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Country information: Zimbabwe



390 580 square kilometres


11,39 million (July 2009)

Capital city

Harare (1.9 million inhabitants 2006)

Official Language

English (other languages: Shona 70 %, Sindebele 20% and tribal dialects)

Gross national product per capita

US $ 500 (2008)

Population growth

1,53 per cent (2009)

Life expectancy

45,8 years (2009)

Infant mortality

32,1 per 1 000 live births (2009)

Rate of illiteracy

9.3 % (2003)




Tourism plays an important role for Zimbabwe, and generates a big part of the gross national product. In particular individual tourists from Western Europe, North America and Australia visit Zimbabwe in order to experience African culture, but also for fun and relaxation. Since 2003 the tourism sector sees a downturn. Surely the reason could find in the problematic political situation of Zimbabwe. According to UNWTO in 2004, approximately 1,6 million guests visited the country and brought 80 million Euro into the country.


Commercial sexual exploitation of children in tourism

Tourism is flourishing in Zimbabwe and together with other factors has led to the growth of recreational infrastructure along the major roads and in the tourist centres. Along with the opening of bars and discotheques, there has also been a rise in prostitution. As a result of the difficult financial situation, more and more children, particularly orphans, find themselves forced into prostitution in order to support themselves. Prostitution is illegal in Zimbabwe, and there are severe prison sentences for the sexual abuse of children. Zimbabwe ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child on September 11, 1990, and has undertaken to protect children against all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.


HIV / Aids

With the spread of prostitution, there are also fears of an increase in the frequency of HIV and AIDS. According to estimates by UNAIDS and the World Health Organization, in 2007 some 1.3 million people in Zimbabwe were infected with HIV, including 680.000 women and 120.000 children. In the same year, 140.000 people in Zimbabwe died following infection with HIV. In Zimbabwe, 15,3 per cent of persons between the ages of 15 and 49 is infected with HIV. The southern Africa is deemed to be the region with the highest prevalence rates of HIV in the world.


Local Contacts



Terre des Hommes - Co-ordination Zimbabwe and Zambia

Mr. Fungai Dewere

2 Wetmore Close, Off Hurworth Road

Highlands, Harare

P.O.Box 1539

Harare, Zimbabwe

Phone +263 4 747505

Fax: +263 4 747 033



African Network for the Prevention and Protection against Child abuse and Neglect - Zimbabwe Chapter

Mr. Witness Chikoko

P. O. Box 8043

Harare, Zimbabwe

Phone: +263 4 70 47 96

Fax: +263 4 70 35 92



Save the Children UK - Zimbabwe

10 Natal Road


Harare, Zimbabwe

Phone: +263 4 7931 98





State and society

Zimbabwe is a democracy and has been ruled since its independence in 1980 by the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). Their initial efforts were directed to eliminating inequality between Blacks and Whites, and also between town and country.

The economy in Zimbabwe depends largely on exports of raw materials. 70 per cent of the population are supported by farming and forestry. The mining industry also has considerable economic importance.


98 per cent of the population of Zimbabwe are Bantu, the two most important groups are the Shona and Ndebele. Alongside practitioners of natural religions, between 50 and 60 percent of the population identify themselves as Christian. 


Men and women have equal rights under law. As in western countries, this formal equality is not realised in all areas. After fighting together with men for independence, women found that traditional roles re-established themselves. Caring for children and the household are in the hands of women. In Zimbabwe, polygamy is traditionally allowed and many women can be married to the same man.


On the whole, children are well cared for in their families, as well as in the community and society. Their rights are specified in a law on protection of the child. Although the legal age of majority is 18, society still sees 18-year-olds as children. Families wish much the same for their children as parents in Europe - good education and a happy future. Since the introduction of a structural adaptation programme to reduce national debts in 1992, school fees have been charged, so that many poor people no longer send their children to school. If parents have to choose they tend to send sons to school first, rather than their daughters.



Seit 1998 steckt Simbabwe in einer tiefen wirtschaftlichen Krise. 2003 schrumpfte das BIP um 18,5%, gleichzeitig lag die durchschnittliche Inflationsrate bei 400%. Die Wirtschaft in Simbabwe hängt stark vom Rohstoffexport ab. 70 Prozent der Bevölkerung leben von der Land- und Forstwirtschaft. Dem Bergbau kommt eine große wirtschaftliche Bedeutung zu.