|Republic of Zimbabwe (English)
Nyika yeZimbabwe (Chishona)
Ilizwe leZimbabwe (North Ndebele, Xhosa)
Dziko la Zimbabwe (Chichewa, Chibarwe)
Hango yeZimbabwe (Kalanga)
Zimbabwe NU (Tsoa-Khoisan)
Inyika yeZimbabwe (Nambya)
Nyika yeZimbabwe (Ndau)
Tiko ra Zimbabwe (Xitsonga)
Naha ya Zimbabwe (Sesotho)
Cisi ca Zimbabwe (ChiTonga)
Naga ya Zimbabwe (Setswana)
Shango ḽa Zimbabwe (Tshivenda)
|Republic of Zimbabwe|
Motto : " Unity, Freedom, Work "
( English for "unity, freedom, work")
|Official language||Chewa , Chibarwe , English , Kalanga , Khoisan , Nambya , Ndau , Nord-Ndebele , Shangani , Shona , Sign Language , Sotho , Tonga , Tswana , Venda , Xhosa|
|Form of government||republic|
|Government system||Presidential system|
|Head of state , also head of government||
|Population density||42 inhabitants per km²|
|Population development||+ 2.20% (2016 estimate)|
gross domestic product
|Human Development Index||0.516 ( 154th ) (2016)|
|currency||Zimbabwean Dollar (since June 24, 2019)|
|independence||April 18, 1980 (from the UK )|
|National anthem||Kalibusiswe Ilizwe leZimbabwe|
|Time zone||UTC + 2|
|ISO 3166||ZW , ZWE, 716|
|Internet TLD||. or|
Zimbabwe [ zɪmˈbapvə ] ( English Zimbabwe [ zɪmˈbɑːbweɪ ]; translated “stone houses” in the language of the Shona ), the former southern Rhodesia , is a landlocked country in southern Africa . The name Zimbabwe goes back to what is now called Greater Zimbabwe , the largest pre-colonial stone buildings in southern Africa.
Hunger, unemployment, energy shortages and internal displacement are widespread in Zimbabwe. In the Human Development Index of the United Nations Zimbabwe took 2,019 among 189 countries to 150. Place a. In the ranking of the Happy Planet Index of the New Economics Foundation in collaboration with Friends of the Earth , Zimbabwe came last in the world in two consecutive studies in 2006 and 2009.
Zimbabwe lies between latitudes 15 ° and 23 ° south and longitudes 25 ° and 34 ° east and, as a landlocked country, does not have its own access to the sea. It borders with South Africa (225 km), Botswana (831 km), Zambia (797 km, formerly Northern Rhodesia) and Mozambique (1231 km). The Zambezi forms the northern border with Zambia, and the Limpopo the southern border with South Africa. Zimbabwe has an area of 390,757 km², of which 3910 km² is water. The total area of the country corresponds roughly to the area of Germany and Belgium . The highest point at 2592 m, the Inyangani , is located in the eastern highlands north of Mutare in the Nyanga National Park.
Zimbabwe has a subtropical to tropical climate with a humid, sometimes humid and hot summer (up to over 35 ° C) and a winter dry season with pleasant warmth (around 25 ° C). In the higher elevations, which make up most of the country, the summer heat is moderate (25 to 30 ° C) and in winter there are occasional moderate night frosts (down to −5 ° C). The rainy season lasts from November to March, with over 90% of the annual rainfall falling, which averages 1000 mm. In the capital Harare, the average temperature is 20 ° C, otherwise 19 to 22 ° C.
The effects of climate change in Zimbabwe include the 5% decrease in precipitation over the past century (through 2017); In addition, there is more inconsistent rain at different times and in other places, as well as an increase in droughts and heat waves. In a few years, such as 2007/2008, there was unusually high rainfall, which resulted in deaths and threatened crops. In 2015/2016 there was a severe drought .
The South African country Zimbabwe is hydrologically divided into two halves by the Ovambo-Kalahari-Zimbabwe Fault ( OKZ Axis ) running from southwest to northeast as a central watershed ( Central Zimbabwe Watershed ). The catchment area of the Zambezi in the north is the most important with a good 50 percent. The south drains partly into the Limpopo and partly into the Save . In the far east are small areas that drain into the Buzi and Pungwe and a small part of the west, in the Makgadikgadi Pans flows .
Flora and fauna
The country is almost entirely covered by dry savannah, dominated by Miombo and Mopane forests. Baobab and liver sausage trees as well as umbrella acacias are also common . The grass of the savannah is brown and withered in the dry season, but reaches a height of up to two meters at the end of the rainy season; it forms the basis of food for numerous animal species.
The majority of the population is made up of the Shona (approx. 70%). The Ndebele also play an important role (13%), there are also the Chewa (6%) and several smaller ethnic groups with locally limited settlement areas such as the Tonga on the Zambezi and the Tsonga and Venda in southern Zimbabwe.
Since the founding of the British colony of Rhodesia by its namesake Cecil Rhodes in the 19th century, white traders and farmers immigrated from Great Britain and South Africa , who made up just under 5% of the population with a quarter of a million in the middle of the 20th century. But soon after the independence of present-day Zimbabwe, their number declined. Since this population group played an important role in economic life, their emigration contributed to exacerbating the economic problems of the country that was once rich by African standards. Many farmers have emigrated to neighboring countries as well as other Commonwealth countries where they used their farming skills. It is estimated that fewer than 20,000 Europeans live in the country today. In addition, there is also a population group that emerged from connections between Europeans and the indigenous black population and a small minority from the Indian subcontinent .
