ICT Profile for Zambia

Country Profile

Population size: 13,881,336 (July 2011 est.) =>1.64% of total LDC population (Approx.)

Form of Government: Republic

Literacy rate: 80.6% (2005)

Fertility/Mortality rate per 1,000 population: 44.08/12.61 (July 2011 est.)

GDP-per capita (PPP): $1,500 (2010 est.)

Unemployment rate: 14%(2006 est.)

Source: Indexmundi Country Facts.

A brief summary of ICT development

The ICT sector of Zambia has achieved a remarkable development during the past decade with major reforms and formation of national ICT policy. Although the sector has recorded a huge penetration rate of 32 percent compared to only 0.02 percent growth 14 years ago, access to internet and mobile services is only limited to 1% and 30% of the population of Zambia, respectively. Such a very low access to services is a result of current delivery cost which is associated with the monopoly of the telecommunication sector by the incumbent state-owned ZAMTEL.

The government of Zambia has been working with great determination to fully liberalise the sector and privatize the telecommunication services which will increase competitiveness in the sector to provide affordable services to various ICT services.

In conclusion, there is an encouraging development of ICT in Zambia compared to other LDCs in the region and the serious dedication of the goverment to the sector's development is aimed at making the country an ICT hub for the region in addition to attaining 100 percent coverage of ICT services in Zambia by 2015.

Read more about Zambia ICT.

Source Zambia Times and Global Alliance for ICT development.

ICT infrastructure

List of ICT Infrastructures Subscriptions Subscription per 100 inhabitants
Land line penetration 90,100 0.69/100 inhabitants
Percentage of household having PC NA
Mobile phone penetration 4,946,900 37.80/100 inhabitants
Internet penetration 17,754(2009) 0.14/100 inhabitants (2009)
Internet users 816,700(5.9% of total population) 6.74/100 inhabitants
Broadband availability / coverage 10,700 0.08/100 inhabitants
Internet speed 408kbps(Download) 259kbps(upload)
Private owned telecom/ government Private (Zamtel, Celtel, MTN)

Note: The information in the table is for the year 2010. Source International Telecommunication Union Frre Statistics, Internet Speed Test, Internet World Stats

National ICT policy and strategy

A Zambia transformed into an information and knowledge-based society and economy supported by consistent development and pervasive access to ICTs by all citizens by 2030. The policy was launched in March 2007.

Source WIDNET news, GISWatch

National bodies overlooking ICT development

Zambian ICT Authority(ZICTA), formerly known as Communications Authority of Zambia(ZAZ), est. 2009. Visit ZICTA.

Major initiatives by Government

  • Establishment of national fiber optic backbone by ZAMTEL and Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation(ZESCO), US$105m
  • Automation of public sector services such as Payroll Systems, Health Management Systems, Human Resource Systems, Metal Export Systems, Financial Systems and Zambia Business Portal.
  • Involved in Eastern African Submarine Cable System (EASSy), US$200m, 2007-2010

Major initiatives by private/ donor agencies

  • Integration of ICT in the Copperbelt College of Education Curriculum - Zambia: supported by International Institute for Communication and Development(IICD), since 2008. Read more.
  • Global Teenager project-Zambia: supported by IICD, since 2006. Read more.
  • Development of National ICT policy for education: supported by IICD,COL(Commonwealth of Learning) and USAID, 2006-2007.
  • Read more about projects that are supported by private and donnor agencies.

Significant achievements so far

  • Information and Communication Technologies Act, 2009

  • Electronic Communications and Transactions Act, 2009

  • Partial privatization of the state-owned Zambia Telecommunications Corporation (ZAMTEL), 2010

  • Liberalization of the International Gateway (IGW), 2010

Source Zambian ICT sector growth

A brief summary of eGov

Zambia has been implementing e-government model of government for the past few years. Just like many other countries in the Sub-Saharan africa, Zambia's government has the desire to implement e-government as a way to reach to its people with a wiew to promote e-participation and e-consultation in the policy/decision-making process with its citizens.

Althou the goverment has started various projects to implement e-governement in the country, it has faced a number of challenges that range from difficulty in adopting by ordinary citizens to lack of adequate ICT infrastructure and political will from government authorities.

Despite facing numerous challenges, the goverment's effort to implement a successful e-governement has transformed zambia's public sector from a no-online presence in 2005 to 158th position with e-government radiness index of 0.2266 in the UN's 2008 E-governance report.

Although the E-government radiness index puts Zambia in the Deficient E-government capacity range, the launch of a number of projects to automate processes in the public sector such as health management Information system, Hospital Management System and Immigration management System indicates the country has a better future in implementing e-governement.

Read more about e-government in Zambia.

Country based research / case studies

SWOT analysis


  • Determination from the government to the Development of ICT


  • Difficulty of adopting ICT services by the ordinary citizens


  • lucrative investment opportunity in the sector


  • Lack of adequate skilled human resource
  • Poor ICT infrastructure

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