Since independence, trading activity has increased in both rural and urban areas, especially in Lusaka. The Zambian Privatization Agency was in the process of privatizing parastatals that controlled large wholesale and retail chains. Centers of trading activity are the main towns along the rail line. Wholesale outlets are prevalent in larger towns and cities, while individually owned vendors and smaller retail shops are common in smaller communities and remote areas.
Normal business hours are from 8 AM to 5 PM , Monday– Friday, and 8 AM to 12:30 PM on Saturday. Banks are open from 8:15 AM to 12:45 PM on most weekdays, but close at noon on Thursdays and 11 AM on Saturdays.