Officially the Republic of Zambia, the country gained independence on October 24, 1994. Major cities include its capital Lusaka, Kitwe, and Ndola. Zambia is situated on a highland plateau, which rises in the east. The economy is dependent on its mineral wealth, notably copper, of which it is one of the world's leading producers, along with cobalt. Much of the population is engaged in subsistence farming; growing corn and other grains, beans, peanuts, and tobacco and raising cattle are customary. About 98 percent of the inhabitants are members of Bantu speaking ethnic groups, but English is the official language.