48 Interesting Facts About Zimbabwe

Last updated on May 15th, 2023

15 Facts about the Zimbabwe economy

1. The main economic activities for Zimbabwe are mining, tourism and agriculture.

2. The country’s economy experienced a growth of more than 10% per annum between 2010 and 2013 after 10 years of contraction from 1998 — 2008. However, the economy then slowed in 2014 to around 4% per annum due to decreased investment, low diamond revenue, and poor harvests.

3. The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) used to print money to fund the country’s budget deficit before early 2009. This led to hyperinflation that saw the reserve bank print a 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note, which currently holds the record for the note with the highest number of zeros in recorded history.

a 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note
A 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note. Image credit – CNN

4. In April 2009, the Zimbabwean dollar was abandoned and the country started using the Botswana Pula, South African Rand, and US Dollar.

5. Allowing currencies such as the US Dollar, South African Rand, and Botswana Pula for use locally in Zimbabwe helped reduce inflation below 10% per year.

6. The Japanese Yen, Australian Dollar, Indian Rupee, and Chinese Renminbi are also accepted as legal tenders in Zimbabwe since January 2015.

7. The Zimbabwean government started releasing bond notes in November 2016 as a parallel currency. The government claimed that the bond notes will help ease cash shortages because it will have a one-to-one exchange ratio with the US dollar.

8. The Zimbabwean government repaid roughly $108 million to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in October 2016.

9. Though the repayment of the loan in October 2016 was a good move, experts claim that it is unlikely that the country will gain new financing because it has failed to explain how it will repay the remaining arrears that amount to more than $1.7 billion it owes the African Development Bank and World Bank.

10. Lack of land tenure and titling, lack of clarity regarding the government’s Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Act, and inability to repatriate dividends to overseas investors hinder foreign and domestic investment in Zimbabwe.

11. According to the World Bank, Real GDP growth is projected to slow to 3.4% in 2022 from 5.8% in 2021.

12. As of 2022, Zimbabwe is ranked number 108 in the world in terms of GDP.

13. In terms of purchasing power parity of the GDP of Zimbabwe, the figures were estimated to be $48.25 billion, $44.34 billion and $40.79 billion in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively. The country ranks 118 in this category in the world.

14. Zimbabwe unemployment rate for 2021 was 5.17%.

15. In 2019, poverty rate at national poverty line for Zimbabwe was 38.3 %.

About the Flag of Zimbabwe

Flag of Zimbabwe
Flag of Zimbabwe

1. Design and Symbolism

The flag of Zimbabwe reveals its grand heritage, past struggles, and current aspirations. It has seven horizontal stripes: pairs of green, yellow, and red bands, with a central black bar. The left side has a white triangle featuring a golden Zimbabwe bird and a red star.

The colored bars show different aspects of the country. Green stands for agriculture, yellow represents mineral wealth, and red remembers the blood spilled in the struggle for independence. Finally, black represents the ethnicity of most of the citizens.

The white triangle signifies peace, while the red star represents national aspirations. The golden bird called “hungwe” is the national symbol of Zimbabwe. Explorers found several of these bird carvings in the ruins of the wealthy medieval city of Great Zimbabwe. They were on stone pedestals at the center of an apparent altar, highlighting the respect given by their ancestors.

2. Adoption

Zimbabwe adopted the current flag on April 18, 1980, in time for the country’s independence celebrations.

3. Technical Details

The flag dimensions follow a 1:2 ratio. According to the South African Vexillological Association, the color recommendations in Pantone are 348c for green, 123c for yellow, and 185c for red. In CMYK, use 100-0-80-5, 0-30-95-0, and 50-0-0-20.

4. History

Pre-colonial Zimbabwe

In the 9th century, the Bantu people built the city of Great Zimbabwe. It became an African hub that traded with Arab and Indian states. Its main products were gold, ivory, and copper. In the 1400s, trade ran dry, and a new kingdom rose. Different empires conquered the land.

