In 1964, Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia became independent as the separate countries of Malawi and Zambia. In 1965, the white- dominated parliament of Rhodesia declared itself independent, an illegal action under British law. Most of the people living in Rhodesia were black Africans who were not being equally represented by the white-government. Only white-dominated South Africa openly traded with the country.
In 1979, this economic pressure, combined with successes of guerrilla fighters, brought black majority rule to Rhodesia. Soon after, Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, but the long period of conflict weakened the once prosperous economy.
In the years since the civil war, Zimbabwes leaders have focused on rebuilding the country. Many factories started during the neighboring countries. The commercial agriculture on forms owned by whites is prosperous again. Although the majority of commercial farms in Zimbabwe are owned by whites, the government recently passed legislation that would equalize the distribution of land among black and whites farmers. Other economic and political reforms are taking places as well.
Most of Zimbabwe is a high, rolling plateau. The land is largely veld, or grassland, with shrub trees. The Zambezi River flows between Zambia and Zimbabwe in the north, and the Limpopa River forms Zimbabwes southern border with South Africa.
The Republic of Zimbabwe formerly called Rhodesia, is a landlocked country in south central Africa. It is slightly smaller in size than California Harare (formerly Salisbury,) the capital, and Bulawayo are the largest cities in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe has rich farmland, on which tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, and corn are grown. Beef cattle are raised on the veld. The country has rich mineral resources, including gold, copper, coal, chrome, nickel, and asbestos. As is shown by the massive stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe, people have settled in this part of Africa since ancient times.
Helgren David, Sager Robert, World Geography Today,
Zimbabwe Geography & Climate : Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, 1995.
7A Jessica S.
April 19, 2000