Europe after the Second World War

Development does not occur in a vacuum. Development planning, evaluation and monitoring   at   macro   and   micro   levels   are   usually   associated with dominant development thinking at the time. Over a period of time, such thinking crystallize into theoretical or policy traditions and paradigms.  When we look at the past five decades, it is possible to see how such theoretical traditions and paradigms have been   formulated,   questioned,   criticized   and   new constructions   or   formulations emerged.

By Cain Mnangwa

Development theories tend to grasp the development-underdevelopment realities in given countries and come up with prescriptions as to how to resolve specific development issues such as poverty alleviation, infrastructure development, agricultural and community development, health and education. The thinking around these has been changing, for example   from   earlier emphasis on modernization and dependency to current emphasis on community participation, capacity development and sustainability. There are also different conceptions of development such as those associated with modernity and post development.

Since the end of World War II, there have been distinct phases in the development thought,   ideologies   and   policies   adopted   by   international   agencies   and governments   in the North.   Griffin identifies three phases governing academic discussion and research as well as influencing public policy and action in the Third World (Griffin 1988) During phase one, the priority for development was economic growth to stimulate the stagnant economies and traditional societies of the underdeveloped countries. During phase two, the emphasis shifted to redistribution with growth. The issues of concern became employment, policies for the direct   alleviation   of   poverty, improving the distribution of income, and the satisfaction of basic human needs. During phase three, the emphasis shifted to economic restructuring and major economic reforms brought on by declining living standards and economic decay in the Third World. Disenchantment with   the state as a vehicle for promoting development led to the exploration of possibilities for greater   government decentralization and local mobilization for development (Hope 1996:  10). This shows the shifting emphasis from growth to redistribution and then to economic restructuring and reforms where decentralization and greater mobilization of people for development were emphasized.

In addition, other authors provide different accounts of the changing nature of development thinking and theories as applicable to developing countries. For example, Tarapore (2001) provides a useful summary of various theories and principles that were dominant in international development since World War II.

There is consensus in the more recent historiography of post-war Europe that the foundations of economic life remained strong. Across Western Europe, the casualties of war were more than offset by natural population growth and post-war mass migration. Despite the scale of material damage, industrial equipment and plants survived the war remarkably intact. Even in Germany and Italy, the two main targets of Allied strategic bombing, industrial fixed capital grew by 20% and 30%, respectively, between 1936 and 1945. Power-generating capacity was also enlarged and needed little repair.

Industrial production had been brought to a halt by the demolition of the transport infrastructure, in particular bridges and railway hubs. But the maintenance of wartime command-economy controls and warlike labor mobilization swiftly eliminated these bottlenecks and avoided the acute shortages that might have fueled social unrest and runaway inflation, as Europe had experienced at the end of WWI (Boltho 2001). By 1947, industrial production was back at pre-war levels in at least the victorious powers and the non-belligerent economies.

Furthermore, continued revival and the resumption of economic growth were held back by institutional and geopolitical factors rather than the lack of productive capacity. The reconstruction of Western Europe required the abolition of the command economy and the liberalization of prices and wages, the elimination of the dollar shortage to enable countries ravaged by war to import the capital goods necessary to rebuild their infrastructure and restock their factories, the restoration of the European division of labor, and international cooperation to resolve the German question and remobilize German industry (Milward 1987, Eichengreen 2007).

These prerequisites were impossible to achieve without constructive American involvement in the rebuilding of the post-war order (Maier 1981). Recent scholarship has found the positive impact of the Marshall Plan not so much in the scale of material assistance, but rather in the political strings attached to it (Eichengreen 2007). Dollar aid enabled recipient nations to eliminate raw material shortages and invest in bottleneck industries, but only in exchange for trade liberalization. The resources afforded by the counterpart funds allowed governments to finance public investment projects without the need to cut back on welfare spending, but they were compelled to reintroduce free markets and lift wartime controls and rationing, despite fierce opposition from labor unions.

Perhaps most crucially, the Marshall Plan, passed in 1948, underpinned post-war political stability by marginalizing communist parties and supporting centrist governments, by forging a western alliance to contain Soviet expansionism, and by rehabilitating West Germany on the international stage. Indeed, it demonstrated a dramatic shift in Allied policy towards German economic recovery, which until 1947 was inhibiting, and it offered sufficient compensation for the leading claimants on German reparations.

