State-run radio and TV, operated by the ZNBC, are on the air alongside private broadcasters.
Radio is the main source of information. ZNBC is the only broadcaster with national reach.
US-based Freedom House rates Zambia as “Not Free” in its 2014 Freedom of the Press survey. It cites the harassment of privately-owned news outlets, the blocking of critical websites, and politicised decisions over granting national radio licences.
Zambia, unlike most of its neighbours, has managed to avoid the war and upheaval that has marked much of Africa’s post-colonial history, earning itself a reputation for political stability.
The landlocked country has experienced rapid economic growth over the last decade as Africa’s second largest copper producer after the DR Congo. But its over-reliance on copper has made it vulnerable to falling commodity prices.
Zambia also has one of the world’s fastest growing populations with the UN projecting that its population of 13 million will triple by 2050.
But economic growth and massive Chinese investment have failed to improve the lives of most Zambians, with two-thirds still living in poverty.
The Republic of Zambia
Population: 13.8 million
Major Languages: English (official), Bemba, Lozi, Nyanja, Tonga
Life expectancy: 49 years (men), 50 years (women)
Currency: Kwacha (1 ZAR = 53.9 MWK)
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