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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. 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. President MUGABE in June 2007 instituted price controls on all basic commodities causing panic buying and leaving store shelves empty for months.


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Economy - overview
Zimbabwe's economy is growing despite continuing political uncertainty. Following a decade of contraction from 1998 to 2008, Zimbabwe's economy recorded real growth of 6% in 2011. However, the government of Zimbabwe still faces a number of difficult economic problems, including infrastructure and regulatory deficiencies, ongoing indigenization pressure, policy uncertainty, a large external debt burden, and insufficient formal employment. Zimbabwe's 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 subsequent land reform program, characterized by chaos and violence, 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. Until early 2009, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe routinely printed money to fund the budget deficit, causing hyperinflation. Dollarization in early 2009 - which allowed currencies such as the Botswana pula, the South Africa rand, and the US dollar to be used locally - ended hyperinflation and restored price stability but exposed structural weaknesses that continue to inhibit broad-based growth.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 159
$6.206 billion (2011 est.)
$5.676 billion (2010 est.)
$5.251 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$9.323 billion
In 2009, the Zimbabwean dollar was taken out of circulation, making Zimbabwe's GDP at the official exchange rate a highly inaccurate statistic (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 8
9.3% (2011 est.)
8.1% (2010 est.)
5.8% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 224
$500 (2011 est.)
$500 (2010 est.)
$400 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 20.4%
Industry 24.6%
Services 54.9% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 92
3.856 million (2011 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 66%
Industry 10%
Services 24% (1996)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 200
95% (2009 est.)
80% (2005 est.)
Figures reflect underemployment; true unemployment is unknown and, under current economic conditions, unknowable

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 World Ranking: 24
50.1 (2006)
50.1 (1995)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 69
21.9% of GDP (2011 est.)

Revenues $NA
Expenditures $NA (2010 est.)

Taxes and other revenues
NA% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)
NA% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public debt World Ranking: 1
220.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
224.5% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 140
5.4% (2011 est.)
3.7% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 1
7.17% (31 December 2010 est.)
975% (31 December 2007)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 3
36% (31 December 2011 est.)
41% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 91
$6.586 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$2.151 million (31 December 2008 est.)
Zimbabwe's central bank no longer publishes data on monetary aggregates, except for bank deposits, which amounted to $2.1 billion in November 2010; the Zimbabwe dollar stopped circulating in early 2009; since then, the US dollar and South African rand have been the most frequently used currencies; there are no reliable estimates of the amount of foreign currency circulating in Zimbabwe

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 103
$11 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$3.057 million (31 December 2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 110
$6.289 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 69
$10.9 billion (31 December 2011)
$11.48 billion (31 December 2010)
$3.83 billion (31 December 2009)

Agriculture - products
Corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, coffee, sugarcane, peanuts; sheep, goats, pigs

Mining (coal, gold, platinum, copper, nickel, tin, diamonds, clay, numerous metallic and nonmetallic ores), steel; wood products, cement, chemicals, fertilizer, clothing and footwear, foodstuffs, beverages

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 57
5.7% (2011 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 98
7.723 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 83
12.47 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - exports
54 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - imports
5.268 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 146
0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 150
11,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 209
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 136
13,140 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 209
0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 145
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 146
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 208
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 79
0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 144
0 cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 111
-$621.5 million (2011 est.)
-$954.3 million (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 124
$2.932 billion (2011 est.)
$2.13 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Platinum, cotton, tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, textiles/clothing

Exports - partners
China 18.1%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 12.5%, South Africa 11.3%, Botswana 11.2%, Italy 6.5% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 133
$4.37 billion (2011 est.)
$3.673 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Machinery and transport equipment, other manufactures, chemicals, fuels, food products

Imports - partners
South Africa 53.9%, China 9.4% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 145
$461 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$376 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 107
$6.44 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$5.016 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

Exchange rates
Zimbabwean dollars (ZWD) per US dollar -
234.25 (2008)
9,686.8 (2007)
The dollar was adopted as a legal currency in 2009; since then the Zimbabwean dollar has experienced hyperinflation and is essentially worthless

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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Zimbabwe (Harare):

GPS points from Zimbabwe (Harare)

Kaswiswi Zimbabwe (general)

Groenvlei Zimbabwe (general)

Glendalough Zimbabwe (general)

Gunyanka River Zimbabwe (general)

Chisipite Harare Province

Rutherdale Mashonaland Central

Kasane Zimbabwe (general)

Lupando Zimbabwe (general)

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