Zambia Country Report
Zambia's stability since the return to multiparty politics in the 1990s has been put to the test since 2011 by increasing friction between the Patriotic Front (PF)-led government and the main opposition United Party for National Development (UPND). The PF won the 2016 elections, with its strongest challenger, the UPND led by Hakainde Hichilemma, disputing President Edgar Lungu's first-round victory. Although the PF came to power on a populist platform, it has moved to a more conciliatory stance economic reforms, including on mining royalties; it is likely to push ahead with a gradual removal of subsidies and a phased increase of electricity tariffs, as well as continue discussions with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout.
Although the mining sector remains a key anchor of the economy in Zambia, emphasis is being placed on economic diversification, including via agriculture, and infrastructure development. Electricity shortages, aggravated by drought and rainfall patterns, have contributed to operational challenges. The government after reversing electricity tariff increases in 2016 has moved towards cost-reflective pricing with new tariffs announced in 2017 to draw investment into the energy sector. Conciliatory measures in the mining sector have included royalty tax revisions.
No insurgent groups are active against the government. In the past, a number of rebel groups from neighbouring countries, such as from former conflicts in Angola and the Democratic Republic of Congo, were known to have crossed into Zambian territory. In Zambia's Western province, secessionist sentiment poses a risk of sporadic civil unrest, including in the form of protests, riots, and violent confrontations with the security forces.
Interstate war between Zambia and its neighbours is unlikely. There has been sporadic friction with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including over detentions of Zambian fishermen by Congolese forces around Lake Mweru. The Zambian government has launched a marine unit for Luapula province, aimed at protecting territorial waters and tackling issues such as illegal border crossings. Insecurity and protests, such as by road cargo operators, including over alleged bribe-taking in the DRC and incidents of harassment, have led to temporary blockades and closures at Kasumbalesa border post, but military intervention is unlikely.
Political violence with ethnic undertones, resulting in localised fighting between rival party supporters and confrontations with police, is an occasional problem, usually in the run-up to and immediate aftermath of elections. Friction between the government and main opposition since the 2016 elections continued into 2017, raising protest risks, including amid the April 2017 arrest of the UPND's leader. Lusaka, the Copperbelt, and Southern province remain the hotspots for election-related unrest.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
Proof of vaccination against yellow fever is required for travelers over nine months of age arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever (YFV) transmission and for travelers who have been in transit for >12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of YFV transmission.
Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.
Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).
Yellow Fever: A vaccine is available for children over the age of one year.
Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).
Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).
Malaria: Recommended preventive medication - mefloquine (sometimes marketed as Lariam), doxycycline (sometimes marketed as Vibramycin), or proguanil and atovaquone (sometimes marketed as Mepron).
For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.
Zambia has a tropical climate and three seasons: from May until August temperatures are temperate (10°C to 25°C) and dry; from September to November conditions are hot (20°C to 30°C) and dry; from December to April, conditions are hot (25°C to 32°) and rainy.
Voltage: 230 V ~ 50 Hz