In 2017, 2.4% of the population was born abroad. Most of the foreigners came from Malawi (110,000), Mozambique (90,000) and Zambia (30,000).
The life expectancy fell from 1987 to 2001 from 60 to 44 years. In no country in the world has it decreased in such a short time. By 2016 it rose again to 61 years.
Sources put the population growth at 2.2%. A woman has an average of 3.97 children. The birth rate is given as 34 and the death rate as 9.9 per 1000 inhabitants. 38.6% of the population are under 15 years old, and the trend is rising. The median age is 20.2 years (Germany: 46.8 years).
Worldwide, Zimbabwe is one of the countries hardest hit by HIV and AIDS . According to official information, around a seventh of the adult population is affected by the disease. However, the rate of people infected with HIV was halved from the mid-1990s to 2017. Almost 80% of all young people infected with HIV are women. A new social fringe group are the so-called AIDS orphans.
90 to 95% of the population are Christians and 62% regularly attend church services. The largest Christian communities are the Anglican , Roman Catholic, and Methodist churches . As in most other former European colonies, remnants of local religions from the time before Christianization are mingling with the Christian faith. In addition, and partly mixed with Christian beliefs, there are traditional African performances as ancestor worship , Besessenheits cults as Mashawe and expectations of salvation.
Less than 1% of the population are Muslim .
By changing the Constitution Zimbabwe 2013 16 equal official languages ( English Official languages ): Chewa , Chibarwe , English , Kalanga , Khoisan , Nambya , Ndau , Northern Ndebele , Shangani , Shona , sign language , Sotho , Tonga , Tswana , Venda , Xhosa .
About 2000 years ago (Iron Age) the Bantu peoples began to migrate to this area. This also includes the ancestors of the Shona, who make up the majority of the population today (80%). During the European Middle Ages, Bantu, ancestors of today's Shona, created a civilization here, the most important testimony to which are the ruins of Great Zimbabwe . An important source of wealth was trade with the East African coast, where Muslim traders had been frequenting since the early 10th century, and which soon established branches. The Zimbabwe culture differed significantly from their Swahili culture. In the middle of the 15th century, the centers of Zimbabwean culture shifted, and the Swahili traders on the coast were increasingly displaced by the Portuguese , who also made a - in vain - attempt to conquer part of the country. In 1837 the Shona states were subjugated by the Ndebele , who migrated north from what is now South Africa in the course of the Mfecane .
From 1893 Cecil Rhodes acquired the Ndebeleland and left the extraction of the mineral resources, the fertile land and the use of the local labor force after bloody wars of conquest to the British immigrants. Named after him, the colony of Rhodesia arose in the interior of southern Africa, which was divided into Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia ) and Southern Rhodesia , now Zimbabwe, in 1911 . This part, favored by its mild climate, became a settlement colony in 1922 . Its white self-government completed Rhodes' work with its land law of 1930; Land ownership and thus the most fertile regions of the country were then reserved for the British colonists. Men and women were allowed to vote in the 1930 elections. However, since active and passive voting rights were tied to educational criteria and financial requirements, namely to paying income tax or property, fewer than 2000 female and male black Africans voted. The agriculture of the African natives was displaced into sterile regions. Self-government determined who was allowed to immigrate from the mother country. European refugees were undesirable, so that a possible increase in the white population after 1945 was not possible.
From August 1, 1953 to December 31, 1963, the area of Southern Rhodesia together with Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now Malawi ) was part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland . It was then that the right to vote in Zimbabwe was extended to black women for the first time. Before 1957, only men and European women could vote. From 1957, married black women were granted restricted women's suffrage and gradually expanded. There was a special list for black women to register for election, in which they were included under certain conditions (education, wealth).
The women were treated in the same way as their husbands; in the case of multiple marriages, however, this privilege only applied to the first woman. Wives had to read and write the English language and be able to prove that they had attended school. To be registered for an election, an individual had to meet one of the following four requirements: an annual income of at least £ 720 or real estate of at least £ 1500; Annual income of £ 3,480 plus £ 1,000 worth of real estate plus a completed primary education that met required standards; religious leadership after the person had undergone a certain training, was able to demonstrate a certain period of office and only if no other profession was exercised; political leaders (chiefs) according to legal requirements. These complex electoral requirements were included in the 1961 constitution, which allowed blacks 15 seats in parliament. Around 50,000 blacks were able to exercise limited political power at that time.
After the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was dissolved, Southern Rhodesia remained a British colony until 1965.
Unilaterally declared independence
While black African majority governments seized power in neighboring Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland , a white minority government under Ian Smith unilaterally declared independence as " Rhodesia " on November 11, 1965 , which was initially within the monarchy , strongly encouraged by the South African government interested in apartheid policy remained under the crown . The British government had opposed the aspirations for independence because of the inadequate political participation opportunities of the black majority population in the crown colony and therefore declared this step illegal. The Central Intelligence Organization , which was founded in 1963 and is still accused of persecuting opposition members, was retained.
In 1969 a constitution was presented. This curtailed the role of the black electorate, especially that of women, because half of the seats reserved for blacks were given by a male electoral body. It was not until 1978 that the general active and passive right to vote was introduced.
