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History of Livingstone

Discoveries in Kabwe date Zambia’s beginning to the Stone Age and Iron Age. The country remained isolated and authentic documentation is dated as recently as 1500, which proves that the Zambian tribes traded with the Portuguese, Arabs and the Swahilis till 1800. The two main tribes were the Kazembe and Bemba who traded in ivory, salt, copper and slaves and fought with each other for power over the land. The Bemba tribe ruled till the early 1900s.

Present day Zambia was known as Northern Rhodesia in the 1890s, created by a Britisher named Cecil Rhodes, who represented the British South Africa Company. Apart from running the plantations and utilising mining opportunities, he was obviously interested in the politics of Zambia, which helped provide his Company with cheap labour. In the 1920s, vast deposits of copper were discovered in the northern part of the country making it the ideal place for investment. Relatively unheard of and isolated, it nevertheless came under the British protectorate in 1924.

Northern Rhodesia became independent Zambia in 1964, taking its name from the Zambesi River flowing through it. Kenneth Kaunda, a vociferous activist who promoted the rights of the indigenous people, became the first President and remained in power for the next 27 years. Domestic problems plagued the country – the economy was on the verge of collapse coupled with high rates of crime and unemployment. Despite international aid and a change of government, Zambia’s scene has hardly changed today because of its domestic politics.


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