Africa :: Zimbabwe

Introduction ::Zimbabwe

    The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the [British] South Africa Company in 1923. A 1961 constitution was formulated that favored whites in power. In 1965 the government unilaterally declared its independence, but the UK did not recognize the act and demanded more complete voting rights for the black African majority in the country (then called Rhodesia). UN sanctions and a guerrilla uprising finally led to free elections in 1979 and independence (as Zimbabwe) in 1980. Robert MUGABE, the nation's first prime minister, has been the country's only ruler (as president since 1987) and has dominated the country's political system since independence. His chaotic land redistribution campaign, which began in 2000, caused an exodus of white farmers, crippled the economy, and ushered in widespread shortages of basic commodities. Ignoring international condemnation, MUGABE rigged the 2002 presidential election to ensure his reelection. In April 2005, the capital city of Harare embarked on Operation Restore Order, ostensibly an urban rationalization program, which resulted in the destruction of the homes or businesses of 700,000 mostly poor supporters of the opposition. President MUGABE in June 2007 instituted price controls on all basic commodities causing panic buying and leaving store shelves empty for months. General elections held in March 2008 contained irregularities but still amounted to a censure of the ZANU-PF-led government with the opposition winning a majority of seats in parliament. MDC opposition leader Morgan TSVANGIRAI won the most votes in the presidential polls, but not enough to win outright. In the lead up to a run-off election in late June 2008, considerable violence enacted against opposition party members led to the withdrawal of TSVANGIRAI from the ballot. Extensive evidence of violence and intimidation resulted in international condemnation of the process. Difficult negotiations over a power-sharing government, in which MUGABE remained president and TSVANGIRAI became prime minister, were finally settled in February 2009, although the leaders failed to agree upon many key outstanding governmental issues. MUGABE was reelected president in June 2013 in balloting that was severely flawed and internationally condemned.

Geography ::Zimbabwe

    Southern Africa, between South Africa and Zambia
    20 00 S, 30 00 E
    total: 390,757 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 61
    land: 386,847 sq km
    water: 3,910 sq km
    slightly larger than Montana
    total: 3,066 km
    border countries: Botswana 813 km, Mozambique 1,231 km, South Africa 225 km, Zambia 797 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    none (landlocked)
    tropical; moderated by altitude; rainy season (November to March)
    mostly high plateau with higher central plateau (high veld); mountains in east
    lowest point: junction of the Runde and Save Rivers 162 m
    highest point: Inyangani 2,592 m
    coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals
    arable land: 10.49%
    permanent crops: 0.31%
    other: 89.2% (2011)
    1,735 sq km (2003)
    20 cu km (2011)
    total: 4.21 cu km/yr (14%/7%/79%)
    per capita: 333.5 cu m/yr (2002)
    recurring droughts; floods and severe storms are rare
    deforestation; soil erosion; land degradation; air and water pollution; the black rhinoceros herd - once the largest concentration of the species in the world - has been significantly reduced by poaching; poor mining practices have led to toxic waste and heavy metal pollution
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    landlocked; the Zambezi forms a natural riverine boundary with Zambia; in full flood (February-April) the massive Victoria Falls on the river forms the world's largest curtain of falling water; Lake Kariba on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border forms the world's largest reservoir by volume (180 cu km; 43 cu mi)

