouth at the time of Portuguese discovery in the late 15th century and whose name stems from its people the Bakongo, meaning "hunters"
Government type
presidential republic
semi-presidential republic
Capital
name: Lusaka; note - a proposal to build a new capital city in Ngabwe was announced in May 2017
geographic coordinates: 15 25 S, 28 17 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: named after a village called Lusaka, located at Manda Hill, near where Zambia's National Assembly building currently stands; the village was named after a headman (chief) Lusakasa
name: Kinshasa
geographic coordinates: 4 19 S, 15 18 E
time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

note: the DRC has two time zones

etymology:
founded as a trading post in 1881 and named Leopoldville in honor of King Leopold II of the Belgians, who controlled the Congo Free State, the vast central African territory that became the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1960; in 1966, Leopoldville was renamed Kinshasa, after a village of that name that once stood near the site


Administrative divisions
10 provinces; Central, Copperbelt, Eastern, Luapula, Lusaka, Muchinga, Northern, North-Western, Southern, Western
26 provinces (provinces, singular - province); Bas-Uele (Lower Uele), Equateur, Haut-Katanga (Upper Katanga), Haut-Lomami (Upper Lomami), Haut-Uele (Upper Uele), Ituri, Kasai, Kasai-Central, Kasai-Oriental (East Kasai), Kinshasa, Kongo Central, Kwango, Kwilu, Lomami, Lualaba, Mai-Ndombe, Maniema, Mongala, Nord-Kivu (North Kivu), Nord-Ubangi (North Ubangi), Sankuru, Sud-Kivu (South Kivu), Sud-Ubangi (South Ubangi), Tanganyika, Tshopo, Tshuapa
Independence
24 October 1964 (from the UK)
30 June 1960 (from Belgium)
National holiday
Independence Day, 24 October (1964)
Independence Day, 30 June (1960)
Constitution
history: several previous; latest adopted 24 August 1991, promulgated 30 August 1991
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly in two separate readings at least 30 days apart; passage of amendments affecting fundamental rights and freedoms requires approval by at least one half of votes cast in a referendum prior to consideration and voting by the Assembly; amended 1996, 2015, 2016
history: several previous; latest adopted 13 May 2005, approved by referendum 18-19 December 2005, promulgated 18 February 2006
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic, by the government, by either house of Parliament, or by public petition; agreement on the substance of a proposed bill requires absolute majority vote in both houses; passage requires a referendum only if both houses in joint meeting fail to achieve three-fifths majority vote; constitutional articles, including the form of government, universal suffrage, judicial independence, political pluralism, and personal freedoms, cannot be amended; amended 2011
Legal system
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch
chief of state: President Edgar LUNGU (since 25 January 2015); Vice President Inonge WINA (since 26 January 2015); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Edgar LUNGU (since 25 January 2015); Vice President Inonge WINA (since 26 January 2015)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by president from among members of the National Assembly
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); last held on 11 August 2016 (next to be held in 2021)
election results: Edgar LUNGU reelected president in the first round; percent of vote - Edgar LUNGU (PF) 50.4%, Hakainde HICHILEMA (UPND) 47.6%, other 2.0%
chief of state: President Felix TSHISEKEDI (since 24 January 2019)
head of government: Prime Minister Sylvestre ILUNGA Ilunkamba (since 20 May 2019); Deputy Prime Ministers Jose MAKILA, Leonard She OKITUNDU, Henri MOVA Sankanyi (since February 2018)
cabinet: Ministers of State appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by simple majority vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 30 December 2018 (next to be held in December 2023); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: Felix TSHISEKEDI elected president; percent of vote - Felix TSHISEKEDI (UDPS) 38.6%, Martin FAYULU (Lamuka coalition) 34.8%, Emmanuel Ramazani SHADARY (PPRD) 23.9%, other 2.7%; note - election marred by serious voting irregularities
Legislative branch
description: unicameral National Assembly (165 seats; 156 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote in 2 rounds if needed, and up to 8 appointed by the president; members serve 5-year terms); note - 6 additional electoral seats were added for the 11 August 2016 election, up from 150 electoral seats in the 2011 election
elections: last held on 11 August 2016 (next to be held in 2021)
election results: percent of vote by party - PF 42%, UPND 41.7%, MMD 2.7%, FDD 2.2%, other 1.9%,independent 9.5%; seats by party - PF 89, UPND 54, MMD 5, FDD 1, NDC 1, independent 14; composition - men 135, women 30, percent of women 18.2%
description: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of:
Senate (108 seats; members indirectly elected by provincial assemblies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

