Zimbabwe (GPS: 20 00 S, 30 00 E) is located in Southern Africa, between South Africa and Zambia. The country’s area measurements are total: 390,757 sq km; land: 386,847 sq km, water: 3,910 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly larger than Montana. The total irrigated land is 1,740 sq km (2012).
One of the essential features of Zimbabwe: Landlocked (enclosed or nearly enclosed by land). The Zambezi forms a natural riverine boundary with Zambia. In full flood (February-April), the massive Victoria Falls on the river includes 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).
It’s significant, and simultaneously, the principal city, Harare’s GPS coordinates are 17 49 S 31 02 E. Harare’s local time is 7 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+2.
The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the former British South Africa Company in 1923. A 1961 constitution formulated that favored whites in power. In 1965 the government unilaterally declared its independence. Still, the UK did not recognize the act and demanded more complete voting rights for the black African majority (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, was the country’s only ruler (as president since 1987) from independence until his resignation in November 2017. His chaotic land redistribution campaign began in 1997 and intensified after 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 2005, the capital city of Harare embarked on Operation Restore Order, ostensibly an urban rationalization program, which destroyed the homes or businesses of 700,000 mostly poor supporters of the opposition. MUGABE in 2007 instituted price controls on all essential 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. Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai opposition leader Morgan TSVANGIRAI won the most votes in the presidential poll, but not enough to win outright. In the lead up to a run-off election in June 2008, considerable violence 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 of national unity,” in which MUGABE remained president and TSVANGIRAI became prime minister, were finally settled in February 2009. However, the leaders failed to agree upon many key outstanding governmental issues. MUGABE was reelected president in 2013 in balloting that was severely flawed and internationally condemned. As a prerequisite to holding the election, Zimbabwe enacted a new constitution by referendum, although many new constitution provisions have yet to be codified in law. In November 2017, Vice President Emmerson MNANGAGWA took over following a military intervention that forced MUGABE to resign. MNANGAGWA was inaugurated president days later, promising to hold presidential elections in 2018. In July 2018, MNANGAGWA won the presidential election after a close contest with Movement for Democratic Change Alliance candidate Nelson CHAMISA.
Zimbabwe’s names conventional long form: the Republic of Zimbabwe, traditional short form: Zimbabwe, former: Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia, etymology: takes its name from the Kingdom of Zimbabwe (13th-15th century), and it’s capital of Great Zimbabwe, the most massive stone structure in pre-colonial southern Africa. Takes its name from the Kingdom of Zimbabwe (13th-15th century) and it’s capital of Great Zimbabwe, the most massive stone structure in pre-colonial southern Africa.
Zimbabwe’s terrain is typically mostly high plateau with higher central plateau (high veld); mountains in the east. The country’s mean elevation: 961 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: junction of the Runde and Save Rivers 162 m, highest point: Inyangani 2,592 m.
The country’s general climate is tropical: moderated by altitude: rainy season (November to March).
The total number of border countries is 4, Botswana 834 km, Mozambique 1,402 km, South Africa 230 km, Zambia 763 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Zimbabwe’s coastline is 0 km (landlocked country), while its marital claims are: none. Waterways: (some navigation possible on Lake Kariba) (2011). Land use: agricultural land: 42.5%; arable land 10.9%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 31.3%; forest: 39.5%; other: 18% (2011 estimate).
The population in Zimbabwe 14,030,368 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 32.4% of total population (2015), central metropolitan area’s population: HARARE (capital) 1.501 million (2015), while Zimbabwe has N/A. Their spoken languages are Shona (official language; most widely spoken), Ndebele (official language, second most commonly spoken), English (official language; traditionally used for official language business), 13 minority languages (official language; includes Chewa, Chibarwe, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Shangani, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa).
Main religions in Zimbabwe are Protestant 75.9% (includes Apostolic 38%, Pentecostal 21.1%, other 16.8%), Roman Catholic 8.4%, other Christian 8.4%, other 1.2% (includes traditional, Muslim), none 6.1% (2011 estimate). The nation uses mixed legal system of English common law, Roman-Dutch civil law, and customary law. It is a(n) semi-presidential republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 18 April (1980).
Economic overview for the country: Zimbabwe’s economy depends heavily on its mining and agriculture sectors. Following a contraction from 1998 to 2008, the economy recorded real growth of more than 10% per year in 2010-2013, before falling below 3% in 2014-2017, due to poor harvests and low diamond revenues, and decreased investment. Lower mineral prices, infrastructure and regulatory deficiencies, a poor investment climate, a broad public, external debt burden, and too high government wage expenses impede the country’s economic performance.
Until early 2009, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) routinely printed money to fund the budget deficit, causing hyperinflation and adopting a multi-currency basket in early 2009 – which allowed currencies such as the Botswana pula, the South Africa rand, and the US dollar to be used locally – reduced inflation below 10% a year. In January 2015, as part of the government’s effort to boost trade and attract foreign investment, the RBZ announced that the Chinese renmimbi, Indian rupee, Australian dollar, and Japanese yen would be accepted as legal tender in Zimbabwe. However, transactions were predominantly carried out in US dollars and South African rand until 2016, when the rand’s devaluation and instability led to near-exclusive use of the US dollar. In November 2016, it began rell currency legal only in Zimbabwe, which started releasing bond notes government claims will have a one-to-one exchange ratio with the US dollar, to ease csh shortages.
Bond notes began trading at a discount of up to 10% in the black market by the end of 2016. Zimbabwe’s government entered a second Staff Monitored Program with the IMF in 2014 and undertook other measures to re-engage with international financial institutions. Zimbabwe repaid roughly $108 million in arrears to the IMF in October 2016. Still, economic observers note that Zimbabwe is unlikely to gain new financing because it has not disclosed how it plans to repay more than $1.7 billion in arrears to the World Bank and African Development Bank. International financial institutions want Zimbabwe to implement significant fiscal and structural reforms before granting new loans. Foreign and domestic investment continues to be hindered by the lack of land tenure and titling, the inability to repatriate dividends to investors overseas, and the lack of clarity regarding the government’s Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act.
Natural resources of Zimbabwe: coal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals.
Main export partners for Zimbabwe, Africa are China 27.8%, the Democratic Republic of the Congo 14%, Botswana 12.5%, South Africa 7.6% (2015) for platinum, cotton, tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, textiles/clothing, while the main import partners for the country are: South Africa 48.1%, China 12.1%, India 5.2%, Zambia 4.6% (2015) for machinery and transport equipment, other manufactures, chemicals, fuels, food products.
When you visit this country in Africa, consider the natural hazards in Zimbabwe: Recurring droughts, floods, and severe storms are rare, while infectious diseases are a degree of risk: 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 (2016). Also, note that Zimbabwe faces the following 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.