Zambia, a Unified Nation

After visiting Zambia, I was surprised to learn that it is one of the poorest countries in the world. Although there is a lot of poverty, Zambians have a high quality of life. The people were happy and very friendly to tourists. This shocked me as in most of my travels abroad I’ve had to be careful not to be taken advantage of and even robbed. There’s some frustration in Zambia that the country doesn’t perform as well as it could, but the reality is that it’s doing great for a nation of its type.  Zambia is a very stable country that has never fought a war. Part of the country’s success is that the government recognizes all of the nation’s 73 chiefdoms. Each chief controls his own land and the profits from any economic activity in his area. Each tribe speaks its own language, but the tribes are able to communicate with each other in English due to their colonial history with England. It is rare for a county with such diversity to get along, particularly in Africa. The reality is that the people of Zambia are very peaceful, which is surprising given their northern neighbor, the Congo, is fighting a civil war. These peaceable traits could make Zambia very attractive to a strong tourism industry if there were enough investment. According to our guide, who has led safaris in Africa for eight years, “Zambia is the real Africa.”

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