National Assembly (500 seats; 439 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 61 directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held on 19 January 2007 (follow-on election has been delayed)
National Assembly - last held on 30 December 2018
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPRD 22, MLC 14, FR 7, RCD 7, PDC 6, CDC 3, MSR 3, PALU 2, other 18, independent 26; composition - men 103, women 5, percent of women 4.6%

National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PPRD 62, UDPS 41, PPPD 29, MSR 27, MLC 22, PALU 19, UNC 17, ARC 16, AFDC 15, ECT 11, RRC 11, other 214 (includes numerous political parties that won 10 or fewer seats and 2 constituencies where voting was halted), independent 16; composition - men 456, women 44, percent of women  8.8%; total Parliament percent of women 8.1%;note - the November 2011 election was marred by violence including the destruction of ballots in 2 constituencies resulting in the closure of polling sites; election results were delayed 3 months, strongly contested, and continue to be unresolved
Judicial branch
highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice, deputy chief justice, and at least 11 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of the court president, vice president, and 11 judges); note - the Constitutional Court began operation in June 2016
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court and Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president of the republic upon the advice of the 9-member Judicial Service Commission, which is headed by the chief justice, and ratified by the National Assembly; judges normally serve until age 65
subordinate courts: Court of Appeal; High Court; Industrial Relations Court; subordinate courts (3 levels, based on upper limit of money involved); Small Claims Court; local courts (2 grades, based on upper limit of money involved)
highest courts: Court of Cassation or Cour de Cassation (consists of 26 justices and organized into legislative and judiciary sections); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges nominated by the Judicial Service Council, an independent body of public prosecutors and selected judges of the lower courts; judge tenure NA; Constitutional Court judges - 3 nominated by the president, 3 by the Judicial Service Council, and 3 by the legislature; judges appointed by the president to serve 9-year non-renewable terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years
subordinate courts: State Security Court; Court of Appeals (organized into administrative and judiciary sections); Tribunal de Grande; magistrates' courts; customary courts
Political parties and leaders
Alliance for Democracy and Development or ADD [Charles MILUPI]
Forum for Democracy and Development or FDD [Edith NAWAKWI]
Movement for Multiparty Democracy or MMD [Felix MUTATI]
National Democratic Congress or NDC [Chishimba KAMBWILI]
Patriotic Front or PF [Edgar LUNGU]
United Party for National Development or UPND [Hakainde HICHILEMA]
Christian Democrat Party or PDC [Jose ENDUNDO]
Congolese Rally for Democracy or RCD [Azarias RUBERWA]
Convention of Christian Democrats or CDC
Engagement for Citizenship and Development or ECiDe [Martin FAYULU]
Forces of Renewal or FR [Mbusa NYAMWISI]
Lamuka coalition [Martin FAYULU] (includes ECiDe, MLC, Together for Change, CNB, and, Nouvel Elan)
Movement for the Liberation of the Congo or MLC [Jean-Pierre BEMBA]
Nouvel Elan [Adolphe MUZITO]
Our Congo or CNB ("Congo Na Biso") [Freddy MATUNGULU]
People's Party for Reconstruction and Democracy or PPRD [Henri MOVA Sakanyi]
Social Movement for Renewal or MSR [Pierre LUMBI]
Together for Change (Ensemble") [Moise KATUMBI]
Unified Lumumbist Party or PALU [Antoine GIZENGA]
Union for the Congolese Nation or UNC [Vital KAMERHE]
Union for Democracy and Social Progress or UDPS [Felix TSHISEKEDI]
International organization participation
ACP, AfDB, AU, C, COMESA, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MONUSCO, NAM, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ACP, AfDB, AU, CEMAC, CEPGL, COMESA, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIF, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
Ambassador Lazarous KAPAMBWE (since 8 April 2020)
chancery: 2200 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 265-9717 through 9719
FAX: [1] (202) 332-0826
Ambassador Francois Nkuna BALUMUENE (since 23 September 2015)
chancery: 1100 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 234-7690 through 7691
FAX: [1] (202) 234-2609
representative office: New York New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission: Charge d'Affaires David J. YOUNG (since 2 March 2020)
telephone: [260] (0) 211-357-000