Last but not least, in 1945, a series of agreements was created in the city of Bretton Woods (USA), known as the Bretton Woods system to facilitate international transactions and help countries affected by war. These agreements also establish a monetary system of fixed items, based on the convertibility into gold of money, which results in the dollar becoming a means of global payment since the Americans were the only ones who could guarantee their convertibility into gold. This has the consequence that the International Monetary Fund is created to ensure the rules and maintain the fixed exchange rates of the currencies. To help the areas affected by war, the World Bank is created. In 1948, the Marshall Plan was launched by the Americans, so that the European countries could carry out the reconstruction processes of the areas affected by the war.


Lastly, during this year, the European Economic Cooperation Organization was also created to manage the loans that the US offers to the countries of Europe. One of the characteristics of the development of the capitalist economy of the early twentieth century was the succession of periods of prosperity, followed by economic crises. But it is in 1945 when a new form of economic development known as free trade appears, which manages to create a great stage of expansion and continuous economic growth. This stage comes to an end in 1973. What characterizes this crisis is that there is at the same time a rise in prices and unemployment with a static growth of production, this is known as stagnation. In this way I could say that within this crisis can differentiate several moments, which are: in the 70 great crisis, in the 80 there is a small growth and at the beginning of the 90s we find a strong economic secession. 



The other side of Covid 19 the master pandemic of the era as the drive force of the new international trade and worlds diplomacy?

Covid 19 has been seen as an evil one of the most devastating pandemics of all time claiming lives as well as disturbing economies and also the normal functioning of societies around the world. However, this misery brought about changes that the world needed and can be called “benefits” when it comes to international trade as well as international diplomacy which refers to the interaction between states that is both in relations and the exchange of goods. In this writing, I will be looking at the other side of Covid 19 not as misery but rather as a mother of a new form of international diplomacy and also a catalyst in the trade of new and another set of trades between nations.

Covid 19 has brought about improvements in the science and technology sector. In this case, as a result of covid 19 countries and communities have resorted to lockdown measures as a way of curbing the spread of the virus. Thus this resulted in online lessons for schools and we’ll as meetings. For example, the 2020 G20 Riyadh summit held on November 21-22 was supposed to take place in the capital city of Saudi Arabia but however, due to covid 19, this meeting was done virtually. In this regard, we also see an upgrade of the African Union Headquarters by the Chinese whereby they inserted a technology whereby officials can attend their meetings in their respective countries. Thus this is another improvement to the diplomacy due to COVID-19

We also see a boost in the trading center during the COVID-19 era whereby we see the importing of some goods necessary for the pandemic. I’m this case a case study of Zimbabwe comes into light whereby there has been a lot of vehicle imports in the COVID-19 era Speaking during his delivery of the 2021 national budget in parliament on Thursday, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said about 800million U.S. dollars was spent on importing buses and light commercial and passenger vehicles from 2020 to September 2021. Due to the abolishing of an unregistered transport systems that is the Kombis and mushika Shika system. A lot of people in Zimbabwe had resulted in purchasing of private vehicles from abroad, also due to the taking over of the government transport system Zupco, it has put more pressure on the transport system since those with no private transport now depended on Zupco thus we saw The government of Zimbabwe under Zupco purchase more bases to cater for these needs. This improved trade between Zimbabwe and as well as other countries we traded in

Moreover, this period has brought peace around the nations. In this case, it has improved the living and working together concept as the whole world. Due to a common goal and a common enemy which is Covid 19 all states around the world has become one family and has set all the difference aside so as to focus on the problem at hand. As a result, we see countries joining hands to find a cure for Covid 19 in light of this we see the production of vaccines Where nations wherein a race to produce vaccines, and also the Free distribution of these vaccines. This issue is very critical in the diplomacy and trading corners at an international scale

It will also be unjust if it happens that Improvements in the medical and pharmaceutical arena. In this case, a rise in improvements in the medical arena is also seen during the Covid 19 era whereby nations now began to focus more on the medical field of their nations. For example, Zimbabwe the purchasing of ventilators and also the rise of infrared thermometers as and also surgical masks.

Last but not least the rise of the forgotten and underrated traditional medicines as helpers for Covid 19 as an illness. This has also brought another trading factor to light Which is traditional medicines for Example Madagascar came forward which is their traditional drink which they claimed that it cures Covid 19 though this was never approved. There is also the rise of traditional medicines like the Zumbani in Zimbabwe. This has now been available in supermarkets some pharmacies and well as is also being exported to other countries as far as Europe.

