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"Turning challenges into opportunities, developing the land and peoples of the Upper Zambezi Valley"

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Paddling across the flooded plain during the Kuomboka
Welcome to
Barotseland.net


ZVDI work pages

See what people are saying about Development in Western

Urban scene - Mongu, capital and chief town of Western Province, Zambia

Please note we are very sorry that our old website barotseland.com which correlated with the original name of our organisation was taken over by usurpers who refused to return the site to its rightful owners, thus we are starting again. A lot of the material that you find here will be very out of date so apologies again. A lot has happened to Barotseland since we were last online. We remain a body of people devoted to the land and its people. We have no political affiliation or interests and that will remain the case. Thank you for your patience.

Welcome to the homepage of Barotseland.net or 'Bnet' for short! Bnet is dedicated to the sustainable development of the land and peoples of the Upper Zambezi Valley, largely located in western Zambia. After Zambian independence in November 1964, the heart of this land was known briefly as Barotse Province and, from 1968, as Western Province. Before 1964, however, Western Province was known as Barotseland, home of the Lozi nation, whose influence spreads north from Botswana and Caprivi to the present day border betweeen Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and from south-eastern Angola west to the Kafue. The Lozi nation today comprises over 25 different peoples united by culture and ecosystems.

Bnet aims to provide access to knowledge and information about Western Zambia and the surrounding region and is actively involved in sustainable development projects and programmes that seek to uplift the lives and livelihoods of people in the region whilst caring for the unique biophysical environment. The following is a list of our current work themes:

  • Climate change and developmen: vulnerability assessment and adaptation action - see Zambezi Valley Development Initiative (ZVDI)
  • Local Knowledge Bank - to be located at Nayuma Museum, Limulunga, comprising information and knowledge about the region and its peoples in social, economic and cultural contexts
  • The 'Living History of the Lozis Project' - Reproducing a social history of the region and creating local value from history, heritage and culture
  • HIV education and creation of value for children affected by this disease
  • Conservation of Luyana and Silozi languages and provision of information

B com is a non-profit organisation and has a zero political agenda. The Barotseland of old today comprises integral components of the postcolonial states of Zambia, Namibia, and Angola. Most of the peoples who live in the region speak Silozi, formerly known as Sikololo, as their main language. Lozi, meanwhile, was just a name given to the Luyi peoples by Sotho invaders known as the Makololo who crossed the Zambezi (known previously as Lyambai) in the first half of the nineteenth century before their leaders were overthrown in 1864 leaving behind their language and some of their culture.

In general, the region experiences comparatively low levels of socio-economic development although this was by no means the case in the past. This is a matter of concern since uneven development is so often a cause of human insecurity. With that in mind, the main mission of B'com is to provide unbiased and accurate knowledge and information especially of a cultural and historical nature, to offer reasoned explanations of the present and to better enable governments, administrators, NGOs and development analysts as well as traditional authorities to plan for a better future for the region. B com is a community based organisation which also engages in participative action research and sustainable development projects.

Barotseland.com is registered as an organisation in Zambia and maintains an office in Mongu. Lozis in the diaspora and other visitors are invited to use this site as an information bureau, a forum and place of contact - an on-line meeting room.

Whether you are a Lozi yourself, have worked, studied or lived in the region or are just interested in learning more about this fascinating land and its peoples, please take a moment to register your interest by signing the Visitor's Register. We thank you for your interest and look forward to welcoming you back regularly to Barotseland.com and to the Upper Zambezi valley itself, situated in the heart of Africa. Call again soon!

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Copyright: Barotseland.com 2011
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