ZamMal: The people and culture, a snapshot
- The average life expectancy in Zambia is 40.5 years, due in large part to the HIV/AIDS epidemic (more than 1 in 7 adults is infected). In Malawi, the life expectancy is 43.
- Malawi is 162nd and Zambia is 163rd in the UN’s ranking of development (out of 179 countries in the world).
- Almost half of the country lives in urban centers.
- There are 73 ethnic groups in Zambia — and just as many languages. However (and perhaps because of this large number), there is little between-group rivalry, leading to easy and common inter-tribal marriages and peace within the country.
- Malawi is comprised mostly of Chewa (as well as around 6 additional tribes).
- 75% of both countries are Christian.
- Women are the most vulnerable and poorest members of society. They do the most work, have the least amount of opportunities, and have difficulty owning property, getting an education, or even offered a seat on a bus (even when she is “carrying a babe and luggage and minding two toddlers”).
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