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Zimbabwe

 
Flag of Zimbabwe
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Coordinates:
20.00 S  30.00 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Zimbabwe

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Zimbabwe Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
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. Opposition and labor strikes in 2003 were unsuccessful in pressuring MUGABE to retire early; security forces continued their brutal repression of regime opponents. 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, according to UN estimates.
   Geography    Zimbabwe Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Southern Africa, between South Africa and Zambia
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
20 00 S, 30 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Africa
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 390,580 sq km
land: 386,670 sq km
water: 3,910 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly larger than Montana
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 3,066 km
border countries: Botswana 813 km, Mozambique 1,231 km, South Africa 225 km, Zambia 797 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
none (landlocked)
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; moderated by altitude; rainy season (November to March)
Terrain:
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mostly high plateau with higher central plateau (high veld); mountains in east
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: junction of the Runde and Save rivers 162 m
highest point: Inyangani 2,592 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 8.24%
permanent crops: 0.33%
other: 91.43% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
1,740 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
recurring droughts; floods and severe storms are rare
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing
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 Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12,236,805
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 and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 37.4% (male 2,307,170/female 2,265,298)
15-64 years: 59.1% (male 3,616,528/female 3,621,190)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 199,468/female 227,151) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 19.9 years
male: 19.7 years
female: 20 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.62% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
28.01 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
21.84 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: there is an increasing flow of Zimbabweans into South Africa and Botswana in search of better economic opportunities (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 51.71 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 54.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.83 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 39.29 years
male: 40.39 years
female: 38.16 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.13 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
24.6% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.8 million (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
170,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:
Definition Field Listing
degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis (2005)
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Zimbabwean(s)
adjective: Zimbabwean
Ethnic groups:
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African 98% (Shona 82%, Ndebele 14%, other 2%), mixed and Asian 1%, white less than 1%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
syncretic (part Christian, part indigenous beliefs) 50%, Christian 25%, indigenous beliefs 24%, Muslim and other 1%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
English (official), Shona, Sindebele (the language of the Ndebele, sometimes called Ndebele), numerous but minor tribal dialects
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write English
total population: 90.7%
male: 94.2%
female: 87.2% (2003 est.)
   Government    Zimbabwe Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Republic of Zimbabwe
conventional short form: Zimbabwe
former: Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
parliamentary democracy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Harare
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
8 provinces and 2 cities* with provincial status; Bulawayo*, Harare*, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, Midlands
Independence:
Definition Field Listing
18 April 1980 (from UK)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Independence Day, 18 April (1980)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
21 December 1979
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
mixture of Roman-Dutch and English common law
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: Executive President Robert Gabriel MUGABE (since 31 December 1987); Vice President Joseph MSIKA (since December 1999) and Vice President Joyce MUJURU (since 6 December 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government: Executive President Robert Gabriel MUGABE (since 31 December 1987); Vice President Joseph MSIKA (since December 1999) and Vice President Joyce MUJURU (since 6 December 2004); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president; responsible to the House of Assembly
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 six-year term (no term limits); election last held 9-11 March 2002 (next to be held March 2008); co-vice presidents appointed by the president
election results: Robert Gabriel MUGABE reelected president; percent of vote - Robert Gabriel MUGABE 56.2%, Morgan TSVANGIRAI 41.9%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Parliament consists of a House of Assembly (150 seats - 120 elected by popular vote for five-year terms, 12 nominated by the president, 10 occupied by traditional chiefs chosen by their peers, and eight occupied by provincial governors appointed by the president) and a Senate (66 seats - 50 elected by popular vote for a five-year term, six nominated by the president, 10 nominated by the Council of Chiefs)
elections: House of Assembly last held 31 March 2005 (next to be held in 2010), Senate last held 26 November 2005 (next to be held in 2010)
election results: House of Assembly - percent of vote by party - ZANU-PF 59.6%, MDC 39.5%, other 0.9%; seats by party - ZANU-PF 78, MDC 41, Independents 1; Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ZANU-PF 43, MDC 7
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Supreme Court; High Court
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Movement for Democratic Change or MDC [Morgan TSVANGIRAI]; United Parties [Abel MUZOREWA]; United People's Party [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]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition [Wellington CHIBEBE]; National Constitutional Assembly or NCA [Lovemore MADHUKU]; Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions or ZCTU [Lovemore MATOMBO]
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
