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Economy, Money, Banking & Taxes


Zambia uses the Zambian Kwacha (currency code ZMW) which can be divided down into 100 Ngwee. 1 Zambian Kwacha is worth approximately $0.16 or £0.09.

Coins come in variants of 5, 10 and 50 Ngwee as well as in 1 Kwacha variants.

Bank Notes are available in 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 Kwacha variants.


Although unemployment is a serious problem throughout Zambia, the National GDP has actually doubles since the country’s independence in 1964 and sees around 7.3% GDP growth yearly, bringing in just short of $25 Billion a year (at around $1700 per capital). Zambia’s biggest producers are in Services (46.4%), Industry (32.2%) and then Agriculture (20.4%) whilst the labour force is the other way around, with 85% in Agriculture, 9% in Services and 6% in Industry. The country mainly exports to China (42.2%) but also majorly deals with the neighbouring countries of South Africa (7.2%) and the Congo (7.2%).

The country’s main industry is in Copper-Mining and historically the country has been one of the largest exporters of copper in the world and sees over 230,000 tonnes of copper exported every year. Meanwhile, the country’s biggest agricultural sectors are in Maize, Cotton, Sunflower seeds, Sorhum, Cassava, Floriculture, Tobacco, Pearl Millet, Wheat, Sugar and Soybeans.


Outside of Lusaka and other developed cities, performing financial transactions may be incredibly difficult and ATMs may be scarce. However, inside of major urban areas the ATM situation is comparable to the west and money is usually easy to withdraw and deposit. Account types most banks support in Zambia are similar to those in the west, with low-interest easy-access Current Accounts and higher-interest restricted-access Savings Accounts, but rates may vary dramatically from bank to bank.


Zambia’s taxes are split into five main types, Company Income, Personal Income, Presumptive, Property Transfer, Withholding, VAT and Customs Duty.

Personal Income Tax is applied on all individuals earning above a certain threshold, starting at a rate of 25% and scaling up to 35% based on income amount.
Company Income Tax is generally applied at a rate of 35% for most companies, but companies involved in mining are only taxed at 30% and those involved with agriculture are taxed at only 15%. Companies with profits exceeding a certain threshold are taxed at a rate of 40% and those listed on the Lusaka Stock Exchange are taxed at 33%. Presumptive Tax is applied at a rate of 3% on small businesses below a certain threshold.

Property Transfer Tax is applied at a rate of 3% on all sales of any land, building or share in the country. Withholding Tax is a is applied at a rate of 20% on all payments, consultancy fees, management fees, royalties, dividends, commissions, interest payments and rental charges at a rate of 20%.

VAT is applied at a rate of 16% but some goods are exempted from this. Customs Duty is applied at a rate of 25% on finished products, 15% on intermediate goods and 0-5% on raw materials and capital goods.