 

embassy: Eastern end of Kabulonga Road, Ibex Hill, Lusaka
mailing address: P. O. Box 320065, Lusaka
FAX: [260]  211-357-224
chief of mission: Ambassador Michael A. HAMMER (since 22 December 2018)
telephone: [243] 081 556-0151
embassy: 310 Avenue des Aviateurs, Kinshasa, Gombe
mailing address: Unit 2220, DPO AE 09828
FAX: [243] 81 556-0175
Flag description
green field with a panel of three vertical bands of red (hoist side), black, and orange below a soaring orange eagle, on the outer edge of the flag; green stands for the country's natural resources and vegetation, red symbolizes the struggle for freedom, black the people of Zambia, and orange the country's mineral wealth; the eagle represents the people's ability to rise above the nation's problems
sky blue field divided diagonally from the lower hoist corner to upper fly corner by a red stripe bordered by two narrow yellow stripes; a yellow, five-pointed star appears in the upper hoist corner; blue represents peace and hope, red the blood of the country's martyrs, and yellow the country's wealth and prosperity; the star symbolizes unity and the brilliant future for the country
National anthem
name: "Lumbanyeni Zambia" (Stand and Sing of Zambia, Proud and Free)
lyrics/music: multiple/Enoch Mankayi SONTONGA

note: adopted 1964; the melody, from the popular song "God Bless Africa," is the same as that of Tanzania but with different lyrics; the melody is also incorporated into South Africa's anthem

name: "Debout Congolaise" (Arise Congolese)
lyrics/music: Joseph LUTUMBA/Simon-Pierre BOKA di Mpasi Londi

note: adopted 1960; replaced when the country was known as Zaire; but readopted in 1997

International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)
African fish eagle; national colors: green, red, black, orange
leopard; national colors: sky blue, red, yellow
Citizenship
citizenship by birth: only if at least one parent is a citizen of Zambia
citizenship by descent only: yes, if at least one parent was a citizen of Zambia
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years for those with an ancestor who was a citizen of Zambia, otherwise 10 years residency is required
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

ZambiaDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Economy - overview

Zambia had one of the world’s fastest growing economies for the ten years up to 2014, with real GDP growth averaging roughly 6.7% per annum, though growth slowed during the period 2015 to 2017, due to falling copper prices, reduced power generation, and depreciation of the kwacha. Zambia’s lack of economic diversification and dependency on copper as its sole major export makes it vulnerable to fluctuations in the world commodities market and prices turned downward in 2015 due to declining demand from China; Zambia was overtaken by the Democratic Republic of Congo as Africa’s largest copper producer. GDP growth picked up in 2017 as mineral prices rose.

Despite recent strong economic growth and its status as a lower middle-income country, widespread and extreme rural poverty and high unemployment levels remain significant problems, made worse by a high birth rate, a relatively high HIV/AIDS burden, by market-distorting agricultural and energy policies, and growing government debt. Zambia raised $7 billion from international investors by issuing separate sovereign bonds in 2012, 2014, and 2015. Concurrently, it issued over $4 billion in domestic debt and agreed to Chinese-financed infrastructure projects, significantly increasing the country’s public debt burden to more than 60% of GDP. The government has considered refinancing $3 billion worth of Eurobonds and significant Chinese loans to cut debt servicing costs.

The economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo - a nation endowed with vast natural resource wealth - continues to perform poorly. Systemic corruption since independence in 1960, combined with countrywide instability and intermittent conflict that began in the early-90s, has reduced national output and government revenue, and increased external debt. With the installation of a transitional government in 2003 after peace accords, economic conditions slowly began to improve as the government reopened relations with international financial institutions and international donors, and President KABILA began implementing reforms. Progress on implementing substantive economic reforms remains slow because of political instability, bureaucratic inefficiency, corruption, and patronage, which also dampen international investment prospects.

Renewed activity in the mining sector, the source of most export income, boosted Kinshasa's fiscal position and GDP growth until 2015, but low commodity prices have led to slower growth, volatile inflation, currency depreciation, and a growing fiscal deficit. An uncertain legal framework, corruption, and a lack of transparency in government policy are long-term problems for the large mining sector and for the economy as a whole. Much economic activity still occurs in the informal sector and is not reflected in GDP data.

Poverty remains widespread in DRC, and the country failed to meet any Millennium Development Goals by 2015. DRC also concluded its program with the IMF in 2015. The price of copper – the DRC’s primary export - plummeted in 2015 and remained at record lows during 2016-17, reducing government revenues, expenditures, and foreign exchange reserves, while inflation reached nearly 50% in mid-2017 – its highest level since the early 2000s.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$68.93 billion (2017 est.)
$66.66 billion (2016 est.)
$64.25 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$68.6 billion (2017 est.)
$66.33 billion (2016 est.)
$64.78 billion (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - real growth rate
3.4% (2017 est.)
3.8% (2016 est.)
2.9% (2015 est.)
3.4% (2017 est.)
2.4% (2016 est.)
6.9% (2015 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)
$4,000 (2017 est.)
$4,000 (2016 est.)
$4,000 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

$800 (2017 est.)
$800 (2016 est.)
$800 (2015 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

GDP - composition by sector
agriculture: 7.5% (2017 est.)
industry: 35.3% (2017 est.)
services: 57% (2017 est.)
agriculture: 19.7% (2017 est.)
industry: 43.6% (2017 est.)
services: 36.7% (2017 est.)
Population below poverty line
54.4% (2015 est.)
63% (2014 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share
lowest 10%: 1.5%
highest 10%: 47.4% (2010)
lowest 10%: 2.3%
highest 10%: 34.7% (2006)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)
6.6% (2017 est.)
17.9% (2016 est.)
41.5% (2017 est.)
18.2% (2016 est.)
Labor force
6.898 million (2017 est.)
20.692 million (2012 est.)
Labor force - by occupation
agriculture: 54.8%
industry: 9.9%
services: 35.3% (2017 est.)
agriculture: NA
industry: NA
services: NA
Unemployment rate
15% (2008 est.)
50% (2000 est.)

