State of the Southern Africa, bordered in the North-West by Zambia, the west by Botswana, the south by South Africa, in the east and the North-East by Mozambique. This wedged territory, called Rhodesia during British colonization, counts aujourd’hui 11 d’habitants million, of which two thirds live in rural zone. Upset by revolts of peasants without ground since his independence in 1980, Zimbabwe is a country torn between its populations white and noire.
Relief. Does the territory have as a principal axis the reliefs of Great Dyke ("le great seam") located on the high plateaus (High Veld), of Pre-Cambrian era, which cross it in scarf of south-west to the North-East on more than 500 km. The climax (Inyangani mount, 2 595 m) rises in the east, close to Mozambique. Located entirely in altitude, the country is made of steppes (in the Western areas near the desert of Kalahari) and especially of savannas.
Climate. Located in tropical area, Zimbabwe has a climate moderated by l’altitude in the areas of the high plateaus. The rain season lasts d’octobre at March but the country knows periodic drynesses, such those of 1991 and 1993, very vermin for the cultures and the breeding.

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Seas and rivers. The courses of the Zambezi, in the North-West, and of Limpopo, in the south, respectively mark the borders with Zambia and South Africa These rivers are thrown in l’océan Indien when they reach the coasts of Mozambique. Indeed, Zimbabwe does not lay out d?accès direct with the sea.
Sites and natural environments. Zimbabwe shelters the famous Victoria falls, located at the North-West of the country, the border with Zambia, and lays out d’un hydroelectric dam on the lake of reserve of Kariba which ensures l’essentiel of the electric production of the country. Located at the south-east of the country, the archeological site of Zimbabwe was inhabited as of stone l’âge and constitutes a tourist place under development. Population and organization of space. The population is distributed between two principal groups: Shonas, d’origine bantoue, which constitutes essence of it, and Ndébélés, which belong to the zouloue family. Old colony of British settlement, the country counts also a white minority (80 000 people approximately, against 275 000en 1975), town frameworks or great landowners in High Veld. Because of the segregation which was abolished only with independence, the mongrels are still very few among the 11 d’habitants million which the country counts. The demographic growth, a long time very strong (3,2 % per annum until 1993), is today about 2 %. It feeds a strong rural migration since the end of 1970, date on which the law which prohibited with the Blacks to be owners downtown was raised. The urban population is thus still relatively very few (approximately 33 % of the total population). Harare, capital political and economic, in the past called Salisbury, gathers approximately 2 million inhabitants with l’ensemble of his agglomeration and precedes the town of Bulawayo which counts approximately 700 000 inhabitants.
General characteristics. Standard of living. The policy of practised racial segregation jusqu’à l’accession with the capacity of the nationalists maintained the inequalities between Noirs and White. Aujourd’hui still, the majority of the black population which lives in the great agglomerations lives in unhealthy shantytowns. The medical state of the population is particularly alarming. The virus of the AIDS touches 20 % of the inhabitants and l’espérance of life n’est that 44 years. Moreover, 40 % of the working population was with unemployment in 1998. Economic indicators. Zimbabwe, second world exporter of tobacco (with 215 000 tons in 1997), belonged to the Common Market of l’Afric southern and Eastern (COMESA) and maintain the relations privileged with the countries of this zone. These regional bonds compensate l’inconvénient major which l?absence d?accès with the sea for the development of the trade constitutes, the port nearest, Biera (in Mozambique), being located on the coast of l’océan Indien, to 600 km of the capital. L’existence d’un vast network of railways allowed d’améliorer the d’échange means with the countries close, in particular l’Afric to the South, which belongs to the privileged trade partners of Zimbabwe. Supported by the International Monetary International Monetary Funds (the IMF), Zimbabwe still posted, in 1999, a budget deficit of 168 million dollars. Lastly, l?agriculture, which represents 30 more % of the GDP, crosses a crisis which weakens l’ensemble l’economy. An agriculture at two speeds. The agricultural sector employs 55 % of the working population. It gathers, d?une share, of many black small holders devoting itself to not very intensive food crops (corn, millet, sorghum) on poor and badly irrigated grounds, and, d’autre share, four thousand farmers white who occupy of great modern fields. The latter are delivered to the culture of the cane with sugar, citrus fruits, l’arachide, the tobacco, soya, cereals, the coffee and the tea. The producers of tobacco, who carry out 25 % of exports of the country, underwent into 1998 the consequences of the Asian crisis and the fall of the courses. The bovine breeding also constitutes one of the great activities of the pays(avec 5,4 million heads), but remains essentially with the hands of the White. The land problem is thus acute in Zimbabwe where tens of thousands of families are without ground. In October 1997, president Mugabe decided to nationalize 4,5 million hectares exploited by 1 500 white farmers but this outline of land reform does not seem to satisfy anybody. Moreover, the rise in the price of the basic food product, cornstarch, started in January 1998 of violent riots in all the cities of the country.
