What Is the Capital of Zimbabwe?

The skyline of Harare, Zimbabwe.
The skyline of Harare, Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is a landlocked nation in southern Africa. The country shares its borders with Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique, and South Africa. Zimbabwe encompasses an area of 390,757 square km and had a population of 16,150,362 in 2016.

What Is the Capital of Zimbabwe and Where Is it Located?

Harare is Zimbabwe’s most populous city and is the country’s seat of national government. The city is located in the northeastern part of the county, in the center of the historic region of Mashonaland, which is the original home of the Shona people. Harare has a total area of 960.6 square km and had a population of 1,606,000 in 2009. The city is situated in the Highveld plateau and has an average elevation of 1,490 m. Harare experiences a subtropical highland climate.

History of the Capital of Zimbabwe

Harare was founded as a fort by the British South Africa Company’s small military force. The fort was initially named Fort Salisbury, after (then) British Prime Minister, the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, and became a municipality in 1897. The controlling power of the municipality shifted from the British South Africa Company to the colonial government of Southern Rhodesia in 1923. Salisbury was declared a city in 1935.

The city served as capital of the Central African Federation for a decade beginning in 1953, and became capital of the independent Republic of Zimbabwe on April 18, 1980. Two years after the country’s independence, Salisbury was renamed Harare. In recent times, Harare has experienced a variety of challenges. The political and economic crisis that started in Zimbabwe at the beginning of the 21st century has had negative impacts on the capital city. The city has even been labeled as the world’s least livable city by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). However, the Zimbabwean government is taking positive steps to upgrade living conditions in the city.

Current Role of the Capital of Zimbabwe

As the capital of Zimbabwe, Harare is home to important government buildings, including the Senate House, the official residence of the prime minister, central government ministries and departments, and foreign embassies. The city is the country’s economic and commercial hub. Several goods, like citrus fruits, maize, tobacco, and cotton are traded in Harare. The city has some of the country's best educational institutions, including the University of Zimbabwe, which is the oldest university in the country. Harare also serves as the venue for several international summits and games. The city has one of the most developed transport infrastructures in the country, including Harare International Airport, which is the nation's busiest airport.


More in Politics