Zambia has a wonderful tropical climate with clearly separated dry and rainy seasons, temperatures range between 15 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees Celsius.
Zambia has an abundant mineral and water resource which counts for 40% of all the water resources in the Southern African region, with the main water sources being the Zambezi, Kafue, Luangwa and Chambeshi rivers and lakes Tanganyika, Bangweulu, Mweru and Kariba. Of the approximate total surface area, 47% is arable land, 30% National Parks and Game Management Areas, 12% hills and swamps, 9% forests, while urban development takes up only 2% of the country's land. It is estimated that out of the total land area - 75 million hectares – only 14%, which counts for 42 million hectares, is under cultivation making agriculture a huge investment opportunity.
The country has a population of approximately 13 million people (an average of ten (10) people per square kilometre) of which more than 50% live in rural areas and draw livelihoods from agricultural activities.
Primary agricultural products that can be produced for export include, tobacco, wheat, cotton, coffee, cashew nuts, maize, Soya beans, fish, fruit and vegetables.
Wonderful opportunities exist in other sectors such as Tourism, Agro-processing, Manufacturing, Mining, Financial Services and Telecommunications.
Since independence in 1964, Zambia has prepared and implemented several medium term national development plans. Each of these instruments carried a theme and strategic focus, which primarily aimed to improve the social economic conditions of the Zambian people. These plans are key to economic prosperity of the country.
The Vision 2030
The Zambian peoples vision and aspirations is to make the country a prosperous Middle Income Nation by 2030. It is in this regard that the Zambian Government came up with a national long term plan known as the Vision 2030 which long term development policy scenarios at different points for the next 20 years. The Vision is being operationalized through the five year developments plans starting with the just ended Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) - (2006-2010) and annual budgets.
The socio-economic development objectives enshrined in the Vision 2030 are to attain and sustain annual real growth of 6 percent (2006-2010); 8 percent (2011-2015); 9 percent (2016-2020); and 10 percent between 2021 and 2030.
Other objectives include to attain and maintain a moderate inflation rate of 5 percent; to reduce national poverty head count to less than 20 percent of the population to reduce income inequalities measured Gini-coefficient of less than 40 percent; to provide secure access to safe water and improved sanitation facilities of 100 percent of the population across the country; to attain education for all; and to provide equitable access to quality health care to all by 2030.
The Sixth National Development Plan (SNDP)
The Zambian Government in 2011 launched and started implementing the Sixth National Development Plan which aims at actualizing the Vision 2030 of becoming "a prosperous Middle-Income nation by 2030".
The theme of the SNDP is "sustained economic growth and poverty reduction". The objectives of the SNDP are to accelerate infrastructure development, economic growth, and diversification, rural investment and poverty reduction, and enhance human development. The Plan also focuses on policies, strategies and programs that will contribute to addressing the challenges of realizing broad based pro-poor growth, employment creation, and human development. Strategies will include addressing the constraints of infrastructure and human development, reducing poverty levels and promoting rural development, stimulating agriculture productivity and promotion of agro-businesses, improving the provision of basic services such as water and sanitation, health, education and skills development. Investment in key economic infrastructure such as feeder roads, tourist access roads, electricity, water canals as well as cross cutting issues such as governance, gender, environment and disaster risk management will also be Government's priorities.