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Chapter Summary

In August 2005, the Network for Historical Research in Zambia (NHRZ) organized a three-day conference entitled Zambia: Independence and After. Towards A Historiography. At independence from Britain in 1964, Zambia, rich in copper deposits and agricultural potential, was rated as one of the most prosperous countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately the great expectations of independence were soon dashed for the overwhelming majority of Zambians. Mismanagement, patronage, corruption and growing political authoritarianism all took their toll. In the last few years, however, Zambia's liberalized economy has been experiencing a degree of sustained growth, while a culture of human and civic rights is finally showing unmistakable signs of consolidation. In contrast to the rich tradition of academic analysis and understanding of the pre-colonial and colonial history of Zambia, the above-sketched postcolonial trajectory has been all but ignored by historians.

Keywords: Network for Historical Research in Zambia (NHRZ); patronage; postcolonial trajectory; Zambia's independence



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