Harare (həˈrärā) [key], formerly Salisbury, city (1992 est. pop. 1,485,615), alt. 4,865 ft (1,483 m), capital of Zimbabwe, NE Zimbabwe. Harare is Zimbabwe's largest city and its administrative, commercial, and communications center. It has a mild climate and is the trade center for an agricultural region whose main products are tobacco, corn, cotton, and citrus fruits. Manufactures include textiles, clothing, processed food and tobacco, beverages, steel, chemicals, furniture, fertilizers, and construction materials. Gold is mined in the area. Harare is connected by rail with Bulawayo, in SW Zimbabwe. The city was founded in 1890 as a fort by the Pioneer Column, a mercenary force organized by Cecil J. Rhodes to seize Mashonaland. The city was originally named Salisbury after the 3d marquess of Salisbury, then British prime minister. It became a municipality in 1897 and a city in 1935. Salisbury was the capital of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1953–63). After World War II the population grew as many people migrated to the city. After Zimbabwe gained independence in 1980, the name of the city was changed to Harare. Harare is the site of the Univ. of Zimbabwe, of the National Gallery, which has collections of African soapstone carvings, and of the National Museum, known for its archaeological holdings.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.