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Zambia targets 200 MW of solar power to reduce hydro dependency
27 November 2018 - Zambia is seeking proposals from potential developers of solar power projects with a combined 200 megawatt (MW) capacity as it tries to diversify its energy mix away from hydroelectric power. Zambia is heavily dependent on hydropower and faced electricity shortages following a drought in 2016. (more)

Massive 5,655-carat emerald unearthed in Zambia
30 October 2018 - The world's largest producer of green stones has unearthed a 5,655-carat emerald crystal at its mines in Zambia. The stone, which weighs more than 1.1 kg (almost 2.5 lbs), was found at the Gemfield mines in Kagem, the company said in a statement Monday (29 October). The emerald is being called 'Inkalamu,' which means 'lion' in the local Zambia Bemba language. It has 'remarkable clarity and a perfectly balanced golden green hue,' the statement said. (more)

Zambia tries new way to beat drought: solar grain mills
17 January 2017 - Across Zambia, drought that swept across the region last year, leading to widespread crop failure, has sent cereal prices soaring. the result of lack of rainfall hitting hydropower -- mean many small grain mills are charging higher prices for milling, or don't have sufficient capacity. But Zambia's government hopes it has an answer: Since 2015 it has been installing hundreds of small solar-powered mills in rural areas as a way to help hold down the price of producing food. (more)

Drought-parched Zambia turns to the sun to keep water flowing
8 June 2016 - Solar powered-boreholes in southern Zambia's drought-prone Kazungula District are providing local communities with quick and easy access to clean groundwater. The head teacher at Simukombo Primary School, Richard Simfukwe, said that since the well began operating, the rate of waterborne diseases within the community has fallen, while class attendance has improved to above 70 percent. (more)

Zambia: Saving Mothers partnership yields 'inspiring' results
10 January 2014 - A programme designed to save pregnant women from preventable death has yielded 'inspiring' results, says Rajiv Shah, administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID). The programme -- Saving Mothers, Giving Life -- resulted in 30 per cent fewer women dying during childbirth in its eight trial districts in Zambia and Uganda in its first year, Shah reported at a 9 January event at the Washington research institute Center for Strategic and International Studies. The positive results of the five-year, $200 million programme launched in 2012 mean that it can expand to at least three more countries, Shah said. (more)

Welcome to the 2014 Chinese Spring Festival Temple Fair in Zambia
3 January 2014 - To promote friendship, cultural exchanges, and mutual understanding between the Chinese and Zambian peoples, the Chinese Embassy and the Chinese Community in Zambia will organize the 2014 Chinese Spring Festival Temple Fair in Zambia one week in advance of the Chinese New Year. The Chinese Spring Festival or the Chinese Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Horse, which starts on 31 January 2014 and ends on 18 February 2015. (more)

Zambia: Maintaining stance on genetically modified organisms
31 December 2013 - The Zambia Alliance for Agro-ecology and Biodiversity Conservation advised that the government of Zambia should not approve the use of GMOs in improving agriculture production. There are other ways of improving agriculture production without resorting to using GMOs, which might have a negative impact on the environment. Zambia has no idea of how using GMOs could impact other crops and the environment. The alliance has advised that Government step up support to indigenous farmers in the system in which they operate today instead of supporting foreign agribusinesses to take over from them. (more)

Zambia: Organic farming takes root in Mpongwe
12 July 2013 - Agricultural science is lately shifting attention to organic fertilizers as an alternative to inorganic ones for purposes of protecting both the soil and the environment from further damage. Desirous of changing the tide, Mpongwe community also wants to switch its mindset from being used to chemical fertilizers to organic farming as a more sustainable way of raising crops. (more)

Zambia bans hunting of endangered lions, leopards
10 January 2013 - Zambia has banned the hunting of lions and other endangered wild cats such as leopards because it sees more value in game viewing tourism, the country's tourism minister said on Thursday. 'Tourists come to Zambia to see the lion and if we lose the lion we will be killing our tourism industry,' Sylvia Masebo said. Zambia's moves follow neighbouring Botswana's decision to ban all sport hunting from 2014 as it also works to promote itself as a game-viewing destination. (more)

Zambia's economic growth seen at 7 per cent next year
26 November 2012 - Government infrastructure spending should help Zambia's economy grow faster over the next two years, providing copper prices do not fall, according to a Reuters poll. Median forecasts from last week's survey of 13 economists show Africa's top copper-producing economy expanding by 6.8 per cent this year and 7.1 per cent next year, and then by 7.3 per cent in 2014. The landlocked southern Africa nation is one of the fastest-growing economies on the continent. (more)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

Zambia: Minimum wage leads to steep food price rises
27 September 2012 - The euphoria that greeted the government's imposition of minimum wage increases has quickly soured, with prices of food and other essential commodities escalating as higher wage costs are passed onto consumers. In July 2012, President Michael Sata's government upped the minimum monthly salary in line with the 2011 election promise of 'more money in the pocket' for poorly paid workers. Wages for domestic workers increased from US$30 to about $105, while general workers such as office orderlies, shop assistants, sweepers and farmworkers saw their monthly earnings more than quadruple from $50 to $220. In the past month, the cost of 25kg bag of the staple ground maize meal has increased by $1 to $8.50, while other farm produce prices have also risen. Daniel Mutale, social conditions programme manager for the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflections (JCTR), a local faith-based think tank, said the sudden cost increase in basic food items was putting additional stress on the poor. About 64 per cent of Zambia's 13 million people live on $1 or less per day, according to Zambia's Central Statistical Office. (more)

Western Zambia sees deadly protests over secession
16 January 2011 - Residents of western Zambia were barred from gathering -- even for Sunday church services -- after an attempt to debate secession led to deadly protests. It was unclear how long the restrictions, first imposed Friday, would last. Two days earlier, activists from the region's main ethnic group, the Lozi, had tried to hold a public debate on the region's status. Police banned the meeting citing security concerns, an order that set off protests. A debate over Barotseland's status has simmered for decades, and is so sensitive that the information minister has banned radio stations from holding phone-in programmes on the subject. (more)

Mining leaves toxic legacy in Zambian town
22 June 2007 - Mining is Zambia's economic lifeblood, but Kabwe's mineral riches dried up in 1994, when heavy financial losses forced the state-run Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) company to shut down operations. Once one of Africa's largest and richest mining towns, Kabwe was left with a legacy of toxic waste. Environmental groups have accused Zambia's government of ignoring environmental hazards in Kabwe. State authorities say they only became aware of the problem in 2000. (more)

Ex-Zambian leader stole millions
5 May 2007 - A British court found Zambia's first democratically elected President guilty of stealing $46 million in government funds Friday. Frederick Chiluba served as leader of Zambia's first democratically elected government following 27 years of one-party rule by Kenneth Kaunda. He had promised to introduce political freedoms and overhaul Zambia's debt-ridden, centrally planned economy. Instead, he oversaw corruption-ridden privatizations that failed to improve the lives of Zambia's 10 million residents. (more)

Rioting erupts in Zambia over elections
2 October 2006 - Rioting erupted in the Zambian capital after President Levy Mwanawasa surged ahead in presidential polls and his principal rival Michael Sata slipped into third place. Hundreds of riot police fired tear gas to try to disperse an angry crowd of Sata supporters. Sata's party has demanded that the electoral commission investigate alleged irregularities, including thousands of missing ballot papers. (more)


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