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Introduction Zimbabwe
Background: The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia
from the 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

Geography Zimbabwe
Location: Southern Africa, between South
Africa and Zambia
Geographic coordinates: 20 00 S, 30 00 E
Map references: Africa
Area: total: 390,580 sq km
water: 3,910 sq km
land: 386,670 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
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims: none (landlocked)
Climate: tropical; moderated by altitude;
rainy season (November to March)
Terrain: 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: 8.4%
permanent crops: 0.34%
other: 91.26% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 1,170 sq km (1998 est.)
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
Environment - international party to: Biodiversity, Climate
agreements: Change, Desertification, Endangered
Species, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer
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
Population: 11,376,676
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 2002 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 37.9% (male 2,178,073;
female 2,128,287)
15-64 years: 58.4% (male 3,376,850;
female 3,268,315)
65 years and over: 3.7% (male
213,286; female 211,865) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.05% (2002 est.)
Birth rate: 24.59 births/1,000 population (2002
Death rate: 24.06 deaths/1,000 population (2002
Net migration rate: NEGL migrant(s)/1,000 population
note: there is a small but steady
flow of Zimbabweans into South
Africa in search of better paid
employment (2002 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/
total population: 1.03 male(s)/
female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate: 62.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2002
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 36.5 years
female: 35.1 years (2002 est.)
male: 37.87 years
Total fertility rate: 3.21 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 25.06% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/ 1.5 million (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths: 160,000 (1999 est.)
Nationality: noun: Zimbabwean(s)
adjective: Zimbabwean
Ethnic groups: African 98% (Shona 82%, Ndebele 14%,
other 2%), mixed and Asian 1%, white
less than 1%
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
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read
and write English
total population: 85%
male: 90%
female: 80% (1995 est.)

Government Zimbabwe
Country name: conventional long form: Republic of
conventional short form: Zimbabwe
former: Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: Harare
Administrative divisions: 8 provinces and 2 cities* with
provincial status; Bulawayo*,
Harare*, Manicaland, Mashonaland
Central, Mashonaland East,
Mashonaland West, Masvingo,
Matabeleland North, Matabeleland
South, Midlands
Independence: 18 April 1980 (from UK)
National holiday: Independence Day, 18 April (1980)
Constitution: 21 December 1979
Legal system: mixture of Roman-Dutch and English
common law
Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal
Executive branch: chief of state: Executive President
Robert Gabriel MUGABE (since 31
December 1987); Co-Vice Presidents
Simon Vengai MUZENDA (since 31
December 1987) and Joseph MSIKA
(since 23 December 1999); 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); Co-Vice
Presidents Simon Vengai MUZENDA
(since 31 December 1987) and Joseph
MSIKA (since 23 December 1999); 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; election last held 9-11 March
2002 (next to be held NA March
2006); 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: unicameral parliament, called 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 8
occupied by provincial governors
appointed by the president)
elections: last held 24-25 June 2000
(next to be held NA 2005)
election results: percent of vote by
party - ZANU-PF 47.2%, MDC 45.6%,
ZANU-Ndonga 0.7%, United Parties
0.7%; seats by party - ZANU-PF 63,
MDC 56, ZANU-Ndonga 1
Judicial branch: Supreme Court; High Court
Political parties and leaders: Movement for Democratic Change or
MDC [Morgan TSVANGIRAI]; United
Parties [Abel MUZOREWA]; Zimbabwe
African National Union-Ndonga or
ZANU-Ndonga [leader NA]; Zimbabwe
African National Union-Patriotic
Front or ZANU-PF [Robert Gabriel
MUGABE]; Zimbabwe African Peoples
Union or ZAPU [Paul SIWELA]
Political pressure groups and National Constitutional Assembly or
leaders: NCA [Lovemore MADHUKU]
International organization ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-15,
participation: G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM,
Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO,
Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Simbi
FAX: [1] (202) 483-9326
telephone: [1] (202) 332-7100
chancery: 1608 New Hampshire Avenue
NW, Washington, DC 20009
Diplomatic representation from the chief of mission: Ambassador Joseph
embassy: 172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue,
mailing address: P. O. Box 3340,
telephone: [263] (4) 250-593 and
FAX: [263] (4) 796488
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 is superimposed
on a red five-pointed star in the
center of the triangle

