Zimbabwe, formerly called Rhodesia, is a landlocked country
in southern Africa. Most of the country is a high plateau. Zimbabwe lies in the
tropics but has a pleasant climate because of the high altitude.
beautiful scenery includes the famous Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River along
the country's northern border. Zimbabwe is a leading mineral producer. Harare
(formerly called Salisbury) is the capital and largest city.
The UK annexed Southern Rhodesia from the South Africa Company
in 1923. A 1961 constitution was formulated to keep whites in power. In 1965 the
government unilaterally declared its independence, but the UK did not recognize
the act and demanded voting rights for the black African majority in the country
(then called Rhodesia).
UN sanctions and a guerrilla uprising finally
led to free elections in 1979 and independence (as Zimbabwe) in 1980. Robert MUGABE,
the nation's first prime minister, has been the country's only ruler (as president
since 1987) and has dominated the country's political system since independence.
PEOPLE AND HISTORY
of the Bantu group of south and central Africa, the black Zimbabweans are divided
into two major language groups, which are subdivided into several ethnic groups.
The Mashona (Shona speakers), who constitute about 75% of the population, have
lived in the area the longest and are the majority language group.
Matabele (Sindebele speakers), representing about 20% of the population and centered
in the southwest around Bulawayo, arrived in within the last 150 years. An offshoot
of the South African Zulu group, they maintained control over the Mashona until
the white occupation of Rhodesia in 1890.
More than half of the white Zimbabweans,
primarily of English origin, arrived in Zimbabwe after World War II. Afrikaners
from South Africa and other European minorities, including Portuguese from Mozambique,
are also present.
Until the mid-1970s, there were about 1,000 white
immigrants per year, but from 1976 to 1985 a steady emigration resulted in a loss
of more than 150,000, leaving about 100,000 in 1992.
Renewed white emigration
in the late 1990s and early 2000s reduced the white population to less than 50,000.
English, the official language, is spoken by the white population and understood,
if not always used, by more than half of the black population.
rate is estimated at 76%. Primary and secondary schools were segregated until
1979 when racial restrictions were removed. Since independence, the educational
system had been systematically enlarged by the Zimbabwean Government, which is
committed to providing free public education to all citizens on an equal basis.
As of the late 1970s, some 50% of the African children (5-19 years old)
were listed officially as attending rural schools. Today, most African children
attend primary school. Primary through post-secondary enrollment has expanded
from 1 million to about 2.9 million since independence.
About 40% of
the rural primary schools were destroyed during the Rhodesian conflict, which
delayed improvement of the rural education system. Higher education, offered at
the University of Zimbabwe in Harare, the new National University of Science and
Technology in Bulawayo, the new Africa (Methodist) University in Mutare, several
teacher-training colleges, and three technical institutes, are being expanded
with assistance from several donor countries.
Archaeologists have found stone-age implements and pebble tools in several areas
of Zimbabwe, a suggestion of human habitation for many centuries, and the ruins
of stone buildings provide evidence of early civilization. The most impressive
of these sites is the "Great Zimbabwe" ruins, after which the country is named,
located near Masvingo. Evidence suggests that these stone structures were built
between the 9th and 13th centuries A.D. by indigenous Africans who had established
trading contacts with commercial centers on Africa's southeastern coast.
the 16th century, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to attempt colonization
of south-central Africa, but the hinterland lay virtually untouched by Europeans
until the arrival of explorers, missionaries, ivory hunters, and traders some
300 years later. Meanwhile, mass migrations of indigenous peoples took place.
Successive waves of more highly developed Bantu peoples from equatorial regions
supplanted the original inhabitants and are the ancestors of the region's Africans
Guide to Zimbabwe
of Zimbabwe - Read more about the geography and topography of Zimbabwe
of Zimbabwe - Presents a detailed historical background and culture of
Life & People of Zimbabwe
- Study the characteristics, background, and details on the people of Zimbabwe
Cuisine of Zimbabwe - Find out delicious local cuisines of Zimbabwe
in Zimbabwe - Check out a list of the local holidays in Zimbabwe
in Zimbabwe - Learn about the festivals in Zimbabwe
of Zimbabwe - Provides an Embassy database for Zimbabwe
facts of Zimbabwe - Learn about the governmental administration facts
Newstands in Zimbabwe -
Browse through a collection of local online newspapers of Zimbabwe
in Zimbabwe - Discover the best places to visit, sight seeing, and tourist
attractions in Zimbabwe
Maps of Zimbabwe
- Discover a detailed map of Zimbabwe
Database of Zimbabwe - Browse a large collection of city, country, historical,
political, thematic, and shaded relief maps of Zimbabwe
of Zimbabwe - Uncover the flag images and description of the flag of Zimbabwe.
Includes historical flags, symbols, and related information
for cities of Zimbabwe - Browse weather forecast, hourly conditions, temperature,
sunrise, sunset, and other weather related reports for the cities of Zimbabwe
in Zimbabwe - Find out the best places for shopping in Zimbabwe
in Zimbabwe - Browse a list of eat-outs in Zimbabwe
of Zimbabwe - Highlights the location, map references, area, land boundaries,
climate, natural resources, land use, natural hazards, environment, and geography
People of Zimbabwe - Learn
about the population, age structure, birth and death rate, sex ratio, nationality,
ethnic groups, religions, languages, and literacy in Zimbabwe
and Politics in Zimbabwe - Profiles the country name, government type,
administrative divisions, independence, national holiday, constitution, legal
system, suffrage, executive, legislative, and judicial branches, political parties
and leaders, and a flag description of Zimbabwe.
of Zimbabwe - Study the GDP, growth rate, per capita, inflation, labor,
budget, industries, exports, imports, currency, exchange rates, and economy of
Communications in Zimbabwe
- Browse statistics on telephones, mobile and cellular lines in use, radio broadcast
stations, televisions, internet country code, ISP's, internet users, and facts
on communications in Zimbabwe
in Zimbabwe - Offers statistical details on the railways, highways, waterways,
ports & harbors, airports, and other facts on transportation in Zimbabwe
of Zimbabwe - Provides statistics on military branches, army, air force,
navy, manpower, military service, expenditure, and facts on military in Zimbabwe
Issues of Zimbabwe - Explore international disputes and transnational
issues of Zimbabwe
Info - Zimbabwe Political Geography - Encyclopedia resource provides
information on the country along with its cities.