With this first Zambia economic brief, the World Bank is launching a series of short economic updates that will be produced twice a year. Each brief will include two sections: the Bank's assessment of recent economic developments and outlook in the short to medium term; and its analysis on a specific development topic or theme. The authors expect these briefs to support evidence-based policy debate in the country, strengthen public demand for good policies and outcomes, and inform government policies and programs. In this brief, first section reports on Zambia's continued robust growth, fiscal outcomes, and capital inflows at the end of 2012 against the backdrop of performance of other Sub- Saharan and global economies. It stresses the need for the government to spend borrowed and own resources more prudently. While acknowledging continuing strong prospects for growth, the analysis highlights considerable downside risks emanating from global uncertainties. Second section covers basic human opportunities for children in Zambia. The opportunities approach is premised on the notion that predetermined circumstances such as gender, ethnicity, place of birth, and family origins should not determine people's economic, social, and political success. A person should not have fewer opportunities in life just because she is a girl or born in a rural area. This is the core principle behind the concept of equality of opportunity and it is also the framework adopted in this report for Zambia. The analysis shows the extent to which basic opportunities for education, health, and infrastructure services in Zambia are influenced by circumstances in which children find themselves.