The struggle for independence, land and power runs throughout Zimbabwe’s history. Veteran President Robert Mugabe has dominated the country’s political scene since independence from Britain in 1980.
Landlocked, the southern African country is bordered by Zambia in the north, Mozambique in the east, Botswana in the west and South Africa in the south.
Once the bread basket of the region, since 2000 Zimbabwe has struggled to feed its own people due to severe droughts and the effects of a land reform programme which saw the seizure of white-owned farms redistributed to landless black Zimbabweans which led to sharp falls in production.
Cash-strapped and impoverished, Zimbabwe’s economy faces severe challenges. Unemployment and poverty are endemic and political strife and repression commonplace. Many Zimbabweans have left the country in search of work in South Africa.
- Republic of Zimbabwe
- Capital : Harare
- Population 13 million
- Area 390,759 sq km (150,873 sq miles)
- Major languages English (official), Shona, Sindebele
- Major religionsChristianity, indigenous beliefs
- Life expectancy 54 years (men), 53 years (women)
- Currency Multi-currency system; US dollar and South African rand predominate