+263 is the dialing code for Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe was ruled from independence in 1980 until 2017 by Robert Mugabe who, when he took office, was a celebrated freedom hero but who over the years turned into a ruthless and powerful leader. By independence, Zimbabwe was a relatively prosperous country with productive agriculture and a lot of industry that was wasted during the coming decades of neglect. During the 2000s, the country was hit by an economic collapse and a growing political repression.
- Abbreviationfinder: Brief profiles of Zimbabwe, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Zimbabwe is located in southern Africa and lacks coast. On the surface, the country is slightly smaller than Sweden. The landscape is dominated by the South African high plateau and consists mainly of highlands and mountains.
A mountain range, Highveld, runs from southwest to northeast and reaches just over 1,200 meters above sea level. On both sides of Highveld, a highland, Middleveld, spreads between 900 and 1,200 meters in height. At the far east is a more dramatic mountain landscape with the country’s highest peak, Inyangani, at 2,595 meters above sea level.
Several other mountain peaks in the area reach over 800 meters altitude. Lowland, Lowveld, extends around the large rivers Zambezi in the north, Limpopo in the south and Sabi-Lundi in the south-east.
|Cultivated land||42.5 %|
|Land area||390757 km 2|
Population and health
|Population development||2.21 ‰|
|Urban population (Urbanization)||32.4 %|
|Death rate||10.13 per 1000 residents|
|Life expectancy: Women||57.57 years|
|Life expectancy: Men||56.54 years|
|Birth rate||32.26 births per 1000 residents|
|Infant mortality||26.11 deaths / 1000 births|
Population Graph Source: Countryaah.com
|Electricity, production||7736 million kWh|
|Energy consumption per resident||657.7 kg. oil per resident|
|Natural gas, production||million cubic meters|
|Crude oil, production||million tons|
|Internet users||47.5 per 100 residents|
|Mobile subscriptions||86 per 100 residents|
|Passenger cars||114 per 1000 residents|
Business and economics
|Unemployment||95% of the workforce|
|GDP||2100 per resident|
|Primary occupations||66 %|
|Secondary profession||10 %|
|Tertiary professions||24 %|
|Cultivated land||58 %|
|Land area||652230 km 2|
Population and health
|Population development||2.32 ‰|
|Urban population (Urbanization)||26.7 %|
|Death rate||13.89 per 1000 residents|
|Life expectancy: Women||52.29 years|
|Life expectancy: Men||49.52 years|
|Birth rate||38.57 births per 1000 residents|
|Infant mortality||115.08 deaths / 1000 births|
|Electricity, production||884 million kWh|
|Energy consumption per resident||kg. oil per resident|
|Natural gas, production||160 million cubic meters|
|Crude oil, production||million tons|
|Internet users||5.9 per 100 residents|
|Mobile subscriptions||74 per 100 residents|
|Passenger cars||28 per 1000 residents|
Business and economics
|Unemployment||35% of the workforce|
|GDP||1900 per resident|
|Primary occupations||78.6 %|
|Secondary profession||5.7 %|
|Tertiary professions||15.7 %|
Most of Zimbabwe is covered by a tree-rich savanna. Tropical jungles grow on the hillsides to the east. In the west towards Botswana there are large swamps.
The climate is subtropical and varies considerably with the height above the sea. Passage winds from the Indian Ocean bring rain during the summer, lasting from November to March. Most precipitation falls during this period.
The amount of rain varies greatly between different regions and between different years. In some areas, such as the Limpopo Basin in the south, almost no rain falls at all. There, it is not possible to conduct agriculture on a larger scale. Most of the precipitation falls in the mountains to the east and northeast.
In April, the dry and windy winter begins with relatively low temperatures in June and July, when nighttime frosts can be formed in the mountainous regions. This is followed by a warm and dry period from mid-August to November.
390 757 km2 (2018)
Swedish + 1 hour
Adjacent country (s)
Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia
Capital with number of residents
Other major cities
Bulawayo 749,000, Chitungwiza 357,000, Mutare 185,000, Gweru 142,000 (2010 estimate)
Inyangani (2,595 m asl)
New Vice President
Grace Mugabe’s advancement within the party gives birth to rumors that she plans to become her husband’s successor, but those speculations are dampened when President Mugabe appoints Emmerson Mnangagwa as new vice president after Mujuru. Mnangagwa which has the nickname “Crocodile” is counted among the more hardy in the party top. Mnangagwa is considered extremely loyal to the president. He fought with Mugabe already during the guerrilla war against the white government and has served in all governments since independence in 1980, most recently as Minister of Justice.