NA

Distribution of family income - Gini index
57.5 (2013)
50.8 (2004)
42.1 (2012 est.)
Budget
revenues: 4.473 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 6.357 billion (2017 est.)
revenues: 4.634 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 5.009 billion (2017 est.)
Industries
copper mining and processing, emerald mining, construction, foodstuffs, beverages, chemicals, textiles, fertilizer, horticulture
mining (copper, cobalt, gold, diamonds, coltan, zinc, tin, tungsten), mineral processing, consumer products (textiles, plastics, footwear, cigarettes), metal products, processed foods and beverages, timber, cement, commercial ship repair
Industrial production growth rate
4.7% (2017 est.)
1.6% (2017 est.)
Agriculture - products
corn, sorghum, rice, peanuts, sunflower seeds, vegetables, flowers, tobacco, cotton, sugarcane, cassava (manioc, tapioca), coffee; cattle, goats, pigs, poultry, milk, eggs, hides
coffee, sugar, palm oil, rubber, tea, cotton, cocoa, quinine, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, plantains, peanuts, root crops, corn, fruits; wood products
Exports
$8.216 billion (2017 est.)
$6.514 billion (2016 est.)
$10.98 billion (2017 est.)
$8.228 billion (2016 est.)
Exports - commodities
copper/cobalt, cobalt, electricity; tobacco, flowers, cotton
diamonds, copper, gold, cobalt, wood products, crude oil, coffee
Exports - partners
Switzerland 44.8%, China 16.1%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 6.2%, Singapore 6%, South Africa 5.9% (2017)
China 41.4%, Zambia 22.7%, South Korea 7.2%, Finland 6.2% (2017)
Imports
$7.852 billion (2017 est.)
$6.539 billion (2016 est.)
$10.82 billion (2017 est.)
$10.21 billion (2016 est.)
Imports - commodities
machinery, transportation equipment, petroleum products, electricity, fertilizer, foodstuffs, clothing
foodstuffs, mining and other machinery, transport equipment, fuels
Imports - partners
South Africa 28.2%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 20.8%, China 12.9%, Kuwait 5.4%, UAE 4.6% (2017)
China 19.9%, South Africa 18%, Zambia 10.4%, Belgium 9.1%, India 4.3%, Tanzania 4.2% (2017)
Debt - external
$11.66 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$9.562 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$4.963 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$5.35 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Exchange rates
Zambian kwacha (ZMK) per US dollar -
9.2 (2017 est.)
10.3 (2016 est.)
10.3 (2015 est.)
8.6 (2014 est.)
6.2 (2013 est.)
Congolese francs (CDF) per US dollar -
1,546.8 (2017 est.)
1,010.3 (2016 est.)
1,010.3 (2015 est.)
925.99 (2014 est.)
925.23 (2013 est.)
Fiscal year
calendar year
calendar year
Public debt
63.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
60.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
18.1% of GDP (2017 est.)
19.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold
$2.082 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$2.353 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$457.5 million (31 December 2017 est.)
$708.2 million (31 December 2016 est.)
Current Account Balance
-$1.006 billion (2017 est.)
-$934 million (2016 est.)
-$200 million (2017 est.)
-$1.215 billion (2016 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)
$25.71 billion (2017 est.)
$41.44 billion (2017 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares
$3.004 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
$4.009 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$2.817 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

NA

Central bank discount rate
9.1% (31 December 2012)
19% (31 December 2011)
20% (31 December 2017)
20% (31 December 2011)
Commercial bank prime lending rate
12.5% (31 December 2017 est.)
15.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
20.62% (31 December 2017 est.)
19.05% (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of domestic credit
$5.401 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.167 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$3.252 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$3.582 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of narrow money
$1.764 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.582 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.044 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.192 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Stock of broad money
$1.764 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.582 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.044 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$1.192 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
Taxes and other revenues
17.4% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
11.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
-7.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
-0.9% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24
total: 24%
male: 23.6%
female: 24.4% (2017 est.)
total: 8.7%
male: 11.3%
female: 6.8% (2012 est.)
GDP - composition, by end use
household consumption: 52.6% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 21% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 27.1% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 1.2% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 43% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -44.9% (2017 est.)
household consumption: 78.5% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 12.7% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 15.9% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: 0% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 25.7% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -32.8% (2017 est.)
Gross national saving
38.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
37.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
38.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
11.5% of GDP (2017 est.)
8.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
16.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

Energy

ZambiaDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Electricity - production
11.55 billion kWh (2016 est.)
9.046 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - consumption
11.04 billion kWh (2016 est.)
7.43 billion kWh (2016 est.)
Electricity - exports
1.176 billion kWh (2015 est.)
422 million kWh (2015 est.)
Electricity - imports
2.185 billion kWh (2016 est.)
20 million kWh (2016 est.)
Oil - production
0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
17,000 bbl/day (2018 est.)
Oil - imports
12,860 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - exports
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
20,000 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - proved reserves
0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
180 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves
0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
991.1 million cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
Natural gas - production
0 cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - consumption
0 cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - exports
0 cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Natural gas - imports
0 cu m (2017 est.)
0 cu m (2017 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity
2.573 million kW (2016 est.)
2.587 million kW (2016 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels
5% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
2% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants
93% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
98% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources
2% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production
13,120 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2017 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption
23,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
21,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports
371 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports
10,150 bbl/day (2015 est.)
21,140 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy
3.777 million Mt (2017 est.)
3.146 million Mt (2017 est.)
Electricity access
population without electricity: 11 million (2019)
electrification - total population: 37% (2019)
electrification - urban areas: 76% (2019)
electrification - rural areas: 6% (2019)
population without electricity: 79 million (2019)
electrification - total population: 9% (2019)
electrification - urban areas: 19% (2019)
electrification - rural areas: 0.4% (2019)

