Antwerp School of Education

Mary Ann Negi

Background of Zambia and its potential for tourism

Woensdag 12 Mei 2021 - 13u-14u


The territory of what was earlier known as Northern Rhodesia from 1911 was renamed Zambia after independence, and the new name was taken from the Zambezi River. Zambia is landlocked, by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia, Angola and Botswana. The capital city is Lusaka. Officially, there are 73 ethno linguistic groups and the major ones are the Bemba, Nyanja, Kaonde, Lozi, Luvale, Tonga, and Lunda. The diversity of ethnic groups entails existence of several traditions and cultural practices which have their implications on the lives of the people. More than 50% of the people are Christian; indigenous traditional religions comprise the second most widespread belief system.

In the late 19th century the driving force behind British colonial expansion in Africa was Cecil Rhodes. He arrived in Kimberley at the age of eighteen in 1871, the very year in which rich diamond-bearing lodes are discovered there. He made his first successful career as an entrepreneur. In the late 1880s he applied these same techniques to get the gold fields discovered in the Transvaal. By the end of the decade his two companies, De Beers Consolidated Mines and Gold Fields of South Africa, dominated the already immensely valuable South African export of diamonds and gold. Rhodes wanted this wealth to fulfill his dream of establishing British colonies north of the Transvaal, as the first step towards his ultimate grand vision – a continuous strip of British empire from the Cape to the mouth of the Nile.

Zambia attained independence from Britain in 1964 and had one of the poorly developed education systems of Britain's colonies, but with just 109 Zambian university graduates and less than 0.5% of the population estimated to have completed primary education. Kenneth Kaunda became the country's first president and proclaimed one-party rule. Opposition parties were legalized in 1990. In a subsequent election in 1991, Fredrick Chiluba, the leader of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), defeated Kaunda. Zambia's economy was heavily dependent on the mining of copper, cobalt, and zinc. Copper and other metal exports accounted for about 75% of the country's export earnings. A collapse in copper prices, oil price shocks, and static economic policies in the early 1970s devastated the Zambian economy with per capita income falling almost 5% annually between 1974 and 1990  according to the World Bank Report of 1995.

Tourism has great potential in all of the African continent, put pertinent to Zambia it is a part of the Great Rift Valley, which cleaves the earth from the Lower Zambezi River in Southern Zambia to the headwaters of the Nile in Egypt, is now known to be one of the cradles of the human race. Zambia’s present population lives on lands that have been inhabited by its ancestors for many millennia. Archaeologists have established that in the northern African Rift Valley, the civilizing process got underway at least 3 million years ago, and crude stone implements, similar to some of that age found in Kenya, have also been found beside the Zambezi River. The skull of Broken Hill Man, dated to 70,000 years ago, gives an indication of the early human, and now the skull is currently in the Natural History Museum in London.. Many parts of Zambia has areas of interest and beauty for the discerning visitor – the most significant being at the Kalambo Falls in the North and at Victoria Falls in the south where there is evidence that primitive humans began using fire some 60,000 years ago.

Key words: Zambia, Cecil Rhodes, Broken Hill man, Victoria Falls