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Info Africa - ZIMBABWE
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe lies in southern Africa. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, South Africa to the south, Mozambique to the east and Botswana to the southwest. This former British colony, previously called Southern Rhodesia, gained its independence in 1980. Zimbabwe has only had one president since gaining independence, namely the current President Robert Mugabe. Over the past few years, Zimbabwe’s political and economic situation has become somewhat unstable. Zimbabwe is known for its Victoria Falls and the historical stones of Great Zimbabwe. Home to some of Southern Africa’s best wildlife, Zimbabwe offers forested mountains, grasslands and National Parks (Hwange National Park).
In fact, more than 11% of Zimbabwe’s land comprised of parks and wildlife reserves. The capital city of Zimbabwe, Harare (formerly named Salisbury) is the commercial and industrial center of this country. It is a sophisticated city, filled with trees, vibrant parks and contemporary architecture. Harare houses the Robert McIlwaine Recreational Park, which has a lake and game reserve, the Lion & Cheetah Park, the Larvon Bird Gardens and the landscaped gardens of aloes and cycads at Ewanrigg Botanical Gardens. Because of its pleasing climate, this city is often called ‘Sunshine City’. The majority of Zimbabweans are from the Shona tribe, a tribe that has been in present day Zimbabwe since at least the 10th century. A huge percentage of the population worship parts of Christianity as well as their indigenous beliefs (syncretism).
CATEGORIES: Demographics - Quick Facts - Economy - Communications - Health Issues
Country Flag: Zimbabwe's Flag

The yellow Zimbabwe bird represents the long history of the country is superimposed on a red five-pointed star in the center of the triangle, which symbolizes peace; green symbolizes agriculture, yellow - mineral wealth, red - blood shed to achieve independence, and black stands for the native people

Nationality: Zimbabwean

Capital: Harare

Population: 12,236,805 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure:

  • 0-14 years: 37.4%
  • 15-64 years: 59.1%
  • 65 years and over: 3.5% (2006 est.)  

Population growth rate: 0.62% (2006 est.)

Literacy rate:

  • ages 15 and above can read and write.
  • 90.7% of the population is literate (male: 94.2%, female: 87.2%) (2003 est.)

Major religions: Syncretic (part Christian, part indigenous beliefs) 50%, Christian 25%, indigenous beliefs 24%, Muslim and other 1%

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

Quick Facts
  • total: 390,580 sq km
  • land: 386,670 sq km
  • water: 3,910 sq km

Area comparative to Canadian province: slightly smaller thank the Yukon Territory

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

Environmental 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


Zimbabwe’s economy suffers greatly from an unsustainable fiscal deficit, an overvalued exchange rate and high inflation. Zimbabwe’s involvement in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 1998 and 2002 drained millions of dollars from the economy. This country does not receive any IMF support because of the government’s response to its past loans. The official annual inflation rate increased from 32% in 1998, to 133% at the end of 2004, and 585% at the end of 2005. The government's land reform program has negatively affected the commercial farming sector. This sector is the traditional source of exports and foreign exchange and the provider of 400,000 jobs. Zimbabwe has become an importer of food products.

Major industries:

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

Agricultural products:

  • corn
  • cotton
  • tobacco
  • wheat
  • coffee
  • sugarcane
  • peanuts
  • sheep
  • goats
  • pigs

Oil production: 0 bbl/day (2003)

Railways: 3,077 km

Road map: 97,440 km (paved: 18,514 km, unpaved: 78,926 km)

Currency: Zimbabwean dollar


Telephone lines in use: 317,000 (2004)

Cellular lines in use: 423,600 (2004)

Television Stations: 16 (1997)

Radio Stations: AM 7, FM 20 (plus 17 repeater stations), shortwave 1 (1998)

Internet users: 820,000 (2005)

Health Issues

HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate: 24.6% (2001 est.)

People living with HIV/AIDS: 1.8 million (2001 est.)

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