Traditionally, being a land locked country, Zimbabwe had a strong
agricultural sector, however, Mugabe's damaging land reform program, where
land was seized from white farmers and given to black farmers who
did not have the skills to farm their new lands, together with a
multi million dollar foray into the war in the Democratic
Republic of Congo, shattered the economy, with Zimbabwe going
broke with a reliance on food imports.
Food it could not afford to import given the economic collapse
and spirally hyper inflation.
Today around 46% of Zimbabwe's reported population of 13 million are under
the age of 18 years (1.6 million of these children are orphans), and literacy rates amongst
these young people have plummeted from 80 to just 20% in recent years as family's
simply cannot afford the school fees. And for those who can afford to send their
children to school, they face class sizes in excess of sixty pupils given a
severe shortage of teachers.
Many Zimbabwe children, facing a bleak future, even with
the uneasy alliance between Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai the opposition leader,
have voted with their feet and attempt to flee the country across the dangerous Limpopo
river where exploitation awaits.
For more information about Zimbabwe read our profile pages