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  The World Factbook.  2008.
 
Zimbabwe
 
Flag of Zimbabwe                                Map of Zimbabwe
 
Background: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. 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. President Mugabe in June 2007 instituted price controls on all basic commodities causing panic buying and leaving store shelves empty for months. In October 2007, Constitutional Amendment 18 came into effect allowing for harmonized presidential and parliamentary elections, shortening the length of the presidential term to five years, and moving up the date for parliamentary elections. General elections are expected in March 2008.
  
Geography
  
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
land: 386,670 sq km
water: 3,910 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: 8.24%
permanent crops: 0.33%
other: 91.43% (2005)
Irrigated land:1,740 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:20 cu km (1987)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):total: 4.21 cu km/yr (14%/7%/79%)
per capita: 324 cu m/yr (2002)
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 pollution
Environment—international agreements: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: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
  
Population:12,311,143
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 2007 est.)
Age structure:0-14 years: 37.2% (male 2,308,731/female 2,266,027)
15-64 years: 59.3% (male 3,663,108/female 3,641,519)
65 years and over: 3.5% (male 198,867/female 232,891) (2007 est.)
Median age:total: 20.1 years
male: 19.9 years
female: 20.2 years (2007 est.)
Population growth rate:0.595% (2007 est.)
Birth rate:27.72 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Death rate:21.76 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
Net migration rate: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 (2007 est.)
Sex ratio:at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.019 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.006 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.854 male(s)/female
total population: 1.005 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
Infant mortality rate:total: 51.12 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 53.87 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.29 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:total population: 39.5 years
male: 40.62 years
female: 38.35 years (2007 est.)
Total fertility rate:3.08 children born/woman (2007 est.)
HIV/AIDS—adult prevalence rate:24.6% (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS—people living with HIV/AIDS:1.8 million (2001 est.)
HIV/AIDS—deaths:170,000 (2003 est.)
Major infectious diseases:degree of risk: high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne disease: malaria
water contact disease: schistosomiasis
animal contact disease: rabies (2008)
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: 90.7%
male: 94.2%
female: 87.2% (2003 est.)
  
Government
  
Country name:conventional long form: Republic of Zimbabwe
conventional short form: Zimbabwe
former: Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia
Government type:parliamentary democracy
Capital:name: Harare
geographic coordinates: 17 50 S, 31 03 E
time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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); 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)
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 five-year term (no term limits); election last held 9-11 March 2002 (next to be held 28 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:bicameral Parliament consists of a Senate (93 seats - 60 elected by popular vote for a five-year term, 10 provincial governors nominated by the president, 16 provincial chiefs appointed by the president and deputy president from all provinces except Harare and Bulawayo, and 7 appointed by the president) and a House of Assembly (210 seats - all elected by popular vote for five-year terms)
elections: Senate last held 26 November 2005 (next to be held 28 March 2008; House of Assembly last held 31 March 2005 (next to be held 28 March 2008)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - ZANU-PF 73.7%, MDC 20.3%, other 4.4%, independents 1.6%; seats by party - ZANU-PF 43, MDC 7; 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
Judicial branch:Supreme Court; High Court
Political parties and leaders:African National Party or ANP [Egypt DZINEMUNHENZVA]; Movement for Democratic Change or MDC [Morgan TSVANGIRAI, anti-Senate faction; Arthur MUTAMBARA, pro-Senate faction]; Peace Action is Freedom for All or PAFA; United Parties [Abel MUZOREWA]; United People's Party or UPP [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]; Zimbabwe Youth in Alliance or ZIYA
Political pressure groups and leaders:Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition [Xolani ZITHA]; National Constitutional Assembly or NCA [Lovemore MADHUKU]; Women of Zimbabwe Arise or WOZA [Jenny WILLIAMS]; Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions or ZCTU [Wellington CHIBEBE]
International organization participation:ACP, AfDB, AU, COMESA, FAO, G-15, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US: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:chief of mission: Ambassador James D. MCGEE
embassy: 172 Herbert Chitepo Avenue, Harare
mailing address: P. O. Box 3340, Harare
telephone: [263] (4) 250-593 and 250-594
FAX: [263] (4) 796-488
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 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
  