Telecommunications

ZambiaDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Telephones - main lines in use
total subscriptions: 91,422
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 0 NA
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellular
total subscriptions: 16,322,168
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 96.41 (2019 est.)
total subscriptions: 42,166,976
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 42.77 (2019 est.)
Internet country code
.zm
.cd
Internet users
total: 2,351,646
percent of population: 14.3% (July 2018 est.)
total: 8,231,357
percent of population: 8.62% (July 2018 est.)
Telecommunication systems
general assessment: service is among the best in Sub-Saharan Africa; regulatory promotes competition and is a partner to private sector service providers, offering mobile voice and Internet at some of the lowest prices in the region; investment made in data centers, education centers and computer assembly training plants; operators invest in 3G and LTE-based services; Chinese company Huawei is helping to upgrade state-owned mobile infrastructure for 5G services; 3 cellular telephone providers currently in operation, plus several data only ISPs; 1,010 towers project to soon be completed (2020)
domestic: fiber optic connections are available between most larger towns and cities with microwave radio relays serving more rural areas; 3G and LTE with FttX in limited urban areas and private Ku or Ka band VSAT terminals in remote locations; fixed-line 1 per 100 and mobile-cellular 96 per 100 (2019)
international: country code - 260; multiple providers operate overland fiber optic routes via Zimbabwe/South Africa, Botswana/Namibia and Tanzania provide access to the major undersea cables
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
general assessment: poorly developed national and international infrastructure; bandwidth is limited; Internet pricing is expensive; domestic satellite system with 14 earth stations; wars and social upheaval have not promoted advancement; a revised Telecommunications Act adopted in May 2018; govt. only loosely regulates the telecom sector, much of the investment is from donor countries (specifically China) (2020)
domestic: fixed-line connections less than 1 per 100 persons; given the backdrop of a wholly inadequate fixed-line infrastructure, the use of mobile-cellular services is over 43 per 100 persons (2019)
international: country code - 243; ACE and WACS submarine cables to West and South Africa and Europe; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated
Broadband - fixed subscriptions
total: 43,365
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
total: 4,620
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)
Broadcast media

according to the Independent Broadcast Authority, there are 137 radio stations and 47 television stations in Zambia; out of the 137 radio stations, 133 are private (categorized as either commercial or community radio stations), while 4 are public-owned; state-owned Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) operates 2 television channels and 3 radio stations; ZNBC owns 75% shares in GoTV, 40% in MultiChoice, and 40% in TopStar Communications Company, all of which operate in-country

(2019)
state-owned TV broadcast station with near national coverage; more than a dozen privately owned TV stations - 2 with near national coverage; 2 state-owned radio stations are supplemented by more than 100 private radio stations; transmissions of at least 2 international broadcasters are available

Transportation

ZambiaDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Railways
total: 3,126 km (2014)
narrow gauge: 3,126 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)

note: includes 1,860 km of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA)

