Zimbabwe, one of the most important developing countries in southern Africa, in both the economic and political sense, has important mineral resources, which have been exploited for many hundreds of years, such as gold, as well as a very intensive agriculture (exports of cattle, tobacco, etc.), including a sugar industry. There are two sugar factories in the Lowveld in southeastern Zimbabwe, Hippo Valley and Triangle, both largely managed by foreign companies, which have an export potential of up to 250,000 tonnes of sugar as well as ethanol. Two sugar refineries produce consumption sugar for the local and neighbouring regional markets; these enterprises are also managed by foreign firms. The main problem of Zimbabwe is water: although there are great rivers in the vicinity, notably the Zambezi, everything depends on the rainfall, and if there is insufficient rain, the country is threatened by drought, as happened in recent years. Zimbabwe is, nevertheless, one of the positive developments of postcolonial Africa, which deserves close attention.
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