The Federal Republic of Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Mozambique to the east, Botswana to the west, and Zambia to the northwest. Zimbabwe is abundantly rich in mineral resources such as gold, diamonds, copper, nickel and platinum group of metals.
Zimbabwe's economy depends heavily on its mining and agriculture sectors. Mineral Exports account for over 50% of Zimbabwe's foreign export earnings and 50% of the country's FDI are in the mining industry.
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Zimbabwe has a huge and highly diversified mineral resource base dominated by prominent geological features, namely, an expansive craton, widespread greenstone belts (also known as gold belts), the famous Great Dyke, Precambrian and Karoo basins and metamorphic belts. As a result of its good geology, the country has huge mineral potential characterised by about 60 economic minerals whose commercial profitability has been proven. The Great Dyke is a layered igneous complex extending north-south for about 550 km. The Great Dyke plays host to the world’s largest high grade chromite resource base. Zimbabwe has the world’s second largest resource of platinum group of metals as well as significant reserves of copper and nickel. With rock ages spanning a period of more than 3 billion years, Zimbabwe’s heterogeneous geological environment is favourable to occurrences of a variety of minerals and ore bodies. There are over 4 000 recorded gold deposits, nearly all of them located on ancient workings. The country remains under-explored to discover new deposits as well as realising full potential of known deposits. More than 90% of gold deposits in Zimbabwe are associated with greenstone belts which are some of the richest and comparable to those in some leading gold producing countries in the world like Australia, South Africa and Canada.
Laws and Regulations
There are three types of titles available for Exploration and Prospecting. Exclusive Prospecting Licence, Special Grant and Prospecting Licence.
Any person above the age of 18 years may apply for a prospecting licence. The licence provides the right to search for minerals and peg claims. The two types of prospecting licences are the Ordinary Prospecting Licence and the Special Prospecting Licence.
Titles for mine development and mining:
The titles available for mine development and mining include Mining claim (normally registered as a block of claims), mining lease, Special Grant and Special Mining Lease.
The holder of a mining location may make written application to the mining commissioner for the issue of a mining lease in respect of a defined area within which such locations are situated. The holder of a mining lease has the exclusive right of mining any deposit or mineral that occurs within the vertical limits of his lease.
Special mining leases:
The holder of one or more contiguous mining locations who intends to establish or develop a mine thereon and investment in the mine will be wholly or mainly in foreign currency and will exceed US$100 million in value, and the mine’s output is mainly intended primarily for export, may apply in writing to the mining commissioner for a special mining lease of a defined area within which his mining locations are situated.
The board may permit a person to make an application notwithstanding that either or both the criteria mentioned above will not be met, if the Board considers that it is desirable in the interest of the development of Zimbabwe’s mineral resources.
Having received the application the Board shall forward it to the Minister together with their recommendations. The Minister shall submit them to the President together with his own recommendation for the President’s approval.
A holder of a prospecting licence may peg claims and register the claims for the purpose of mining. The maximum size of the each precious metal block of claims is 500m X 200m. This constitutes a block of 10 claims. Base metal claims pegged by a holder of an ordinary prospecting licence may not be more than 25 claims and each claim shall not exceed one hectare in extent. The length of any straight line between any two points may not exceed 250m. Base metals pegged by a holder of a special prospecting licence may not exceed 150 claims and each claim may not exceed one hectare in extent. The length of any straight line between any two points may not exceed 2000m.
(Please refer to the Data page for the Mine and Minerals Act 21:05)
The 2016-2020 Education Sector Strategic Plan of Zimbabwe (ESSP) focuses on:
- Providing a strong legal regulatory context
- Phasing in a new curriculum
- Inclusive education and second chance opportunities to learn
- Teacher professional development
- Building leadership and management skills at all levels
- Evidence-based policy making.
The most recent joint sector review notes that despite some challenges, considerable efforts have gone into the implementation of the new curriculum with progress being made in all areas of access, equity and efficiency. However, challenges remain. Systematic underfunding from the late 1980s has caused the main challenge: the system is dependent on parental and community support.
Currently, parents contribute approximately 96% of the non-salary costs to education, raising equity concerns. Another challenge is the large dropout from lower secondary schools (over 20%). These challenges have caused inequity of access and low quality of education provision, particularly affecting some parts of the country and the poorer populations.
The ESSP sets out to reverse the impact on access and the quality of learning outcomes, which has resulted from the historical context and the economic crisis.
As of 2019 Zimbabwe’s population stood at 14.84 million people, of which 52 % were female. A large proportion of Zimbabwe’s population is youthful, with more than two thirds (69.1%) being below the age of thirty.
Nearly half of Zimbabwe’s population (47.8%) is under 18 while 41.1 per cent is under 15. All in all, 51.4 % of the population is of school going age and, with an annual population growth rate of about 2.2 %, it is projected that by 2022 the school-age population (3-18 year-olds) will have increased by 12.7 % (i.e. 670,000 children).
Just over two thirds of the country’s population (67.2%) live in rural areas where the majority of livelihoods are dependent on rain-fed agriculture. Although the Shona and Ndebele are the dominant ethnic groups, Zimbabwe’s population is multiethnic and multi-cultural and the national constitution recognises 16 languages, including braille and sign language.
Just under two thirds of the population (62%) are Christians, with a small population of Muslims and those who practice indigenous and traditional religion. Overall, Zimbabweans have enduring religious, traditional and cultural beliefs that continue to have a profound influence on the behaviour of individuals, groups of individuals and communities.