- Art Gallery -



Zimbabwe, See : Flags, Maps

Zimbabwe (Africa)

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. The ruling ZANU-PF party used fraud and intimidation to win a two-thirds majority in the March 2005 parliamentary election, allowing it to amend the constitution at will and recreate the Senate, which had been abolished in the late 1980s. In April 2005, 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 vote tampering and ballot-box stuffing 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 have yet failed to agree upon many key outstanding governmental issues.

Geography ::Zimbabwe

View Larger Map


Southern Africa, between South Africa and Zambia

Geographic coordinates:
20 00 S, 30 00 E

Map references:



total: 390,757 sq km country comparison to the world: 60 land: 386,847 sq km

water: 3,910 sq km

Area - comparative:

slightly larger than Montana

Land boundaries:

total: 3,066 km

border countries: Botswana 813 km, Mozambique 1,231 km, South Africa 225 km, Zambia 797 km

ZW Zimbabue


0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims:

none (landlocked)


tropical; moderated by altitude; rainy season (November to March)


mostly high plateau with higher central plateau (high veld); mountains in east

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: junction of the Runde and Save Rivers 162 m

highest point: Inyangani 2,592 m

Natural resources:

coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals

Land use:

arable land: 8.24%

permanent crops: 0.33%

other: 91.43% (2005)

Irrigated land:

1,740 sq km (2003)

Zimbabwe. mazzaliarmadi.it landscape

Total renewable water resources:

20 cu km (1987)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 4.21 cu km/yr (14%/7%/79%)

per capita: 324 cu m/yr (2002)

Natural hazards:

recurring droughts; floods and severe storms are rare

Environment - current issues:

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

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

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

People ::Zimbabwe


11,651,858 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 (July 2010 est.)

Age structure:

0-14 years: 43.9% (male 2,523,119/female 2,473,928)

15-64 years: 52.2% (male 2,666,928/female 3,283,474)

65 years and over: 3.9% (male 194,360/female 250,820) (2010 est.)

Median age:

total: 17.8 years

male: 16.7 years

female: 18.9 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate:

2.954% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 14

Birth rate:

31.57 births/1,000 population (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 42

Death rate:

14.9 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 14

Net migration rate:

12.87 migrant(s)/1,000 population country comparison to the world: 6 note: there is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (2009 est.)


urban population: 37% of total population (2008)

rate of urbanization: 2.2% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.83 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female

total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2010 est.)

Infant mortality rate:

total: 30.9 deaths/1,000 live births country comparison to the world: 72 male: 33.44 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 28.29 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 47.55 years country comparison to the world: 219 male: 47.98 years

female: 47.11 years (2010 est.)

Total fertility rate:

3.66 children born/woman (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 45

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

15.3% (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 6

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

1.3 million (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 7

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

140,000 (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 5

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: high

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne disease: malaria

water contact disease: schistosomiasis

animal contact disease: rabies (2009)


noun: Zimbabwean(s)

adjective: Zimbabwean

Ethnic groups:

African 98% (Shona 82%, Ndebele 14%, other 2%), mixed and Asian 1%, white less than 1%


syncretic (part Christian, part indigenous beliefs) 50%, Christian 25%, indigenous beliefs 24%, Muslim and other 1%


English (official), Shona, Sindebele (the language of the Ndebele, sometimes called Ndebele), numerous but minor tribal dialects


definition: age 15 and over can read and write English

total population: 90.7%

male: 94.2%

female: 87.2% (2003 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 9 years

male: 10 years

female: 9 years (2003)

Education expenditures:

4.6% of GDP (2000) country comparison to the world: 87

Government ::Zimbabwe

Country name:

conventional long form: Republic of Zimbabwe

conventional short form: Zimbabwe

former: Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia

Government type:

parliamentary democracy


name: Harare

geographic coordinates: 17 50 S, 31 03 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:

8 provinces and 2 cities* with provincial status; Bulawayo*,
Harare*, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East,
Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South,


18 April 1980 (from the UK)

National holiday:

Independence Day, 18 April (1980)


21 December 1979

Legal system:

mixture of Roman-Dutch and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: Executive President Robert Gabriel MUGABE (since 31 December 1987); Vice President John NKOMO (since December 2009) and Vice President Joyce MUJURU (since 6 December 2004)

head of government: Prime Minister Morgan TSVANGIRAI (since 11 February 2009); Deputy Prime Minister Arthur MUTAMBARA