total: 4,007 km (2014)
narrow gauge: 3,882 km 1.067-m gauge (858 km electrified) (2014)
125 1.000-m gauge
Roadways
total: 67,671 km (2018)
paved: 14,888 km (2018)
unpaved: 52,783 km (2018)
total: 152,373 km (2015)
paved: 3,047 km (2015)
unpaved: 149,326 km (2015)
urban: 7,400 km (2015)
non-urban: 144,973 km
Waterways
2,250 km (includes Lake Tanganyika and the Zambezi and Luapula Rivers) (2010)
15,000 km (including the Congo River, its tributaries, and unconnected lakes) (2011)
Pipelines
771 km oil (2013)
62 km gas, 77 km oil, 756 km refined products (2013)
Ports and terminals
river port(s): Mpulungu (Zambezi)
major seaport(s): Banana
river or lake port(s): Boma, Bumba, Kinshasa, Kisangani, Matadi, Mbandaka (Congo)
Kindu (Lualaba)Bukavu, Goma (Lake Kivu)Kalemie (Lake Tanganyika)
Merchant marine
total: 1
by type: other 1 (2017)
total: 21
by type: general cargo 4, oil tanker 2, other 15 (2019)
Airports
total: 88 (2013)
total: 198 (2013)
Airports - with paved runways
total: 8 (2013)
over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)
total: 26 (2017)
over 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3 (2017)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17 (2017)
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2017)
under 914 m: 1 (2017)
Airports - with unpaved runways
total: 80 (2013)
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 53 (2013)
under 914 m: 21 (2013)
total: 172 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 20 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 87 (2013)
under 914 m: 65 (2013)
National air transport system
number of registered air carriers: 3 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 6
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 8,904 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 75.08 million mt-km (2018)
number of registered air carriers: 8 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 13
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 932,043 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 890,000 mt-km (2018)
Civil aircraft registration country code prefix
9J (2016)
9Q (2016)

Military

ZambiaDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Military branches
Zambia Defense Force (ZDF): Zambia Army, Zambia Air Force, Zambia National Service (support organization); the Zambia Police includes a paramilitary battalion (2019)
Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Forces d'Armees de la Republique Democratique du Congo, FARDC): Land Forces, National Navy (La Marine Nationale), Congolese Air Force (Force Aerienne Congolaise, FAC); Republican Guard (responsible for presidential security) (2019)
Military service age and obligation
18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; 12-year enlistment period (7 years active, 5 in the Reserves) (2019)
18-45 years of age for voluntary and compulsory military service (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP
1.2% of GDP (2019)
1.3% of GDP (2018)
1.3% of GDP (2017)
1.4% of GDP (2016)
1.8% of GDP (2015)
0.7% of GDP (2019)
0.7% of GDP (2018)
0.7% of GDP (2017)
1.3% of GDP (2016)
1.4% of GDP (2015)

Transnational Issues

ZambiaDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Disputes - international

in 2004, Zimbabwe dropped objections to plans between Botswana and Zambia to build a bridge over the Zambezi River, thereby de facto recognizing a short, but not clearly delimited, Botswana-Zambia boundary in the river

heads of the Great Lakes states and UN pledged in 2004 to abate tribal, rebel, and militia fighting in the region, including northeast Congo, where the UN Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), organized in 1999, maintains over 16,500 uniformed peacekeepers; members of Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army forces continue to seek refuge in Congo's Garamba National Park as peace talks with the Uganda Government evolve; the location of the boundary in the broad Congo River with the Republic of the Congo is indefinite except in the Pool Malebo/Stanley Pool area; Uganda and DRC dispute Rukwanzi Island in Lake Albert and other areas on the Semliki River with hydrocarbon potential; boundary commission continues discussions over Congolese-administered triangle of land on the right bank of the Lunkinda River claimed by Zambia near the DRC village of Pweto; DRC accuses Angola of shifting monuments

Illicit drugs
transshipment point for moderate amounts of methaqualone, small amounts of heroin, and cocaine bound for southern Africa and possibly Europe; a poorly developed financial infrastructure coupled with a government commitment to combating money laundering make it an unattractive venue for money launderers; major consumer of cannabis
traffickers exploit lax shipping controls to transit pseudoephedrine through the capital; while rampant corruption and inadequate supervision leave the banking system vulnerable to money laundering, the lack of a well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a money-laundering center
Refugees and internally displaced persons
refugees (country of origin): 55,523 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (refugees and asylum seekers), 18,815 (Angola), 7,997 (Burundi), 5,982 (Rwanda) (2020)
refugees (country of origin): 172,234 (Central African Republic), 214,777 (Rwanda) (refugees and asylum seekers), 89,401 (South Sudan) (refugees and asylum seekers), 48,824 (Burundi) (2020)
IDPs: 5.512 million (fighting between government forces and rebels since mid-1990s; conflict in Kasai region since 2016) (2019)

Source: CIA Factbook