Zambia – a happy place

Zambia – a happy place

The Republic of Zambia was originally inhabited by Khoisan people and became the British Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia towards the end of the 19th century. In 1964 the country became independent and Kenneth Kaunda became the inaugural President.

Zambia is a landlocked country in southern Africa, with the population concentrated mainly around Lusaka in the south and the Copperbelt Province to the northwest. It is slightly larger than Texas.

In 2010, the World Bank named Zambia one of the world’s fastest economically reformed countries. The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) is headquartered in Lusaka.

Traditionally, Zambia was known for its agriculture and copper mining. However, the government is currently also turning its focus to tourism, gemstone mining and hydro-power.

Zambia’s official language is English, which is also used as the language of instruction in schools. However, there are many local languages to be found as well: Nyanja is the main one, but the Zambian culture also features Bemba, Lozi and Tonga, to name a few. In fact, there are 73 different languages spoken in the country!

Generally speaking, women in the villages aren’t considered equal to men even though they do a bulk of the work at the homestead and in the fields. This tends to be the case in urban environments as well. Women are primary care givers for the entire family/community and rarely consume alcohol, or wear slacks, especially in rural areas.

While people tend to be more punctual in business settings than social ones, deadlines are often not met and it is common for meetings to start 1-2 hours after the scheduled time. People give their time freely and tend to live in the present rather than the future. Zambians are cheerful, easy-going people, and a favorite way to pass time and relax is conversation, with an emphasis on story-telling.

Share your Zambian business experiences

Sources: Wikipedia, Culture Crossing

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