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president and prime minister; responsible to the House of Assembly (For more information visit the World Leaders website ) 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 28 March 2008 followed by a run-off on 27 June 2008 (next to be held in 2013); co-vice presidents drawn from party leadership

election results: Robert Gabriel MUGABE reelected president; percent of vote - Robert Gabriel MUGABE 85.5%, Morgan TSVANGIRAI 9.3%, other 5.2%; note - first round voting results - Morgan TSVANGIRAI 47.9%, Robert Gabriel MUGABE 43.2%, Simba MAKONI 8.3%, other 0.6%; first-round round polls were deemed to be flawed suppressing TSVANGIRAI's results; the 27 June 2008 run-off between MUGABE and TSVANGIRAI was severely flawed and internationally condemned

Legislative branch:

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 and the prime minister, 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 28 March 2008 (next to be held in 2013)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - MDC 51.6%, ZANU-PF 45.8%, other 2.6%; seats by party - MDC 30, ZANU-PF 30; House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - MDC 51.3%, ZANU-PF 45.8%, other 2.9%; seats by party - MDC 109, ZANU-PF 97, other 4

Judicial branch:

Supreme Court; High Court

Political parties and leaders:

African National Party or ANP [Egypt DZINEMUNHENZVA]; Movement for
Democratic Change or MDC [Morgan TSVANGIRAI]; Movement for
Democratic Change - Mutambara or MDC-M [Arthur MUTAMBARA] (splinter
faction of the MDC); 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 [Agrippa MADLELA]; Zimbabwe Youth in Alliance or ZIYA

Political pressure groups and leaders:

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

International organization participation:

(correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN,

Diplomatic representation in the US:

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

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Charles A. RAY

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

Flag description:

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

National anthem:

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

Economy - overview:

The government of Zimbabwe faces a wide variety of difficult economic problems. Its 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 land reform program, characterized by chaos and violence, has 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. The EU and the US provide food aid on humanitarian grounds. Until early 2009, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe routinely printed money to fund the budget deficit, causing hyperinflation. The power-sharing government formed in February 2009 has led to some economic improvements, including the cessation of hyperinflation by eliminating the use of the Zimbabwe dollar and removing price controls. The economy is registering its first growth in a decade, but will be reliant on further political improvement for greater growth.

GDP (purchasing power parity):

$4.395 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 165 $4.223 billion (2009 est.)

$4.279 billion (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$5.574 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 (2010 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:

4.1% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 79 -1.3% (2009 est.)

-14.4% (2008 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$400 (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 227 $400 (2009 est.)

$400 (2008 est.)

note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - composition by sector:

agriculture: 19.5%

industry: 24%

services: 56.5% (2010 est.)

Labor force:

3.848 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 89

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 66%

industry: 10%

services: 24% (1996)

Unemployment rate:

95% (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 200 80% (2005 est.)

Population below poverty line:

68% (2004)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2%

highest 10%: 40.4% (1995)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:

50.1 (2006) country comparison to the world: 24 50.1 (1995)

Investment (gross fixed):

21% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 76

Public debt:

241.6% of GDP (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 1 282.6% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

5.03% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 145 5.1% (2009 est.)

Central bank discount rate:

NA% (31 December 2009) country comparison to the world: 1 975% (31 December 2007)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:

NA% (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 1 578.96% (31 December 2007)

Stock of narrow money:

$NA (31 December 2009 est.)

$2.151 million (31 December 2008 est)

note: the money data for Zimbabwe for 2007 reflected the vastly overvalued official exchange rate of 30,000 Zimbabwe dollars per US dollar; at an unofficial rate of 800,000 Zimbabwe dollars per US dollar, the stock of Zimbabwe dollars, narrowly defined, would equal only about US$500 million and Zimbabwe's velocity of money (the number of times money turns over in the course of a year) would be nine, in line with the velocity of money for other countries in the region

Stock of broad money:

$3.057 million (31 December 2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 187 $NA (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:

$1.186 million (31 December 2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 185 $60 (31 December 2009 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:

$NA (31 December 2008) country comparison to the world: 79 $5.333 billion (31 December 2007)

$26.56 billion (31 December 2006)

Agriculture - products:

corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, coffee, sugarcane, peanuts; sheep, goats, pigs


mining (coal, gold, platinum, copper, nickel, tin, clay, numerous metallic and nonmetallic ores), steel; wood products, cement, chemicals, fertilizer, clothing and footwear, foodstuffs, beverages

Industrial production growth rate:

4% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 82

Electricity - production:

8.89 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 95

Electricity - consumption:

10.89 billion kWh (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 84

Electricity - exports:

32 million kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:

2.691 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 120

Oil - consumption:

11,000 bbl/day (2009 est.) country comparison to the world: 147

Oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 164

Oil - imports:

13,830 bbl/day (2007 est.) country comparison to the world: 130

Oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 104

Natural gas - production:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 109

Natural gas - consumption:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 169

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 96

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2008 est.) country comparison to the world: 111

Natural gas - proved reserves:

0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 117

Current account balance:

-$414.2 million (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 111 -$807.5 million (2009 est.)


