Development Economics in Zimbabwe Grade 12 Economics Case Study

1. Overview of Zimbabwe

The country of Zimbabwe is one of the most economically developed on the African continent, richly endowed with natural resources. The former British colony of Southern Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zimbabwe on 18th April, 1980 after a prolonged war of liberation. Since independence, Zimbabwe's primary goal has been redressing the socio-economic imbalances and restructuring the economy while maintaining growth and avoiding alienating its white population, whose skills are of vital importance to its economy. Unlike many countries in post-independent sub-Saharan Africa, Zimbabwe did not tread the nationalization path, rather choosing to purchase shares in various enterprises.

2. Comparing Development

Zimbabwe (blue) vs UK (yellow) - Life expectancy against Income per person

Zimbabwe started development at the point where income per person was a little less than 1500$ per year and where life expectancy was below 40 in . Life expectancy increased from below 40 to 65 from 1800 to 1900. However there was a drastic drop from 65 back to 45 from 1990 to 2003, during which the average income per person also decreased from 2500$ to 1200$ per person. After that, when life expectancy increased again, its income per person remained and fluctuated at 1500$.

Zimbabwe (blue) vs UK (yellow) - Child mortality rate against Human development index

3. Domestic Factors Leading to Economic Development

Human Capital:

"By improving skills development, specifically through increased investments to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), the Government is enhancing its talent pool and increasing employment opportunities, ultimately fostering growth in the labour market and effectively contributing to the advancement of the country’s future socio-economic climate. "

Increased access to Education:

4. The Role of International Trade in supporting development


gold/platinum/other metal alloys/coal: a third of country's export earnings

diamond: 2 billion dollars a year from the Marange Diamond Fields


tobacco/cotton/sugar: exports of unmanufactured tobacco earned the country over 240 million dollars in revenue in 2009.

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Created with images by brian.gratwicke - "Wildebeest" • damien_farrell - "Scan10726" • damien_farrell - "P1010275" • damien_farrell - "Scan10356" • andrew_mc_d - "Sunrise in Zimbabwe"

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