The United States established diplomatic relations with Zambia in 1964, following its independence from the United Kingdom. Zambia saw single-party rule from independence until 1973, when it formally became a one-party state. In 1991, Zambia began adopting multi-party democracy and a more liberalized economy. Zambia's economic growth has not benefited the many rural and urban Zambians who continue to live in poverty. The Zambian government is pursuing a national development plan to reduce the economy's reliance on the copper industry. The country's primary challenges are to improve governance issues; restore debt sustainability, promote broad-based, inclusive economic growth; maintain adherence to democratic and constitutional principles; create employment; and develop its human capital.
The United States and Zambia enjoy cordial relations. U.S. goals in Zambia include reducing widespread poverty and building and sustaining a democratic, well-governed country that contributes positively to regional stability. The United States works closely with the Zambian government to defeat the HIV/AIDS pandemic that is widespread but stabilizing in Zambia, to promote economic growth and development, and to bring about political reform by promoting democratic principles and a responsible and responsive government.
U.S. Assistance to Zambia
U.S. assistance to Zambia is robust, totaling close to $500 million annually. U.S. assistance fights HIV/AIDS; expands and improves the quality of health and education opportunities; strengthens democratic and accountable governance; provides clean water and improves sanitation; helps create trade and business development opportunities; and builds Zambian capacity to promote regional peace, security, and stability.
Bilateral Economic Relations
Zambia is eligible for preferential trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act. U.S. exports to Zambia include vehicles, machinery, rubber, and electrical machinery. U.S. imports from Zambia include copper, cobalt, precious stones (emeralds), and food stuffs (coffee, tea, honey, and spices). The United States has signed a trade and investment framework agreement with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), of which Zambia is a member.
Zambia's Membership in International Organizations
Zambia and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, African Development Bank, and the World Trade Organization. Regionally, Zambia is a member of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) as well as COMESA.
The U.S. Chief of Mission is Chargé de Affaires, a.i. David Young; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.
Zambia maintains an embassy in the United States at 2200 R St. NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: 202-234-4111).
More information about Zambia is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
CIA World Factbook Zambia Page
USAID Zambia Page
History of U.S. Relations With Zambia
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Country Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Export.gov International Offices Page
Millennium Challenge Corporation: Zambia