While the world awaits the resolution of the political impasse in Zimbabwe, and to see whether or not the event of the past three days would truly signal the end of the Mugabe era, we bring you a concise collection of twelve facts you didn’t know about Mugabe’s homeland.
Improve your key knowledge of Zimbabwe
- Zimbabwe (also called the Republic of Zimbabwe), is a landlocked country is located in the southern part of Africa. It is second most developed country in the South African region after Republic of South Africa. Only about 1% of its approximately 390,757 square kilometers land area is covered by water.
- Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980, and had its name changed from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. It is bordered to the South by the Republic of South Africa, to the east by the Republic of Mozambique, to the southwest by the Republic of Botswana, to the northwest by the Republic of Zambia and the Republic of Namibia.
- While Zimbabwe’s population is estimated at about 14 million people, with a population growth rate of between 3-4.5% (which is one of the highest in the world), its capital city Harare has about 2 million residents.
- A whooping 70-90% Zimbabweans are educated (can at least, read and write), making Zimbabwe one of the countries with the highest literacy rates in the world. But in spite of that, nowadays, only a few can afford quality education. Many its citizen flee to South Africa and other countries for tertiary education and jobs.
- Shona (indigenous African) is the largest ethnic group in Zimbabwe, it makes up about 82% of the population. The Ndebeles and other indigenous Africans account for about 16% of total population while Asians, whites and other minority groups make up just about 2% of the population.
More facts you probably didn’t know about Zimbabwe
- Victoria Falls, the largest curtain of falling water in the world is found in Zimbabwe
- Syncretic religion (a blend of Christian and indigenous beliefs), Christianity and Indigenous beliefs make up 50%, 25 an 24% of the population respectively. Islam and a number of other religious groups make up the remaining 1%.
- In spite of Zimbabwe’s abundant natural resources such as gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, coal, tin, etc. and its arable land, it is one of the poorest countries in the world. Most of its people live below the poverty line. Resulting from poor governance and a number of other factors, the country continues to face a number of critical environmental problems that impact on the quality of life of its people.
- In the recent past, Zimbabwe suffered one of the worst inflation in human history. The hyperinflation peaked in 2008 was so and bread and other stables sold for millions of its local currency. It was forced to “abandon its currency at a rate of Z$35 quadrillion to US$1, adopting instead, the use of foreign cash.
10. Because of the failed economy and the poor state of the currency, the past few years have seen cryptocurrencies rise in popularity in Zimbabwe. In fact, one report says “bitcoin price recently surged to “$14,000 in the country as locals flee dire economic reality.”
11. Robert Mugabe came to power in 1980 as Zimbabwe’s first Prime Minister. Following a constitutional reform in 1987, he transformed into its first President, a post he has held ever since. In essence, Mugabe is the only leader Zimbabwe has known in its almost forty years of existence. Until the coup of November 15, 2017, Mugabe had been in power for close to forty years. He was/is the world’s oldest Head of State.
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