Zambia is a central African landlocked country with the neighbours Kongo, Tansania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Angola. Located south of the equator and with high plains between 1,000 and 1,400m asl it has moderate tropical climate. The population is concentrated around the capital city Lusaka and the Copperbelt Province to the northwest.
The Zambian economy has historically been based on the copper mining industry. It started in 1888 when the British South Africa Company (BSA Company) led by Cecil Rhodes, obtained mineral rights from a local leader. The country suffered from the declining international copper prices during the 1970s and fell into poverty. After a 30 years of decline the output has fallen to a low of 228,000 metric tons in 1998. In 1998 the industry was privatised and the production rebounded. Since then the country benefits from the continually high copper prices. Nevertheless the country tries to reduce its reliance on the copper industry. An economic diversification program includes the prospect for other minerals such as nickel, tin, copper and uranium, the production and export of nonmetals, and the increase of tourism. In the copper belt a mining information center was created to develop more sights for tourists.