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Harare ( or , before 1982 known as Salisbury) is the capital of Zimbabwemarker. It has an estimated population of 1,600,000, with 2,800,000 in its metropolitan area (2006). Administratively, Harare is an independent city equivalent to a province. It is Zimbabwe's largest city and its administrative, commercial, and communications centre. The city is a trade centre for tobacco, maize, cotton, and citrus fruits. Manufactures include textiles, steel, and chemicals, and gold is mined in the area. Harare is situated at an elevation of 1483 metres (4865 feet) and its climate falls into the warm temperate category.

Harare is the site of the University of Zimbabwemarker, the largest institution of higher learning in Zimbabwe, which is situated about 5 km north of the city. Numerous suburbs surround the city, retaining the names colonial administrators gave them during the 19th century, such as Warren Park 'D', Borrowdalemarker, Mount Pleasantmarker, Marlborough, Tynwald and Avondalemarker. The largest and second oldest suburb is Highfieldmarker which encorparates numerous townships including but not limited to Western Triangle, Canaan, Egypt, Lusaka and Jerusalem.


Salisbury in 1930
The Pioneer Column, a military volunteer force of settlers organised by Cecil Rhodesmarker, founded the city on 12 September 1890 as a fort. They originally named the city Fort Salisbury after the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, then British prime minister, and it subsequently became known simply as Salisbury. It was declared to be a municipality in 1897 and it became a city in 1935. Salisbury was the capital of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland from 1953 to 1963. After that point, it was the capital of Southern Rhodesiamarker. The government of Ian Smith declared Rhodesia independent of Great Britain on November 11, 1965, and proclaimed the Republic of Rhodesia in 1970. Subsequently, the nation became the short-lived state of Zimbabwe Rhodesia; it was not until April 18, 1980, that the country was internationally recognized as independent as the Republic of Zimbabwemarker. The capital city retained the name Salisbury until 1982.

The name of the city was changed to Harare on April 18, 1982, the second anniversary of Zimbabwean independence, taking its name from the Shona chieftain Neharawa. It is also said the name derived from the European corruption of "Haarari" ("He does not sleep"), the epithet of the chief whose citadel was located in the area known today as the Kopje (pronounced "Koppie"). It was said that no enemy could ever launch a sneak attack on him. Prior to independence, "Harare" was the name of the Black residential area now known as Mbare.

The area at the time of founding of the city was poorly drained and earliest development was on sloping ground along the left bank of a stream that is now the course of a trunk road (Julius Nyerere Way). The first area to be fully drained was near the head of the stream and was named Causeway as a result. This area is now the site of many of the most important Government buildings, including the Senate House and the Office of the Prime Minister (now renamed for the use of President Mugabe after the position was abolished in January 1988.)


Jacaranda trees in Montagu Ave, Salisbury in 1975.
Harare has a pleasant and healthy Humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cwa). The average annual temperature is 17.95 °C, rather low for the tropics, and this is due to its high altitude position and the prevalence of a cool south-easterly airflow. There are three main seasons: a warm, wet season from November to March/April; a cool, dry season from May to August (corresponding to winter in the Southern Hemisphere); and a hot, dry season in September/October. Daily temperature ranges are about 7 °C to 20 °C in July (the coldest month), about 13 °C to 28 °C in October (the hottest month) and about 15.5 °C to 25 °C in January (midsummer). The hottest year on record was 1914 (19.73 °C) and the coldest year was 1965 (17.13 °C).The average annual rainfall is about 825 mm in the southwest, rising to 855 mm on the higher land of the northeast (from around Borrowdale to Glen Lorne). Very little rain typically falls during the period May to September, although sporadic showers occur most years. Rainfall varies a great deal from year to year and follows cycles of wet and dry periods from 7 to 10 years long. Records begin in October 1890 but all three Harare stations stopped reporting in early 2004.The climate supports a natural vegetation of open woodland. The most common tree of the local region is the Msasa Brachystegia spiciformis that colours the landscape wine-red with its new leaves in late August. An introduced tree that contributes most to the town's atmosphere is the Jacaranda (a South American species). It produces a burst of lilac when it blooms in September. Also prevalent is Bougainvillea.


These are some of the suburbs of Harare.

