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You are in:  Nations > Africa > Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe*Zimbabwe flag
Basic facts
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The country 
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Capital: Harare
Area: 390,759 sq km; 150,873 sq miles
Population: 11,272,013 (2000 Estimate)
Urbanisation: Urban 34 per cent (1998 Estimate); Rural 66 per cent (1998 Estimate)
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Economy

Exports: Tobacco, minerals, cotton, maize, gold, textiles, ferrochrome

Industry: Mining, textiles, chemicals, food processing, metals, wood products, cement, tourism

Agriculture: Crops: maize, tea, cotton, tobacco, wheat, millet, cassava, sunflower seeds, bananas, soya beans, coffee, sugar cane, peanuts; livestock: cattle, goats, sheep, pigs; self-sufficient in food.

Currency: 1 Zimbabwe dollar (Z$), consisting of 100 cents

Natural resources: Gold, asbestos, nickel, copper, silver, emeralds, lithium, tin, iron ore, cobalt, chromium, coal, diamonds, kyanite, platinum, zinc, lead

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The people

Ethnic: Shona 71 per cent, Ndebele 16 per cent, other 13 per cent

Language: English (official), Shona, Ndebele. English is the official language of Zimbabwe and is spoken by most educated people. In rural areas, however, people use the language of their ethnic group, most commonly Shona or Ndebele. Many Zimbabweans speak more than one language and mix parts of several languages in daily speech. Both Shona and Ndebele are written languages and are taught in schools.

Religion: Syncretic (part Christian, part indigenous beliefs) 50 per cent, Christian 25 per cent, Indigenous beliefs 24 per cent, Muslim, Hindu, Other 1 per cent. About 25 per cent of Zimbabweans are Christian, 24 per cent follow traditional beliefs (which often emphasize ancestor veneration and belief in spirits) and 50 per cent practise a mixture of Christian values and traditional beliefs. There are small minorities of Muslims, Hindus and Jews.

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The history

Independence: 18 April 1980 (from the United Kingdom)

Government:  Zimbabwe's executive President, who is head of state and head of Government, is elected by the legislature for a five-year term. The unicameral legislature has 120 elected members, 12 Presidential nominees, 8 provincial governors and 10 traditional Chiefs. The voting age is 18. The country is divided into eight provinces: Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South, and the Midlands.

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