Economy Zimbabwe
Economy - overview: The government of Zimbabwe faces a
wide variety of difficult economic
problems as it struggles to
consolidate earlier moves to develop
a market-oriented economy. Its
involvement in the war in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo,
for example, has already drained
hundreds of millions of dollars from
the economy. Badly needed support
from the IMF has been suspended
because of the country's failure to
meet budgetary goals. Inflation rose
from an annual rate of 32% in 1998
to 59% in 1999, to 60% in 2000, and
to 100% by yearend 2001. The economy
is being steadily weakened by
excessive government deficits, AIDS,
and rampant inflation. The
government's land reform program,
characterized by chaos and violence,
has derailed the commercial sector,
the traditional source of exports
and foreign exchange and the
provider of 400,000 jobs.
Distribution of income is extremely
GDP: purchasing power parity - $28
billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate: -6.5% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,450
(2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 11%
industry: 14%
services: 75% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line: 60% (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by lowest 10%: 1.8%
percentage share: highest 10%: 46.9% (1990)
Distribution of family income - Gini 56.8 (1990-91)
Inflation rate (consumer prices): 100% (2001)
Labor force: 5.5 million (2000 est.)
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 66%, services 24%,
industry 10% (1996 est.)
Unemployment rate: 60% (2001 est.)
Budget: revenues: $2.5 billion
expenditures: $2.6 billion,
including capital expenditures of
$NA (2000 est.)
Industries: mining (coal, gold, copper, nickel,
tin, clay, numerous metallic and
nonmetallic ores), steel, wood
products, cement, chemicals,
fertilizer, clothing and footwear,
foodstuffs, beverages
Industrial production growth rate: -10% (2001 est.)
Electricity - production: 6.425 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 53.31%
hydro: 46.69%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption: 10.475 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports: 0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports: 4.5 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products: corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat,
coffee, sugarcane, peanuts; cattle,
sheep, goats, pigs
Exports: $2.1 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Exports - commodities: tobacco 30%, gold 11%, ferroalloys
9%, textile/clothing 3% (2000)
Exports - partners: South Africa 12.1%, UK 8.5%, Japan
7.7%, Germany 6.1%, China 5.4%
Imports: $1.5 billion (f.o.b., 2001 est.)
Imports - commodities: machinery and transport equipment
34%, other manufactures 18%,
chemicals 17%, fuels 11% (1999)
Imports - partners: South Africa 46.3%, UK 7.2%, Germany
2.5%, US 2.8%, Japan 2.5% (2000
Debt - external: $5 billion (2001 est.)
Economic aid - recipient: $200 million (2000 est.)
Currency: Zimbabwean dollar (ZWD)
Currency code: ZWD
Exchange rates: Zimbabwean dollars per US dollar -
54.9451 (December 2001), 54.9451
(2001), 43.2900 (2000), 38.3142
(1999), 21.4133 (1998), 11.8906
Fiscal year: 1 January - 31 December

Communications Zimbabwe
Telephones - main lines in use: 212,000 (in addition, there are
about 20,000 fixed telephones in
wireless local loop connections)
Telephones - mobile cellular: 111,000 (2001)
Telephone system: 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: satellite earth
stations - 2 Intelsat; two
international digital gateway
exchanges (in Harare and Gweru)
Radio broadcast stations: AM 7, FM 20 (plus 17 repeater
stations), shortwave 1 (1998)
Radios: 1.14 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations: 16 (1997)
Televisions: 370,000 (1997)
Internet country code: .zw
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 6 (2000)
Internet users: 30,000 (1999)

Transportation Zimbabwe
Railways: total: 3,077 km
narrow gauge: 3,077 km 1.067-m gauge
(313 km electrified; 42 km double-
note: includes the 318 km Bulawaya-
Beitbridge Railway Company line
Highways: total: 18,338 km
paved: 8,692 km
unpaved: 9,646 km (2002)
Waterways: chrome ore is transported from
Harare - by way of the Mazoe River -
to the Zambezi River in Mozambique
Pipelines: petroleum products 212 km
Ports and harbors: Binga, Kariba
Airports: 454 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways: 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 (2001)
Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 437
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 209
under 914 m: 224 (2001)

Military Zimbabwe
Military branches: Zimbabwe National Army, Air Force of
Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Republic Police
(includes Police Support Unit,
Paramilitary Police)
Military manpower - availability: males age 15-49: 3,057,381 (2002
Military manpower - fit for military males age 15-49: 1,898,383 (2002
service: est.)
Military expenditures - dollar $350.6 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of 3.8% (FY01)

Transnational Issues Zimbabwe
Disputes - international: none
Illicit drugs: transit point for African cannabis
and South Asian heroin, mandrax, and
methamphetamines destined for the
South African and European markets
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