Zambia & Zimbabwe

Zambia landlocked country in Southern Africa, neighboring the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. takes its name from the Zambezi River, which drains all but a small northern part of the country.

In the late 1800’s, the country of Zambia was divided into two entities: the British South Africa Company, and North-Eastern Rhodesia controlled North-Western Rhodesia, towards the end of the nineteenth century. These were merged in 1911 to form Northern Rhodesia. The discovery of enormous copper deposits in 1928 saw an onslaught of immigration from Europeans, and the country quickly became the world’s 4th largest producer of copper. After many years of struggle with the British, Zambia gained independent on October 24th 1964, and the name was officially changed to Zambia. Prime minister Kenneth Kaunda became the first inaugural president. Kaunda’s socialist United National Independence Party (UNIP) maintained power from 1964 until 1991.

Edgar Lungu became the sixth president of Zambia in January 2015 after a victory to replace former leader Michael Sata, who died in office. He gained a new term in August 2016. According to the BBC, “Zambia, unlike most of its neighbors, 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.”

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers, bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Mozambique.

Rhodesia evolved into a ” white man’s country” orchestrated by the British. This takeover  prompted national pride and local guerrilla wars that soon became a major civil war and 15-year period of white-dominated minority rule, instituted after the minority regime’s so-called Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in 1965. Zimbabwe achieved majority rule and internationally recognized independence in April 18th 1980.  Once it gained its freedom, it called itself Zimbabwe, a name literally means “House of Stone.” This name comes from the 800-year-old stone ruins left by the Shona people. The descendants of the Shona people make up 77 percent of the Zimbabwean population. Since Independence Day, Robert Mugabe, the nation’s first prime minister, has dominated the country’s political system. At the start of his administration he established a one-party socialist institution. During his long term in office, his reputation as a champion of the anticolonial movement changed (for the worse) to an authoritarian ruler responsible for ruining the country’s economy and for egregious human rights abuses. Mugabe finally resigned in November 2017 in the midst of a dramatic military takeover, Mugabe resigned after 37 years in office and appointed former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa in his place. He is to serve out Mr. Mugabe’s term until elections scheduled for August 2018.

The mining sector remains very lucrative, with some of the world's largest platinum reserves being mined by Anglo American plc and Impala Platinum

 The Marange diamond fields, discovered in 2006, are considered the biggest diamond find in over a century. The rise in gold prices in the 1970s revived gold as the country’s leading export and led to the reopening in 1979–80 of more than 100 dormant mines. Nickel mining began on a commercial scale in the late 1960s. Zimbabwe’s huge coal reserves are estimated to be about 30 billion tons, much of it desirable low-sulfur bituminous coal. Other minerals such as asbestos and copper have increased. Coal is the country’s primary energy source. A growing percentage of the coal utilized is transformed first into electricity by thermal generating plants fueled by coal. Electric power is also generated at the huge Kariba Dam, which Zimbabwe shares with Zambia, on the Zambezi River. Zimbabwe’s commercial farming sector was traditionally a source of exports and foreign exchange, however, the government’s land reform program badly damaged the sector, turning Zimbabwe into a net importer of food products.

Bantu-speaking ethnic groups make up 98% of the population. More than two-thirds of Zimbabweans speak Shona as their first language, while about one out of six speak Ndebele. Both Shona and Ndebele are Bantu languages. Zimbabwe’s ethnic and linguistic diversity is reflected in the 2013 constitution, which gives official status to 16 languages: Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Khoisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangaan, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa.

Landmarks and major tourist sites

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