Some statistics and info about Zambia taken from the Central Statistical Office of Zambia and the United Nations.
Zambia, officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa bordered by Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Angola. The estimated 2019 population of Zambia is 18.14 million, which ranks 66th in the world.
The median age in Zambia is only 16.8 years of age, with a total life expectancy of 52.7 years. This ranks Zambia’s population as the 6th youngest for median age in the world. In addition, Zambia also ranks at number 8 for its fertility rate of 5.63 children per woman.
In terms of access to clean drinking water and improved sanitation facilities, the Zambia population is seeing a considerable struggle. Approximately 65% of the population has the ability to gain clean drinking water, while only 43.9% have access to improved sanitation. Risk of infectious disease is high. While the HIV prevalence in Zambia has declined, it is still at 13.5% among adults.
With half the population as female and over 80% within reproductive age, menstrual hygiene management is an area that needs much closer attention, due to its ability to have cross cutting impacts on the social and economic well being of citizens. Girls and women are using unimaginable products to deal with menstruation; for those in rural areas, their options are dirty pieces of cloth or blankets, or mattresses. While those in urban areas purchase baby diapers at 10 cents each and cut them up into small pieces, to last them at least two days. These methods often result in reproductive tract infections which are of public health concern.
In 2018 Employment Rate was 28.4%; Youth Employment Rate was 22.9%
Unemployment Rate: 12.5% Youth Unemployment Rate: 17.6%
More women than men in informal employment. Ninety one percent of employed women are in the informal sector while 76 percent of the employed men are in the informal sector. Literacy, education attainment and gender roles and responsibilities can affect women’s participation in the formal sector. Employment in the formal sector attracts social security benefits during and after a person leaves employment, thus low formal sector participation by women prescribes for continued inequality among women and men. Literacy is higher among men (83 percent) than women (68 percent). The age group with the highest proportion of literacy is the 15-19 years among women and the 20-24 among men.
Low literacy among women give insight into social, economic and cultural aspects of society. Early marriage, unequal distribution of household chores, school dropout rates and the preference to send boys other than girls by families with little financial resources all escalate illiteracy among women.
Literacy is a vital skill as it enables access to knowledge and information for informed decision making. Illiteracy promotes inequality between women and men. The low literacy among women mean that they are less capable of professional interaction and are less likely to fulfil the social and political demands of life.
There has been a decline in the proportion of girls who drop out of school in grade 1-7 from 2.1 percent in 2013 to 1.8 percent in 2016. Though relatively lower than that of girls, the proportion of boys who drop out of school has been the same in the four-year period.
While the dropout rates at grade 8-12 are relatively lower for both girls and boys, the gap between girls and boys tends to increase at secondary school level.
The Sustainable Development Agenda
17 Goals to Transform Our World
On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit — officially came into force. Over the next fifteen years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. The SDGs build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and aim to go further to end all forms of poverty. The new Goals are unique in that they call for action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and addresses a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.
What is sustainable development?
- Sustainable development has been defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
- Sustainable development calls for concerted efforts towards building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people and planet.
- For sustainable development to be achieved, it is crucial to harmonize three core elements: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. These elements are interconnected and all are crucial for the well-being of individuals and societies.
- Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions is an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. To this end, there must be promotion of sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth, creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, raising basic standards of living, fostering equitable social development and inclusion, and promoting integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems. Other questions like this with answers can be found at the link above for the UN site. I hope the above information has been helpful in understanding the challenges that countries like Zambia experience. Thank you again for reading this far.