In 1851, David Livingstone, the celebrated Scottish doctor, explorer and Christian missionary, first arrived in Zambia in search of a route into the interior of Africa. A critic of slave trade, Livingstone’s efforts attracted other missionaries, who were later followed by a stream of European prospectors and hunters.
During the scramble for control of Africa in the late 19th Century, Zambia eventually came under the jurisdiction of the British South African Company (BSAC), which administered the region after signing treaties with several African leaders, including Lewanika the Lozi King. The area became Northern Rhodesia in 1911 while Southern Rhodesia was what is now called Zimbabwe. In 1924 the British took over the administration of the protectorate.
The Federation of Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now Malawi) was created by the British government in 1953. The federation lasted for a decade. Two political parties, the African National Congress (ANC) and the United National Independence Party (UNIP) were fore-runners in pressing for an end to British rule in Northern Rhodesia. In 1964 the federation was dissolved, and on 24th October 1964 Northern Rhodesia became independent from colonial rule and changed its name to Zambia, taking its name from the Zambezi River. The first Republican President was Dr. Kenneth Kaunda. He ruled the country for 27 years, at the helm of UNIP.
The 1970s and the 1980s were challenging years for Zambia economically, to a large extent due to falling copper prices and rising fuel costs. In the mid 1980s the Government was forced to introduce austerity economic measures as a condition for aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In 1991, the constitution was amended to allow for the formation of other political parties and multiparty presidential and parliamentary elections were held in October of the same year.
Politically, Zambia is a multi-party democratic country, since 1991. Currently, there are six major political parties, namely: Patriotic Front (PF) – Ruling party; Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD); United Party for National Development (UPND), and National Independence Party (UNIP).
The current President is His Excellency, Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata. He assumed office after winning elections in September 2011 for a five year term. He is also eligible for another five year term after 2016.
The country was led by: Dr.Keneth David Kaunda, 1964 -1991;
Dr. Fredrick Jacob Titus Chiluba (Late), 1991 – 2001;
Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa (Late), 2001 – 2008;
Mr. Rupiah Bwezani Banda, 2008 – 2011
Zambia is a stable and democratic country that has enjoyed more than four decades of peace and tranquility.