Mining richnesses development. The essence of the national richness is brought by the exploitation of the raw materials mineral, the country has, in great abundance, in the area of Great Dyke. One finds gold there, l’argent, of antimony, iron, cobalt, nickel, chromium or of coal with open sky. Large investments were carried out, with the assistance of South Africa, in platinum mines, which should make country one of the first world producers in the next years. The other industrial sectors knew a rapid development, financed mainly by the incomes of exports and the foreign investments, in particular South-African. The productions are varied and relate to especially the agroalimentary one, chemistry (manure), the textile (cotton) and mechanics (automobile assembly, farm equipment) but they are concentrated essentially in the large cities of the country. Political and social life. Political institutions. Zimbabwe is directed by Robert Mugabe who cumulates the functions of president of the Republic and Prime Minister. In 1990, party of the president, the Zanu-PF (Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Face), gives up its statute of single party. If one counts aujourd’hui about fifteen parties d’oppositions, the political life remains dominated by the party with the capacity. Moreover, l’abstention of the voters does not make qu’augmenter since the years 1980. Defense and armed forces. L’armée, strong of 40 000 men approximately, sent the quarter of its manpower in democratic Republic of Congo, to support there the mode of Laurent-Desired president Kabila. The public expenditure, in this sector, represents 5 % of gross domestic product. Education. The rate of schooling is relatively high in Zimbabwe, compared to the other sub-Saharan countries. Indeed, the relationship between the d’élèves number provided education for having l’âge legal (7-14 years) and slices it d’âge corresponding (rate Net of schooling) is 82 %. Its education system, in which l’école primary education is free and obligatory, appears relatively powerful since about two thirds of the pupils obtain the final diploma. Moreover, the rate d’alphabetisation of the adults is 87,2 % in 2000.Histoire. Origins. Inhabited as of prehistory, Zimbabwe, whose name means "tombeau heads", is populated with the Neolithic era of Bochimans, pushed back little by little towards the desert, at the beginning of the Christian era, by farmers of origin bantou. The country sees developing starting from IVe century a brilliant civilization, whose testify the imposing ruins strengthened to Zimbabwe. This site, in the south-east of the country, knows its apogee in XIVe and XVe centuries, time to which is built a monumental temple. Its inhabitants, who probably belong to the ethnos group of Mashonas, come then into contact with Arab and Chinese tradesmen by the intermediary of the port of Sofala (aujourd’hui Beira, in Mozambique), on the Indian Ocean. The multiple objects come from Perse, the Indies and China which were discovered on this site testify to these exchanges. The country is conquered about 1450 by of Bantous which melts the kingdom of Monomotapa. This one extends, about 1480, on almost the totality of Africa of South-east to the Zambezi but, since 1490, it is tiny room to only Zimbabwe and a small part of Mozambique, all the south of the territory passing to a former revolted governor, who takes the title of changamire. The Portuguese, who are established on the coasts starting from XVIe century, seek to control Monomotapa and push the sovereigns to sign, at the XVIIe century, a treaty recognizing with the colonists the monopoly of the exploitation of the mines. Subjected to various pressures on behalf of close people, Zimbabwe manages with difficulty to preserve l’unity of its territory. Thus, about 1830, of the zoulous groups come from the South, Ndébélés (or Matabélés), settles in Bulawayo under the control of the Mzilikazi head. They then subject the populations shonas installed between Limpopo and the Zambezi.
Accompanying the great movement by Western colonization which starts in Africa in the middle of the XIXe century, of British missionnaires settle as of the years 1860 at Ndébélés. In the years 1870, British South Africa Company (BSCA), founded by Cecil Rhodos, establishes bonds with the populations bantoues installed in the north of the river Limpopo, Matabélés and Mashonas. It thus wishes to prevent the Portuguese d’étendre their empire colonial on the territories ranging between Mozambique and Angola and to adapt the gold resources of the territory. In 1888, it obtains, by the trick, a patent of mining mining claims, three years after the conference of Berlin had recognized the British authority on the area. Since 1889, the territory is officially placed under the administration of the BSCA by a royal charter signed by the Victoria queen. However, colonization becomes effective only at the end of the XIXe century, at the end of several years of fight against the local populations. The country takes the name of Rhodesia then, in 1895, in reference to the patronym of Cecil Rhodos. From the very start of the XXe century, the softness of the climate, the fertility of the grounds and the facilities of communication offered by the construction of a railway, energy of the falls Victoria jusqu’à the South-African coast, are d’éléments as much which attract the colonists, mainly d’origine British.