Region Suburbs
Northern Alexandra Park (Alex Park); Avondalemarker, Belgravia; Groombridge; Gunhill; Mount Pleasantmarker; Northwood; Newlands; Vainona
North-Eastern Borrowdalemarker; Chisipite; Colne Valley; Colray; Glen Lorne; The Grange; Greystone Park; Highlands; Hogerty Hill; Mandara; Greendalemarker; Shawasha Hills; Umwinsdale
Eastern Amby; Athlone; Eastlea; Eastlea North; Greendalemarker; Hillside; Mabvukumarker, Tafaramarker, Epworthmarker
Southern (incl. South-Eastern and South-Western) Arcadia; Ardbennie; Braeside; Chadcombe; Cranborne; Glen Norahmarker; Glen View; Budiriro; Graniteside; Harare Airport; Hatfieldmarker; Highfieldmarker; Lochinvar; Logan Park; Malvern; Mbaremarker; Park Meadowlands; Parktown; Prospect; Southerton; St. Martins; Waterfallsmarker; Willowvale; Workington
Western (incl. North-Western) Adylinn; Avonlea; Avondale West; Belvedere; Belvedere South; Bluff Hill; Emerald Hillmarker; Greencroft; Kuwadzanamarker; Mabelreignmarker; Marlborough; Meyrick Park; Milton Park; Ridgeview; Sentosa; Strathaven; Westgate; Mufakose

International Venue

Harare has been the location of several international summits such as the 8th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (6 September 1986) and Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 1991. The latter produced the Harare Declaration, dictating the membership criteria of the Commonwealth. In 1995, Harare hosted most of the 6th All-Africa Games, sharing the event with other Zimbabwean cities such as Bulawayomarker and Chitungwizamarker.


Harare International Airport
The public transport system within the city includes both public and private sector operations. The former consist of ZUPCO buses and National Railways of Zimbabwe commuter trains. Privately-owned public transport comprised licensed station wagons, nicknamed emergency taxis until the mid-1990s, when they were replaced by licensed buses and minibuses, referred to officially as commuter omnibuses.

Harare International Airportmarker serves Harare. The National Railways of Zimbabwe, NRZ operate adaily overnight passenger train service that runs fromHarare to Mutaremarker and another one from Harare to Bulawayomarker.

News & information

Residents are exposed to a variety of sources for information, though almost all of their sources are controlled by the government. In the print media, there is the Herald, Financial Gazette, Independent, Standard, and Kwayedza. Since there has been an explosion of online media outlets. These include ZimOnline, ZimDaily, Guardian, NewZimbabwe, Times, Harare Tribune, Zimbabwe Metro, The Zimbabwean and many others; however, a number of factors have combined to effectively eliminate all media except those controlled by the state.

The government controls all the electronic media, though Voice of America, Voice of the people and SW Radio Africa beam broadcasts into the country occasionally.

Recent developments

In the early 21st century Harare has been adversely affected by the political and economic crisis that is currently plaguing Zimbabwe, after the contested 2002 presidential election and 2005 parliamentary elections. The elected council was replaced by a government-appointed commission for alleged inefficiency, but essential services such as rubbish collection and street repairs have rapidly worsened, and are now virtually non-existent. In May 2006 the Zimbabwean newspaper the Financial Gazette, described the city in an editorial as a "sunshine city-turned-sewage farm".

In May 2005 the Zimbabwean government demolished shantytowns in Harare and the other cities in the country in Operation Murambatsvina ("Drive Out Trash"). This caused a sharp reaction in the international community because it took place without prior warning and no advance plans were made to provide alternative housing. It was widely alleged that the true purpose of the campaign was to punish the urban poor for supporting the opposition Movement for Democratic Change and to reduce the likelihood of mass action against the government by driving people out of the cities. The government claimed it was necessitated by a rise of criminality and disease. This was followed by Operation Chikerema (Operation "Better Living") a year later which consisted of building concrete housing.

In 2009, Harare was voted to be the toughest city to live in according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's liveability poll.

Notable landmarks and institutions

Sister cities

Image gallery

Image:Harare secondst.jpg|Sam Nujoma Streetmarker, view southImage:Harare anglicanchurch.JPG|Anglican cathedralImage:Harare Africa Unity.jpg|African Unity Square (formerly Cecil Square)Image:Harare Downtown.jpg|Downtown Harare, Reserve Bank aheadImage:Harare Skyline.jpg|Harare SkylineImage:Harare Downtown1.jpg|Along parliament buildingsImage:Harare Central Station.jpg|Harare Central Station

See also


External links

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