People and Society ::Zimbabwe

    noun: Zimbabwean(s)
    adjective: Zimbabwean
    African 98% (Shona 82%, Ndebele 14%, other 2%), mixed and Asian 1%, white less than 1%
    English (official), Shona, Sindebele (the language of the Ndebele, sometimes called Ndebele), numerous but minor tribal dialects
    syncretic (part Christian, part indigenous beliefs) 50%, Christian 25%, indigenous beliefs 24%, Muslim and other 1%
    13,182,908 (July 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 72
    note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
    0-14 years: 39.4% (male 2,623,606/female 2,570,028)
    15-24 years: 22.5% (male 1,472,186/female 1,493,816)
    25-54 years: 30.8% (male 2,039,943/female 2,018,589)
    55-64 years: 3.7% (male 176,951/female 311,113)
    65 years and over: 3.6% (male 193,147/female 283,529) (2013 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 76.4 %
    youth dependency ratio: 69.6 %
    elderly dependency ratio: 6.8 %
    potential support ratio: 14.7 (2013)
    total: 19.5 years
    male: 19 years
    female: 20 years (2013 est.)
    4.38% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    32.41 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 35
    11.4 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    22.76 migrant(s)/1,000 population
    country comparison to the world: 3
    note: there is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (2013 est.)
    urban population: 38.6% of total population (2011)
    rate of urbanization: 3.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    HARARE (capital) 1.606 million (2009)
    at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.57 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2013 est.)
    note: Median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2011 est.)
    570 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    total: 27.25 deaths/1,000 live births
    country comparison to the world: 71
    male: 29.63 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 24.79 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)
    total population: 53.86 years
    country comparison to the world: 209
    male: 53.79 years
    female: 53.93 years (2013 est.)
    3.58 children born/woman (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    58.5% (2010/11)
    0.16 physicians/1,000 population (2004)
    1.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)
    urban: 98% of population
    rural: 69% of population
    total: 80% of population
    urban: 2% of population
    rural: 31% of population
    total: 20% of population (2010 est.)
    urban: 52% of population
    rural: 32% of population
    total: 40% of population
    urban: 48% of population
    rural: 68% of population
    total: 60% of population (2010 est.)
    14.3% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    1.2 million (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    83,000 (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    degree of risk: very high
    food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
    vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever
    water contact disease: schistosomiasis
    animal contact disease: rabies (2013)
    7% (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    10.1% (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    2.5% of GDP (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write English
    total population: 83.6%
    male: 87.8%
    female: 80.1% (2011 est.)
    total: 9 years
    male: 10 years
    female: 9 years (2003)
    total: 7.6%
    country comparison to the world: 123
    male: 7.6%
    female: 7.6% (2004)

Government ::Zimbabwe

    conventional long form: Republic of Zimbabwe
    conventional short form: Zimbabwe
    former: Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia
    parliamentary democracy
    name: Harare
    geographic coordinates: 17 49 S, 31 02 E
    time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    8 provinces and 2 cities* with provincial status; Bulawayo*, Harare*, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands
    18 April 1980 (from the UK)
    Independence Day, 18 April (1980)
    21 December 1979
    mixed legal system of English common law, Roman-Dutch civil law, and customary law
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: Executive President Robert Gabriel MUGABE (since 31 December 1987); Vice President Joice MUJURU (since 6 December 2004) and Vice President John Landa NKOMO (since December 2009)
    head of government: Executive President Robert Gabriel MUGABE (since 31 December 1987) note - according to the new constitution, following the 31 July 2013 presidential elections the position of Prime Minister was abolished
    cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president; responsible to the House of Assembly
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: presidential candidates nominated with a nomination paper signed by at least 10 registered voters (at least one from each province) and elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); elections last held on 31 July 2013 (next to be held in 2018); co-vice presidents drawn from party leadership
    election results: Robert Gabriel MUGABE reelected president; percent of vote - Robert Gabriel MUGABE 61.1%, Morgan TSVANGIRAI 34.4%, Welshman NCUBE 2.7% other 1.8%; note - the election process was considered flawed and roundly criticised by election monitors and international bodies
    bicameral Parliament consists of a Senate (93 seats - 60 members elected by popular vote for a five-year term, 10 provincial governors nominated by the president, 16 traditional chiefs elected by the Council of Chiefs, 2 seats held by the president and deputy president of the Council of Chiefs, and 5 members appointed by the president) and a House of Assembly (210 seats - members elected by popular vote for five-year terms)
    elections: last held on 31 July 2013 (next to be held in 2018)
    election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ZANU-PF 37 MDC 23; House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ZANU-PF 160, MDC 49, other 1
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and 4 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the president upon recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, an independent body consisting of the chief justice, Public Service Commission chairman, attorney general, and 2-3 members appointed by the president; judges normally serve until age 65, but can elect to serve until age 70
    subordinate courts: High Court, regional magistrate courts, and special courts
    African National Party or ANP [Egypt DZINEMUNHENZVA]
    Movement for Democratic Change - Tsvangirai or MDC-T [Morgan TSVANGIRAI]
    Movement for Democratic Change - Ncube or MDC-N [Welshman NCUBE]
    Peace Action is Freedom for All or PAFA
    United Parties [Abel MUZOREWA]
    United People's Party or UPP [Daniel SHUMBA]
    Zimbabwe African National Union-Ndonga or ZANU-Ndonga [Wilson KUMBULA]
    Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front or ZANU-PF [Robert Gabriel MUGABE]
    Zimbabwe African Peoples Union or ZAPU [Dumiso DABENGWA]
    Zimbabwe Youth in Alliance or ZIYA
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    National Constitutional Assembly or NCA [Lovemore MADHUKU]
    Women of Zimbabwe Arise or WOZA [Jenny WILLIAMS]
    Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions or ZCTU [Wellington CHIBEBE]
    chief of mission: Ambassador Machivenyika MAPURANGA
    chancery: 1608 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009
    telephone: [1] (202) 332-7100
    FAX: [1] (202) 483-9326
    chief of mission: Ambassador David Bruce WHARTON
    embassy: 172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue, Harare
    mailing address: P. O. Box 3340, Harare
    telephone: [263] (4) 250-593 through 250-594
    FAX: [263] (4) 796-488, or 722-618
    seven equal horizontal bands of green, yellow, red, black, red, yellow, and green with a white isosceles triangle edged in black with its base on the hoist side; a yellow Zimbabwe bird representing the long history of the country is superimposed on a red five-pointed star in the center of the triangle, which symbolizes peace; green represents agriculture, yellow mineral wealth, red the blood shed to achieve independence, and black stands for the native people
    Zimbabwe bird symbol; African fish eagle
    name: "Kalibusiswe Ilizwe leZimbabwe" [Northern Ndebele language] "Simudzai Mureza WeZimbabwe" [Shona] (Blessed Be the Land of Zimbabwe)
    lyrics/music: Solomon MUTSWAIRO/Fred Lecture CHANGUNDEGA
    note: adopted 1994

