Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa. It shares borders with South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Namibia at its westernmost point. The population of Zimbabwe is approximately 13 million, of whom 67 per cent live in rural areas and 33 per cent in urban areas. More than two-thirds of the population speak Shona as their first language. English is the official language of government.
Zimbabwe achieved majority rule and internationally recognized independence in April 1980. The Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) has dominated post-independence politics. ZAUN-PF was led by Robert Mugabe, until his resignation in November 2017 following a bloodless military intervention and large-scale public protests calling for his resignation. Emerson Mnangagwa, Vice President to Mugabe from 2014-17 was sworn in as President on 24 November 2017.
Australia implemented targeted sanctions against certain individuals and companies in Zimbabwe in 2002 following concerns about political violence and human rights violations. More information on Australia's autonomous sanctions regime can be found on the Sanctions page.
Zimbabwe suffered catastrophic economic decline between 2000 and 2008. After the inauguration of the Inclusive Government in 2009, the economy stabilised in relative terms. However, following the contentious July 2013 elections which returned Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party to government, it has again declined.
Zimbabwe is endowed with plentiful natural resources that include rich mineral deposits, wildlife and arable lands. The Victoria Falls between Zimbabwe and Zambia, while neither the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world, is the largest sheet of falling water in the world.
Australia maintains an Embassy in Harare. Zimbabwe is represented in Australia by an Ambassador based in Canberra.