Zimbabwe. The fact that Robert Mugabe is subject to sanctions from both the US and the EU did not prevent the president, who turned 91 in February and has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, was appointed president of the African Union. The presidency rotates between the member states and lasts for one year.
|Gross domestic product (GDP)||$ 34,270,000,000|
|GDP growth rate||3.70%|
|GDP per capita||2,300 USD|
|GDP by sector|
|Proportion of the population below the national poverty line||68%|
|Distribution of household income|
|Industrial production growth rate||-3.00%|
|Investment volume||21.5% of GDP|
|National debt||82.30% of GDP|
|Foreign exchange reserves||$ 374,000,000|
|Number of visitors||1,905,000|
In December, Mugabe received one of the world’s most powerful men when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Zimbabwe. During the stay, several agreements on financial cooperation were signed. The aging Mugabe’s ability to govern the country has been questioned by the opposition since he read the wrong speech at the parliament’s opening in September, a speech he had already given at an earlier occasion. The president himself did not notice the fad and in retrospect, the government spokesman blamed the confusion on office officials. The rumors that Mugabe would suffer from prostate cancer were denied during the year and the incident in April when Mugabe fell at Harare Airport was dismissed as simply stealing.
According to COUNTRYAAH, Harare is the capital of Zimbabwe which is located in Eastern Africa. The power struggle within Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party continued during the year. In April, Joice Mujuru was excluded from ZANU-PF. Mujuru, previously seen as a possible political heir to Mugabe, was fired in December 2014 as vice president, a post she held for ten years. In June, Mujuru described the 35 years since majority rule was introduced in the country as a failure and she apologized for the role she played in Mugabe’s government. Later in the year she started the formation of a new opposition party called the People mainly. Mujuru is expected to stand in the 2018 presidential election.
The second largest party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), also underwent internal division during the year. In March, Parliament’s President, Jacob Mudenda, declared that 21 seats were vacant since the members resigned from the MDC. The departure was a protest against party leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s leadership and the members formed a new party, the New MDC. The MDC was given the right to appoint new members to one-third of the seats, while the remaining 14 would be appointed through filling elections. These elections were held in June, when two members who were forced out of ZANU-PF due to support for Joice Mujuru were also replaced. The MDC accused the government of harassment and boycotted the election elections. All 16 parliamentary seats to which the elections applied went to ZANU-PF.
In June, it was announced that the domestic currency, the Zimbabwean dollar, would be abolished as a valid means of payment. Instead, transactions must be made using other currencies, including the South African Rand, the Botswana Pula and the US Dollar, which has already been made to a large extent since 2009. The Zimbabwean dollar was when the message came in principle useless. In June, the news also came that Zimbabwe, along with 26 other African countries, agreed on a new free trade agreement, called the Tripartite Free Trade Area, which includes countries from Egypt in the north to South Africa in the south. However, the parliaments of the countries must approve the agreement before it can enter into force.
In February, the EU resumed its financial assistance to Zimbabwe, which has been withheld since 2002. A total of € 234 million will be used to develop three areas that the EU has identified as particularly important: the health sector, agriculture and political institutions.