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Economy of Zimbabwe

The economy of Zimbabwe shrank significantly after 2000, resulting in a desperate situation for the country - widespread poverty and an 80% unemployment rate. However, after 2008, Zimbabwe's economy started to improve dramatically and it became one of the fastest-growing economies in southern Africa. Between 2009 and 2011, Zimbabwe's GDP growth averaged 7.3 percent, making it one of the world's fastest-growing economies. Zimbabwe's participation from 1998 to 2002 in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo set the stage for this deterioration by draining the country of hundreds of millions of dollars. Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe was a major problem from about 2003 to April 2009, when the country suspended its own currency. Zimbabwe faced 231 million percent peak hyperinflation in 2008.

The country has reserves of metallurgical-grade chromite. Other commercial mineral deposits include coal, asbestos, copper, nickel, gold, platinum and iron ore.

Government spending is 97.8% of GDP. State enterprises are strongly subsidized, taxes and tariffs are high. State regulation is costly to companies, starting or closing a business is slow and costly. Labour market is highly regulated, hiring a worker is cumbersome and firing a worker is difficult. By 2008 unemployment had risen to 94%.

Sectors

Transportation

Zimbabwe has adequate internal transportation and electrical power networks, however maintenance has been neglected over several years. Poorly paved roads link the major urban and industrial centers, and rail lines managed by the National Railways of Zimbabwe tie it into an extensive central African railroad network with all its neighbours.

Energy

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority is responsible for providing the country with electrical energy. Zimbabwe has two larger facilities for the generation of electrical power. In 2006, crumbling infrastructure and lack of spare parts for generators and coal mining lead to Zimbabwe importing 40% of its power - 100 megawatts from the Democratic Republic of Congo, 200 megawatts from Mozambique, up to 450 from South Africa, and 300 megawatts from Zambia.

Agriculture

Agriculture in Zimbabwe can be divided into two parts: industrialized farming of crops such as cotton, tobacco, coffee, peanuts and various fruits and subsistence farming with staple crops such as maize or wheat.

Industrialized farming was once the backbone of the domestic Zimbabwean economy and contributed up to 40% of the exported produce.

Mining sector

As other southern African countries, Zimbabwean soil is rich in raw materials, namely platinum, coal, iron ore, and gold, and lately also diamonds have been found in considerable deposits. Copper, chromite and nickel deposits also exist, though in lesser amounts. The Marange diamond fields, discovered in 2006 are thought to be among the richest in the world.

In January 2013, Zimbabwe's mineral exports totalled $1.8 billion.

Education

The state of education in Zimbabwe effects the development of the economy while the state of the economy can effect access and quality of teachers and education. Zimbabwe has one of Africa's highest literacy rates at over 90%.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Economy Of Zimbabwe"

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