Zimbabwe's economy depends heavily on its mining and agriculture sectors. Following a decade of contraction from 1998 to 2008, the economy recorded real growth of more than 10% per year in the period 2010-13, before slowing to roughly 3% in 2014 due to poor harvests, low diamond revenues, and decreased investment. Lower mineral prices, infrastructure and regulatory deficiencies, a poor investment climate, a large public and external debt burden, and extremely high government wage expenses impede the country’s economic performance.
Mozambique has enormous economic potential. In 2011, huge natural gas reserves were discovered off the country's northern coast. In theory, they could help Mozambique become one of the world's largest exporters of gas. The country also has further mineral resources, renewable energy resources and vast areas that can be used for agriculture.
Up until 1964, Malawi was a British protectorate, after which it spent 30 years under authoritarian rule. The early 1990s saw mounting opposition to the then governing one-party regime. In a referendum in 1993, the people voted for a multi-party system; the first democratic elections took place a year later. Germany supported this transformation from the outset.
Over the last few decades, Zambia has developed into a, for the most part, politically stable republic, in which more than 70 different ethnic communities live together peacefully. Compared with the rest of the region, the level of religious freedom and the generosity of the country's refugee policy are remarkable.
Tanzania is one of the most politically settled and peaceful countries in sub-Saharan Africa and functions as an anchor for stability in a region that has been, and still is, troubled by a great many conflicts. Tanzania has a well-established system of government. Several political parties are now in existence. Yet the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) – which used to be the sole political party – has been in power since independence in 1961, and in October 2015 it won the elections again.
In the last few years, Rwanda has made remarkable progress towards reaching the Millennium Development Goals. And yet, Rwanda – one of the smallest states in Africa and the continent’s most densely populated country – is still one of the poorest countries in the world. It ranks 163rd on the UN Human Development Index (HDI 2014), out of a total of 188 countries.