Zambia Gains Independence

Today – 47 years ago to be exact – Zambia gained independence, moving away from British rule.  It became the ninth African state to manage to break away from British sovereignty and Northern Rhodesia, on 25 October 1964.  It was Kenneth Kaunda, who became the country’s first president in its new independent state.  He was the head of the United National Independence Party at the time.  He ruled until 1991 and was able to unite the ethnic fighting amongst the regions in his country, promoting his “humanistic” philosophy through his government, encouraging cooperation and peace among people but at the same time, not so as to diminish the unique characteristics of the individual.

Zambia hasn’t actually changed all that much, unfortunately in the nearly half-century since that momentous day.  However, still the quality and longevity of life is not great for Zambians, especially when comparing it to what goes on in the West.  Life expectancy is less than 55-years-old and since over 15 percent of citizens are infected with the HIV virus, more than 800,000 children in Zambia either only have one parent, or no parents due to HIV/AIDS.

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When it comes to work, the majority of Zambians work as subsistence farmers.  The national religion of the country is Christianity and the country’s expatriates (mainly Brits and South Africans) live in northern Zambia, working in mines, and related areas.