Lying at the crossroads of Central, East, and Southern Africa is the Republic of Zambia which is surrounded by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, and Angola. This landlocked nation is located on a plateau and is named after the Zambezi River that flows along the junction of Zambia and Zimbabwe.
As a landlocked nation, Zambia maintains economic policy goals that involve its nearby countries through the Southern African Development Community as well as the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa along with its existing connection with the Commonwealth and the United Nations. The country has benefited from development assistance from the World Bank, the IMF, and other international financial institutions.
The country’s economy relies heavily on copper mining, making it vulnerable to commodity prices cut back. However, the privatization of copper mines has improved copper mining output and profitability as well as alleviated industry-generated losses. Additionally, because of higher prices of copper and an increase in foreign investment, copper mining productivity has gone up the country’s economy has flourished, with real GDP growth deriving about 6% per annum from 2005 until 2010. Despite a stronger and growing economy, poverty in Zambia remains rampant and a serious problem.
Zambia’s official currency is the Zambian kwacha which is divided into 100 ngwees. The kwacha is derived from the Nyanja, Bemba, and Tonga term for “dawn” while the ngwee means “bright”. The first kwacha had seven emissions with the first banknotes released in 1968, replacing the Zambian pound. This set of notes was printed by Thomas De La Rue & Co. Limited and features Kenneth Kaunda wearing traditional attire. The president’s portrait is present on Zambian banknotes until the 1991 issues.
In 2003, Zambia issued 500 and 1,000 kwacha banknotes printed on polymer, making the country the first to issue polymer notes in Africa.
On January 23, 2012, the country launched the New Kwacha series to address the continuous devaluation of the Zambian legal tender. These notes are on paper and are equipped with advanced security features. Their obverse features a unique tree native to Zambia, in addition to the African eagle, the national emblem, and the denomination. The reverse of these banknotes depicts the Freedom Statue in Lusaka, Zambian wildlife, and activity relative to the theme.