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Lusaka is the capital and largest city of Zambia. It is one of the fastest developing cities in southern Africa. Lusaka is in the southern part of the central plateau at an elevation of about 1,279 metres (4,196 ft). As of 2010, the city's population was about 1.7 million, while the urban population is estimated at 2.5 million in 2018. Lusaka is the centre of both commerce and government in Zambia and connects to the country's four main highways heading north, south, east and west. English is the official language of the city administration, while Nyanja and Bemba are the commonly spoken street languages.

In the 1890s the area in which Lusaka is situated was taken over by the British South Africa Company from the local chiefs in the course of the formation of Northern Rhodesia, with control passing to the British Colonial Office in 1924. Lusaka became the capital of Northern Rhodesia in 1935. The city figured prominently in the movement for independence and was where the Federation of African Societies founded the Northern Rhodesian Congress in 1948. After the federation of Northern and Southern Rhodesia took place in 1953, Lusaka was a hub of the civil disobedience movement (1960) that led to the creation of the independent state of Zambia, of which Lusaka became the capital.

Data and Facts

  • For 2016, Lusaka ranks as the 200th costliest city dropping 20 places from 2015 when Mercer placed Lusaka as the world’s 180th most expensive city for newly relocated citizens
  • Including its immediate surrounding neighborhood, the population count for Lusaka’s built-up urban area is approximately 2.7 million inhabitants. Lusaka’s extended urban perimeters contains 121 square miles (313 square kilometers)
  • Lusaka is the smallest province in Zambia
  • All of Africa’s Big Five can be found in Zambia including lions, rhinos and elephants. South Luangwa National Park is a protection area for these animals


As the national capital, Lusaka is the seat of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government, epitomized by the presence of the National Assembly , the State House , and the High Court. The Parliament is situated at the Parliament complex, which features a 15-story building. The city is also the capital of Lusaka Province, the smallest and most populous of the country's nine provinces, and forms an administrative district run by Lusaka City Council. In 2007, the mayor was Steven Chilatu , and the deputy mayor was Mary Phiri. Lusaka’s newer government section contrasts with the old township along the railway line.

Zambia’s initial constitution was abandoned in August 1973 when it became a one-party state. The constitution of the Second Republic provided for a «one-party participatory democracy,» with the United National Independence Party the only legal political party. In response to mounting pressures within the country, the constitution was changed in 1991 to allow the reintroduction of a multiparty system. Under the terms of the constitution, the president, who is head of state and commander in chief of the armed forces, is elected by universal adult suffrage to no more than two five-year terms. Central government is represented throughout Zambia by the provincial government system, by which resident ministers—each of whom is the president’s direct representative—are appointed by the president to each of the provinces. The provinces are divided into districts, each of which has a district council chairman responsible to the provincial deputy minister; the district council chairman is particularly concerned with political and economic developments. His civil service counterpart is the district executive secretary. The cities of Lusaka, Ndola, and Kitwe have councils and mayors, but the formerly separate management of mine townships on the Copperbelt has been abolished.

The court system consists of the Supreme Court, the High Court, subordinate magistrate’s courts, and local courts. Because the law administered by all except the local courts is based on English common law, decisions of the higher British courts are of persuasive value; in fact, a few statutes of the British Parliament that were declared by ordinance to apply to Zambia are in force so far as circumstances permit. Most of the laws presently on the statute book, however, have been locally enacted by ordinance or, since independence, by Zambian acts.The Supreme Court consists of the chief justice, deputy chief justice, and several other justices; it is the court of last resort. Customary law is followed when it is not incompatible with other legislation.

The judiciary remains formally independent. The president appoints the chief justice and, on the advice of the Judicial Services Commission, also appoints other judges; however, the constitution severely restricts the president’s powers of dismissal, and on occasion judges have not shrunk from challenging the authority of the government or party. At the same time, the scope of the judiciary was seriously limited by presidential powers of preventive detention under emergency regulations brought in at the time of Rhodesian UDI in November 1965 and subsequently regularly renewed by the National Assembly. The ending of these state-of-emergency regulations on Nov. 8, 1991, was one of the first acts of the new government. The president is elected on the basis of universal adult suffrage; election to the National Assembly, which is conducted simultaneously, is also largely decided on this basis, although a small proportion of National Assembly members are nominated by the president. There is a 27-member House of Chiefs, with a two-year-term rotating membership. It has no legislative function: it may consider bills but not block their passage.


