What is 'ZWD (Zimbabwe Dollar)'

ZWD is the currency abbreviation for the Zimbabwe dollar, which was the official currency for the Republic of Zimbabwe from 1980 to 2009.

The Zimbabwe dollar was made up of 100 cents and was often presented with the symbol $, or sometimes Z$ to distinguish it from other currencies denominated in dollars. Even though the Zimbabwe dollar was made up of cents, they were not used in practice.

BREAKING DOWN 'ZWD (Zimbabwe Dollar)'

The ZWD, or Zimbabwe dollar, is no longer minted or recognized as the official currency of Zimbabwe. First introduced in 1980, the Zimbabwe dollar replaced the Rhodesian dollar at par. This made it worth more than the U.S. dollar, but the value quickly fell. The Zimbabwe dollar was redenominated in August of that year at a rate of 1000:1 and was concurrently devalued against the U.S dollar by 60%. During much of its existence, the most popular Zimbabwe dollar exchange in the international currency market was the ZWD to USD rate.

The turbulent history of the ZWD in many ways aligns with the ups and downs the country and its people have gone through in recent years. Once one of the agricultural centers of the region that produced large volumes of food for the surrounding areas, Zimbabwe and its financial landscape have experienced some major challenges recently that have had serious effects on the country’s economy. For most of the past two decades, the people of Zimbabwe have endured widespread famine due to severe droughts. This in turn has led to poverty and food shortages in many parts of the nation.

Demonetization of the ZWD

After a period of hyperinflation in the late 2000s, the government of Zimbabwe announced the demonetization of the ZWD in 2009. Demonetization is the process of officially removing the legal status of a currency unit. The country would gradually transition from the ZWD to a multiple currency system over the next few years. The ZWD was demonetized in a process that began in June 2015 and was completed in September 2015.

Zimbabwe then adopted a multiple currency system in which at least nine different currencies were recognized as legal tender in the country. These included the U.S. dollar, the British pound and the euro. Traders in Zimbabwe can have their own preferences as to which type of money to accept, but the U.S. dollar is the most widely accepted throughout the country. In late 2016, the government of Zimbabwe also introduced a batch of bond notes as a form of alternative currency, with a bond note having an exchange rate of 1:1 with the U.S. dollar.
 

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