Though we are in agreement and trying to support the pandemic it was misery however, I had to look to the other side of the coin and accept that it is now among us and see what we had gained from its discovery those are some of the positive changes brought about by the Covid 19 era


Brighton B Chingwara

A Masters Student in International Trade and Diplomacy at The University Of Zimbabwe 2022


Media Centre changing lives in Hurungwe

By Matthew Jamu

Media Center in partnership with Hurungwe Community Radio held several interface and trainings with a deliberate bias towards equipping citizen journalists with basic journalistic skills. Citizen journalists were drawn from 26 rural wards in Hurungwe District and ten from Karoi urban giving a total of thirty six citizen journalists.
Furthermore, Media Center in partnership with Hurungwe Community Radio also held interface meetings with several Civil Society Organizations which included Chakanyuka foundation, Karoi urban residents associations and National Aids Council.

Interactive meetings with residents associations were meant to equip them with skills and knowledge pertaining to governance statutes of local authorities. The main thrust was to enable these organizations to hold local authorities accountable in so far as their operations are concerned.
The interactive meeting held with Chakanyuka Foundation was held in the midst of the first hard lockdown in 2020. The Chakanyuka Foundation is an organization whose main thrust is to assist orphans, the aged as well as the less privileged. The meeting also brought together some local leaderships in the form of village heads. Hurungwe Community Radio acted as a vehicle to disseminate information pertaining to raising awareness on Covid 19 especially in rural communities.

People living with HIV/Aids suffered the double tragedy of stigmatization and challenges in accessing anti-retroviral drugs during lockdowns. Media Center in collaboration with Hurungwe Community Radio provided the National Aids Council with a platform to alert people facing this predicament on how to overcome the challenges. It was refreshing to note that after the audio from NAC was aired on the Hurungwe Community Radio WhatsApp platform there was a positive change in attitude by members of the security forces who were allegedly denying these affected people.

By and large, the partnership between Media Center and Hurungwe Community Radio has been very fruitful notwithstanding some challenges faced some of our journalists especially on issues to do with gadgets and data so as to smoothly carry out their mandate. Going forward, it is our fervent wish and hope that Media Center will continue to play its collaborative role with our organization so as to improve access to information by marginalized communities and also bringing to the fore developmental issues which are hitherto kept under wraps due to unavailability of news outlets.

Economic Evaluation of Zimbabwe: How is it different now from the first two years of Independence.

Just as Zimbabwe is a land of political contradictions, so it is a land of economic paradox, for the nation is simultaneously both developed and underdeveloped. A developed economy can be seen through its industrial sectors, in the commercial farm areas, and in the mines. These sectors have relatively modern technology, excellent infrastructure, sophisticated management techniques, and a skills pool well above the average for the continent. But in the former tribal trust lands, where about 75% of the population lives, Zimbabwe is obviously a land of underdevelopment, if not of poverty. The shortages of arable land, clean water, schools, roads, farm implements, irrigation facilities, and fertilizers, combined with the generally poor quality of the land, make this side of Zimbabwe a candidate for “least developed” status. 


The government aims to correct this distortion and pull the underdeveloped segment out of its poverty. But it says that it does not want merely to transfer wealth from the rich to the poor, as it realizes that this could eventually cut incentives and reduce the economic pie to the detriment of all. The task then is to obtain sufficient growth in the developed sector to give a fair return on investment and to fund development in the neglected areas. 

Can this essential growth be achieved? On the basis of Zimbabwe’s history, there is a good chance that it can. While the country is burdened with distortions between the developed and underdeveloped sectors, within the developed sector itself Zimbabwe is blessed with a level of diversification and therefore of economic balance that is the envy of Africa. 

The economy is basically powered by three engines: mining (12% of GDP), agriculture (17%), and manufacturing (18,43). These sectors balance each other, with a bad year in one often compensated by a good year in another. And within each sector, there is again a surprisingly balanced variety of activities. Hundreds of crops can be grown, six main minerals are mined and manufacturers cover a wide variety of fields. 

