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Zimbabwe: The Journey to Economic Recovery

Shona healer dressed in traditional costume
Shona healer from Zimbabwe dressed in traditional costume

Source: Britannica

Zimbabwe has16 official languages and holds the Guinness World Record for the country with the most official languages.

It takes an exceptional level of intelligence to be multilingual.

One of the most interesting things about Zimbabwe is its currency.

100 trillion Zimbabwe dollars
100 trillion Zimbabwe dollars

The hyperinflation of 2008, the worst in Zimbabwean history, brought the country’s economy to its knees.

To combat the economic downturn, Zimbabwe abandoned the Zimbabwean dollar for other currencies, making it a multi-currency nation. Currencies used in Zimbabwe include the U.S. Dollar, Euro, the Botswana Pula, and the South African Rand.

In fact, in 2009, the Zimbabwean government did not print the Zimbabwean dollars. In Zimbabwe, you could buy an item priced in South African Rands, pay in Euros, and get a change in U.S. dollars.

It is safe to say Zimbabweans are mathematical geniuses – how else can explain this brilliance?

In 2015, the Australian dollar, Indian Rupee, Japanese Yen, and Chinese Renminbi also became legal tenders.

However, the Zimbabwean government reinstated the Zimbabwean dollar as the country’s local currency in 2018.

Nature Wonders

Matobo hills
Matobo hills


Zimbabwe boasts several natural resources, hospitable people, and tourist attractions.

The Zimbabwean government acknowledged that its tourism sector could liberate the country from the clutches of economic downturn.

In 2016, tourism in Zimbabwe was estimated to be worth half a billion – and about $5 billion by 2020.

Zimbabwe is home to some of the most remarkable natural wonders and wildlife globally.

Located in southern Africa, Zimbabwe is famous for its outlandish archaeological sites (which preserve its cultural roots and heritage), epic safari, and diverse landscapes.

Zimbabwe houses five UNESCO World heritage sites: the Khami Ruins, Great Zimbabwe National Monument, Matobo Hills, Victoria Falls, and Mana Pools.

· The Khami Ruins is a vast complex of stonewalled sites and once was the capital of the Kingdom of Butwa, in the Torwa dynasty.

Khami Ruins
Khami Ruins

· The largest ruins in sub-Saharan Africa, the Great Zimbabwe National Monument was built by the Shona people between 1100 and 1450 AD. According to folklore, this was the capital of the Queen of Sheba.

The Great Zimbabwe National Monument
The Great Zimbabwe National Monument

· The Matobo Hills has one of the largest rock art in Southern Africa and is famous for its range of giant balancing granite rocks and cultural history. Due to the distinctive appearance of the rolling Matobo hills, King Mzilikazi – founder and leader of the Ndebele nation – named the balancing rocks “Matobo,” meaning “bald heads.” The artistic San or Bushmen people lived in the Matobo National Park for thousands of years.

King Solomon’s Gold Mine

Gold miners in Zimbabwe

Source: Aljazeera

Winston Chitando, the Zimbabwean minister of Mines, claims mining has the potential to generate US$12 billion for the country by 2023. One might begin to wonder how a country that just reeled out of hyperinflation aims to reach such feat.

But this is not so hard to achieve as the Zimbabwean mining industry is uniquely diversified, with over 40 distinct minerals.

Did you know King Solomon mined his gold from the ancient land of Zimbabwe? It is believed that the biblical Ophir is located in Zimbabwe. (Ophir was the legendary wealthy city King Solomon got ivory, gold, and other precious gems from.)

To date, mining is Zimbabwe’s leading industry, accounting for over 27% of export trade. The country prides itself as having the second-largest platinum deposit and boasts high-grade chromium ores, with approximately 2.8 billion tons of platinum group metals and 10 billion tons of chromium ore.

Zimbabwe is a leader in the production of lithium minerals, chrysotile asbestos, and ferrochromium, housing more than half of the known chromium reserves globally. The estimated value of mineral production in Zimbabwe exceeds $500 million per year.

Zimbabwe is also the ancient Shona city where South Africans traded iron and gold with the Portuguese and Indians.

Capital of the 21st Century Oil

Lithium powder

Source: AfricanNews

Zimbabwe is the only African country that produces lithium and is the 4th largest producer of lithium in the world.

The star mineral, 21st-century oil, white gold, white oil are some of the nicknames of lithium since it was first used to produce batteries in 1991.

The Bikita mine in Zimbabwe holds the world’s largest-known lithium deposit, estimated to be over 11 million tons.

In 2013, Zimbabwe exported 40.9 million tons of lithium, earning a whopping $57 million in foreign exchange that year. The alkali metal is a pivotal element in the production of many types of batteries powering technological marvels.

With the recent growing demand for smart cars and smartphones globally, Zimbabwe is set to reap a bountiful from its vast lithium reserves.

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