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Zambia History


History of Zambia HistoryZambia has a rich and relatively well-researched prehistory. Acheulene-type stone tools are known from the Victoria Falls area and from the Kalambo Falls. A skull of early Homo sapiens found near Kabwe probably belongs to the late acheulene culture. Other finds from Kalambo are 80,000–100,000 years old. From the last 10,000 years of hunter and gatherer cultures there are a number of finds, including unusually well-preserved biological material of food plants as well as containers and leather clothing from the Gwisho Springs find site. Schematic and naturalistic rock paintings are widespread. See abbreviationfinder for geography, history, society, politics, and economy of Zambia.

History of Zambia

Signs of livestock dating to the 100 century BC available from western Zambia. During the first millennium AD emerged iron-working farmer communities throughout Zambia. Agriculture expanded further after about 1000 AD, at the same time as new ceramic traditions were introduced. Mining was also intensified, in particular copper mining. can be read from the cross-shaped spines commonly found in Central African excavations. Gold objects and imported glass beads from the 15th century found in Ingombe Ilede on the Zambezi River testify to social differences and long-distance trade.


As in the rest of southern Africa, Zambia san people were the first known population. The farming tonga in southern Zambia is the group in today's Zambia that lived longest in the current settlements, about a thousand years. From the 17th century, a number of other Slavic-speaking people settled in the region. From the Lubar kingdom of present-day Congo came in the 19th century bemba, the largest of Zambia's 73 people. In the west, as early as the 18th century, lozi had developed a river culture at Zambezi. They were subjugated in the 1830s by kololo, a Sotho people from the south, and the country, called Barotseland, became known to Europe through Livingstone's travels in the region in the 1850s. Later, the lozi reigned supreme. Their King Lewanika signed an agreement in 1890 with the British South Africa Company, which under Cecil Rhodes was in the process of conquering the entire Zambezi region.

During the 1890s, the people of what was then Rhodesia (now Zambia and Zimbabwe) were forced to submit to the company. In 1911, the area now known as Zambia was named Northern Rhodesia. The railway construction linked the region to South Africa. When the area was taken over by the British crown in 1924, there were only just over 5,500 whites in the country. The numbers of whites grew as Northern Rhodesia developed during the interwar world the so-called copper belt and became one of the world's largest copper exporters. The profits from copper exports were not used for the social and economic development of Africans. Nor were the profits used for industrialization of Zambia. African agriculture suffered as families remained in the villages while the men on contract worked in the mines.

After the Second World War, the contradiction between governing and governing was intensified by British plans for a Central African Federation between Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and Nyasaland (now Malawi). Fearing that the Federation would mean the victory of racism in the region, Africans began to organize their resistance. In 1948, the Northern Rhodesia Congress (1951 changed to the Northern Rhodesia African National Congress) was formed. In 1953, however, the Central African Federation was established with a constitution that secured the dominion of the whites. A radical bankruptcy within the ANC broke out of the party in 1958 and demanded independence. The regime banned the new party in 1959 and imprisoned its leader Kenneth Kaunda, but from 1960 he was able to continue the fight at the head of the United National Independence Party (UNIP). In 1963 the federation was dissolved, and in 1964 the Republic of Zambia was declared with Kaunda as president and UNIP as the dominant party in parliament (55 out of 75 seats).

By independence, Zambia was financially dependent on the neighbors in the south, and the economy was falling with the copper extraction and copper prices on the London metal exchange. Southern Rhodesia unilaterally proclaimed itself as the independent Rhodesia in 1965 (see Zimbabwe, History). However, important results were achieved during Zambia's first period of independence. New communications were opened, especially with Chinese help, and together with Tanzania a new railroad was built to Dar es-Salaam, which reduced dependence on South Africa. The state took control of the country's natural resources and the majority of the mining companies. The education and health care system was expanded. As ideology for this nation-building, Kaunda launched "humanism," a synthesis of an African past, seen in a romantic shimmer, and Christian ethics.

Kaunda saw the struggle between political parties as a threat to unity, and from 1972 the so-called participatory one-party democracy (the "other republic") with UNIP started as a state-bearing party. But the regime was hit by major economic hardships: world copper prices dropped, oil prices rose. The freedom struggle in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe also made Zambia a target because of support for the liberation movements. The transport routes were disturbed, especially through Angola. Zambia was hit by strong inflation and became one of the world's most indebted nations. The one-party system favored corruption and mismanagement. Discontent grew, especially among students and unions. The union's chairman, Frederick Chiluba, emerged as Kaunda's foremost rival in power. As a remission, the government allowed 1989Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) with Chiluba as leader.

In October 1991, for the first time, elections were held in Zambia with a new constitution that allowed several parties. It was a stinging defeat for UNIP and Kaunda. MMD won big and Chiluba became president. It looked like a victory for democracy in Africa that a sitting president voluntarily resigned after the defeat. But there was no triumph for democracy. The new government interfered with the press and denied Kaunda the right to stand in elections, including through a constitutional amendment that prevents anyone from being president for more than two terms of office. Kaunda was arrested in 1997, accused of having known an attempted coup, and in 1999 he was for a time deprived of his Zambian citizenship on the grounds that his parents were of foreign origin.

UNIP boycotted elections in 1996; Chiluba was re-elected but after low turnout. At the 2001 elections, MMD's candidate Levy Mwanawasa was elected by a hardly majority to the president. Fears that Mwanawasa would go in his representative's leash proved unfounded; In a campaign against the corruption within the state administration, Chiluba was prosecuted but eventually acquitted Chiluba of bribery and corruption. A commission was set up to review the constitution, a work that did not result in any changes, despite proposals for such.

Mwanawasa also won in the 2006 elections, but died two years later, and was succeeded by its Vice President Rupiah Banda, who defeated Michael Sata by a marginal margin. The latter got revenge in 2011 when he won the presidential election by a good margin. In 2014, it became increasingly clear that Sata suffered from serious health problems and he died in October of that year. He was temporarily replaced at the post by Vice President Guy Scott, who thus became the first white African head of state since the fall of the apartheid regime in South Africa in 1994.

After a fierce power struggle within the ruling party Patriotic Front (PF), which was finally decided in the Supreme Court, Edgar Lungu, Justice and Defense Minister, was named party candidate in the presidential election held in January 2015. Scott was barred from running for office because of his parents were born abroad. Lungu won by a slight margin in an election in which only 32 percent of the eligible voters participated. He was re-elected in 2016 with 50.35 percent of the vote against 47.6 percent for Hakainde Hichilema, who finished second in 2015 as well.

Corruption in the country has remained an important issue, and in 2009 Swedish aid was frozen after reports that several million Swedish kronor had been embezzled. However, the most controversial issue is the Chinese influence in the country. China has long pumped money into Zambia's economy in the form of aid and large investments in the mining industry in particular. Violent protests against working conditions in Chinese companies are not uncommon. The perception that the country's assets are being sold out, while two thirds of the population still lives in extreme poverty, has been fanned by, among others, former President Michael Sata. However, after the 2011 election victory, he said that Chinese companies are still welcome as long as they follow Zambian laws.

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