Located in Sub-Saharan Africa, Zambia has a history that dates back as far as two million years. Today, Zambia is most renowned for being home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world—the mighty Victoria Falls (known to Zambians as Musi-o-Tunyi).
In addition to its natural beauty, Zambia is also a rich source of precious metals and other resources—45% of all fresh water in Southern Africa is on Zambian soil. Despite its wealth of resources, Zambia has faced many development challenges over the years, including limited investment capital, a legacy of authoritarian leadership, poor infrastructure, economic corruption and one of Africa’s highest HIV infection rates.
Historically, Zambia has known more peace than many of its eight African neighbors who have suffered from ethnic, religious and political conflict. It did, however, suffer greatly from the crash of the world’s copper market in 1975, having been the world’s third largest copper producer when it became an independent republic in the 1960’s. Subsequent political corruption and mismanagement have now landed Zambia on the list of the world’s poorest countries—with 78% of rural Zambians living in poverty.
Disease is one of Zambia's greatest challenges and a constant threat to development—particularly HIV/AIDS and malaria. Approximately, 14% of adults in Zambia are infected with HIV and more than 20% of Zambian children have lost one or both parents to the epidemic.