Zambia: changes in occupational structure and key industrial sectors, 1900–2000

TitleZambia: changes in occupational structure and key industrial sectors, 1900–2000
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsR. Pilossof, A. Cohen, and D.J. Money
EditorR. Pilossof, and A. Cohen
Secondary TitleLabour and economic change in Southern Africa c.1900–2000: Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi
Place PublishedAbington
Publication Languageeng
ISSN Number9781003034254
Keywordseconomic development, labour relations, mining, political development, Zambia

The twentieth century witnessed radical changes to the economic and social lives of people in the area that would become Zambia. The establishment of Company rule under the British South Africa Company (BSAC) initially saw the formation of two British protectorates, Barotziland-North-Western Rhodesia (1899) and North-Eastern Rhodesia (1900) under Company rule. These protectorates were amalgamated under joint administration in 1911 as Northern Rhodesia. Although significant copper deposits had previously been identified in the Zambesi-Congo watershed, the surface ores were of poor quality. Significant investment and exploitation of the mineral resources only took place from 1924 as technological advances and large-scale investment facilitated the development of the mining industry. The Copperbelt, and the fast-paced urbanisation that followed its establishment, set Zambia apart from its neighbours. Mining and mineral extraction became the key economic driver of the colony, unlike agriculture in Zimbabwe and Malawi. This chapter provides an overview of the main economic and political developments in Zambia from 1900 to 2000. It provides the background to the more detailed chapter on labour and labour relations that follows. While mining, and work in and on the mines, is obviously a fundamental part of the story in Zambia, the chapter will also highlight other aspects of work and economic change in Zambia that deserve equal attention.


Citation Key11625