Although basically reliant on its agricultural environs, and a major collecting point for corn and tobacco, Lusaka has a mixed economy that includes cement, textile, and shoe manufacture, and food processing.The economy of Zambia is one of the fastest growing economies in Africa and its capital, Lusaka is the fastest growing city in the Southern African Development Community . Zambia itself is one of Sub-Saharan Africa's most highly urbanized countries. About one-half of the country's 16 million people are concentrated in a few urban zones strung along the major transportation corridors, while rural areas are under-populated. Unemployment and underemployment are serious problems. National GDP has actually doubled since independence, but due in large part to high birth rates and AIDS per capita annual incomes are currently at about two-thirds of their levels at independence. As of 2018, Zambia's GDP per capita, PPP stands at $4,216.46 For the first time since 1989 Zambia's economic growth reached the 6%-7% mark needed to reduce poverty significantly. Cooperation continues with international bodies on programs to reduce poverty, including a new lending arrangement with the IMF in the second quarter of 2004. A tighter monetary policy will help cut inflation, but Zambia still has a serious problem with high public debt.

Lack of balance-of-payment support meant the Zambian government did not have resources for capital investment and periodically had to issue bonds or otherwise expand the money supply to try to meet its spending and debt obligations. The government continued these activities even after balance-of-payment support resumed. This has kept interest rates at levels that are too high for local business, fuelled inflation, burdened the budget with domestic debt payments, while still falling short of meeting the public payroll and other needs, such as infrastructure rehabilitation. The government was forced to draw down foreign exchange reserves sharply in 1998 to meet foreign debt obligations, putting further pressure on the kwacha and inflation. As a result, 2001 year-end inflation was below 20%, its best result in decades. In 2002 inflation rose to 26.7%. However, in 2007 inflation hit 8%, the first time in 30 years that Zambia had seen single digit inflation.On January 27, 2011, it was reported by the Central Statistical Office that inflation rose to 9%. There are, however, positive macroeconomic signs, rooted in reforms implemented in the early and mid-1990s. Zambia's floating exchange rate and open capital markets have provided useful discipline to the government, while at the same time allowing continued diversification of Zambia's export sector, growth in the tourist industry, and procurement of inputs for growing businesses.

Business Environment

There are a number of requirements that a local investor or foreigner needs to undertake before doing business in Zambia. The Company's Act Cap 388 governs the registration of companies in Zambia. Registration is done by the Patents and Companies Registration Agency . The registration can also be done on-line making it easy to set up a business in Zambia. Prospective business people are required to submit an application for name clearance in order to avoid use of an existing or similar name, an application for incorporation by subscribing the names of directors and secretaries of the company, articles of the company, statutory declaration in compliance with the Company's Act. The minimum share capital of a company is K5, 000. In terms of the political environment, Zambia has been a sanctuary of peace for more than fifty years with six successful presidents that have been democratically elected into office. There is no country in Africa that can beat Zambia’s track record on peace and tranquility from the time the country became independent. Subsequently, as the country goes to the polls on 11th August, 2016 to elect new law makers the transition is expected to be democratic and peaceful as history has shown.

Looking at the economy, Zambia’s economic growth has been steady in the recent past. The Gross Domestic Product expanded by 5 percent in 2015 from the previous year and the GDP Annual Growth Rate at an average of 2.97 percent from 1961 until 2015. In terms of available investment opportunities, the Government through ZDA has focused its energies on attracting Foreign Direct Investment and stimulating Local Direct Investment in growth oriented sectors with potential to propel economic growth. Finally, the Agency is facilitating the growth of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises through capacity building, linkages to various service providers and provision of an enabling business environment, particularly for Zambians undertaking local direct investment .

