ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN ZIMBABWE

Description: Pretty much self explanatory. This paper discusses the economic
development in the country if Zimbabwe detailing the countries economic
successes and reasons for them.

Economic Development in Zimbabwe

The country of Zimbabwe is one of the most economically developed on the African
continent . A fairly young political entity, Zimbabwe has only enjoyed recognized
autonomy since 1980, the year in which the United Kingdom repealed its imperialistic
claims to the African nation . Despite its youth the country has achieved a level of
economic development uncharacteristic of sub-Saharan African nations. Second only to
South Africa in economic development, Zimbabwe's economic system is one indicative
of a transitional country, a country making the transition from dependency
underdevelopment to self-reliant industrialization. The purpose of this essay is to make
a cursory but adequate examination of Zimbabwean socio-economic and political
system, as means to analyzing the countries economic development. The ultimate
purpose of this study is to provide a model of the structure necessary to achieve
economic development where none previously existed. Zimbabwe is an appropriate
model because the dynamics of underdevelopment to development in this country are
readily apparent. This model can be useful in understanding underdevelopment in other
so called "third-world" countries and in determining what is necessary for these
countries to make the transition to industrialization.

Geography
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in the southern, sub-Saharan area of the African
continent bordered by South Africa to the South, Botswana to the West, Mozambique to
the East and Zambia to the North. With an area of 391,090 km2 Zimbabwe is only
slightly larger than the state of Colorado. Harare is Zimbabwe's capital and largest city
with a population of 1,100,000. Containing vast amounts of rare mineralogical
resources and possessing a favorable growing climate Zimbabwe's economy is drawn
almost equally between the mining of minerals ($2.2 billion) and the production of
staples and cash crops ($2.1 billion) .

People
Zimbabweans are comprised of two primary ethnic groups, the Shona, comprising 74%
of the population and the Ndebele comprising 20%. Other ethnic black groups and
Asians make up 4% of the population while whites make up just over 1% of the
population. Zimbabwe has a population of 10.35 million people with a population
density of 24 persons per km2. 1992 census figures estimate Zimbabwe's growth at
3.0% with 90% of this growth rate within the Shona group. This 3.0% growth is quite
rapid given its relation to the countries declining annual growth rate of -15% .

History
Zimbabwe's history dates back to the 9th century A.D., the believed period in which
many great buildings were built, buildings clearly indicative of an early and great
civilization. Of the many sites the most impressive is the Great Stone House or Great
Zimbabwe the source of the countries name. Despite the impressive nature of the Great
Zimbabwe and the other building sites, it is believed that the civilization that created
them did not survive to see the new millennium .

Some 900 years after the construction of the Great Zimbabwe many other sights were
built as Zimbabwe became the object of British colonialism in 1888. It was in this year
that John Cecil Rhodes obtained mineral rights for the British throne and began the
process of bringing Zimbabwe home to Great Britain. Pleased with his accomplishment
the throne honored Rhodes by lending his name to the area, now calling it Rhodesia.
Headed by Rhodes the British South Africa Company (BSA) was chartered in 1889 with
the responsibility of colonizing the areas of Northern and Southern Rhodesia and
bringing back to the Kingdom the vast mineralogical resources Rhodesia had to offer .

Although a colony, throughout the existence of its charter Rhodesia enjoyed
self-governing and perceived autonomy. The United Kingdom reserved the right to
intervene in the policies of Rhodesia at any prompting, but this right was rarely
employed leaving Rhodesia's autonomy all but assumed. The perceived autonomy the
nation enjoyed allowed for the emergence of factions interested in developing
Rhodesia's mineralogical and agricultural potential for the purpose of stimulating
domestic growth only. Although growth would benefit the country as a whole, it would
benefit whites specifically by design. An apartheid-type land apportionment act passed
in 1934 allotted key resource rich areas to whites only. The perceived autonomy and
racists nature of Rhodesia would have great implications late in the countries political
future.

Politics
By 1960 Rhodesia was a country of two factions: the ruling white minority who wanted
complete independence from the United Kingdom and the indigenous African majority
who wanted greater control of their country and an end to institutional racism. On
November 11, 1965 in a step to