Zambia Economy


Zambia is a landlocked country in the southern region of Africa. It shares international borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique and Angola. The country’s terrain mostly consists of high plateaus. However, the country has several hydrographic bodies, such as Lake Tanganyika, River Zambezi and River Basin. According to the 2009 estimates, the country has a population of approximately 13 million. Zambia’s economy is highly dependent on the trade activities in Lusaka and the Copperbelt. A majority of the population resides in and around these two major financial centers. The Zambian kwacha (ZMK) is the official currency of the nation.

Zambia Economy: Introduction

Zambian economy is mixed in nature with liberal policies towards private and foreign investments. It is one of the most urbanized economies of Africa. However, poverty, coupled with unemployment, is the biggest detriment for the Zambian economic profile. The nation ranks 164 out of 182 countries in the UN Human Development Index.


After 2005, Zambia has been enjoying a real GDP growth rate of above 5%. Foreign direct investment in the mineral sector is the primary reason for this inflated growth.


Zambia Economy: Major Statistics

Here are some of the major statistics related to the Zambian economy:


Labor force

5.398 million (2009 est.)

Unemployment rate

50% (2000 est.)

Budget revenues

$2.514 billion

Budget expenditures

$2.86 billion (2009 est.)

Industrial production growth rate

2.7% (2009 est.)

Current account balance

-$364 million (2009 est.)


$4.388 billion (2009 est.)


$4.131 billion (2009 est.)

Foreign exchange reserve

$1.25 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

External debt

$3.313 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

                                                                                    (Source: CIA World Factbook)


In 2005, the IMF and World Bank offered financial assistance to Zambia under the HIPC (highly-indebted poor countries) initiative. With increasing foreign aid and privatization of the mineral sector, the country can expect significant growth in the near future.