Harare – Zimbabwe has been ranked among the most fragile states in the world - just a few weeks after President Robert Mugabe, 93, insisted that his country was the "most highly developed country in Africa after South Africa," a report shows.
At a panel on fragile states at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban early this month, Mugabe boasted that Zimbabwe sported 14 universities and had a literacy rate of over 90%, which was the highest in Africa.
"And yet they talk about us as a fragile state. We have a bumper harvest, not only maize, but also tobacco and many other crops. We are not a poor country... If anyone wants to call us fragile, they can. You can also call America fragile," the nonagenarian was quoted as saying at the time.
But according to the recently published 2016-2017 Fragile States Index by a US based think tank Fund for Peace, Zimbabwe was ranked number 13 among the world's most fragile countries.
The southern African country was ranked number 9 among Africa's most fragile countries.
Zimbabwe was only better than conflict ridden countries like South Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Guinea and Nigeria.
Mauritius, Seychelles, Botswana, Ghana, Cape Verde, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, and Gabon were the most highly ranked African countries on the index.
Reports indicated that an estimated three million Zimbabweans were economic refugees due to Mugabe’s failed policies.