General Overview

Making use of both sector and country data. We present data visualizations spanning the following thematic areas of  Zambia: Telecommunication – mobile and fixed line, Retail, country population projections, energy usage and sources, mobile money and point of sale payments facilities. This is in addition to budget highlights, Small and medium-sized enterprises country wide survey data distribution.


Each targeted sector has an interactive dashboard, which can be accessible by navigating through to the name tabs below. The visualization dashboards are built on an interactive canvas – meaning they are responsive and fully interactive when you hover over the figure. Another added feature is the filter(s)  that define a delimiting variable(s), that can be found on the dashboard.


The dashboard presents country data collected from the Central Statistics Office. The data covers: provincial population projections, employment statistics – type  and institutional sector of employment.  Survey data on the sources and type of energy used for cooking, which covers  the 2010 and 2015 results.

Key insights

Population growth

From the Central statistics population projections, all the 10 provinces are expected to have a gradual growth in population. For instance Lusaka province is expected to have over 5 million people by 2035. North Western province is expected to have the least number of people with a projected value of over 1.3 million people.

Employment prospects

In terms  of formalised employment, the private sector accounts for the  largest source of employment at about 48.90%, with the central government accounting  for about 35.00%. Equally, for informal employment opportunities, private firms and businesses account for the largest number as a source of employment, at the rate of 91.90%.  And both local and central government accounts for less than 1% collectively.

Energy sources for cooking – what about other utilization?

On average, reliance on electricity as a form of energy is uncontested. Although on the other hand, other sources of energy such as Kerosene, usage of torch in households is quite prevalent. For instance, the 2010 survey, had kerosene accounting for 27.2%, edging electricity which accounted for 21.6%.

What opportunities can be explored in overcoming electricity dependency as the main source of energy?
2018 energy sector budget highlights
  • Enactment of the Energy Regulation Bill and the Electricity Bill – The Electricity Bill will among other things, provide for participation of other players.
  • To encourage small and medium private sector investment in renewable and alternative energy, Government to  implement the Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff Regulatory Framework.
  • Government to support scaling of solar energy project
  • To encourage usage of alternative energy such as Solar, government increased Excise Duty on the importation of Geysers and Stoves from 25% to 40%.


Private enterprises play a major role in the developmental pursuits of a nation. From being a source of revenue for the government through the collection of taxes, to the provision of employment opportunities, to mention a few. And mainly, the firms that go on to be large firms go through the stages of being a Small, then medium, to large firms. The dashboard above, lays out the country wide distribution of SMEs.

Key insights

Reasons for venturing into entrepreneurship

The survey data on why one chooses to pursue an entrepreneurial route is weighed towards an individual not having any other option. In short “accidental entrepreneurs”. This sentiment is shared by 24.40% of business owners surveyed. And those with domain knowledge and skill-set only accounted for  5. 80%. The question to ask is: How best do we enhance and promote skills that lead to entrepreneurship uptake?

Are there policies to support entrepreneurship in Zambia?


In the last decade, Zambia has seen a steep increase in the number of supermarkets operating. The spread has been extended to cover much of the country, not only the places within the line of rail. Supermarkets can been seen to be important for the: It’s provide the necessary goods and services demanded by the community, a source of employment and ultimately, a market place for local suppliers of goods and services.

Key insights

Leading the growth in supermarkets chain stores has been mainly foreign owned and controlled supermarkets. More noticeable, South African chain stores. According to ZIPAR, although there has been rapid growth in supermarkets, this has not translated significant job creation or poverty reduction. This begs the question: What can be done to realise and actualise this potential into jobs creation and subsequently bring about poverty reduction?

Local producers/processors participation in the supply value chain 

ZIPAR further highlights, that despite the expansion in supermarkets, local processors/ producers participation in the supply value chain remains limited.

  • How best can local processors be integrated into the supply chain?
  • Do the local processors have the capacity, both on the production side and the capital side to efficiently and effectively participate in the supply chain?
  • What measures from the policy side can the Government enact to bolster local processors participation in the supply value chain?


The dashboard above summarizes the results from the Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA), on the usage and perceptions of Information Communications Technology (ICT).