In line with developments in the other British colonies, (Southern) Rhodesia was formally a parliamentary democracy, in which, however, the black majority of the population was only granted comparable political participation rights in 1978. The government was headed by a prime minister. After the unilateral declaration of independence on November 11, 1965, the head of state continued to be the British Queen, represented by an Officer Administering the Government of Rhodesia, and a President from the entry into force of the republican constitution on March 2, 1970.
From the internationally recognized independence in 1980 to around 2007
On April 18, 1980, the country was released as Zimbabwe on the basis of the Lancaster House Agreement previously worked out between the various parties in the internationally recognized independence. The Lancaster House Agreement of December 21, 1979 included, among other things, a temporary return under British rule (Governor: Lord Christopher Soames ), a new parliamentary constitution, and several seven to ten-year guarantees for the white minority.
After independence, the country was long considered a model for peaceful post-colonial transformation . However, the social and political situation deteriorated again significantly from 1991 to 2009, and around four to five million Zimbabweans lived in exile.
The parliamentary form of government was initially retained after 1980; President was Canaan Banana , head of government Robert Mugabe . The legislature consisted of the House of Assembly with 100 members elected for five years, of which 20 seats were reserved for the white minority until 1987, and the Senate, which existed until 1989 , whose 40 members were elected by the House of Assembly and a smaller part by the majority the tribal chiefs were nominated and appointed by the president. Here too, until 1987, 20% of the mandates were reserved for the white minority. Over the years, Mugabe began to lead the country increasingly autocratically and dictatorially, also with the help of the Central Intelligence Organization, which was taken over from the previous government . At the turn of the year 1987/1988, constitutional amendments were introduced in Zimbabwe which, according to observers, were aimed in the longer term at the formation of a socialist-oriented one-party state. Zimbabwe was converted into a presidential republic and the position of prime minister was abolished; the incumbent became president with the powers of a head of government.
After taking office in 1980, Mugabe's government supported smallholders and launched several government programs, including in the health and education sectors. The economic output of smallholders increased (3.6% growth per year). Successes were also achieved in the other programs and social indicators improved enormously. So sank z. B. the proportion of children with malnutrition from 22% (1980) to 12% (1990).
Life expectancy increased significantly between 1980 and 1990, and child mortality fell from 86 per thousand to 49. With regard to unemployment, the effect of the high population growth remained problematic, even though the number of employees increased by over 20% from 1980 to 1991. The average annual economic growth from 1980 to 1989 was 4.5% of GDP (under the previous government 1966–1979: 3.8%).
Since 1990 the president has been elected by direct elections for a term of six years. From 1991 the government under Mugabe changed its course with a "structural adjustment program" towards a greater market orientation, also under pressure and with the support of the IMF and the World Bank . The rationale for the policy was to seek more foreign investment by international companies. The government programs were cut significantly with an austerity program . In its 1995 report, the World Bank took a critical stance on the effects itself: "Large parts of the population, including many small farmers and small businesses, found themselves in a vulnerable position with limited opportunities to respond to the new market conditions." The report gave as the reason the lack of access to natural, technical and financial resources and the shrinking public services for the population. The number of employees also fell significantly and the economy stagnated. Only the education system remained at a high level for developing countries.
When Mugabe's draft constitution was rejected by the majority of the population in a referendum in 2000, the politicians of the ZANU-PF saw their power seriously threatened for the first time since independence. The government responded with attacks and repression against numerous organizations, from opposition parties to associations and unions to farm workers.
The land reform , expected by large parts of the population at the end of white rule , was postponed for years and then carried out in a chaotic and violent manner in 2000. In several steps, President Robert Mugabe has expropriated and redistributed around eleven million hectares of land from white farmers since 2000 - officially to around 300,000 smallholders, while the whites were to be compensated for their landed property under the Land Acquisition Act . However, many farms went without compensation to politicians from Mugabe's ruling party ZANU-PF, who have no interest in the economic use of the farmland. The land occupations were organized as an arbitrary action, often without compensation, accompanied by violence. Many white settlers fled or were driven out, cattle and farm machinery were looted. Through this type of “land reform” the former “granary” of Africa was transformed into a country plagued by famine and malnutrition and permanently dependent on food imports. As a result, large parts of the population also suffer from unemployment; the money economy is being affected by galloping inflation. Freight traffic is largely only possible through barter transactions, the general level of supply has fallen to the subsistence level . In 2005, the Senate was reintroduced as the second chamber of the legislature. The members of the opposition parties - especially supporters of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) - and other groups critical of the government were increasingly intimidated and sometimes killed. In this way, the government was able to increase its direct influence on the rest of the rural population and remove the workers from the (political) influence of the opposition, primarily the MDC. As the MDC continued to gain popularity, Robert Mugabe's government established a consistent dictatorship. The judiciary and the media were brought into line, freedom of expression and assembly were dramatically restricted and massive measures were taken against politically dissenters.
In the opinion of the few authorized independent election observers , both the results of the last two parliamentary elections and those of the 2002 presidential election were consequently falsified to a considerable extent. The subsequent destruction of poorer districts (“ Operation Murambatsvina ”) with a high MDC electorate also made waves internationally. The circumstances of the election led to the suspension of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth of Nations that same year . Mugabe's consistent disregard for international criticism led to the isolation of the dictatorial regime, which - exacerbated by popular dissatisfaction - brought the Zimbabwean economy to the brink of collapse.
From the 2008 election to 2017
Mugabe's term ended in 2008; the then 84-year-old ran for a sixth term in the presidential elections on March 29, 2008 with the support of ZANU-PF. On February 5, 2008, the former Finance Minister Simba Makoni declared his candidacy as an independent candidate. He was supported by other former Mugabe party politicians. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC ran as the third candidate in the elections. At the same time as the president, the parliaments were re-elected.
