Surface area: 390.757 km²
Number of inhabitants: 16.53 million (2017)
Language: English, Shona, Ndebele, Tswana, Xhosa, Venda, Chewa, Tsonga, Tonga, Southern Sotho
Currency: Zimbabwean Dollar
Government Form: Presidential Republic
Zimbabwe has a score of 0.516 on the Human Development Index (HDI). This is a composite number that includes numbers pertaining to life expectancy, education and income per capita. This number is used to rank countries in four levels of human development. The higher these factors, the higher the index number. According to this index, Zimbabwe is ranked 154th in the 186 countries. Life expectancy is quite low as to expected, at birth it is 59 years. The average time people go to school and receive education is 10 years.
Around 1000 A.C., the Shona tribe came to the area which is currently Zimbabwe. To date, the Shona people make up the largest ethnic group in the country. By the 19th century, the Ndebele also settled in the south of the area. At the end of the 1800s, a small group of Europeans led by the British Cecil Rhodes arrived. South Rhodesia (Cecil Rhodes Asia), as it was called, was led by Rhodes's British South Africa Company until 1923. The government of Great Britain had little interest in the country since mining had been quite a disappointment, and gave Rhodesia a choice of either becoming part of South Africa or becoming a self-governing colony, which they did in 1923.
In 1963, the Rhodesia Front, with Ian Smith as a leader, came to power. They adhered to the African nationalist desires of the populations that formed a majority in the country. In 1965, Zimbabwe became independent (Zimbabwe means stone house). Ian Smith declared its independence with the issue of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence. England followed up with economic restraints and the UN applied a trade embargo.
Politics and Economy
Zimbabwe is divided into eight provinces. The capital is Harare, located in Mashonaland. The unresolved issues surrounding land ownership and redistribution have led to chaos in the agricultural industry. Some commercial farmers have abandoned their farms, and consequently, the organized agricultural industry has deteriorated and the economy declined.
Concerning politics, Zimbabwe has not seen many variating parties. The Zimbabwean African National Union ruled Zimbabwe through a majority government from 1980-2000. The increasing autocratic regime of Robert Mugabe and the deprivation of the economy of Zimbabwe in the 1990s led to the development of a strong political opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change.
In 2008, the Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai agreed on power sharing agreement. After three decades of ruling by Mugabe, the purpose of this agreement was to put an end to the political crisis in Zimbabwe.
In February 2009, Tsvangirai was appointed prime minister and in July of the same year, the IMF refused to provide Zimbabwe with a loan. In 2011 and 2012, Tsvangirai and Mugabe had a falling out in terms of presidential elections. In 2013, Mugabe won again. The opposition considered the elections as fraud. Since the election, Mugabe is the sole ruler of Zimbabwe, he has abolished the function of prime minister.
The Shona, Zimbabwe's largest ethnic population, has about 25 different totems linked to family name. Each Shona belongs to one of these totems. The totem is always an animal and is passed on through the paternal side.
For the rest, music and traditional dance are part of the Zimbabwean culture.