Client Assessment in Zambia

Microfinance Assignment 2012 of Yvonne Suter

Arrival at Lusaka – Zambia’s Booming Capital City

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After a 15-hours flight from Switzerland via South Africa to Zambia I safely arrived in Lusaka – yet quite tired and without any luggage. Not without confusion, the immigration finally worked out well because my colleagues from FINCA seem to maintain good relationships with the airport staff. Three hours later, I was able to leave the airport for downtown Lusaka. I got a warm welcome from the local FINCA team – Priscilla, Josephine, and our driver Joseph – who spent their Sunday on my behalf. Many thanks!

The first day in Lusaka was very relaxing – apart from an early wake-up at 6am when my luggage was delivered. It was Farmers’ Day, a public holiday in Zambia with lots of festivities all around the city. I took the chance to meet some colleagues I was referred to by friends and to have a look at suitable accommodations for the next three months. It seems quite challenging to find an accommodation with all mod cons at affordable rates. But I am very confident that I will find a nice stay for the weeks to come.

My first impression is that Lusaka is a very peaceful city – though its population of about 1.7 million – with very friendly and always smiling inhabitants. August temperatures are moderate as Lusaka is located on the central plateau at an elevation of about 1,300 metres. In weeks and months to come, the city will gradually get warmer and dustier. My first experiences make me eager to get to know better the country, its people and its culture.

I will keep you soon posted with my first experiences at work…

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