Economy—overview:The government of Zimbabwe faces a wide variety of difficult economic problems as it struggles with an unsustainable fiscal deficit, an overvalued official exchange rate, hyperinflation, and bare store shelves. Its 1998-2002 involvement in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo drained hundreds of millions of dollars from the economy. 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. Badly needed support from the IMF has been suspended because of the government's arrears on past loans and the government's unwillingness to enact reforms that would stabilize the economy. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe routinely prints money to fund the budget deficit, causing the official annual inflation rate to rise from 32% in 1998, to 133% in 2004, 585% in 2005, passed 1000% in 2006, and 26000% in November 2007. Private sector estimates of inflation in 2007 are well above 100,000%. Meanwhile, the official exchange rate fell from approximately 1 (revalued) Zimbabwean dollar per US dollar in 2003 to 30,000 per US dollar in 2007.
GDP (purchasing power parity):$6.186 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):$16.17 billion (2007 est.)
GDP—real growth rate:-6% (2007 est.)
GDP—per capita (PPP):$500 (2007 est.)
GDP—composition by sector:agriculture: 16.7%
industry: 21.6%
services: 61.6% (2007 est.)
Labor force:3.998 million (2007 est.)
Labor force—by occupation:agriculture: 66%
industry: 10%
services: 24% (1996)
Unemployment rate:80% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:68% (2004)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 40.4% (1995)
Distribution of family income—Gini index:50.1 (2006)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):26,470% official data; private sector estimates are much higher (2007)
Investment (gross fixed):18.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:revenues: $1.105 billion
expenditures: $1.366 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:189.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture—products:corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, coffee, sugarcane, peanuts; sheep, goats, pigs
Industries:mining (coal, gold, platinum, copper, nickel, tin, clay, numerous metallic and nonmetallic ores), steel; wood products, cement, chemicals, fertilizer, clothing and footwear, foodstuffs, beverages
Industrial production growth rate:0.5% (2007 est.)
Electricity—production:9.95 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity—consumption:12.27 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity—exports:0 kWh (2005)
Electricity—imports:3.013 billion kWh (2005)
Oil—production:0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—consumption:16,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil—exports:0 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil—imports:13,370 bbl/day (2004 est.)
Oil—proved reserves:0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)
Natural gas—production:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—consumption:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—exports:0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas—imports:0 cu m (2005)
Natural gas—proved reserves:0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)
Current account balance:$-538 million (2005 est.)
Exports:$1.76 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports—commodities:platinum, cotton, tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, textiles/clothing
Exports—partners:South Africa 24.8%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 17.6%, Botswana 15.7%, US 10.4% (2006)
Imports:$2.183 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports—commodities:machinery and transport equipment, other manufactures, chemicals, fuels
Imports—partners:South Africa 40.8%, Zambia 29.6%, US 4.9% (2006)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:$120 million (31 December 2007 est.)
Debt—external:$4.876 billion (31 December 2007 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment—at home:$NA
Stock of direct foreign investment—abroad:$NA
Market value of publicly traded shares:$26.56 billion (2006)
Economic aid—recipient:$367.7 million; note - the EU and the US provide food aid on humanitarian grounds (2005 est.)
Currency (code):Zimbabwean dollar (ZWD)
Exchange rates:Zimbabwean dollars per US dollar - 30,000 (2007), 162.07 (2006), 77.965 (2005), 5.729 (2004), 0.824 (2003)
note: these are official exchange rates; non-official rates vary significantly
Fiscal year:calendar year
  
Communications
  
Telephones—main lines in use:331,700 (2006)
Telephones—mobile cellular:832,500 (2006)
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: country code - 263; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat; 2 international digital gateway exchanges (in Harare and Gweru)
Radio broadcast stations:AM 7, FM 20 (plus 17 repeater stations), shortwave 1 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:16 (1997)
Internet country code:.zw
Internet hosts:15,507 (2007)
Internet users:1.22 million (2006)
  
Transportation
  
Airports:341 (2007)
Airports—with paved runways:total: 19
over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 10 (2007)
Airports—with unpaved runways:total: 322
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 152
under 914 m: 166 (2007)
Pipelines:refined products 270 km (2007)
Railways:total: 3,077 km
narrow gauge: 3,077 km 1.067-m gauge (313 km electrified) (2006)
Roadways:total: 97,440 km
paved: 18,514 km
unpaved: 78,926 km (2002)
Waterways:on Lake Kariba (2005)
Ports and terminals:Binga, Kariba
  
Military
  
Military branches:Zimbabwe Defense Forces (ZDF): Zimbabwe National Army, Air Force of Zimbabwe (AFZ), Zimbabwe Republic Police (2005)
Military service age and obligation:18-24 years of age for compulsory military service; women are eligible to serve (2007)
Manpower available for military service:males age 18-49: 2,778,404
females age 18-49: 2,681,531 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:males age 18-49: 1,304,424
females age 18-49: 1,115,096 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures—percent of GDP:3.8% (2006)
  
Transnational Issues
  
Disputes—international:Botswana 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:refugees (country of origin): 6,536 (Democratic Republic of Congo)
IDPs: 569,685 (MUGABE-led political violence, human rights violations, land reform, and economic collapse) (2006)
Illicit drugs:transit point for cannabis and South Asian heroin, mandrax, and methamphetamines en route to South Africa

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