Since polls had long predicted a victory for the opposition , the March election was also in the international focus, but only a few election observers were allowed. The opposition declared itself the winner when the government unduly delayed the counting of votes. First projections from April 2 predicted a victory for the MDC and an absolute majority of its presidential candidate. According to the official election results from Harare , however, neither of the two candidates was able to achieve an absolute majority. Tsvangirai wanted to run against Mugabe in a runoff election at the end of June, but withdrew his candidacy at the end of June 2008 as a result of continued massive repression and acts of violence against MDC members by the Mugabe regime, so that Mugabe was re-elected by a large majority. On September 15, 2008, the two warring politicians Mugabe and Tsvangirai agreed in Harare, through the mediation of South African President Thabo Mbeki, to share power.
In 2008, a ship that was supposed to deliver weapons and ammunition that Zimbabwe had bought in China caused a stir. When it became known that the An Yue Jiang in the port of Durban ( South Africa ) should be deleted, it caused an uproar in public opinion because it was feared that the weapons are used against the population. The dock workers refused to unload the cargo that was to be transported by land to Zimbabwe. The ship finally had to return to China with the cargo on April 25, 2008, although the South African government initially wanted the cargo to pass to Zimbabwe. Other states also refused to have the delivery unloaded and transported through their territory. This outcome of the " An Yue Jiang Affair" was viewed as a success for South African civil society .
From August 2008 a cholera epidemic spread in Zimbabwe , which led to the declaration of a state of emergency on December 4, 2008 . By March 16, 2009, more than 90,000 cases of illness and around 4,030 deaths had been counted.
On February 11, 2009, Tsvangirai was sworn in as Prime Minister. The formation of a government has been delayed after the deputy agriculture minister-designate, Roy Bennett (MDC), was arrested by police on charges of terrorism. On October 6, 2009, Mugabe offered "cooperative relations" to Western governments in Harare Parliament. He made the lifting of the sanctions against Zimbabwe a condition. Under the unity government, the country's poor economic situation initially continued. However, the violence decreased and the economic situation has improved somewhat since 2010. At the beginning of 2011, around three million Zimbabweans lived in South Africa. One of the goals of the joint government was to draw up a draft constitution, which was voted on on March 16, 2013. 95% of the approximately three million eligible voters approved the draft.
The presidential and parliamentary elections on July 31, 2013 were again accompanied by serious allegations of fraud, such as falsified electoral rolls and rejected voters. Again Mugabe and Tsvangirai faced each other as candidates. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised the largely peaceful course of the elections and called for the allegations to be investigated through the "established channels". On the day after the election, before the majority of the votes were counted, Mugabe declared himself the winner. On August 3rd, after counting the votes in the first round of voting, Mugabe was officially declared the winner with approx. 61% of the votes, Tsvangirai lost with approx. 34%. In parliament, the ZANU-PF obtained a two-thirds majority with 197 of the 270 seats, which also allows it to amend the constitution. Tsvangirai announced a legal challenge to the election and a boycott of the government. The election observers of the African Union reported in a preliminary report of “ short-comings ” (German: “irregularities”), but saw progress compared to the 2008 elections. The South African Development Community (SADC) provisionally described the elections as “ free and peaceful” ”(German:“ free and peaceful ”), but not as“ fair ”, which the SADC had declared as its goal in its election observation.
Deposition of Robert Mugabe in 2017 and further development
After Mugabe, over 90 years old, made no move to retire from his position and there were signs that he wanted to build his wife Grace Mugabe as his successor in the presidency, criticism of his administration also came from the ranks of the ZANU PF getting louder. On November 15, 2017, the Zimbabwean military took control of the country. Mugabe resigned on November 21, 2017. On November 24, 2017, Mugabe's party friend Emmerson Mnangagwa was installed as the new president, a close friend of Mugabe's for decades.
Presidential and parliamentary elections were held on July 30, 2018 , from which, according to preliminary results, Mnangagwa and his party ZANU-PF emerged as the winner. The opposition called for protests and questioned the validity of the election.
Zimbabwe has a presidential system of government . The country is ruled by the President (1987-2017 Robert Mugabe; since 2017 Emmerson Mnangagwa , both ZANU-PF). Since a constitutional amendment in 2013, it has been elected for five years, can be re-elected once and has one or two deputies. He was assisted by a prime minister until the constitution was amended in 2013 .
The legislature is formed by a bicameral system . The House of Assembly (roughly: "Assembly House") has 270 members who are elected every five years according to the majority vote . The distribution of seats is as follows: ZANU-PF 197 seats, MDC-T 70 seats, MDC 2 seats, Independent 1 seat (as of January 1, 2015). The Senate has 80 members (60 directly elected by majority vote, 18 chiefs and two representatives for the disabled).
The judiciary is headed by the Chief Justice, the chairman of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe ("Supreme Court of Zimbabwe").
The ten provinces are headed by a provincial governor appointed by the president; the Provincial Administrator is in charge of administration. There are a total of 59 districts, which in turn are divided into wards (for example: "parishes"). The districts are run by a district administrator . They are supported by a Rural District Committee, on which, among other things, a representative of the chiefs has a seat.
The change of power at the top of the state in November 2017 came about through a military coup .