Mining and plantation, cattle-rearing area large (corn, tobacco) significant (copper, gold), Rhodesia refuses in 1922 its integration with the South African Union, fearing the dilution of its British identity within d?une entity dominated by Boers. It becomes the following year, during the expiry of the concession granted to the BSCA, a colony of the British Crown, under the name of Rhodesia-of-South (in opposition to Rhodesia-of-North, current Zambia). Without adhering officially to apartheid, the white colonists institute a system of separate development gradually.
With Land Apportionment Act of 1930, law on the ground division, they hold to the white agricultural owners 45 % of the surface of the country. Moreover, they park the black population in distinct zones and force them to rent their labour force to the colonists. In 1953, the Rhodesia-of-South s’associe, within d’une federation, with Rhodesia-of-North and Nyasaland but is only found, in 1964, when these two States, reaching l’indépendance, become respectively Zambia and Malawi. In 1965, the Prime Minister, Ian Smith, leader of Rhodesian Face (Face rhodésien), majority movement in the white population, proclaims the independence of Rhodesia unilaterally. Great Britain, like the international community, refuses to recognize this State because of the policy of racial segregation imposed by the government. An embargo is imposed by l?ONU while the white capacity, which proclaims the Republic in 1970, must face the rise of the nationalist movements. The latter are divided since the ZAPU (Zimbabwe African People’ S Union, Union of the African people of Zimbabwe), founded in 1957, divides, on ethniques criteria, in two competitor movements. While Robert Mugabe, Shona, creates the ZANU (Zimbabwe African National Union, African national Union of Zimbabwe), the control of the ZAPU returns in Ndébélé, Joshua Nkomo. After several years of guerrilla and confrontations between nationalist militants, the dispute, supported by certain close African States, becomes extensive such as the white government calls a conference with Lusaka, in Zambia (1974), and proceeds in 1979 to elections which organize the first transfers of sovereignty to the profit of the Blacks. The following year, of new elections give a clear majority to the nationalist leaders who proclaim the independence of the country, named then Zimbabwe in remembering l’ancian kingdom of Zimbabwe. Mugabe with the capacity. Quickly confronted with a resumption of the guerrilla Ndébélé, Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister since independence, become head of the State in 1987, an agreement with the ZANU, which amalgamates with the ZAPU, in 1988 negotiates. Joshua Nkomo, appointed vice-president of the party resulting from this fusion, becomes vice-president of the Republic in 1990, the year even or Robert Mugabe is re-elected president. Of inspiration Marxist in the beginning, the mode is directed little by little towards the market economy, fascinating act owing to the fact that the white, strong minority of approximately 100 000 people (that is to say nearly 1 % of the population), concentrates the majority of the richnesses of the country, including 70 % of the arable lands. Re-elected president in 1996, Robert Mugabe, who did not cease making modify the Constitution to increase his capacities, must face a significant dispute of the black population, radicalized by the weight of the inequalities and the economic difficulties, then even qu’il engages in an expensive policy of support armed for the mode with Laurent-Desired Kabila in Congo-Kinshasa. Since 1998, to calm popular vindication ("émeutes of the hunger"), it puts in?uvre a land reform by expropriant white farmers without compensation and by redistributing the grounds for the black peasants. Since 2000, a movement encouraged by the capacity which adopts accents populists, resulted in the occupation of many farms belonging to the white population, sometimes confiscated by ex-serviceman of the "guerre of release" years 1970. This demagogic policy allowed the party of the president, the Zanu-PF (Patriotic Front), to gain the legislative elections of June 2000, under conditions criticized by the international observers, whereas the victory of the Movement for the democratic change (MDC) of Morgan Tsvangirai appeared probable. The continuation of the land reform, currently being studied, resulted right now in transfers of property obtained by the force to the detriment of the white minority. In February 2002, Morgan Tsvangirai is accused of plot. One month later, Robert Mugabe is once more elected president of the Republic. In March, the Commonwealth excludes Zimbabwe for one year.
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