But a prosperous future is not automatically assured. Four things could sabotage it. First, overhasty or inappropriate government policies could scare off the white population which still possesses many skills essential to the economy. Such policies could also deter foreign investment that is essential for growth. Second, an international recession could depress prices for Zimbabwe’s exports, curtailing foreign exchange revenues. Since the pace of manufacturing expansion depends on the availability of foreign exchange for importing machinery and raw materials, a fall in commodity revenues would also slow manufacturing growth. Third, rapid manufacturing progress requires export markets and, if the lucrative South African market were closed, manufactures would suffer. Fourth, massive government social welfare spending, high wage policies, and international price rises could eventually spin inflation to levels that erode economic growth. Despite these dangers, Zimbabwe’s post-independence economic record encourages a moderately optimistic outlook. Certainly, Zimbabwe is far better equipped than virtually any other African country to withstand whatever economic storms the future brings.   

According to Riddell R.C (1984), it was only in the first two years of Independence that Zimbabwe outperformed her neighbors. Economic performance in the second year of independence, 1981, was less stupendous than the 1980s but still entirely respectable. Economic growth was hindered by the fall in demand for minerals due to the international recession, transport problems associated with South Africa’s lack of cooperation on lending railroad stock, and difficulty in maintaining rail equipment because of the emigration of skilled repairmen. But even with these breaks, 1981’s current prices growth rate reached an estimated 23%, the same as the 1980s. It was only when the plateaued growth was combined with a two-fold increase in the inflation rate, up to about 16%, that 1981’s growth rate estimate fell to the 6% to 8% range. The slowdown was disappointing but it still left Zimbabwe with enviable figures far above most African, and indeed some European, indices.  

Manufacturing fared moderately well for the first half of the year when 1980 revenues paid for increased foreign exchange allocations for manufacturing inputs. But the effects of decreased minerals’ revenues started to bite in the third quarter, forcing 10% to 15% allocation cuts in the last quarter of the year. The consequent shortages of inputs and equipment, combined with a steady, if not dramatic, erosion of skills, led manufacturing growth to slacken from the 1980s 15% to an estimated 12%. 

But contrary to expectations, consumer demand did not fall simultaneously. An estimated 37% increase in government expenditure and the ongoing effects of increased wages and employment led to a 33% increase in the first four months of the year. 

The combination of an estimated 22% fall in the volume of exports in 1981 and an escalating deficit in Invisibles caused Zimbabwe’s foreign reserves to fall from a post-independence peak of Z$212 million in October 1980 to only Z$150 million in September 1981, which is equivalent to just two months’ import cover. Consequently, the 1980’s trade surplus of almost Z$70 million moved to an estimated 1981 deficit. This, combined with an increased deficit in Invisibles only partially alleviated by aid-flows, led to an increase in the current account deficit, as yet unspecified but clearly above 1980’s Z$182 million (monthly digest of statics, November 1981). Furthermore, the government’s budget deficit grew from 9% to 11% of GDP. The government sought to ease the economic crunch by borrowing. World Bank figures showed Eurocurrency borrowings of US$27 with US$6 million in the final part of 1980 and US$116. 6 million in the first half of 1981. Other finance came from aid, which contributed 6% of 1981 total expenditure. The Zimcord donors’ conference, held in March 1981, brought pledges amounting to Z$1.3 billion which was to be used over the following three years for a variety of public projects. 

The new borrowing pushed Zimbabwe’s debt service ratio from a low 7% at independence to nearly 12%. To control the money supply and bring down inflation the government almost doubled most interest rates in 1981. (The prime overdraft rate of the commercial banks went up from 7.5% to l3%.) . Furthermore, banks were “advised” to increase their liquid assets ratio from 35% to 40%, tightening credit still more. In the 12 months ending June 1981, the money supply grew 11.3%, a marked slowdown from the 1980 liquidity expansion. 

But while the government was juggling with the economy in an effort to stimulate maximum growth and minimum inflation, it also had to continue to respond to the needs and demands of the black population. After all, the whole point of the exercise was to improve living standards for previously neglected sectors of the population. 

 Miranda Mungate is an MSc student at the University of Zimbabwe student and can be contacted on


Are the new investment policies under the new dispensation enough to lure the mystical investor?