In the 2019 Democracy Index of the British magazine The Economist, Zimbabwe ranks 130th out of 167 countries, making it one of the authoritarian states. In the country report Freedom in the World 2017 by the US non-governmental organization Freedom House , the country's political system is rated as “partially free”. It is not yet foreseeable whether the political system will be fundamentally liberalized after the end of the Mugabe era.
From 2009 to 2013, the ZANU-PF and the MDC ruled together, and since the 2013 election the ZANU-PF has been alone again.
In September 2007, with the support of the UN Development Program, the government launched a consultation process to establish a national human rights commission. However, this move was widely seen as an attempt by those in power to divert attention from the serious human rights crisis in the country. The human rights situation deteriorated drastically in 2008. After the elections in March, the country was rocked by unprecedented human rights violations that were supported or tolerated by the state. The perpetrators were mostly members of the security forces, war veterans or supporters of the African National Union of Zimbabwe.
In 1995 President Mugabe had the booth of gay and lesbian groups cleared at the International Book Fair in the capital Harare. Mugabe is very clear about his hostility towards homosexuals: “Homosexuals are perverse and repulsive. They violate the laws of nature and religion. ”And:“ Are perversions about the basis of the book fair? ”According to a report by the press agency dpa, the President of Zimbabwe declared at the opening of the book fair that homosexuals had no rights in his country are "worse than animals".
In Zimbabwe, a law against “sexual abnormalities” has been in force since 2006, which includes any act “which involves contact between two men and is considered an indecent act by a reasonable person”. Penalties range from a fine to three years in prison.
In 2016, the earliest marriage age for women was brought into line with that for men. It's now 18 for everyone. At that time, Zimbabwe was one of 33 African countries in which the youngest possible age at marriage is 18.
In the 2017 press freedom ranking published by Reporters Without Borders , Zimbabwe was ranked 128th out of 180 countries. According to the NGO report, the press freedom situation in the country is "difficult".
Foreign policy follows the tradition of non-alignment. Zimbabwe tries pragmatically to achieve balanced relations on all sides and is involved - as far as it can because of the general decline of the country - in the multilateral framework ( UN , SADC , AU , COMESA ).
Relations with South Africa are of particular importance to Zimbabwe. Past tensions and some rivalry have never been entirely overcome. In South Africa there is great concern about domestic political developments and the economic decline of Zimbabwe. Stabilizing its northern neighbor is important for South Africa. The number of Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa is estimated at up to three million. In mid-2009, South Africa lifted the visa requirement for citizens of Zimbabwe and offered Zimbabweans illegally staying in South Africa to legalize their residence status by the end of 2010. However, several hundred thousand Zimbabweans are still staying illegally in South Africa, partly because of bureaucratic obstacles.
The relationship with the former colonial power Great Britain and other important western donor countries such as the USA has been heavily strained as a result of Mugabe's destructive policies since 2000. In 2002, the European Union broke off the political dialogue with Zimbabwe on the basis of the Cotonou Agreement and imposed targeted restrictive measures against people and companies that were actively involved in violence against their own people and that block democratic reforms. The vast majority of these restrictive measures have been gradually lifted since 2012. Only against President Mugabe, his wife Grace Mugabe and a state armaments company will such measures (entry bans, freezing of accounts) remain in force. The arms embargo also continues to apply. In the mid-2010s, the ZANU-PF government tried harder to counterbalance the isolation by the West by intensifying partnerships with other states such as the People's Republic of China , Russia and Iran . Mugabe called this "Look East Policy". The hoped-for support remained modest, however.
Zimbabwe is divided into eight provinces and two metropolitan regions with provincial status ( Greater Harare - the province also includes two neighboring cities - and Bulawayo ). The provinces are divided into 59 districts and 1200 parishes. The latter in turn usually consist of several localities. The population figures in the table below refer to the census of August 17, 2012.
|No.||Administrative unit||Area in km²||Total population||Inhabitants per km²|
|All of Zimbabwe||390.757||13,061,239||33|
In 1997, the country was one of the economically strongest in Africa, and in 2015 it is growing at a forecast rate of 1.5%, weaker than all its neighbors. Due to the dictatorial political environment, the conditions for the once prospering economy have deteriorated substantially since the 1990s. From 1998 to 2008 economic output shrank by around half. At the end of 2008, due to hyperinflation, foreign exchange shortages, a lack of investment, import and export restrictions and a shortage of energy, all areas of the economy came to an almost complete standstill. The introduction of a multi-currency system after the collapse of the local currency (inflation rate of 100,000% in 2008), with the US dollar as the key currency , brought only temporary improvement from 2009/2010. Almost all sectors of the manufacturing industry suffered massive sales losses. In addition, the war with the Democratic Republic of the Congo has deprived the economy of foreign currency worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Unemployment was estimated at around 80% in 2005, and 95% in 2009 according to another form of survey.
In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Zimbabwe ranks 126th out of 138 countries (as of 2016). In 2017, the country ranks 175th out of 180 countries in the index for economic freedom .
With the supposed goal of drying out the sprawling black market , the government took drastic measures in May / June 2005, when an estimated 750,000 people were left homeless as part of the operation called Operation Murambatsvina ("Garbage Disposal") and their often only source of income, activities in context of the informal sector . In addition, their homes were destroyed and their entire property was often confiscated. In fact, with these measures, which were also condemned by the United Nations, the Mugabe regime was actually aiming at a targeted weakening of the opposition, which has its voters, especially in the cities. They are not only "punished" for their support for the MDC, but are also forced - if at all possible - to move back to the government-controlled rural areas of the country. People were driven out of the slums of cities where the black market was flourishing, and their homes were subsequently destroyed.
Almost a year later, in May 2006, another similar action was carried out, in which 10,000 street children, street vendors and homeless people were arrested in Harare because, according to a spokesman for the authorities, they were "elements causing disorder" and responsible for the crime in the city. The children should be returned to their parents in the country. In November 2006, 25,000 miners were arrested during Operation Chikorokoza Chapera ("Stop Illegal Mining").
In January 2007, the fees for radio reception were increased 2500 times. Instead of 20 Zimbabwe dollars a year up to then, 50,000 had to be paid. At that time, this corresponded to an average monthly income.
The half-hearted global boycott of white Rhodesia had favored its industrial development. Instead of selling finished products to the country, the globally operating corporations granted generous licenses. Most of the important consumer goods were manufactured in the country itself, some of them products from foreign competitors in the same plant (e.g. Renault , Peugeot and Mitsubishi vehicles ). With the end of the boycott, this domestic production was no longer protected, even before the government went astray politically.
The land reform generally expected when the black government took office was delayed for years and then carried out in a chaotic manner and with outbreaks of violence. Thus the agricultural sector was plunged into a serious crisis. Three million people are now dependent on food aid. A quarter of its population could no longer feed Zimbabwe without international aid programs. In 2015, 44.7% of the population was malnourished, which is one of the highest rates in the world. In agricultural exports, sales fell by $ 12 billion between 2000 and 2009. In particular, the cultivation of tobacco, which is important for export, has declined dramatically.
Since the black takeover of government, tourism has suffered from the fact that some white hoteliers have closed their businesses as a result of a boycott. With the end of apartheid in South Africa, an important group of customers fell sharply: Before that, wealthy South African Indians preferred to vacation in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe.
The domestic gold industry suffers from the dictatorial power structures and corruption. A large part of the gold extracted now ends up illegally abroad. In 2004, 17 tons of gold were officially produced in Zimbabwe. In 2013 it was only 900 kilograms.
The fixed prices that have been in place since mid-2007, combined with the high inflation caused by government financing, led to a shortage of fuel, a lack of basic supplies and a further contraction of the official economy.
The Zimbabwean statistics agency is the Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency . The key economic indicators of gross domestic product, inflation, budget balance and foreign trade have developed as follows in recent years:
|Change in gross domestic product (GDP), real|
|in percent compared to the previous year|
|Change [%] vs. Previous year||−3.1||+1.4||−8.9||−17.0||−5.8||−5.7||−3.5||−3.7||−17.7||+6.0||+9.6||+9.4||+10.6||+4.5||+3.8||+0.5|
|Source: World Bank|
|Development of GDP (nominal)|
|absolute (in billion USD)||per inhabitant (in USD 1,000)|
|GDP in billion USD||14.2||13.8||14.1||GDP per inhabitant
(in USD 1,000)
|Development of the inflation rate 1997 to 2008|
|in% compared to the same month of the previous year (annual mean)|
|Source: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Central Statistics Office|
|Development of the inflation rate in 2008|
|in% compared to the same month of the previous year||in% vs. the previous year point|
|year||Jan. 2008||Feb 2008||March 2008||April 2008||May 2008||June 2008||July 2008||29.8.
|inflation rate||101 thousand||165 thousand||418 thousand||651 thousand||2.23 million||11.3 million||231 million||9.69 billion||471 billion||26.1 Brd.||89.7 Trd.|
|Source: Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
Source: Steve H. Hanke
After the inflation rate rose to almost 90 trillion% by the end of 2008, the US dollar had to be introduced as the main currency.
Since then, inflation has settled in the country and Zimbabwe's economy has been in deflation since 2014 .
|Development of the inflation rate since 2010|
|in% compared to the previous year|
|Source: World Bank|
|Development of the budget balance|
|in% of GDP
("minus" = deficit in the national budget)
|Budget balance||−8.4||~ −5.1||~ −3.4|
|Source: gtai||~ = estimated|
|Main trading partner (2016)|
|Export (in percent) to||Import (in percent) of|
|South Africa||79.4||South Africa||41.3|
|United Arab Emirates||4.1||People's Republic of China||7.0|
|other states||1.5||other states||18.5|
|Main products of foreign trade (2016)|
|Export goods (share in percent)||Imported goods (share in percent)|
|iron and Steel||4.3||Motor vehicles and parts||6.1|
|Development of foreign trade|
|in USD billion and its change compared to the previous year in%|
|Billion USD||% Gg. Previous year||Billion USD||% Gg. Previous year||Billion USD||% Gg. Previous year|
The Zimbabwean dollar (Z $) was introduced after a black majority government came to power in 1980. After hyperinflation , its function as legal tender was suspended for at least one year on April 12, 2009, as it had in fact been displaced by foreign currencies in payment transactions.
Instead, several foreign means of payment were approved in January 2009, including the US dollar and the South African rand, as well as the euro . The renminbi also became official tender in 2015 after China canceled $ 40 million in debt.
On October 1, 2015, the Zimbabwean dollar was officially abolished.
The lack of banknotes made the central bank announce in September 2016 that it would issue promissory notes as a parallel currency. On October 31, 2016, then President Mugabe decreed the introduction of the promissory notes, which were intended to stabilize the economy, but were decoupled from the US dollar and replaced by the RTGS dollar in February 2019 .
On June 24, 2019, the Zimbabwean dollar was reintroduced as the only valid means of payment. Foreign currencies were banned from payment.
