Zimbabwe Fact Sheet Country Name: Zimbabwe (meaning House of Stone) Location: In the heart of the Southern African Region, sharing national boundaries with Zambia to the north, South Africa to the south, Mozambique to the East and Botswana to the West. Surface Area: 390 757 km2 with approximately 1% covered by water. Population:14 million inhabitants Capital City: Harare Other Cities: Masvingo, Mutare, Gweru, Kwe Kwe, Chinhoyi Literacy: 91%. One of Zimbabwe’s major attributes is its human capital. Zimbabwe prides the highest rate of literacy rates on the African Continent having recently overtaken Tunisia. Currency: Multiple Currencies, chief among which are the US – Dollar, S. African Rand, Botswana Pula and the Euro. (This was adopted by Government in 2009 for purposes of economic stabilization). Official Language: English Other Languages: Shona and Ndebele Time: Five Hours Ahead of Brazil Vegetation: Savannah Climate: Tropical with temperatures ranging between 12ᵒ C in winter and 39ᵒC in summer. Rate of Inflation: Annual inflation is down from 3% in February 2011 to 2.7 in March 2011. GDP Growth Rate: 5.7% in 2009, 8.1% in 2010 and 9.3% projected for 2011. Major Economic Activities: Agriculture, Manufacturing, Mining & Tourism. The Zimbabwean economy has traditionally been based on agriculture, with tobacco being the dominant crop. However, mining has since gained prominence over the last few years. The country is richly endowed with abundant mineral reserves, in particular platinum, chrome, diamonds, coal, gold, iron-ore, coal-bed-methane gas, to name but just a few. Currently, platinum is the country’s largest mineral export, accounting for 45% of exports, followed by gold (22%), ferro-chrome (18%), and diamond (11%). The Manufacturing Sector in Zimbabwe is renowned traditionally for being one of the strongest and most diversified in the Southern African region. It has very strong linkages with Agriculture and about 60% of the Sector’s value added is related to either agroindustry or to the provision of essential inputs to the Agricultural Sector. Major manufacturing activities include steel, cement, fertilizers, chemicals & pharmaceuticals, clothing & textiles, footwear, foodstuffs and beverages. Zimbabwe is also blessed with significant world class tourism attractions including the Mighty Victoria Falls (Mosi o Tunya), Lake Kariba, the Eastern Highlands and a host of prime wildlife, including The Big Five!
GDP COMPOSITION/BREAKDOWN AT MARKET PRICES IN 2009 Sector Contribution
Sector's to GDP (%)
Transport & Communications
Electricity & Water
Finance & Insurance
5 623 217
NOTE: The GDP estimate is heavily understated because it does not factor in the Informal Sector activities. The Informal Sector has rapidly grown over the past few years to become a significant player in the Zimbabwean economy. Major Exports : Platinum, cotton, tobacco, gold, ferro-alloys, textiles & clothing. Major Imports : Petroleum, machinery, motor vehicles & transport equipment, chemicals & food products. NOTE : South Africa is Zimbabwe’s largest single trading partner, accounting for about 51% of total trade in 2010. Other major trading partners include the UK, Germany, USA, China, Singapore, India, Japan, Thailand, Belgium, Russia, France, Indonesia (internationally) and Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Mauritius, Malawi, Kenya, Egypt and Namibia (regionally). Zimbabwe’s trade with Brazil has been very low, but it increased to US$42 390 243 in 2010. Zimbabwe’s current exports to Brazil include asbestos, flu-cured Virginia tobacco, nickel, ferrochrome and textiles. Brazil has expressed an interest in other products from Zimbabwe, namely coking coal, construction steel, cotton, and powdered milk. MEMBERSHIP TO INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS Regional Organizations: Zimbabwe is not only ideally geographically located in the heart of the Southern African Region, but she is also a founder member of both the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern & Southern Africa (COMESA). As such, Zimbabwe enjoys preferential access into the markets of other member states. SADC has a membership of 15 countries, with a combined population of 257.7 million people and a combined GDP of US$471.1 billion. On the other hand, COMESA has a membership of 19 countries, with a combined population of US$430 million people and a combined GDP of
US$360 billion. Furthermore, there are moves to consolidate these two Regional Economic Communities with the East African Community, to form the Tripartite Free Trade Area, thereby creating an even bigger, seamless regional market. Membership To International Investment Organizations: Zimbabwe is signatory to a number of International Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements, such as the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the new York Convention on the Enforcement of Arbitral Awards and the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). Bilateral Investment Protection Agreements: Zimbabwe also has Bilateral Investment Promotion & Protection Agreements (BIPPAs) with such countries as the UK, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, South Africa, Portugal, Switzerland, Netherlands and China. Government continues to negotiate more Agreements with international cooperating partners, to promote Foreign Direct Investment into the country.