The Republic of Zimbabwe or Zimbabwe for short is a beautiful landlocked country located at the southern part of Africa surrounded almost entirely by the republics of South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana. The Republic of Zimbabwe covers a total land area of about 390,757 squared kilometers (about 1% of which is covered by water).
Zimbabwe borders the Republic of South Africa to the south, the Republic of Mozambique to the east, the Republic of Botswana to the southwest, the Republic of Zambia and a tip of the Republic of Namibia to the northwest.
The Republic of Zimbabwe has a total population of about 14 million people with the population growth rate hovering between 3-4.5% (one of the highest in the world). About 38% of the population live in urban areas in major cities and towns such as Harare the capital.
Harare the capital of Zimbabwe contains about 2 million people). Bulawayo another major city in Zimbabwe today contains about a million people. Greater part of Zimbabwe's population lives in rural areas mostly as subsistence farmers who grow crops and rear animals just the feed themselves and their families.
Although not as culturally diverse as most other African countries, there are several ethnic and racial groups living in Zimbabwe today with Shona (indigenous African) the dominant ethnic group forming about 82% of the total population. The Ndebeles and other indigenous Africans make up about 16% of the total population. The mixed, Asian and whites form just about 2% of the total population.
The Syncretic religion which is part Christian and part indigenous beliefs is the most dominant religion in Zimbabwe today forming about 50% of the total population. Christians make up about 25% of the total population. Indigenous beliefs make up 24% of the total population with Islam and other religious groups forming the remaining 1%.
The Republic of Zimbabwe just like its neighboring countries is blessed with abundance of natural resources such as gold, copper, nickel, platinum group metals, iron ore, vanadium, lithium, asbestos, chromium ore, coal, tin, etc. The beautiful Victoria falls which is the largest curtain of falling water in the world is found in Zimbabwe.
Officially, Zimbabwe has one of the highest literacy rates on the continent with a literacy rate of 90.7% for the total population. Zimbabwe's female literacy rate hovers around 87.2%. In other words, officially, about 90.7% of Zimbabweans above the age 15 can at least read and write which is far better than in most other African countries. However, these are just "official" figures which differ a bit from reality in Zimbabwe today. Zimbabwe's true literacy rate today is around 75% for the entire population.
Despite the abundance of natural resources and the high literacy rate, Zimbabwe remains one of the poorest countries in Africa today with the unemployment rate around 95% (including underemployment). Majority of Zimbabweans today live below poverty line which implies majority of Zimbabweans today live on less than $1.25 a day.
Zimbabwe or the Republic of Zimbabwe remains one of the HIV/AIDS killing zones in Africa today. Despite the numerous HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns, more than 1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe today. About 1.2 million were living with HIV/AIDS in 2009 with about 83,000 deaths recorded within the same year. Zimbabwe's HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate hovers around 14.3%. Malaria, bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, rabies, schistosomiasis, etc continue to threaten several lives in Zimbabwe today.
Despite the high literacy rate, quality education is something very hard to come by in today's Zimbabwe so at the end of the day, people graduate from school with degrees upon degrees but unable to use those degrees to better their living conditions just like in Kenya and other African countries.
Poor leadership and corruption remain perhaps the number one problem facing Zimbabwe today. Just like in most other African countries, corruption levels remain at all-time high in Zimbabwe today. Although a few may disagree, Robert Mugabe the president of Zimbabwe is the biggest failure in Africa today. He is 92 (as on 02/21/16) years old but don't be deceived by his grandfather figure. Robert Mugabe has been in office for almost 4 decades yet not ready to let go. People continue to wallow in extreme poverty and hunger in Zimbabwe today but the "great" Mugabe doesn't seem to care.
Rampant deforestation, poaching, air and water pollution (especially from agricultural and industrial runoffs), soil erosion and land degradation (poor mining practices have led to toxic waste and heavy metal pollution), etc. remain some of the major environmental issues facing Zimbabwe today.