History: A landlocked country in SC Africa, Zimbabwe (formerly southern Rhodesia) has Zambia, Botswana, S. Africa and Mozambique as neighbours. Achieved independence on April 18, 1980, after a bitter struggle against the white minority government in power.

Economy: Zimbabwe is rich in minerals notably copper, nickel, gold, asbestos, chrome and coal. Its platinum deposits are the world’s largest. Over 40 different types of metals and mineral are produced. About 40% of foreign exchange is derived from the export of metals, minerals and mineral related products. Industries include food processing, metals, textiles, furniture and engineering. Maize, groundnuts, cotton and tobacco are the chief crops tobacco being the most important one. Zimbabwe is world’s second largest exporter of flue-cured tobacco, after Brazil. Zimbabwe’s agricultural performance has been hailed as the best in black Africa.tourism is the fastest growing sector in the country. About one-fourth of the adult population has HIV/AIDS.

A referendum rejected the new draft constitution was amended to give the Govt. the right to seize white-owned farms without compensation. Mugabe, armed with the new law, went ahead with his plans to confiscate 804 farms belonging to whites, to be redistributed to ordinary Zimbabweans. In June, 2000 election, Mugabe’s party scored a narrow win.

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