On April 18, 2010 Zimbabwe celebrated its 30th anniversary of being independent of white rule. There was real optimism at the time as Rhodesia was a war torn country, and there were high expectations for Robert Mugabe. However, clearly the economy has not be sustainable and various measures of economy, not only GDP as we have learned that it is flawed, show us that conditions may have deteriorated since Mugabe’s reign.
The graph above indicates the low GDP growth suggesting very little growth of the economy. Ever since the new millennium, the GDP has been in negative making Zimbabwe the world’s fastest shrinking economy. The lower GDP also indicates less economic growth and unstable conditions of the country.
The HIV rates, which can be used as a measure of Standard of Living, had increased and then depleted since the turn of the century. The optimists say that people started having fewer partners, however, pessimists say that the rates were falling because those infected with HIV were now dying. Regardless, thousands died each day.
By the end of the decade, the entire economy was in ruins due to droughts and unfair distribution of wealth. Teachers and doctors did not show up to work, as schools did not have text books, and hospitals had no medicine. Zimbabwe’s life expectancy is one of the lowest in the world. The infant mortality rate also suggests a decrease in population in the years to come.
Zimbabwe will face another challenging revolution before it becomes economically stable. Through the GDP and other standard of living indicators, it is clear that the civilians of Zimbabwe need help.
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