ACP, AfDB, AU, COMESA, FAO, G-15, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIS, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Dr. Machivenyika T. 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:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Christopher W. DELL
embassy: 172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue, Harare
mailing address: P. O. Box 3340, Harare
telephone: [263] (4) 250-593 and 250-594
FAX: [263] (4) 796488
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
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 symbolizes agriculture, yellow - mineral wealth, red - blood shed to achieve independence, and black stands for the native people
   Economy    Zimbabwe Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
The government of Zimbabwe faces a wide variety of difficult economic problems as it struggles with an unsustainable fiscal deficit, an overvalued exchange rate, soaring inflation, and bare shelves. Its 1998-2002 involvement in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, drained hundreds of millions of dollars from the economy. Badly needed support from the IMF has been suspended because of the government's arrears on past loans, which it began repaying in 2005. The official annual inflation rate rose from 32% in 1998, to 133% at the end of 2004, and 585% at the end of 2005, although private sector estimates put the figure much higher. Meanwhile, the official exchange rate fell from 24 Zimbabwean dollars per US dollar in 1998 to 96,000 in mid-January 2006. 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.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$28.37 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$3.207 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-7% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2,300 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 17.9%
industry: 24.3%
services: 57.9% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.94 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 66%
industry: 10%
services: 24% (1996)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
80% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
80% (2004 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 1.97%
highest 10%: 40.42% (1995)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
56.8 (2003)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
266.8% official data; private sector estimates are much higher (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.9% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $1.409 billion
expenditures: $1.905 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
109.8% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, coffee, sugarcane, peanuts; sheep, goats, pigs
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
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:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.6% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.877 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
11.22 billion kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
3.3 billion kWh (2003)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
22,500 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
23,000 bbl/day
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2003 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
-$519 million (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$1.644 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
cotton, tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, textiles/clothing
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
South Africa 30.8%, China 6.7%, Switzerland 6.5%, Japan 5.2%, UK 4.5%, US 4.1%, Netherlands 4% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$2.059 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and transport equipment, other manufactures, chemicals, fuels
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
South Africa 43.6%, China 4.4%, Botswana 3.3% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$160 million (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$5.216 billion (2005 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
Definition Field Listing
$178 million; note - the EU and the US provide food aid on humanitarian grounds (2000 est.)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
Zimbabwean dollar (ZWD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
Zimbabwean dollars per US dollar - 4,303.28 (2005), 5,068.66 (2004), 697.424 (2003), 55.036 (2002), 55.052 (2001)
note: these are official exchange rates; non-official rates vary significantly
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Zimbabwe Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
317,000 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
423,600 (2004)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: system was once one of the best in Africa, but now suffers from poor maintenance; more than 100,000 outstanding requests for connection despite an equally large number of installed but unused main lines
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; two international digital gateway exchanges (in Harare and Gweru)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 7, FM 20 (plus 17 repeater stations), shortwave 1 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
16 (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.zw
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6,582 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
820,000 (2005)
   Transportation    Zimbabwe Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
404 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 17
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 8 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 387
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 186
under 914 m: 196 (2005)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
refined products 261 km (2004)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 3,077 km
narrow gauge: 3,077 km 1.067-m gauge (313 km electrified) (2004)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 97,440 km
paved: 18,514 km
unpaved: 78,926 km (2002)
Waterways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
on Lake Kariba, length small (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Binga, Kariba
   Military    Zimbabwe Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF): Zimbabwe National Army, Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ), Zimbabwe Republic Police (2005)
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (est.) (2004)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 2,778,404
females age 18-49: 2,681,531 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 1,304,424
females age 18-49: 1,115,096 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$124.7 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Zimbabwe Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Botswana has 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:
Definition Field Listing
IDPs: 400,000-450,000 (MUGABE-led political violence, human rights violations, land reform, and economic collapse) (2005)
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
transit point for African cannabis and South Asian heroin, mandrax, and methamphetamines destined for the South African and European markets

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook