The labor reality in Zambia

In 2017 Zambia’s active population reaches 5,049,059 people, of which 2,759,098 are men and 2,289,961 are women. The difference is not very big but it is important to emphasize that there are many employed women, meaning, that they have an important role in the Zambian society.

48% of this activity occurs in rural areas and 52% in urban areas. How do we distribute this data by provinces within the country? Taking into account that Lusaka is the capital and the most powerful city, it includes the most active population: 23.4%, followed by Copperbelt with 18.1%. Muchinga has the least active population with 4.3%.

In Zambia there are 3 types of jobs:

  • 7% are regulated under a contract, for activities registered with the local authority.
  • 31% are unregulated jobs, since they are activities which are not registered in the local authority.
  • 3% are private or entrepreneurship businesses.

The reality is that graduates from secondary schools, colleges and universities in the country have not been matched by opportunities to generate employment from private and public sector investments. The availability of both qualified and unskilled workforce outweighs the employment opportunities available. For this reason, training is extremely important in this country. Because of this, KUBUKA has a large number of projects in the educational field that aim to train future professionals.

The greatest job opportunities occur in the professions related to health: doctors, nurses, veterinarians and pharmacists. They are also well valued and paid for those in the educational sector, such as school and university teachers. Mechanical engineers and salespeople also receive good salaries.

Finally, agriculture must be highlighted. It is endowed with a large resource base of arable land of 42 million hectares of which only 1.5 million are cultivated each year. It has abundant water resources for irrigation, and the country represents 40% of the water resource in the Southern African Development (SADC). Given the large resource endowments in terms of land, labour and water, Zambia has enormous potential to expand its agricultural production. This is one of the reasons why KUBUKA supports the Maramba Home Based Care project, a farm in which all kinds of vegetables are produced, which are subsequently sold and whose benefit is re invested in the community.

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