Investor optimism following the 2017 fall of former President Robert Mugabe has dissipated as the new dispensation has been slow to follow through on its promises to reform and improve the business environment. The economy has suffered hyperinflation and contracted sharply in 2019 worsened by the climatic shocks that crippled agriculture and electricity generation. Unsustainable monetary policy has led to a protracted currency crisis which continues to strain the economy. The Zimbabwean dollar introduced in February 2019 has already lost approximately 98 percent of its value on the black market. Failure to implement finance ministry efforts to rein in the budget deficit undermined public confidence in the financial sector. The government adopted a stabilization and reform agenda supported by IMF Staff-Monitored Program but by February 2020 the IMF reported the SMP had gone off track due to government failures to fully implement reforms. Zimbabwe remains in arrears to the World Bank and other multilateral and bilateral institutions restraining many forms of multilateral assistance.

By Netsai Muchemwa

Although the government has repeatedly affirmed its commitment to improve transparency, streamline business regulations and address corruption, the last two years have brought limited progress. Zimbabwe has attracted less than USD 600 million a year on average in foreign direct investment over the past decade. Zimbabwe’s incentives to attract foreign direct investment include tax breaks for new investment by foreign and domestic companies and making capital expenditures on new factories, machinery, and improvements fully tax-deductible. The government waives important taxes and surtaxes on capital equipment. The government has made slow progress at improving the business environment by reducing regulatory costs but policy inconsistency, weak institutions and lack of fiscal discipline have continued to frustrate business and investment.

Corruption remains rife and there is little protection of property rights, particularly with respect to agricultural land. In 2016, the government introduced a surrogate currency called the bond note officially pegged at USD only for domestic transactions. Money printing caused the currency to lose value and in February 2019 the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe de-linked the local currency from the USD and has not yet implemented a market-clearing exchange rate regime. As a result, it remains difficult to access dollars at the official exchange rate and this has given much opportunity to the black market which has a higher rate. The government banned the use of foreign currencies for domestic transactions in 2019 further complicating the business environment but introduced some exceptions for investors and further relaxed the rules in March 2020 amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Inflation has jumped from 10.6% in 2018 to 676% in March 2020 reflecting monetary expansion, currency depreciation, and removal of subsidies on fuel and electricity. The sectors that attract the most investor interest are tobacco, mining, energy, and tourism. Zimbabwe has a well-earned reputation for the high education levels of its workers. In order to attract investment and encourage competitiveness, the government has encouraged public-private partnerships and emphasized the need to improve the investment climate by lowering the cost of doing business and restoring the rule of law and sanctity of contracts.

Zimbabwe Indigenization and Economic Empowerment Law limits the number of shares owned by foreigners in the diamonds and platinum sectors to 49% with specific indigenous organizations owning the remaining 51%. The government has signaled its intends to remove these restrictions. The Zimbabwe Investment Authority (ZIA) promotes and facilitates both foreign direct investment and local investment. ZIA also facilitates and processes investment applications for approval. While the government has committed to prioritizing investor retention, there are still no mechanisms or formal structures to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the investors. While there is a right for foreign and domestic private entities to establish and own business enterprises and engage in all forms of remunerative activities, foreign ownership of businesses remains 49/51%.

Foreign investment is free to invest in the vast majority of non-resource sectors without any restrictions as the government aims to bring new technologies, generate employment, and value-added manufacturing.  The government reserves certain sectors for Zimbabweans such as car hire, taxis, employment agencies, grain milling, passenger buses, bakeries, advertising, estate agencies, and dairy processing. According to the country, U.S. investors are not especially disadvantaged or singled out by any of the ownership or control mechanisms relative to other foreign investors. That being said, it is quite apparent that the new investment policies under the new dispensation are not enough to lure the mystical investor.

Written by Netsai Muchemwa, a Student at the University of Zimbabwe. For comments contact


Since the coming in of the second republic in 2017, the mantra Zimbabwe is open for business has become part of the country’s foreign policy. Due to the volatile currency, lack of clear institutional governance frameworks, slow pace in domesticating international trade or investment treaties, the role of the government in the economy and national politics, there has been no meaningful investment in Zimbabwe. This article highlights the major challenges facing Zimbabwe is open for business mantra to underscore in its objectives and achievements.

