ZIMBABWE



Robert Mugabe
Executive President

Zimbabwe

(pronounced "moo-GAH-bay")

"Shut your dirty mouths. You are not our judges, you are not our keepers."

The Republic of Zimbabwe is a landlocked nation in south-central Africa bordered by South Africa to its south, Botswana to the west, Zambia to the south, and Mozambique to its north and east. Most of its 390,580 sq km (150,803 sq mi) occupies fertile plateaus and mountainous regions between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers. Zimbabwe's population is 12.3 million (2002 estimate) with more than 30 people per sq km (75 per sq mi).

Zimbabwe's population is composed of two broad multi-tribal groupings, the Shona (about 77%) primarily located in the north, and the Ndebele (about 18%) who are concentrated in the southern area of Matabeleland. Less than one percent of the population is of European descent, with even fewer Asians and people of mixed race. The major religions in Zimbabwe are traditional animism (often in combination with Christianity), 50%; Christianity (Anglican), 24%; and Islam, 24%. Zimbabwe's official language is English but Shona and Sindebele are widely spoken.

The Zimbabwean economy is fueled by an abundant natural resource base. Zimbabwe's primary industrial products are processed metals, clothing, and chemicals. Primary agricultural products include tobacco, sugar, cotton, and maize. Mining, especially that of gold, nickel, chrome, and copper, is a major contributor to foreign exchange earnings. South Africa is Zimbabwe's major trading partner. Since the 1990s, however, a series of droughts combined with Mugabe's disastrous land redistribution and economic policies have crippled the economy. While over 60% of the people are engaged in subsistence agriculture and 16% in industry and services, an estimated 45% of the population is unemployed. In the space of a few years, per capita GDP has fallen to US $2,450. The national currency is the Zimbabwean dollar. In addition to its political and economic woes, Zimbabwe has been hard hit by HIV/AIDS with prevalence rates for 15-49 year-olds surpassing 30%.

ADDRESS

Office of the President
Private Bag 7708, Causeway
Harare
Zimbabwe

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA