Republic of Zimbabwe

Political Status: Became self-governing British Colony of Southern Rhodesia in October 1923; unilaterally declared independence November 11, 1965; white-dominated republican regime proclaimed March 2, 1970; biracial executive established on basis of transitional government agreement of March 3, 1978; returned to interim British rule on basis of cease-fire agreement signed December 21, 1979; achieved de jure independence as Republic of Zimbabwe on April 18, 1980.

Area: 150,803 sq. mi. (390,580 sq. km.).

Population: 11,631,657 (2002C); 13,361,000 (2007E). The 2002 figure appears to involve substantial underenumeration.

Major Urban Center (including suburbs, 2005E): HARARE (formerly Salisbury, 1,527,000).

Official Language: English (Shona and Sindebele are the principal African languages).

Monetary Unit: Zimbabwe Dollar (official rate November 1, 2008: 737.37 dollars = $1US).

President: Robert Gabriel MUGABE (Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front); sworn in ...

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