By Ray Masuku

Firstly, the relationship between international trade law and domestic law is guided by two theories namely, the monist and dualist theories. The theories explain how international law is domesticated into national law. In this section, the theory of dualism in international trade law states that international agreements should be incorporated and domesticated into domestic or municipal law through legislative procedures. Domestication of international trade agreements in Zimbabwe is guided by sections 34, 326, and 327 of the 2013 constitution of Zimbabwe (as amended). The legislature as an arm of the government has an important role to play in the domestication of international treaties to promote economic prosperity in accordance with section 12 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe on the principles of foreign policy. Zimbabwe has not yet incorporated the World Trade Organization agreement into domestic law as well as a number of treaties. Zimbabwe is not using the Economic Partnership Agreement between the Eastern and Southern African countries (EPA-ESA). The Economic Partnership Agreement can go a long way in addressing Zimbabwe’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary issues through article 35 of the EPA. Zimbabwe has been slow in joining some international initiatives to foster international trade and investment as Zimbabwe has not joined the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative. This is against the principles of good governance especially those related to transparency. Zimbabwe has to improve its domestication process to encourage investments to foster economic development.

Isolation from the international community has been Zimbabwe’s policy for the past two decades. The second republic has proclaimed that Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy to none. One of the major issues of concern is the number of Bilateral Investment Treaties and Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements which are in force in a scenario where the government says Zimbabwe is a friend to all and an enemy to none. Zimbabwe has 10 BITs that are in force and those BITs came into force in the 1990s. The global economy is changing as a number of events have taken place and new economic ideas are being implemented. Zimbabwe, therefore, needs to up its game by renegotiating and negotiating new BITs to be in touch with the current global economic events for economic prosperity through investment.

As we live in a global village where technology is advancing, there is no clear online institutional governance framework in Zimbabwe. The institutional governance framework must be accessible under government or institutions’ websites. It is unfortunate that Zimbabwe is Open for business mantra faces challenges when it comes to the accessibility of online information. Online websites do not have enough or detailed information for investors to access all investment-related information. Some of the government’s websites do not open hence, investors cannot access much-needed information from these sites. The governance frameworks should speak to section 3(2) of the constitution which speaks to justice, transparency, and responsiveness as factors of good governance. The environment for investment has become opaque as Zimbabwe is ranked low in the ease of doing business due to more time spent on office-to-office documents. In this 21st century where technology is advancing, Zimbabwe has to retool its investment environment by revisiting government websites for accessibility to give investors information from wherever they are.

The global economy through liberalism has pushed developing or less developed countries to the economics of survival as there has been a rise in volatile currency in developing and less developed countries. Volatile currency is another factor that is affecting Zimbabwe is open for business mantra. It is as a result of policy inconsistency in Zimbabwe as the government through the Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe have been changing policies in a short period of time. The shift from the multi-currency regime to the Zimbabwean dollar (ZWD) has affected a number of investors which has also made investors shun Zimbabwe because of uncertainty in projection of investment using the Zimbabwean dollar. The role of the government in controlling the exchange rate affects investors as their production is now determined by black market dealings. According to the World Trade report (2020), there is no transparency in the auction system which makes it hard for investors to choose Zimbabwe as an investment destination where foreign currency is controlled by the government.

According to Keynesian economics, the government’s role should be of providing a wide range of public goods while the institutionalists highlight that the focus should be on the real world rather than the abstract models of a free market. In Zimbabwe, policymakers deal with abstract and perception rather than reality. There is a need for Zimbabwe to implement the gold standard or adopt the 21st-century digital currency rather than using fiat currency which has failed the global economy since the abandonment of the gold standard. Poor salaries in the security services have led to the rise in armed robberies who are targeting business people. Recently, the minister of Home Affairs told the Zimbabwe Republic Police senior officials that the rise in cases of armed robberies was scaring away foreign investors in Zimbabwe. The role of the government, in this case, must be of providing basic goods and stable salaries to all the working people to reduce the levels of armed robberies. Adam Smith in his book “Wealth of Nations”, states that the government must create an enabling environment to make sure that the market strives. Therefore, the government of Zimbabwe must retreat and create a conducive environment for investment.

The link between politics and the economics of the day cannot be ignored in international relations. The politics of Zimbabwe is affecting the economy as investors remain insecure about political events in Zimbabwe. Political persecutions and political statements by government officials attacking potential countries who have the capabilities to invest in Zimbabwe are of great concern. Constructivists state that values, identity, and history play a major role in international relations. It is in this case that Zimbabwe needs the United Kingdom to revitalize industries as Zimbabwe’s closed industrial tools are of the United Kingdom model. Political unrests noticed in 2018 and 2019 is a clear example of the challenge faced by investors as political demonstrations affected investors through the looting of goods in their shops.  The demonstrations were due to the effects of liberal economics which affect ordinary people. The sanctions debate is a result of the national politics and international politics in Zimbabwe as we are living in the world of dependency and interdependency for economic growth.

