Over the last decade, Zambia has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. On the backs of gains in the construction, transport, communications, manufacturing and agriculture sectors, the Zambian economy is expected to grow by 7.3 percent in 2012, up from 6.8 percent in 2011. In 2011, the World Bank reclassified Zambia as a lower middle-income country.
Yet following a period of prolonged economic expansion, Zambia continues to rank among the poorest countries in the world. In its 2011 Human Development Index, the U.N. Development Program placed Zambia 164th out of 187 countries. The Zambian government’s Sixth National Development Plan (2011-2015) acknowledged that recent economic growth has not translated into significant poverty reduction in the southern African nation. According to the UNDP, Zambia has recorded mixed progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.