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Zambia, officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. It borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. Formerly Northern Rhodesia, the country's name reflects the Zambezi river.
The earliest account of a European visiting the area of present day Zambia was that of Portuguese national, Dr Francisco de Lacerda in the late 18th century. Others followed in the 19th century. The most prominent of these was Scottish explorer Dr David Livingstone. He had a vision of ending the slave trade through the "3 C's" (Christianity, Commerce and Civilisation). He is also famous for being the first European to see the magnificent waterfalls on the Zambezi River in 1855. He named them Victoria Falls after Queen Victoria. The falls are known in Zambia as Mosi-O-Tunya (in the Lozi or Kololo dialect), "the smoke that thunders." The Zambian town, Livingstone, near the falls is named after him. Highly publicised accounts of his journeys motivated a wave of explorers, missionaries and traders after his death in 1873.
In 1888, Cecil Rhodes, spearheading British commercial and political interests in Central Africa, obtained a mineral rights concession from local chiefs. In the west of the country, which came to be known as North Western Rhodesia, the British South African Company, Cecil Rhodes’ company, obtained mineral rights for the area from The Litunga, the king of the Lozi. In the east, King Mpezeni of the Ngoni resisted but he was defeated in battle and that part of the country came to be known as North-Eastern Rhodesia. The two were administered as separate units until 1911 when they joined to form Northern Rhodesia. In 1923, the Company ceded control of Northern Rhodesia to the British Government after the government decided not to renew the Company's charter.
That same year, the government proclaimed that Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) was within the British sphere of influence, formally annexed it and and granted self-government. In 1924, after negotiations, administration of Northern Rhodesia transferred to the British Colonial Office.
In 1953, the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland joined Northern and Southern Rhodesia (now Zambia and Zimbabwe, respectively) with Nyasaland (now Malawi). This Colonial Office action was despite overwhelming opposition from Africans, who demonstrated against it in 1960-61. Northern Rhodesia was the centre of much of the turmoil and crisis characterizing the federation in its last years. Initially, Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula's African National Congress (ANC) led the campaign that Kenneth Kaunda's United National Independence Party (UNIP) subsequently took up.
In January 1964, Kenneth Kaunda won the first (and last) election for Prime Minister of Northern Rhodesia. The Colonial Governor, Sir Evelyn Hone, was very close to Kaunda and urged him to go for the post. Soon after that there was an uprising in the north of the country known as the Lumpa Uprising led by Alice Lenshina. She was a self proclaimed prophetess who claimed that she had had a visitation from an angel telling her to liberate the people. Many followed her and fought off authorities to their death — men, women and children alike. She continued despite pleads from her own brother pleaded to give herself up. This was Kenneth Kaunda's first internal conflict as leader of the nation.
A two-stage election held in October and December 1962 resulted in an African majority in the legislative council and an uneasy coalition between the two African nationalist parties. The council passed resolutions calling for Northern Rhodesia's secession from the federation and demanding full internal self-government under a new constitution and a new National Assembly based on a broader, more democratic franchise. Led by Kenneth Kaunda, on 31 December 1963, the federation was dissolved, and Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia on 24 October 1964.
Sources: Wikipedia and CIA World Factbook
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