Zambia faces debt crisis despite being second largest producer of copper in Africa
Zambians voted on August 12 to elect opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema as president of the South African nation. The elections took place in a contentious environment.
Millions of Zambians hopeful of a better future came out to vote. The country faces a debt crisis despite being the second largest producer of copper in Africa.
Hichilema defeated incumbent Edgar Lungu in the nation’s hotly contested presidential election.
It was Hichilema's sixth attempt at winning the presidency and the third time he challenged 64-year-old Lungu, his long-time rival, who won the last contest in 2016 by a narrow margin.
Hichilema has the backing of 10 opposition parties, which strongly support his United Party for National Development (UPND).
Hichilema, 59, now faces an economy plagued by high debt, inflation and unemployment. Last year, the copper-rich southern African nation became the first country on the continent to default on its debt during the coronavirus pandemic.
Zambia has gained the reputation of being one of the most stable democracies in Africa. Since the former British colony adopted a multi-party system in 1990, every power transfer there has been peaceful.