Zambia Poverty


Zambia Poverty

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The Zambia (named after the Zambezi river that flows through the country) was one of Africa's richest countries up until its independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 not least because of its rich copper mining and export heritage. Despite this wealth, Zambia's educational provision was probably one of the least developed of all the UK's former colonies with just 0.5% of its population have completed primary school. Following independence, President Kenneth David Kaunda introduced a range of socialist policies which took Zambia from being one of Africa's richest countries to one of its poorest. Together with an oversized public sector (even in 2009 44.3% of the working population was involved in the service sector), gross inefficiencies and widespread corruption, the country amassed a mountain of debt that exceeded $60,000,000 by the year 2000.



Although the Zambian economy has grown impressively over the past decade, making it one of Africa's fastest growing economies, there is still widespread poverty with, according to the latest available data, close to 64% of the population living under $2 a day and the majority of those who earn more barely make ends meet; over 40% of these are considered to live in extreme poverty (under $1.25 a day). On the HDI (Human Development Index) as measured by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the World Bank based upon the life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and living standards of a country, Zambia is ranked in 146th place out of 189 countries and territories in 2019. That is above neighbouring Zimbabwe in 150th place, Angola in 148th place and well above its other neighbours Malawi (174th) and Mozambique in 181th out of 189th.


The video (below) shows some pictures and images of poverty in Zambia today, a country ravaged by AIDS that has taken out a generation of teachers, doctors, nurses and other skilled professionals that will inevitably impact on the future development of a country where one in five children has lost one or both parents to the disease driving tens of thousands of them onto the streets.




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