Country Information


The Zimbabwe dollar, denoted by ZWD or Z$, is the legal tender currency of Zimbabwe. The currency was formerly known as the Rhodesian dollar (R$), which was established in 1970 following the replacement of the Pound. At the time of Zimbabwe's independence in 1980, the dollar was worth approximately the same amount as the Pound Sterling; however, with much inflation and the collapse of the economy, the currency devalued significantly. By August 2005, the currency had devalued to Z$17,694.15 per US dollar at the official rate. The black market rate at this time was around double the official rate. The largest standard issue banknote in circulation is currently Z$1,000. However, the government has issued bearer's cheques in larger denominations to offset the money shortage.


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Political Structure

Zimbabwe's government is set up in theory as a multiparty parliamentary democracy - however in reality, is a dictatorial single-party system. The chief of state, who is also the head of government, leads the executive branch. This president is elected for a six-year term by popular vote after being nominated by the House of Assembly. The president appoints the cabinet that is responsible to the House of Assembly. The unicameral House of Assembly runs the legislative branch and consists of 150 seats. Of these 150, 120 are elected for five-year terms by popular vote, 12 are nominated by the president, 10 are filled by traditional chiefs by being chosen by their peers, and the remaining eight are provincial governors who have been appointed by the president. The judicial branch is the Supreme Court.

Prominent Figures

Chief of State Executive President Robert Gabriel MUGABE (since 31 December 1987); Vice President John NKOMO (since December 2009) and Vice President Joyce MUJURU (since 6 December 2004) 
Head of Government Prime Minister Morgan TSVANGIRAI (since 11 February 2009); Deputy Prime Minister Arthur MUTAMBARA 
Cabinet Cabinet appointed by the president and prime minister; responsible to the House of Assembly 
Elections presidential candidates nominated with a nomination paper signed by at least 10 registered voters (at least one from each province) and elected by popular vote for a five-year term (no term limits); elections last held on 28 March 2008 followed by a run-off on 27 June 2008 (next to be held in 2013); co-vice presidents are drawn from party leadership 
Election Results Robert Gabriel MUGABE reelected president; percent of vote - Robert Gabriel MUGABE 85.5%, Morgan TSVANGIRAI 9.3%, other 5.2%; note - first round voting results - Morgan TSVANGIRAI 47.9%, Robert Gabriel MUGABE 43.2%, Simba MAKONI 8.3%, other 0.6%; first-round round polls were deemed to be flawed suppressing TSVANGIRAI's results; the 27 June 2008 run-off between MUGABE and TSVANGIRAI were severely flawed and internationally condemned

Key Economic Factors

Economic Overview:

Zimbabwe's economy is struggling severely, causing its government to have to tackle many problems such as unsustainable fiscal deficit, an overvalued exchange rate, very high inflation and empty shelves. In addition, Zimbabwe's participation in the war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1998-2002 consumed hundreds of millions of dollars from its economy. Also, the IMF's support, which is extremely needed, has been suspended because of Zimbabwe's failure to meet its budgetary goals. Zimbabwe's inflation has risen tremendously from 32% in 1998 to 133% at the end of 2004; meanwhile, its exchange rate has fallen from 24 to 6,200 ZWD per USD throughout the same time period. Another downside is that chaos and violence characterizes the government's land reform program and this has seriously hurt the commercial farming sector, the customary source of exports and foreign exchange and the employer of 400,000 jobs.


Mining (coal, gold, platinum, copper, nickel, tin, clay, numerous metallic and nonmetallic ores), steel, wood products, cement, chemicals, fertilizer, clothing and footwear, foodstuffs and beverages.

Agriculture Products:

Corn, cotton, tobacco, wheat, coffee, sugarcane, peanuts, sheep, goats, and pigs.

Major Trading Partners:

South Africa, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and China.

Import Commodities:

Machinery, transport equipment, chemicals and fuels.

Export Commodities:

Cotton, tobacco, gold, ferro alloys, and textiles/clothing.

Exchange Rates



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