The person designated by the Government of Zimbabwe to fiscal motives monetary policy of the Reserve Bank led for a long time to high inflation rates . From the beginning of 2008 to the beginning of 2009, hyperinflation prevailed in Zimbabwe with all its negative side effects, until the currency finally had to be abandoned.
The rate of inflation, which in the 1990s had moved in double-digit percentages, but mostly remained below 30%, reached around 50% in 1999/2000 and began to rise into the three-digit range from the end of 2001. At the end of 2003 / beginning of 2004 a peak was reached with approx. 600%, by the beginning of 2005 the rate dropped back to 125%. Then, however, prices increased again sharply. In 2006 inflation remained at around 1000%, and there was a currency conversion in August at a ratio of 1: 1000. The Zimbabwe dollar kept its name, the international abbreviation changed from ZWD to ZWN. From December 2006 the inflation rate began to move rapidly towards five-digit rates.
When values of 7000% were reached in mid-2007, the government tried to enforce price fixing with police violence , which led to individual shop closings, arrests of shopkeepers and long queues in front of the shops. However, these measures were unsuccessful. In the last quarter of 2007 the inflation rate was in five digits, in January 2008 it reached 100,000%. The IMF feared hyperinflation.
According to the figures of the Reserve Bank, according to the usual criterion of 50% monthly inflation, hyperinflation actually prevailed in December 2007 and from March 2008 onwards. The calculated inflation rate rose from 100,000% in January 2008 to 231 million% in July. The monthly devaluation meant price increases averaging 7.35% and 11.1% per day in June and July. No official figures were published for the following months. The economist and inflation expert Steven H. Hanke determined an increase in the inflation rate to 90 trillion% and a monthly devaluation that corresponded to a daily doubling of prices. After that, no meaningful determination was possible because hardly any goods were traded against this currency. The inflation of the Zimbabwean dollar is the second highest ever, after that of the Hungarian pengő in 1946.
In July, Giesecke and Devrient stopped delivering preprinted sheets of banknotes to the Zimbabwean central bank under pressure from the German government. On August 1, 2008, the Zimbabwean central bank again announced the deletion of ten zeros in the national currency (now ZWR). Instead of the new banknotes and ten-cent coins initially issued with single-digit values, notes with billions of denominations were in circulation again in December 2008. In January 2009 the central bank issued new banknotes with higher denominations of up to 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollars.
On January 29, 2009, the foreign currencies, which, despite the ban, had effectively displaced the Zimbabwean dollar in payment transactions, were officially approved as a means of payment. The thus insignificant Zimbabwean dollar was finally officially suspended on April 12, 2009. On February 2, 2009, a fourth Zimbabwean dollar with notes worth 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 500 dollars (ZWL) was introduced with twelve zeros deleted. Inflation came to a standstill when the Zimbabwe dollar was phased out, but the exchange rate was initially continued due to its nominal validity. On October 1, 2009 the rate was 518 ZWL per euro and on April 12, 2010 it was 512 ZWL per euro.
The state budget in 2017 comprised expenditure of the equivalent of 5.5 billion US dollars , which was offset by income of the equivalent of 3.8 billion US dollars. This corresponds to a budget deficit of 9.6% of the gross domestic product.
The national debt was 82.3% of GDP in 2017.
Share (as a percentage of GDP) of the following areas in government expenditure:
- Airfields: total: 404 (2005), of which paved: 17 (2005), of which longer than 3,048 m (10,000 ft ): three, from 2,438 to 3,048 m (8,000 ft to 10,000 ft): two, from 1,524 to 2,437 m ( 5000 ft to 8000 ft): four, from 914 to 1523 m (3000 ft to 5000 ft): eight, of which unpaved: 387 (2005), from 1524 to 2437 m (5000 ft to 8000 ft): five, from 914 up to 1523 m (3000 ft to 5000 ft): 186, under 914 m (3000 ft): 196. The capital Harare has an international airport .
- Road networks: a total of 97,440 km, of which asphalted: 18,514 km, unpaved: 78,926 km
- Waterways: only on Lake Kariba between the ports of Binga and Kariba
- Railway network: see Rail Transport in Zimbabwe and National Railways of Zimbabwe
- Telephone network: The country's telephone network experienced an ups and downs. At the end of colonial rule it was completely run down. Most of the calls were still hand-switched, so calls between two rural locations rarely get through. Modernized a few years after the black majority took over government, it has now fallen victim to general mismanagement. 100,000 connections are currently waiting to be switched. Fixed line: 317,000 (2004) connections, mobile phones: 423,600 (2004)
- Internet: Two international digital gateways, one in Harare, one in Gweru; Internet hosts: 6582 (2005), computers online: 820,000 (2005)
- Satellite downlinks: 2
All broadcasters are owned and represented by the government. The domestic service of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) broadcasts in the national languages Shona and isiNdebele over a shortwave transmitter in the 49 m band. If the propagation conditions are good, shipments can also be received in Europe and receipt reports are confirmed with a QSL card .
The Stone Age culture of the San , which lasted in neighboring Botswana into the 20th century, existed in Zimbabwe until around 1000 AD and roughly corresponded to the Middle Stone Age in Europe. The legacy of this culture are cave drawings that resemble European finds from the Ice Age that are thousands of years older.
