Switzerland and Zambia enjoy good bilateral relations. Since 1 March 2020 the Swiss embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe has represented Switzerland's political interests in Zambia. All consular affairs are handled by the regional consular centre for southern Africa in Pretoria and the honorary consul in Lusaka.
Key aspects of relations
Switzerland has set out a strategy for sub-Saharan Africa for 2021–24.
Switzerland and Zambia have agreed to cooperate in two priority areas: food security and the fight against HIV/AIDS. Switzerland contributes around CHF 3.5 million each year to a dozen different projects in Zambia. The regional programme developed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for southern Africa continues to operate in Zambia, which is also one of the priority countries together with Zimbabwe for the SDC's new programme starting in 2023.
The volume of trade between Switzerland and Zambia is low. Switzerland imports precious metals and agricultural products, and exports pharmaceutical products and machinery.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers who are citizens of Zambia can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
The regional programme developed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) for southern Africa continues to operate in Zambia.
As part of its 2018–22 strategy, Switzerland is working with Zambia in agriculture and food security (to improve job opportunities for young people in the agricultural and renewable energy sectors). The strategy also addresses HIV/AIDS issues among young people, focusing primarily on prevention (but also supporting initiatives to help people affected by HIV/AIDS) as well as sexual and reproductive health.
Swiss nationals in Zambia
According to the statistics on the Swiss abroad, at the end of 2020 there were 109 Swiss nationals living in Zambia; 74 Zambian nationals were living in Switzerland.
History of bilateral relations
Switzerland's presence in Zambia dates back to the late 19th century.Protestant missionaries from the French-speaking part of Switzerland began working in eastern Zambia in 1885. Later on, more Swiss people started to settle in the mining areas in the north.
Switzerland recognised Zambia immediately after it gained independence in 1964 and established diplomatic relations with the new state two years later. A Swiss consulate was opened in Lusaka in 1969.