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.
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repealed its imperialistic claims to the African nation .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
 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) .
 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% .
 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.
 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
hasten along political change white progressives announced
the Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) thereby
declaring their independence from Great Britain . The
British government was not hostile to the UDI but did
insist that the Rhodesian government demonstrate its
intention to move toward free and democratic majority rule.
Considering the majority of Rhodesia was African the ruling
whites were diametrically opposed to any such form of
majority rule government and refused to meet Great
Britain's conditions of independence.
On December 16, 1966 Rhodesia made history by being the
first country subject to United Nations economic sanctions,
suffering a complete embargo on key exports and imports .
With a dilapidating economy and African discontent with the
white ruling minority Rhodesia fell into a period of
economic and political turmoil breeding uncertainty and
general political instability.
In 1974 Rhodesia's two primary black nationalists parties
combined to form a front against Rhodesia's governing
policy. Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union
(ZANU) and Joshua Nkomo's Zimbabwe African People's Union
(ZAPU) united together to form a "Patriotic Front" against
the segregationist regime of Prime Minister Ian Smith . In
1976, under great political, economic, and social pressure
Smith ceded to foreign and domestic demands and agreed to
majority rule in principle. Through diplomatic channels and
under British auspices Rhodesia made the transition to
majority rule and on December 21, 1979 political reforms
were unofficially agreed upon. As a condition of this
agreement Rhodesia was granted independence from the
Commonwealth, and all U.N. sanctions were lifted with a
decree that Rhodesia was to be internationally recognized
as a political state .
In late February, 1980 free democratic election were held
in Rhodesia for the first time with Mugabe's ZANU(PF)
achieving an absolute majority. Upon the victory of his
party Mugabe was asked to form the first government of the
country of Zimbabwe. On April 18, 1980 the British
Government formally granted independence to the former
Rhodesia and four months later Zimbabwe was indoctrinated
as a member of the United Nations .
Zimbabwe's political system exists to this day as
democratic and majoritarian all implemented through a
parliamentary system. Robert Mugabe remains as President
and utilizes a foreign policy of non-alignment. Despite
this Zimbabwe is a member of the Organization of African
Unity (OAU) and performs primary trade with its neighboring
African state South Africa. It is the period from 1980 to
the present that is most fundamental in understanding
Zimbabwe's economic system because it is in this period
that Zimbabwe's economic structure best reveals itself.
 Zimbabwe's economic structure is one of great potential.
In the years prior to its independence Zimbabwe put great
emphasis in developing its mining industry and as a result
it is one of the most developed in Africa. The mining of
such minerals as copper, nickel, gold, and
metallurgical-grade ferrochromite is responsible for nearly
half the countries $4.9 billion Gross Domestic Product
(GDP) . The other half of Zimbabwe's GDP is generated
primarily in the agricultural sector with the majority of
this produced at subsistence levels by most of the

Zimbabwe clearly has the potential to generate agriculture
beyond the subsistence level and thereby eliminate any
degree of shortage. In any event subsistence would be
sufficient to eliminate shortage if not for recent
devastating droughts. 

Zimbabwe's mineral export industry is key to the nations
developmental success. Although small, the countries mining
industry is modernized and strategically developed toward
exports. Many paved roads link mines and other industries
together that complement mining such as heavy machinery.
Also, the areas within the vicinity of the mines are highly
developed and urbanized to ensure an adequate and able
workforce. Finally, Zimbabwe participates in non-aligned
trade for non-strategic products such as textiles. This
greatly reduces the countries chance of becoming dependent
on a trade partner.
 In many ways Zimbabwe is a model for third-world economic
development. Although not yet fully developed Zimbabwe
clearly has the potential to be a full fledged developed
nation. Beyond its vast resources Zimbabwe is structured in
a way to promote development. This fact in and of itself
distinguishes Zimbabwe from most other Lesser Developed
Countries (LDC). Zimbabwe's economic structure is one in
which they are essentially self-sufficient and trade only
for profit or for consumer goods. Also they perform trade
with many partners with no single partner comprising
garnering more than 15% of import or export goods. By
structuring the Zimbabwe's economic system in a way that
keeps its partners diversified and its imports
non-strategic, Mugabe has successfully led his nation to
the path of development. The barriers left to full
development are quite minimal compared to the ones already
dominated, The structure of Zimbabwe's economic system is
truly a model of economic development.

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