- Great Zimbabwe from the 11th to 14th centuries, center of the Munhumutapa Empire, the largest of the ruins
- Khami ruins from the 15th century, west of Bulawayo
- Dhlodhlo (older name Danangombe), center of the Torwa State in the 17th century
There are also numerous smaller stone ruins.
The monumental stone buildings of the ruined city of Great Zimbabwe , which was inhabited from around 1200 to the 15th century, bear witness to the important culture of the Munhumutapa empire at that time . It became the namesake of today's republic. Giant birds carved in stone were found in the walls, which were up to 10 meters high and built without any mortar. The “Zimbabwe Bird” now adorns the national flag.
Even then, there was a tradition of stone carving , even if the birds were made from the soft soapstone and not from the harder rocks of the Great Dyke , which in the 20th century became one of the favorable prerequisites for the emergence of a new sculptural tradition . The geological folding of the Great Dyke, which extends 555 km from the north to the south of the country, harbors rich deposits of mineral raw materials such as serpentinite ("springstone"), opal , dolomite , marble , steatite , jade , lepidolite and others in a variety of colors. The large, resource-rich area of the Great Dyke and the Greenstone Belt was created around 2.5 billion years ago, through volcanic and tectonic activities at very high temperatures and great pressure. The play of colors in the rocks and minerals comes to light when you grind, wax and polish them.
Another favorable circumstance for the emergence of contemporary sculpture was the building of the National Gallery in Salisbury, today's Harare . The Canadian Frank McEwen was appointed as the first director. He had an unusually great interest in the works of African artists for racist Rhodesia. An agricultural adviser, Joram Mariga, who had found a shimmering soapstone while building a road and had started to carve it with a kitchen knife, MacEwen bought a stone bowl for a large sum, whose extraordinary artistic value he had immediately recognized. On the grounds of the National Gallery, Mariga founded the Vukutu-Nyanga-Workshop for Sculpture, later the Vukutu Art Academy , which became the starting point for a whole generation of sculptors. Eventually, McEwen brought artists to art exhibitions in Paris, London, and New York City.
Tom Blomefield and his Tengenenge farm, northwest of Harare, right on the slopes of the Great Dyke , also played an important role . Blomefield was a tobacco farmer . When the unilateral declaration of independence by Ian Smith and his apartheid government came under international sanctions in 1966 , it became impossible to make a living from growing tobacco. So Blomefield suggested that his workers carve stone sculptures.
Henry Munyaradzi , Bernard Matemera , Nicholas Mukomberanwa , Fanizani Akuda , Enos Gunja , Edward Chiwawa and Sylvester Mubayi were among the first generation of modern sculptors who developed their art during that time . At her first exhibition in 1968 at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare, all of the works have already been sold.
In the second “generation” the sons of Henry Munyaradzi, Mike M. , and Nicholas Mukomberanwas, Lawrence M. , stand out; both are board members of the artists' association Friends Forever , which has been joined by many sculptors such as the internationally successful Colleen Madamombe . The deaf and mute Godfrey Kututwa from Chitungwiza near Harare is one of them; he is a student of Claud Nyanhongo , whose artistic activities have also passed on to several sons and daughters.
The “third generation” of the Zimbabwean sculpting movement is the name given to the younger sons and daughters Nicholas Mukomberanwas, Taguma, Ennika and Netsai in Ruwa as well as the young Kapenda Tembo, Itai Nyama and many others. In total, well over 300 artists work in Tengenenge, Ruwa, Guruve and other places; numerous galleries distribute their works worldwide.
This art can now be found in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City as well as in the Musée Rodin in Paris and in other major museums around the world. At the Biennale in Venice the artists of Zimbabwe received its own pavilion at the Expo 92 in Seville and the Expo 2000 in Hannover also they took part.
Although the term " Shona " refers to a whole group of peoples in and outside of Zimbabwe and artists from other ethnic groups also work as stone sculptors in the country, one often speaks of Shona sculptures in general terms .
Sculpture Prize : A sculpture competition has been held every two years since 2002 to determine the winners of the Kristin Diehl Sculpture Prize. The competition is held in Harare under the patronage of the German Embassy, the Goethe Institute and - formerly - with the help of the German Development Service (DED).
- Victor Mavedzenge is an important contemporary painter and poet .
The most famous contemporary musicians in Zimbabwe include Thomas Mapfumo and Stella Chiweshe as well as Oliver Mtukudzi, who died in 2019 . The Bhundu Boys have also made music from Zimbabwe known in Europe, as has the band Mokoomba , who play a mixture of Afropop , funk and reggae .
The most successful and well-known competitive athletes in the country belong to the white minority.
Cara Black (with her US doubles partner Liezel Huber ) and Kevin Ullyett (with Jonas Björkman , Sweden ) were world leaders in doubles tennis competitions. Even better known, however, is the exceptional swimmer Kirsty Coventry , who, after her Olympic victories in 2004 and 2008, became a popular heroine and a bearer of hope for her country.
The most popular team sport is soccer . Cricket and rugby are still very popular, especially among the white population . The Rhodesia Rugby Football Union was founded in 1895 . However, the national rugby team is at a low point, which reflects the situation across the country. The same can be said for the national cricket team, which has lost many of its players, especially white ones, since the 2003 World Cricket Championship at the latest . From 2004 to 2011 its status as one of only ten test cricket nations was suspended , with a brief interruption, by the World Cricket Federation .
The Zimbabwean national soccer team , which was only able to take part in international competitions from 1980, qualified for the 2004, 2006 and 2017 African Championships . Benjani , who plays in South Africa, is known abroad .
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