Economy ::Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe's economy is growing despite continuing political uncertainty. Following a decade of contraction from 1998 to 2008, Zimbabwe's economy recorded real growth of more than 9% per year in 2010-11, before slowing to 5% in 2012, due in part to a poor harvest and low diamond revenues. However, the government of Zimbabwe still faces a number of difficult economic problems, including infrastructure and regulatory deficiencies, ongoing indigenization pressure, policy uncertainty, a large external debt burden, and insufficient formal employment. Zimbabwe''s 1998-2002 involvement in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo drained hundreds of millions of dollars from the economy. The government''s subsequent land reform program, characterized by chaos and violence, badly damaged the commercial farming sector, the traditional source of exports and foreign exchange and the provider of 400,000 jobs, turning Zimbabwe into a net importer of food products. Until early 2009, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe routinely printed money to fund the budget deficit, causing hyperinflation. Dollarization in early 2009 - which allowed currencies such as the Botswana pula, the South Africa rand, and the US dollar to be used locally - ended hyperinflation and reduced inflation to about 10%, but exposed structural weaknesses that continue to inhibit broad-based growth.
    $7.366 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    $7.054 billion (2011 est.)
    $6.38 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $9.802 billion
    note: in 2009, the Zimbabwean dollar was taken out of circulation, making Zimbabwe's GDP at the official exchange rate a highly inaccurate statistic (2012 est.)
    4.4% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    10.6% (2011 est.)
    9.6% (2010 est.)
    $600 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 227
    $500 (2011 est.)
    $500 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    household consumption: 68%
    government consumption: 29.4%
    investment in fixed capital: 21.9%
    exports of goods and services: 67.9%
    imports of goods and services: -87.1%
    (2012 est.)
    agriculture: 20.3%
    industry: 25.1%
    services: 54.6% (2012 est.)
    corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, coffee, sugarcane, peanuts; sheep, goats, pigs
    mining (coal, gold, platinum, copper, nickel, tin, diamonds, clay, numerous metallic and nonmetallic ores), steel; wood products, cement, chemicals, fertilizer, clothing and footwear, foodstuffs, beverages
    4.5% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 61
    3.931 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    agriculture: 66%
    industry: 10%
    services: 24% (1996)
    95% (2009 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    80% (2005 est.)
    note: figures reflect underemployment; true unemployment is unknown and, under current economic conditions, unknowable
    68% (2004)
    lowest 10%: 2%
    highest 10%: 40.4% (1995)
    50.1 (2006)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    50.1 (1995)
    revenues: $NA
    expenditures: $NA
    NA% of GDP
    NA% of GDP
    187.3% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    180.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
    calendar year
    8.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    5.4% (2011 est.)
    7.17% (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 1
    975% (31 December 2007)
    30% (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    34% (31 December 2011 est.)
    $12.27 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    $6.586 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    note: Zimbabwe's central bank no longer publishes data on monetary aggregates, except for bank deposits, which amounted to $2.1 billion in November 2010; the Zimbabwe dollar stopped circulating in early 2009; since then, the US dollar and South African rand have been the most frequently used currencies; there are no reliable estimates of the amount of foreign currency circulating in Zimbabwe
    $11 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    $22.71 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    $9.844 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 99
    $6.289 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $10.9 billion (31 December 2011)
    country comparison to the world: 70
    $11.48 billion (31 December 2010)
    $3.83 billion (31 December 2009)
    -$521.9 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    -$621.5 million (2011 est.)
    $3.314 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    $2.932 billion (2011 est.)
    platinum, cotton, tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, textiles/clothing
    China 20.4%, South Africa 14.9%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 12.9%, Botswana 11.5%, Italy 4.4% (2012)
    $4.569 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    $4.272 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery and transport equipment, other manufactures, chemicals, fuels, food products
    South Africa 51.2%, China 9.7% (2012)
    $575.6 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    $660.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)
    $8.767 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    $6.276 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    Zimbabwean dollars (ZWD) per US dollar -
    234.25 (2010)
    234.25 (2009)
    9,686.8 (2007)
    note: the dollar was adopted as a legal currency in 2009; since then the Zimbabwean dollar has experienced hyperinflation and is essentially worthless