Among the areas of interest surveyed, the following are some of them: subscription to a mobile network provider, reasons for choosing a particular mobile network provider, know-how on internet usage, place of access and the nature of the activities on the internet, and finally, the expenditure breakdown together with the willingness to spend a particular amount on mobile phone services.

Key insights

Mobile network provider

From the survey results, both Airtel and MTN shared the distribution of subscribers  to their network at 30.0% each. With Zambtel accounting for 3.0%. For those who own both Airtel and MTN, the number stood at 23.0%. And for those with both MTN and Zamtel the number was 4.0%.

Reason for choosing a particular network

Those that reported their reason for choosing a particular network as being, ” Most of my friends are on the network”, accounted for the highest number at 36.4%. Seconded by, “better quality service”, at 19.9%. In the least position is, “Good service/care”, with a meagre 3.3%. Perhaps mobile network provider should work extra hard to alleviate such customer perceptions and experiences.

Weekly expenditure on mobile services vs willingness to spend

The majority of those surveyed indicated their weekly expenditure on mobile network services is less than or equal K15, which accounts for 84.0% and those willing to spend this amount accounted for 87.0%. With the least number being those in the bracket of K100 and above accounting for 1.0%.

Knowledge on internet usage

The urban areas accounted for the highest number of people who are internet savvy both in 2013 and 2015. In 2013, the number stood at 9.7%, and in 2015, it stood at 16.8%. In contrast with the rural areas, in 2013 the number stood at 1.5%, and 2015 at 3.2%. For the whole nation, in 2013, the numbers stood at 4.8% and 2015, at 8.8%.

Place of access to the internet

Most people access the internet from home – this number stood at 73.0%. With work and in mobility accounting for 33.0% each. The least place of access to the internet is through community facilities with 3.0%.

Activities on the internet 

Social networking tops the activities people use the internet for. This number stood at 63.0%. Followed by research at 49.0%. The least among the options was internet banking at 4.0%.


The dashboards above highlights both Public Switched Telephone Network  (PSTN)  and mobile network coverage by provider.  On mobile network coverage, data on number of sites are given – towers, and 2G, 3G, and 4G sites. In addition, data on incoming and outgoing interconnection traffic on SMS and voice calls is presented.


The first dashboard above presents data on voice calling rates for the three mobile service providers – these being Airtel, MTN and Zamtel. The presentation is broken down based  on voice interconnection rates and on-network and off-network SMS rates.

The second dashboard presents data on the total  revenue and revenue per user for the telecommunication sector in Zambia. This is in addition to the  capital expenditure.


The 21st century has been dubbed as the century of the technological breakthrough. More than ever, we have witnessed a proliferation of technology driven innovations, from self-driving cars, to artificial intelligence in robotics; but what seems to be catching fire from the African context has been the emergence of Fintech companies in the quest to spread access to banking and financial services through mobile platforms. Zambia is not an exception, currently, about 5 companies have emerged in the mobile money battlefield fighting for  market dominance. The dashboard above gives an overview picture of mobile money transactions distribution by value and transactions volume over the period from 2010 to 2017 second quarter.

Key insights

On average, both transaction values and volumes have been growing steadily, with fewer quarters of  certain years experiencing a decline. On the volume side, the numbers have soared in  excess of over 2 million transactions in some years, equally with transaction values going beyond K300 million.

From the monthly distribution, December and January has experienced the highest numbers on both the value and volume count. Over the years the there has been a growing trend in both volume and value with the years 2016 and 2017 experiencing the highest numbers across all 12 months of the year.


The dotcom era came about as internet penetration and speeds improved. This gave birth to the tech giants of today, and more so, we have seen more internet dependent companies established. With social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram driving the surge in internet demand. In this digitally integrated world we live in, demand for internet keeps increasing exponentially. Goods and services can now be accessed via online applications, from hailing a taxi, to ordering a meal, to paying utility bills, everything seem to be going digital. As a consequent, internet penetration, speeds and costs will play a major role to see to it that we are fully digitally integrated with the rest of the world.

The dashboard above and the one on ICT services, gives a brief overview of internet penetration and access in Zambia.

