Missionaries serving in the Zimbabwe Harare Mission report that LDS apostle Elder Christofferson announced that next summer the mission will divide to create the Zambia Lusaka Mission. The new mission will likely be organized on July 1st and will include Zambia and Malawi. Zimbabwe is the least populated of the three countries current part of the Zimbabwe Harare Mission and has one of the highest percentages of Latter-day Saints in the population among continental African nations at around 0.15%, or one member per 661, whereas Zambia and Malawi have some of the lower percentages of Latter-day Saints in continental Africa (one member per 5,620 in Zambia and one member per 19,358 in Malawi). Zimbabwe currently experiences some of the most penetrating outreach by Latter-day Saints in Africa as most large cities have a church presence. There are 11.7 million people and 17,632 Latter-day Saints in Zimbabwe.
The Church in Zambia experienced rapid growth during the first half of the 2000s as membership grew from 725 in 2000 to 1,648 in 2005 and the number of congregations increased from four to 10. Missionary work began outside Lusaka for the first time in decades in the Copperbelt region along the DR Congo border. Branches were established in three cities (Kitwe, Luanshya, and Ndola). During the latter-half of the 2000s, membership grew to 2,395 in 2009 but there was no increase in the number of congregations during this period likely due to poor convert retention and a lack of trained leadership. The creation of the new mission will allow for greater mentoring from the mission president for local Priesthood leadership and increase the likelihood of additional areas opening for missionary work. The Lusaka Zambia District has been preparing to become a stake for several years now. At present the Church is only established in Lusaka and three cities of the Copperbelt region. Zambia has 13.5 million people.
The Church has experienced some of the poorest convert retention and member activity rates in Africa in Malawi, which has 15.5 million people. Missionaries report little progress over the past few years despite missionaries recently opening Lilongwe to missionary work and consistently working in Blantyre for several years. In 2009, there were almost 800 members in Malawi organized in three branches.