Government’s relentless effort in improving the country’s business environment and attracting foreign investment are being recognised globally, Zambia’s Ambassador designate to France, Dr. Christine Kaseba- Sata has said. And Zambia has won the award of best state strategy in Africa in recognition of the Government’s efforts in improving the business environment and attracting domestic and foreign direct investment. Africa Investments Forum and Awards was inaugurated in 2017 with the support of the French captains of Industry namely the Council of French Investments in Africa , the French Private Equity Association , Paris Europlace, Agence Française de Développement , Syndicat des Energies Renouvelables, among others. The award o f best state strategy in Africa is dedicated to business opportunities on the African continent in various fields such as Energy, Infrastructure and City Planning, Mergers and Acquisitions, Growth Strategies and Real Estate Industries.


Lusaka is home to Kenneth Kaunda International Airport . There is also Lusaka City Airport, which is used by the Zambian Air Force. The airport is currently undergoing a major expansion and modernisation. The city is served by the operating sections of the Cape to Cairo Railway, which connects it to Lubumbashi and Bulawayo. The international airport is connected to the railway line. The city is crossed by Transafican Highway 9 , which connects it to the cities of Harare and Lubumbashi, and by Transafrican Highway 4 , which connects it to Dodoma and Bulawayo.Intracity public transport is provided primarily by minibuses, but also includes larger buses and shared taxis on fixed routes. Vehicles on most routes travel between specific parts of the city and the four terminals in the central business district : Kulima Tower, City Market, Millennium and Lumumba. There is no official map of public transport routes in Lusaka, but an initiative to create a user-generated content map was begun in 2014. All public transport vehicles in Lusaka are operated by private operators. Bus services within Lusaka neighbourhoods, the CBD and towns surrounding Lusaka, such as Siavonga and Chirundu, use the Lusaka City Market Bus station, Inter-city Bus Terminus, Millenium Bus Station and Kulima Tower Station.


Zambia is one of a number of countries in the Southern African region that have sought to include ICTs in their national development plans. This policy brief summarises a review of the successes and failures of this approach in Zambia, and considers the next steps that are needed to meet the information and communication needs of the coming generation.

ICTs have received growing attention in recent years from development practitioners, policymakers, government officials and civil society organisations in Southern Africa. Individuals also benefit from the availability and use of ICTs in a number of ways – for example, by substituting phone calls for travel, which saves time and money, and by using ICTs to obtain information on prices, for their own produce and for purchases. In these various ways, ICTs can have a significant impact on a country’s ability to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

There are, however, also constraints on the potential impact of ICTs in many developing countries. These constraints include inadequate technical infrastructure, limited human skills to use available networks and services, the relatively high cost of communications equipment, and poor policy and regulatory environments. These factors reduce the scope for countries and communities to realise the potential of ICTs for development (ICT4D), and may even increase exclusion and marginalisation. The difference between access to and use of ICTs in urban and rural areas, and between prosperous and poor members of society – often called the ‘digital divide’ – has been of particular concern.

Social Wellness and Human Resources

Zambia's population comprises more than 70 Bantu-speaking ethnic groups. Some ethnic groups are small, and only two have enough people to constitute at least 10% of the population. The majority of Zambians are subsistence farmers, but the country is also fairly [urbanized]], with 42% of the population being city residents. The predominant religion is a blend of traditional beliefs and Christianity.

[European job seekers and a few investor]]s, mostly British or North Americansn, as well as some white Zambian citizens , live mainly in Lusaka and on the Copperbelt in northern Zambia, where they are either employed in mines, financial and related activities or retired. Zambia also has a small Asian Asian population, most of whom are Indians or Chinese.

African: 99.2%Other: 0.8% According to the 2019 revision of the World Population Prospects the total population of Zambia is 17,351,708 in 2018, compared to only 2 340 000 in 1950. The proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2010 was 46.4%, 50.6% was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 3.1% was 65 years or older.Zambia’s mineral rich, 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.











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Lusaka Province
Lusaka District
City status
25 August 1960
• Mayor of Lusaka
Miles Sampa
• City
418 km2(161 sq mi)
1,279[3]m (4,190 ft)
• City
Time zone
Area code(s)
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