At the party congress Mugabe is re-elected as party chairman and his wife Grace becomes chairman of the party’s women’s association. In his speech before the Congress, President Mugabe accuses his Vice President Joice Mujuru of corruption and says she planned to murder him (see also November above). Mujuru is dismissed as vice president along with eight ministers who are counted as her allies.
Veteran leader in court
The leader of the country’s war veterans is facing trial accused of insulting the president. The veteran leader said at a meeting that Mugabe and his wife were planning a bed room coup to get rid of Mujuru and replace her with Grace Mugabe.
The power struggle over who will succeed the 90-year-old Mugabe hardens ahead of the Zanu-PF Congress party in December. Several veteran politicians are suspended or excluded from the party. Vice President Joice Mujuru, who was previously seen as a possible successor to the president, is excluded from the party leadership. Mujuru’s position was undermined during the year by Mugabe’s wife Grace, who accused Mujuru of planning a coup against the president.
The EU announces that the organization’s assistance to Zimbabwe will resume. The aid was frozen in 2002 in response to the regime’s harassment and violence against the opposition (see Modern History). From 2015 to 2020, the EU will assist Zimbabwe with $ 300 million. The money will be used in health care and agriculture, among other things. However, the EU retains sanctions against President Mugabe and his inner circle.
Newspaper editor is prosecuted
The editor of a state-owned newspaper is indicted for engaging in overthrowing activities and for undermining President Mugabe’s position. The editor was alleged to have, among other things, called Mugabe dictator and tyrant and claimed that the president cheated on a electoral victory. The statements would have been made as early as 2008, ie long before the editor started working on the state-owned newspaper.
Equity law is reformulated
The government announces that it will amend a law that forces foreign companies to transfer some of their shares to black Zimbabweans. According to the country’s finance minister, the law should be made clearer and more appetizing for foreign investors.
Foreign companies should be allowed to retain assets
Mugabe is trying to diminish the world’s concerns about the law that says foreign companies should be forced to transfer the majority shareholding to black Zimbabweans (see June 2007 and March 2010) when he announces that there is no talk of seizing corporate assets.
Conflict in MDC-T
The battle within the MDC-T escalates when the party’s secretary general Tendai Biti states that the party’s national council voted to dismiss Tsvangirai as party leader. Tsvangirai is accused of negligent leadership and of turning the party into a tool for its own purposes. Tsvangirai condemns the decision, claiming that the National Council does not have the powers to dismiss him. He explains that Biti and eight other people are now excluded from the party. Tsvangirai and Biti have been close allies for many years, but after the election loss in July 2013, they came into conflict with each other.
Tsvangirai’s critic Elton Mangona (see March above) is excluded from MDC-T.
President’s wife is denied entry visa
President Mugabe announces that he will not attend the EU-Africa meeting to be held in Brussels in April. The reason is that his wife was denied entry visa and thus unable to attend. Both Mugabe and his wife are subject to travel bans within the EU as a result of EU sanctions on Zimbabwe. Mugabe, however, can travel to Brussels as exceptions can be made to the travel ban for heads of state to attend international meetings. But genuine halves are not covered by the exception.
Official figures show that Zimbabwe is experiencing deflation, ie prices have fallen by almost half a percent. This is seen by some economists as a warning signal that the economy is about to deteriorate further.
Senior politician suspended
Elton Mangoma, a highly regarded MDC-T politician, is suspended from the party when he publicly demanded that Tsvangirai resign as a result of losing the 2013 presidential election against Mugabe. Other prominent party members have also urged Tsvangirai to step down, but Mangoma is the first to be punished for expressing this opinion.
President Robert Mugabe celebrates his 90th birthday on February 23 (he will celebrate his birthday on February 21). He holds a long speech where he plays on anti-colonial sentiments, but also condemns homosexuals. The big party, with about 10,000 guests, should have cost about a million dollars.