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Living in Zambia  >> Overview


Zambia’s economy is a free market one that promotes the investment from other nations. The economy provides a favourable playing field for almost everyone from skilled to unskilled personnel. Foreigners participate in different sectors of the economy such as Crop Farming, Livestock, Fishing, Tourism, Construction, Transport, Telecommunication, Mining, Medical and Health Care, Entertainment, Education and more.


Most expatriates working in Zambia have been transferred there to work within their organisation’s local branch, such as larger banks, mining corporations and some telecommunications giants. Others find employment in the tourism or healthcare sector, are NGO workers or are in the country for volunteer or missionary work.


Lusaka is the business hub of Zambia with other cities like Kitwe, Ndola and Livingstone contributing to Zambia’s prominent business centers. Livingstone is Zambia’s tourist capital as it is the town that shares the Victoria Falls with Victoria Falls town in Zimbabwe along the Zambezi River. Livingstone boasts of a lot of tourist attraction sites and exposes the true Zambian culture.


Agriculture plays a central role in Zambia’s economy, accounting for the vast majority of employment in both the formal and informal sector. There are service jobs, and industry is largely focused around copper mining. Other minerals been mined include gold in North Western province, Zinc, Nickel, Emeralds, Cobalt, and many others.



The Zambian currency is the Zambian Kwacha (ZMK), which is divided into 100 ngwee. Although expats are able to open a bank account in Zambia, many opt to maintain an account with their international bank. Visa Electron enabled ATMs are widespread across the major cities and towns. Rural areas may have a small number of such machines.


Transport and driving: Public transport is not comprehensive and expatriates will likely need their own vehicle. Cars drive on the left side of the road in Zambia. A 4x4 vehicle may be needed for driving on rural roads due to the poor conditions, especially during the rainy season from October to March.


Zambia's education system provides for both international and local schooling, thus children have a privilege to study from within the local schools. Schools are run by the government, the church as well as private individuals.


Neighbouring countries: Zambia is a landlocked country bordered by Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and Namibia.


Political system: Presidential republic. Zambia is a politically stable multi-party democracy.


Zambians are known to be very friendly and welcoming people. Zambia is mainly composed of youths with most of them possessing good qualifications in various fields. They are hardworking people and do whatever it takes for them to get a particular task done. Expatriates find this interesting and thus, most of them always prefer to engage them in almost every area of their operations.


As an expatriate working in Zambia, you will need to have a valid work permit. While there are no major restrictions for expatriates seeking work opportunities in Zambia, foreigners are not permitted to work in human resources positions.

Living in Zambia

Quick Facts


Full name: Republic of Zambia (formerly Northern Rhodesia)


Population: About 13 million


Capital city: Lusaka (also largest city)


Other major cities: Ndola, Kitwe, Kabwe, Livingstone


Main languages: English (official), 73 regional languages


Major religions: Christianity is the official religion, although other religions are tolerated.


Time: GMT +2


Electricity: 220 volts, 50Hz. Typically, square three-pin plugs and two-and three pin round plugs are in use.


Internet domain: .zm


International dialling code: +260. City/area codes are in use, e.g. 1 for Lusaka.


Emergency assistance: In case of emergency dial 999 (police), 991 (ambulance) or 993 (fire). It's essential that expatriates have comprehensive medical insurance.


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