Key insights

Active internet service providers

In terms of internet service providers (ISPs), the number of active ISPs has been pretty static, for instance between 2013 to 2016, the number has remained stuck at 16 ISPs. The year 2017 saw a sharp increase from 16 to 26 ISPs. Going forward, it can only be hoped that this new fund trend continues as the demand for internet services continue to grow, aided by an increase in the population.

Population growth vs Active internet subscribers

As the population grows, the number of active internet subscribers can been seen to grow relative to the growth in population. This trend is consistent within the period under review, if there are any assumptions to be made, is that with a better and economically liberated population, the demand of such services as access to internet  and other internet related services will see a sustained upward trajectory.

Fixed internet penetration

Fixed internet penetration per 100 inhabitants has seen an impressive growth from a low of 8.00% in 2010 to a high of 41.00% in 2017.  The growth trend was sustained over the period under review, with impressive spike between 2014 and 2015. On the downside, only 2016 saw a rate drop from the previous 25.00% in 2015 to 22.00% in 2016.


The dashboard above outline the results from the Zambia Manufacturing Sector Survey: 2000 – 2001 conducted by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, in consultation with the Zambia Association of Manufacturers (ZAM). As at the year 2001, a total of 806 active manufacturers existed in different manufacturing sub sectors.

The dashboard provides a filter, which can be used to select the sector of interest and the results are updated accordingly.

Key insights

Among the sectors that are well distributed with firms across the country, the food , beverages and Tobacco is one such sector. With food being an essential need for  human survival, this can be expected to be the case. The other sector is the wood and wood products. With Zambia blessed with dense and extended forestry and vegetation landscape.

Textile, cloth and leather sector is another well represented sector, with a presence in 7 provinces. The Copperbelt accounts for 42% in the number of firms in the sector. With Western and Northern provinces accounting for 2% each.

Government measures to bolster the manufacturing sector
Highlights from the 2018 budget
  • Reduction of Custom Duty on bricks used to form furnaces, from 15% to 5%.
  • To reduce the cost of insurance, Government removed insurance premium levy on reinsurance.
  • The manufacturing sector has been earmarked as a key sector to rebound the economy into the growth phase, partly supported by the increase in electricity generation.


Do you need a taxi? That’s easy, press a button and call a taxi, add your credit card details and that is it, youhave transport right at your door step. What about entertainment? subscribe to online entertainment providers and you can see and relax in the comfort of your home. Same applies to settling utility bills, ordering food, all this and many more can be achieved from online payment facilities. Popularly known as point of sale (POS).

Point of sale (POS) or point of purchase (POP) is a place or time when a transaction is initialised, processed and finalised, with payment being made.  This mode of transacting has been adopted by many retailers, wholesalers and E-commerce companies to process their transactions.

This system of transacting heavily relies on the usage of specialised software and accompanying hardware to be used. In contrast to the traditional way of transacting, where everything has to be done in a physical form, POS facilities allows transactions to be processed through online platforms.

Banks and financial intermediaries  role in POS facilitation

Since transactions can be settled through online payment means, a bank account is essential in POS transactions finalisation. And having an efficient banking system helps facilitate prompt and effective POS transactions. Therefore, bridging the gap towards  paperless transactions.

Key insights

POS value distribution

POS value number have increased tremendously in  Zambian from the year 2010 to March 2017.  From a lowest figure of about K 20 million in 2010 to the highest of K 923 million in January 2017.  Over the years under review, January and December have experienced highest numbers in transactions value.

POS volume distribution

In terms of volume distribution, the POS volume distribution has been on a steady increase from the lowest volume  numbers in 2010 of  about 800,000, to the highest figure of about 8 million in 2016. Kindly note the 2017 numbers are only up to March, with a volume of about 3 million.

POS facilities

In terms of POS machines, the most recent data available is for the year 2011. With the very latest numbers being for December, recording a total number od POS machines at 132,627.


The dashboard above gives brief highlights from the Finscope survey by Insight2Impact, on financial inclusion in the context of Zambia. Among the highlights, the following  are some them: Data on uptake of financial services, sources of income and the form of savings methods adopted by Zambians. For interactive visualizations, the dashboard has a link to the website of i2i.