$1.869 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 133 $1.213 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - commodities:

platinum, cotton, tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, textiles/clothing

Exports - partners:

Democratic Republic of the Congo 14.82%, South Africa 13.39%, Botswana 13.23%, China 7.82%, Zambia 7.3%, Netherlands 5.39%, UK 4.93% (2009)


$2.871 billion (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 142 $2.413 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - commodities:

machinery and transport equipment, other manufactures, chemicals, fuels, food products

Imports - partners:

South Africa 62.24%, China 4.2% (2009)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$376 million (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 120 $351 million (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - external:

$5.772 billion (31 December 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 100 $5.667 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:

Exchange rates:

Zimbabwean dollars (ZWD) per US dollar - 234.25 (2010), 234 (2008), 30,000 (2007), 162 (2006), 78 (2005)

Communications ::Zimbabwe

Telephones - main lines in use:

385,100 (2009) country comparison to the world: 103

Telephones - mobile cellular:

2.991 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 113

Telephone system:

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)

Broadcast media:

government owns all local radio and television stations; foreign shortwave broadcasts and satellite television are available to those who can afford antennas and receivers; in rural areas, access to television broadcasts is extremely limited (2007)

Internet country code:


Internet hosts:

29,866 (2010) country comparison to the world: 98

Internet users:

1.423 million (2009) country comparison to the world: 84

Transportation ::Zimbabwe


216 (2010) country comparison to the world: 28

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 19

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 5

914 to 1,523 m: 9 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 197

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 120

under 914 m: 74 (2010)


refined products 270 km (2009)


total: 3,077 km country comparison to the world: 55 narrow gauge: 3,077 km 1.067-m gauge (313 km electrified) (2008)


total: 97,267 km country comparison to the world: 46 paved: 18,481 km

unpaved: 78,786 km (2002)


on Lake Kariba (2009)

Ports and terminals:

Binga, Kariba

Military ::Zimbabwe

Military branches:

Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF): Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), Air
Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ), Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) (2009)

Military service age and obligation:

18-24 years of age for compulsory military service; women are eligible to serve (2010)

Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 2,366,038

females age 16-49: 2,742,036 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:

males age 16-49: 1,327,894

females age 16-49: 1,525,815 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:

male: 155,117

female: 152,875 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:

3.8% of GDP (2006) country comparison to the world: 29

Transnational Issues ::Zimbabwe

Disputes - international:

Botswana built electric fences and South Africa has placed military along the border to stem the flow of thousands of Zimbabweans fleeing to find work and escape political persecution; 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

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 2,500 (Democratic Republic of Congo)

IDPs: 569,685 (MUGABE-led political violence, human rights violations, land reform, and economic collapse) (2007)

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Zimbabwe is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation; large scale migration of Zimbabweans to surrounding countries - as they flee a progressively more desperate situation at home - has increased; rural Zimbabwean men, women, and children are trafficked internally to farms for agricultural labor and domestic servitude and to cities for domestic labor and commercial sexual exploitation; NGOs believe internal trafficking increased during the year, largely due to the closure of schools, worsening political violence, and a faltering economy; young men and boys are trafficked to South Africa for farm work, often laboring for months in South Africa without pay before "employers" have them arrested and deported as illegal immigrants; young women and girls are lured abroad with false employment offers that result in involuntary domestic servitude or commercial sexual exploitation; men, women, and children from neighboring states are trafficked through Zimbabwe en route to South Africa

tier rating: Tier 3 - the Government of Zimbabwe does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government made minimal progress in combating trafficking in 2008, and members of its military and the former ruling party's youth militias perpetrated acts of trafficking on local populations; anti-trafficking efforts were further weakened as it failed to address Zimbabwe's economic and social problems during the reporting period, thus increasing the population's vulnerability to trafficking within and outside of the country (2009)

Illicit drugs:

transit point for cannabis and South Asian heroin, mandrax, and methamphetamines en route to South Africa


Hellenica World