The United States established diplomatic relations with Zambia in 1964, following its independence from the United Kingdom. Zambia saw single-party rule from independence until 1973, when it formally became a one-party state. In 1991, elections replaced the country's 27-year president as Zambia began adopting multi-party democracy and a more liberalized economy. Zambia's economic growth has not benefited many rural Zambians who continue to live in poverty. The Zambian Government is pursuing an economic diversification program to reduce the economy's reliance on the copper industry. The country's challenge is to promote broad-based economic growth, create employment, and develop its human capital.
The United States and Zambia enjoy cordial relations. U.S. goals in Zambia include reducing widespread poverty and building and sustaining a democratic, well-governed country that contributes positively to regional stability. The United States works closely with the Zambian Government to defeat the HIV/AIDS pandemic that is widespread but stabilizing in Zambia, to promote economic growth and development, and to bring about political reform by promoting democratic principles and responsible government. The United States is also supporting the government's efforts to root out corruption.