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Saturday 13th April
Zambia Facts
Zambia was named after the River Zambezi.

The skull of "Rhodesian Man" was found in Kabwe in 1921. The cranium is thought to be around three hundred thousand years old; it belongs to the species Homo heidelbergensis.

Archaeological excavations have shown that early man lived near the Victoria Falls and the Kalambo Falls.

Dr David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary and explorer, named the Victoria Falls after the British queen.

The Victoria Falls became a World Heritage site in 1986.

The local name for the Victoria Falls is Mosi-oa-Tunya: the smoke that thunders.

The second highest waterfall in Zambia is the Kalambo Falls.

Livingstone, named after the Scottish explorer, was the capital of Northern Rhodesia until the capital was moved to Lusaka in 1935.

Cecil Rhodes' British South African Company controlled Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe).

For centuries before the European discovery of the Copperbelt, the local people mined copper on a small scale. It was used as currency and to make decorative objects.

In 1902 William Collier discovered copper in Luanshya while he was out hunting.

Africa's largest open cast mine is in Chingola.

The Copperbelt Museum can be found in Ndola, an important commercial town in the Copperbelt.

Zambia, a major producer of emeralds, mines a significant percentage of the world's annual production.

At the end of the 1950s the Zambezi was dammed at Kariba to provide hydroelectric power to Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Lake Kariba on the River Zambezi is one of the world's largest man-made lakes.

In 1961 the United Nations Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold, died in a plane crash near Ndola, Zambia.

Zambia became a republic in 1964.

After independence Zambia kept ties with Britain through the Commonwealth.

Around thirteen million people in Southern Africa faced severe food shortages in 2002. Countries particularly affected were Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In May 2007 the High Court in Britain ruled that former president Frederick Chiluba and four aides conspired to rob Zambia of about $46 million.

A national disaster was declared in January 2008 when floods killed more than 40 people.

President Levy Mwanawasa died in a Paris hospital in August 2008, aged 59, where he was being treated for the effects of a stroke. In November Vice-President Rupiah Banda was sworn in after narrowly beating the main opposition candidate, Michael Sata.

In August 2009 ex-president Chiluba was cleared of corruption following a six-year trial.

The United Nations updated its Human Development Index in November 2010, suggesting that Zambia was worse off than in 1970, partly due to AIDS.

In January 2011 there were clashes between police and demonstrators agitating for secession of the western area of Zambia known as Barotseland.

Former president Frederick Chiluba died In June 2011.

In 2017 President Lungu called for compulsory testing for HIV.

US Vice President Kamala Harris made a visit to Africa in March 2023; investment aims to counter the influence of China and Russia, Zambia and Tanzania were among countries visited.

In September 2023, the journal Nature reported that timbers, dating back to around 476,000 years ago, had been found at the Kalambo Falls, in the north of Zambia near the border with Tanzania. This points to ancient hominins building the earliest known wooden structures.

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