ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Settlements: The city of Harare

  • According to the 2012 census:
  • Harare has a population of 2 098 199 people.
  • With a male population of: 1 011 831
  • And a female population of: 1 086 368
  • It is Zimbabwe’s administrative capital and largest city.
  • It is the focal point of all roads, rail and air routes in Zimbabwe.
  • It was established in 1890 by colonialists on Chief Neharava’s land.
  • It was initially named Fort Salisbury after the then British Prime Minister.
  • It was developed around the Kopje area which was further from the wet malaria infested areas of the Mukuvisi river.
  • It was later moved to Causeway where there was ample land for the development of government when it was turned into the capital in 1902.
  • It was granted municipal status in 1897.
  • The railway line reached Harare in 1899 from Beira.
  • Harare was linked with Bulawayo by rail in 1902
  • It became a city in 1935.
  • It was the capital of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953-1963
  • It grew rapidly after the Second World War.
  • Industries sprouted up including motor assembling, trucks, radios, furniture etc.
  • Harare is also Zimbabwe’s largest commercial center.
  • It is also the country’s financial center where most of the banks are found.
  • The structure of Harare
  • Harare consists of a CBD which forms the city’s commercial hub.
  • It has developed a few industrial zones mainly to the south, south west and east of the CBD.
  • Most industries are also found along railway lines.
  • High density suburbs are found next to the industrial areas for example Highfields near Willowvale.
  • These are the low income residential areas.
  • They are mostly found to the south-west and west of the CBD.
  • The high density of Mabvuku, Tafara and Epworth are found on the Eastern fringes of Harare
  • They mainly provide domestic labour to the low density suburbs such as Greendale, Mandara and Chisipiti.
  • The medium and low density residential zones are mainly located on the north and eastern sectors of the city way from the industries and high density residential areas.
  • The low density suburbs are spacious and large.
  • They are usually located on large well maintained gardens.
  • Sub-urban shopping centers have developed in these areas to service residents for example Sam Levy in Borrowdale.
  • Several dormitory towns have also developed around the City including:
  • Chitungwiza, Ruwa and Norton.
  • These are mainly residential, these towns are also turning into industrial zones and have sub-urban shopping centers of their own.

To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page

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