Energy ::Zimbabwe

Communications ::Zimbabwe

    356,000 (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    9.2 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    general assessment: system was once one of the best in Africa, but now suffers from poor maintenance
    domestic: consists of microwave radio relay links, open-wire lines, radiotelephone communication stations, fixed wireless local loop installations, and a substantial mobile-cellular network; Internet connection is available in Harare and planned for all major towns and for some of the smaller ones
    international: country code - 263; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat; 2 international digital gateway exchanges (in Harare and Gweru) (2010)
    government owns all local radio and TV stations; foreign shortwave broadcasts and satellite TV are available to those who can afford antennas and receivers; in rural areas, access to TV broadcasts is extremely limited (2007)
    30,615 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    1.423 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 84

Transportation ::Zimbabwe

Military ::Zimbabwe

Transnational Issues ::Zimbabwe

    Namibia has supported, and in 2004 Zimbabwe dropped objections to, plans between Botswana and Zambia to build a bridge over the Zambezi River, thereby de facto recognizing a short, but not clearly delimited, Botswana-Zambia boundary in the river; South Africa has placed military units to assist police operations along the border of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique to control smuggling, poaching, and illegal migration
    IDPs: undetermined (political violence, human rights violations, land reform, and economic collapse) (2012)
    current situation: Zimbabwe is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Zimbabwean women and girls from towns bordering South Africa, Mozambique, and Zambia are subjected to prostitution, sometimes being sold by their parents; Zimbabwean men, women, and children are subjected to forced labor in agriculture and domestic service in rural areas, as well as domestic servitude and sex trafficking in cities and towns; Zimbabwean women and men are lured into exploitative labor situations in Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Nigeria, and South Africa with false job offers, while women and girls are lured to China, Egypt, the UK, and Canada and forced into prostitution; adults and children from Bangladesh, Somalia, India, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia are trafficked through Zimbabwe en route to South Africa
    tier rating: Tier 3 - Zimbabwe does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; tangible efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, including those allegedly involving government officials, and to protect victims remain minimal; the government continues to rely on an international organization to provide law enforcement training and on NGOs to identify and assist victims without government support for such work; a national trafficking awareness campaign was launched in November 2012 (2013)
    transit point for cannabis and South Asian heroin, mandrax, and methamphetamines en route to South Africa