Zambia Old History

By | January 3, 2023

Zambia is an independent nation in Eastern Africa. With the capital city of Lusaka, Zambia 2020 population is estimated at 18,383,966 according to countryaah. Initially, the steppes and savannas in southern Africa were populated by hunter-gatherers, who, around the time of Christ’s birth, were suppressed by farming peoples. Some of these created independent kingdoms that lasted until the British colonization around the last century. Zambia, like most African countries, had its borders drawn by Europe’s colonial powers. The demarcation was a result of competition and war between these powers, where natural resources were often at the center.

  • Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Zambia, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

At Kabwe in central Zambia, a skull was found in 1921 from one of the earliest homo sapiens (the modern human species). The skull is estimated to be between 125,000 and 200,000 years old. At Victoria and Kalambo Falls, archaeologists have also found tools and other remains up to 100,000 years old. For Zambia political system, please check cancermatters.

When the first Bantu people came to the area of ‚Äč‚Äčtoday’s Zambia about 2000 years ago, they pushed away pygmy people who lived there for tens of thousands of years. The Bantu people brought with them an Iron Age culture with agriculture and livestock care. The Tongan people in the south were the first but lacked a central organization. Lozi, lunda and bemba, who, a few hundred years later, settled in the west and north, on the other hand, built strong kingship. As these were far from the coasts, they remained relatively unaffected by outside influence for a long time.

Colonization begins

It was not until the 16th century that Arab and Portuguese caravans began to penetrate along the Zambezi River. They brought ivory, slaves and copper back to the outside world. The Zambian kingdoms came to build their strength and welfare on this trade.

In the mid-19th century, Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone traveled through the area, and his travelogues came to mean much to the British’s interest in the interior of Africa. The place where he died today is on Zambian soil. Livingstone was followed by other European missionaries and settlers. The gold and diamond rush against southern Africa had begun.

In 1890 Britain granted the financier and politician Cecil Rhodes and his British British Africa Company the right to exploit commodities and cheap labor north of Zambezi. The company established its own order and subverted the local kingdoms with bribes, violence and promises of protection.

The British had thus secured their influence over the area, which in 1911 was named Northern Rhodesia after Cecil Rhodes. The area south of it was called Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). In 1924, Northern Rhodesia became a British crown colony. Under the rule of the British, the African population was completely lacking in influence. The mining operation, built around the enormous copper deposits found in the 1920s, provided economic development, but power lay with the whites and little of the profits came from the black credit. In 1935, the first mining strikes broke out.

Resistance to colonial power

Since the blacks were prohibited from organizing trade unions, they formed a number of “welfare societies” instead. It was the beginning of active resistance to colonial power. The associations eventually merged into a federation that had a clear political character and, in 1951, took the name of North Rhodesia’s African National Congress (abbreviated in English to the ANC, not to be confused with the ANC in South Africa).

The country’s whites had long supported the British plans to merge Northern Rhodesia with Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now Malawi), which would strengthen the power of the whites. The ANC fought in vain against these plans, and in 1953 the three colonies of the Central African Federation were united.

At the end of the 1950s, a group of young radicals, led by teacher Kenneth Kaunda, broke out of the ANC and formed the Nationalist and Socialist-oriented United National Independence Party ( UNIP). They demanded the independence of Northern Rhodesia and launched a disobedience campaign against the British.

Independence 1964

In the elections that the British agreed to hold in 1962, UNIP won a major victory among African voters and could form the country’s first black majority government. Britain realized that the colonial rule was doomed. In 1963, the Central African Federation was dissolved. Shortly thereafter, UNIP won the country’s first general election, and Kaunda became prime minister. On October 24, 1964, the independent Republic of Zambia was proclaimed with Kaunda as its first president.

Unlike Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia had no extensive white landowner class. This is the main reason why the countries met with different fates. Southern Rhodesia, ruled by a minority of land-owning whites, unilaterally proclaimed independence in 1965, but African majority rule was not introduced until 1980.



Chiluba’s wife is acquitted

The Supreme Court cancels prison sentence against President Chiluba’s wife Regina, convicted of corruption.


Clash of working conditions

Eleven Zambians are injured when gunfire erupts in a Chinese payroll dispute. Two officers at the company are charged with attempted murder but are acquitted.


Two months in prison for George Mtombo

Former Secretary of Defense George Mtombo is sentenced to two months in prison for check fraud. The opposition claims that President Banda exerted pressure on the judiciary to get Mtombo convicted. Mtombo has made himself known as one of Banda’s earliest critics.

Decisions on hydro power plants in Kafue

The government decides to build a hydroelectric power plant with Chinese assistance in the Kafue River.


Zambia and China are expanding cooperation

President Banda visits Beijing. Zambia and China decide to form a common economic zone and increase cooperation on mineral extraction. Zambia also receives a loan of $ 1 billion, which corresponds to 40 percent of the total foreign debt.

Zambia Old History