Over the past decades, Zambia has developed into a, for the most part, politically stable republic, in which more than 70 different ethnic communities live together largely in peace. Compared with the rest of the region, the level of religious freedom and the generosity of the country's refugee policy are remarkable.
Although the World Bank upgraded Zambia to the status of lower middle-income country, the proportion of people living below the national poverty line has been stagnating at nearly two thirds of the population, and in rural areas the rate is even as high as three quarters of the population. The malnutrition rate in Zambia is exceptionally high even by regional standards.
In its national development plan, the government has set itself the goal of adopting more pro-growth and, in particular, more pro-poor policies and improving governance. Germany’s engagement in Zambia focuses in particular on the priority areas of water and sanitation – and on improving the management of Zambia's valuable water resources – and on strengthening good governance. Germany and Zambia have also been cooperating in the areas of agriculture (under the framework of the BMZ special initiative ONE WORLD – No Hunger) and energy.