Zimbabwe

Economics, Political, and Trade Overview

Source: Feb 10, 2022 Economist Intelligence Unit

Zimbabwe - In Short.

Overview of Zimbabwe

  The hunter-gatherer San people first inhabited the area that eventually became Zimbabwe. Farming communities migrated to the area around A.D. 500 during the Bantu expansion, and Shona-speaking societies began to develop in the Limpopo valley and Zimbabwean highlands around the 9th century. These societies traded with Arab merchants on the Indian Ocean coast and organized under the Kingdom of Mapungubwe in the 11th century. A series of powerful trade-oriented Shona states succeeded Mapungubwe, including the Kingdom of Zimbabwe (ca. 1220-1450), Kingdom of Mutapa (ca. 1450-1760), and the Rozwi Empire. The Rozwi Empire expelled Portuguese colonists from the Zimbabwean plateau but was eventually conquered in 1838 by the Ndebele clan of Zulu general MZILIKAZI during the era of conflict and population displacement known as the Mfecane. In the 1880s, colonists arrived with the British South Africa Company (BSAC) and obtained a written concession for mining rights from Ndebele King LOBENGULA. The king later disavowed the concession and accused the BSAC agents of deceit. The BSAC annexed Mashonaland and subsequently conquered Matabeleland by force during the First Matabele War of 1893-1894 to establish company rule over the territory. BSAC holdings south of the Zambezi River were annexed by the UK in 1923 and became the British colony of Southern Rhodesia. The 1930 Land Apportionment Act restricted black land ownership and established structural racial inequalities that would favor the white minority for decades. A new constitution in 1961 further cemented white minority rule. In 1965, the government under white Prime Minister Ian SMITH unilaterally declared its independence from the UK. London did not recognize Rhodesia’s independence and demanded more voting rights for the black majority in the country. International diplomacy and a liberation struggle by black Zimbabweans finally led to biracial elections in 1979 and independence (as Zimbabwe) in 1980. Robert MUGABE, who led the uprising and became the nation’s first prime minister, was the country’s only ruler (as president since 1987) from independence until his forced resignation in November 2017. In the mid-1980s, the government tortured and killed thousands of civilians in a crackdown on dissent known as the Gukurahundi campaign. Economic mismanagement and chaotic land redistribution policies following independence periodically crippled the economy and resulted in widespread shortages of basic commodities. General elections in 2002, 2008, and 2013 were severely flawed and widely condemned but allowed MUGABE to remain president. In November 2017, Vice President Emmerson MNANGAGWA became president following a military intervention that forced MUGABE to resign, and MNANGAGWA cemented power by sidelining rivals Grace MUGABE (Robert MUGABE’s wife) and Jonathan MOYO of the G40 faction of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party. In July 2018, MNANGAGWA won the presidential election after a close contest with opposition candidate Nelson CHAMISA. MNANGAGWA has resorted to the government’s longstanding practice of violently disrupting protests and opposition rallies. Economic conditions remained dire under MNANGAGWA, with inflation soaring in 2019 and the country’s export revenues declining dramatically in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  
Value
Country Full Name
Zimbabwe
Country Code
ZWE
Region
Sub-Saharan Africa
Income Group
Lower middle income
Currency Unit
GDP
18051170799
Population
14862927
Land Area
386850
Net National Income Per Capita
940.3719469
GDP per Capita (PPP)
3537.351394

2020 GDP Growth Rate (Current USD)

2020 GDP Per Capita (Current USD)

2020 Urbanization Rate (%)

2020 Total Fertility Rate (Birth Per Woman)

Doing Business Score (100= Most Friendly)

Zimbabwe - Economic

Economy of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s economy depends heavily on its mining and agriculture sectors. Following a contraction from 1998 to 2008, the economy recorded real growth of more than 10% per year in the period 2010-13, before falling below 3% in the period 2014-17, due to poor harvests, low diamond revenues, and decreased investment. Lower mineral prices, infrastructure and regulatory deficiencies, a poor investment climate, a large public and external debt burden, and extremely high government wage expenses impede the country’s economic performance.Until early 2009, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) routinely printed money to fund the budget deficit, causing hyperinflation. Adoption of a multi-currency basket in early 2009 – which allowed currencies such as the Botswana pula, the South Africa rand, and the US dollar to be used locally – reduced inflation below 10% per year. In January 2015, as part of the government’s effort to boost trade and attract foreign investment, the RBZ announced that the Chinese renmimbi, Indian rupee, Australian dollar, and Japanese yen would be accepted as legal tender in Zimbabwe, though transactions were predominantly carried out in US dollars and South African rand until 2016, when the rand’s devaluation and instability led to near-exclusive use of the US dollar. The government in November 2016 began releasing bond notes, a parallel currency legal only in Zimbabwe which the government claims will have a one-to-one exchange ratio with the US dollar, to ease cash shortages. Bond notes began trading at a discount of up to 10% in the black market by the end of 2016.Zimbabwe’s government entered a second Staff Monitored Program with the IMF in 2014 and undertook other measures to reengage with international financial institutions. Zimbabwe repaid roughly $108 million in arrears to the IMF in October 2016, but financial observers note that Zimbabwe is unlikely to gain new financing because the government has not disclosed how it plans to repay more than $1.7 billion in arrears to the World Bank and African Development Bank. International financial institutions want Zimbabwe to implement significant fiscal and structural reforms before granting new loans. Foreign and domestic investment continues to be hindered by the lack of land tenure and titling, the inability to repatriate dividends to investors overseas, and the lack of clarity regarding the government’s Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act.

Unemployment Rate

Inflation Rate

Zimbabwe - GDP Composition

GDP Composiiton & Value Added of Zimbabwe

Last Updated: Jan, 2021, Updated For 2020.

Zimbabwe - GDP, Value Added

Demographics of Zimbabwe

Aside from major urban agglomerations in Harare and Bulawayo, population distribution is fairly even, with slightly greater overall numbers in the eastern half as shown in this population distribution map
Geographic Location

Southern Africa, between South Africa and Zambia

Races

African 99.4% (predominantly Shona; Ndebele is the second largest ethnic group), other 0.4%, unspecified 0.2% (2012 est.)

Languages

Shona (official; most widely spoken), Ndebele (official, second most widely spoken), English (official; traditionally used for official business), 13 minority languages (official; includes Chewa, Chibarwe, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Shangani, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa)

Religion

Protestant 74.8% (includes Apostolic 37.5%, Pentecostal 21.8%, other 15.5%), Roman Catholic 7.3%, other Christian 5.3%, traditional 1.5%, Muslim 0.5%, other 0.1%, none 10.5% (2015 est.)

Dependency & Expectancy of Zimbabwe

Last Updated: Jan, 2021

Dependency Ratio

Expectancy

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Zimbabwe - Social Media Briefing

Zimbabwe - Social Media & Social Commerce

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Politics & Policies of Zimbabwe

2021 Policies Overview

Updated Coming in March 2021 after our team finish summarizing countries policy.

International Organizations

ACP, AfDB, AU, COMESA, FAO, G-15, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, PCA, SADC, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Import of Zimbabwe

Export of Zimbabwe

Import Destination

Export Destination