Zimbabwe facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Republic of Zimbabwe
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: "Unity, Freedom, Work"
Anthem: 
Simudzai Mureza wedu WeZimbabwe  (Shona)
Kalibusiswe Ilizwe leZimbabwe  (Sindebele)
Blessed be the land of Zimbabwe
Capital
and largest city
Harare
Official languages
Ethnic groups (2003)
  • 82% Shona
  • 14% Ndebele
  • 2% other African
  • 1% White
  • 1% Coloured and Indian
Demonym Zimbabwean
Government Semi-presidential republic
 -  President Robert Mugabe
 -  Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
 -  Vice-President Joice Mujuru
 -  Deputy Prime Ministers Thokozani Khuphe
Arthur Mutambara
Legislature Parliament
 -  Upper house Senate
 -  Lower house House of Assembly
Independence from the United Kingdom
 -  Declared 11 November 1965 
 -  Recognised 18 April 1980 
 -  Constitution of Zimbabwe 15 May 2013 
Area
 -  Total 390,757 km2 (60th)
150,871 sq mi
 -  Water (%) 1
Population
 -  2012 estimate 12,619,600 (72nd)
 -  Density 26/km2 (170th)
57/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2013 estimate
 -  Total $7.731 billion
 -  Per capita $589
GDP (nominal) 2013 estimate
 -  Total $10.978 billion
 -  Per capita $837
Gini (2009) 50.1
high
HDI (2013) Increase 0.397
low · 173rd
Currency variousa
Time zone Central Africa Time (UTC+2)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+2)
Drives on the left
Calling code +263
Internet TLD .zw
a. The Zimbabwean dollar is no longer in active use after it was officially suspended by the government due to hyperinflation. The United States dollar (US$), South African rand (R), Botswana pula (P), Pound sterling (£) and Euro (€) are now used instead. The United States dollar has been adopted as the official currency for all government transactions.

The Republic of Zimbabwe is a country in the southern part of the continent of Africa. Its capital city is Harare. President Robert Mugabe is the leader of the country. It is one of the most poor countries and the HID in 2010 was the worst in the world.

Geography

Zimbabwe is surrounded by other countries, and so it has no coast on the sea. This type of country is called landlocked. The countries that surround Zimbabwe are Zambia, Botswana, South Africa and Mozambique.

Zimbabwe is home to the famous waterfall, Victoria Falls, which are a feature of the river Zambezi and also the Great Zimbabwe, the ancient architectural monument from which the country was named after.

Flora and fauna

The country is mostly savanna. In the east it is moist and mountainous with tropical evergreen and hardwood forests. Trees include teak and mahogany, knobthorn, msasa and baobab. Among the many flowers and shrubs are hibiscus, spider lily, leonotus, cassia, tree wisteria and dombeya.

Curled trunk
Elephant at water hole in Hwange National Park

There are around 350 species of mammals in Zimbabwe. There are also many snakes and lizards, over 500 bird species, and 131 fish species.

History

The area that is now Zimbabwe was added to the British Empire around 1890. Zimbabwe is also known by its old name of Rhodesia. In 1965, it became an independent country when Prime Minister Ian Smith announced the Unilateral Declaration of Independence(U.D.I). The government was mostly controlled by the white population, similar to South Africa at the time. African citizens were given full equality in 1980, and the country's name was officially changed to Zimbabwe. Since then, Robert Mugabe has led the country. Though Mugabe was elected fairly at first, he has since become a dictator, and has put in place a number of cruel and disastrous laws.

Language

The country Zimbabwe has a mixture of languages; Shona, Ndebele, Venda, Manyika, Nyanja, Chagani, and a unique-unified Zimbabwean English.

Economy

Zimbabwe uses the currencies of several other countries. The government uses the United States dollar. The economy is currently in a bad situation. Foreign currency reserves are at very low levels, and the Zimbabwean Dollar has become very devalued. Just recently, three zeroes were taken off the Zimbabwean dollar (for example, $1,000,000 (one million dollars) would become $1000 (one thousand dollars)). Many observers link this to Mugabe's controversial Land Reform programme.

  • Agriculture: Most people in Zimbabwe work in the field of agriculture: cattle, poultry, pigs, vegetables, millet, sorghum, maize, rice, cassava, tea, coffee, groundnuts, cotton, wheat, sugar cane, timber.
  • Mining: Copper, silver, tin, coal, nickel, cobalt, gold, iron ore, asbestos, chrome.
  • Manufacturing: Iron, steel, food processing, textiles, brewing, wood, furniture, tobacco.
  • Other: Tourism centring on the Victoria Falls and the game parks

Provinces

Administrative Divisions of Zimbabwe
Provinces of Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is divided into 8 provinces and 2 cities that are the same as a province.

Province Capital
Bulawayo Bulawayo
Harare Harare
Manicaland Mutare
Mashonaland Central Bindura
Mashonaland East Marondera
Mashonaland West Chinhoyi
Masvingo Masvingo city
Matabeleland North Lupane District
Matabeleland South Gwanda
Midlands Gweru

Cities

The largest cities are:

Cities in Zimbabwe
Rank City Population Province Image
Census 1982 Census 1992 Census 2002 Est. 2007
1. Harare 656,011 1,189,103 1,444,534 1,607,022 Harare Harare from the Kopje.jpg
2. Bulawayo 413,814 621,742 676,787 713,340 Bulawayo Bulavayo 22032005.jpg
3. Chitungwiza 172,556 274,912 321,782 352,204 Harare
4. Mutare 69,621 131,367 170,106 193,629 Manicaland Mutare aerial.jpg
5. Gweru 78,918 128,037 141,260 148,935 Midlands
6. Kwekwe 47,607 75,425 93,072 103,210 Midlands Kwekwe.jpg
7. Kadoma 44,613 67,750 76,173 81,008 Mashonaland West Kadoma Townhall, 2002.JPG
8. Masvingo 30,523 51,743 69,993 80,630 Masvingo
9. Chinhoyi 24,322 43,054 56,794 65,109 Mashonaland West
10. Marondera 19,971 39,384 52,283 60,291 Mashonaland East

Sports

Football is the most popular sport in Zimbabwe. Rugby union and cricket are also popular. Zimbabwe has won eight Olympic medals.

Zimbabwe has also done well in the Commonwealth Games and All-Africa Games. Kirsty Coventry won 11 gold medals in swimming. Zimbabwe has also been at Wimbledon and the Davis Cup in tennis. Zimbabwe has also done well in golf. Other sports played in Zimbabwe are basketball, volleyball, netball, and water polo, as well as squash, motorsport, martial arts, chess, cycling, polocrosse, kayaking and horse racing. Most of these sports don't have international representatives but instead stay at a junior or national level.

Related pages

Images for kids


Zimbabwe Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.