The Colonial Flags

The British South Africa Company of Cecil Rhodes began to explore the region in the 1880s. Rhodes obtained concessions for mining rights and promoted the immigration of white settlers. In 1898, the company officially used the name “Southern Rhodesia” for the area. BSAC used a Union Flag with a lion and its initials at the center.

In 1923, Southern Rhodesia became a self-governing British colony. It could elect parliamentary leaders and draft legislation, but laws were subject to approval from the UK. Its flag had a miniature Union Jack and a Rhodesian shield on a blue field.

Declaration of Independence

In 1965, the white minority Southern Rhodesian government made a Unilateral Declaration of Independence. Five years later, it became the Republic of Rhodesia. Its flag was a green-white-green vertical triband. The center featured a coat of arms with the Zimbabwe bird. The United Kingdom saw it as an act of rebellion but did not use force to assert control.

In 1979, the settlement of internal disputes resulted in a new order marked by changes in the country’s name and flag. The banner of Zimbabwe Rhodesia has three horizontal bands of red, white, and green, with a vertical black bar containing the Zimbabwe bird.

In 1980, the country obtained official independence. Zimbabwe adopted the national flag that remains in use today. The initial draft did not specify the name of the designer. Cederic Herbert, a flight lieutenant in the Air Force, suggested the addition of the iconic Zimbabwe bird. Prime Minister-elect Robert Mugabe approved the final design.

5. Flag Facts

Existing flags show two versions of the Zimbabwe bird. One follows the official specifications. The other relies on a proposed sketch that became a reference for people outside the country.

The flag resembles the banner of the ruling party: the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front. However, the party flag has nested rectangles instead of color bars.

Zimbabwe – country at a glance

Independence18 April 1980 (from the UK)
Capital CityHarare
(17°50′S 31°3′E)
Largest CityHarare
(17°50′S 31°3′E)
National Anthem"Kalibusiswe Ilizwe leZimbabwe" [Northern Ndebele language] "Simudzai Mureza WeZimbabwe" [Shona] (Blessed Be the Land of Zimbabwe)
Population15,121,004 (2022 est.)
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Literacy rate total population: 86.5%
Government typesemi-presidential republic
Official Language16 languages including English, Shona and Ndebele.
Total areatotal: 390,757 sq km

land: 386,847 sq km

water: 3,910 sq km
PresidentEmmerson Mnangagwa (Assumed office
24 November 2017)
Vice PresidentsConstantino Chiwenga
National symbolsZimbabwe bird symbol, African fish eagle, flame lily
National holidayIndependence Day, 18 April (1980)
BordersBotswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Namibia
ReligionRoman Catholicism, Anglicanism and Methodism.
CurrencyUnited States dollar
Agricultural land42.5%
Natural resourcescoal, chromium ore, asbestos, gold, nickel, copper, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, tin, platinum group metals
National colorsgreen, yellow, red, black, white
Terrainmostly high plateau with higher central plateau (high veld); mountains in east
Mean elevation961 m
Lowest pointjunction of the Runde and Save Rivers 162 m
Highest pointInyangani 2,592 m
Climatetropical; moderated by altitude; rainy season (November to March)
Birth rate33.07 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Death rate8.76 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)
Sex ratio0.97 male(s)/female (2022 est.)
Life expectancy at birth62.32 years (2022)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
GDP - per capita (PPP)$2,700 (2020 est.)
Industriesmining (coal, gold, platinum, copper, nickel, tin, diamonds, clay, numerous metallic and nonmetallic ores), steel; wood products, cement, chemicals, fertilizer, clothing and footwear, foodstuffs, beverages
Exports$4.422 billion (2018 est.)
platinum, cotton, tobacco, gold, ferroalloys, textiles/clothing
Imports$7.215 billion (2018 est.)
machinery and transport equipment, other manufactures, chemicals, fuels, food products
Time ZoneCentral Africa Time (UTC+2)
Internet country code.zw
Calling Code+263
Drives on theLeft
Table last updatedJuly 25, 2022