Human Capital and Labour Report Zambia

Zambia is situated in southern Africa, south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and east of Angola. It is a landlocked country bordering Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. The country comprises a total area of 752,614 sq km (290,586 sq mi). The capital is Lusaka and most of the country’s population is situated around the capital and the Copperbelt Province. Zambia’s economy has experienced positive growth averaging 6.7% in 2015. With macroeconomic stability and overall improvements in the investment climate, the country is becoming increasingly attractive for overseas businesses and foreign direct investment, especially in the mining, construction and service industries. Rapid economic growth over the past decade has created positive prospects for the country, which is still one of the poorest in the world. Zambia has a growing pool of potential employees as a result of the country’s population dividend. To capitalize on its expanding talent pool, education in Zambia has been prioritized and has seen significant improvements with increased enrolments, especially for primary education in which pupil enrolments more than doubled; and improvements in the quality of education, ultimately resulting in Zambia’s education sector ranking higher than Nigeria and South Africa. However, less than half of the economically active population is employed, and the country faces serious challenges in terms of living standards, infrastructural challenges, poverty and high numbers of emigrants which exacerbates the country’s skill shortage and inhibits growth and development.

This country analysis focuses on broad human capital indicators including:

  • Country profile, including a brief overview of the country; corruption and governance indicators; and the business culture.
  • Economic indicators, including an overview of the economy; largest companies; foreign aid and foreign investment.
  • Socio-demographic indicators, including population parameters, standard of living and poverty measures.
  • Healthcare and wellness: The focus here is on the impact of Tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS and malaria on the workforce and workplace; the availability of specialist healthcare and also primary and secondary healthcare.
  • Education trends, including the education level of the population and workforce; education standards and output; as well as the training and skills development framework.
  • Labour force, including the economically active population; job creation; employment sectors; skills shortages; employment of expatriates; brain drain; industrial relations; professional human resource management; economic empowerment and more.

Throughout the research, implications, challenges and recommendations are offered to employers, policy makers, donors, investors and the human resource management fraternity. This is all done within the context of the Zambian socio-economic realities.

Where appropriate, comparisons were made with Nigeria, South Africa and sub–Saharan Africa. Nigeria was selected because of being the largest economy in Africa; South Africa for being the second largest and most modern economy in Africa. The data of these two countries are used to provide context and perspective.

The country analysis refers only briefly to the Zambian economy, political situation or general risk factors. There are dozens of platforms, reports, research and publications available in that regard for those who wish to apprise themselves of information relating to those areas.

The research is unique by its predominant focus on the Zambian labour force.


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