From the Havana Charter to the World Trade Organization, property-related aspects in investments remain a major concern. Property rights in investments must be protected by domestic laws. According to Hume, the government has the obligation or duty to protect property. Farm evictions have continued even during the second republic’s tenure as farmers are being evicted by powerful political elites. In a globalized international system, evicted farmers’ news has made headlines to the outside world sending a clear message to the mythic investors that property rights are not guaranteed in Zimbabwe. The comments from members of the WTO for Zimbabwe’s trade policy report review indicated the dissatisfaction by western countries on property rights. This area needs attention by allowing investors to enjoy their property rights for economic prosperity. Zimbabwe must be clear on property rights and follow the rule of law as stated in the constitution of Zimbabwe.

However, there are some successes of the policy that may not be ignored. The private and public partnership in doing some investments as well as infrastructure development is complimented. Local investors and those in the diaspora have heard the call of the President “Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo”. A number of developmental projects and investments are taking place throughout the country. These include the building of schools, electrification, the building of clinics, and engaging in the business sector by also contributing to the economy through remittances. Moreover, the programs carried by the government as efforts to address the challenges can be commendable. The Emergency Road Rehabilitation Programme is one of the programs that can benefit Zimbabwe in terms of investment. Road rehabilitation and upgrades can help Zimbabwe to lay a strong foundation for economic growth given that road and air transport plays a major role in connecting trading countries. In line with the regional economic integration through the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, road rehabilitations can be key to unlocking trade routes and linking with other states in the region.

Tax holidays are important in investments for developing countries, as Zimbabwe has implemented it. Tax holidays are governed by tax law and are fiscal measures that are used to attract local and foreign investors. The government of Zimbabwe has given tax holidays to investors in different spheres of the economy especially in the mining sector. Great Dyke Investment was given a five-year tax break as Zimbabwe Investment Development Agency has a role to play in crafting the best tax holidays to attract investors as mandated by the attendant Act. The issue of tax holidays needs to be implemented in a transparent manner so that the citizens know-how and who is granted tax holidays as well as how do they benefit them. Zimbabwe has been moving in the right direction in granting tax holidays, however, the government has to be transparent and critically evaluate the performance of those who require tax holidays.

In conclusion, As the policy is getting attention, a number of issues still need to be addressed for it to successfully achieve its objectives. Zimbabwe should adopt a digital currency or join the Rand Union for investment and trade to thrive in this liberal international politics. There is a need to adopt current technological advancements and upgrade the government websites for investors to get more information online in order to reduce office to office delays. Zimbabwe should also reform the way it does its politics as the national politics of the day have been influential to the international politics for Zimbabwe leading to investment uncertainty. There is also a need to negotiate new Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (BIPPAS) and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) to be in touch with both the current global economic needs. In addition, Zimbabwe has to join some international initiatives that promote economic growth through trade and investments.  The World Trade Report comments for Zimbabwe should be taken into consideration as it sends a clear picture of Zimbabwe’s business environment. The implementation of the above issues may help Zimbabwe to witness the fruits of Zimbabwe is open for business mantra for Vision 2030 to be a reality.

This paper is an opinion piece written by  By Ray Masuku. A holder of a B.Sc. Hons degree in Political Science and is currently studying MSc. International Trade and Diplomacy at the University of Zimbabwe. He can be contacted via his email

The 1 trillion dollar 2022 National Budget:

Dr Tapiwa Mashakada


By Dr Tapiwa G. Mashakada, PhD

There can be no doubt, that the 2022 budget is juxtaposed against so many odds which include but are not limited to price and Exchange rate stability, new COVID-19 variant shocks and possible climatic shocks. In the face of all these shocks, government is still expected to chart a course anchored by macro economic and fiscal balance while providing basic social services.

The 2022 national budget slightly falls short of the 1 trillion dollar mark raising fears of new inflationary pressures in the economy largely driven by parallel market rates and speculative behaviour. The widening gap between the Dutch auction system rate and the parallel market rate will pose a serious threat on the impact of the budget. While the premium between the parallel markets rates and the official rates is widening there maybe a case for the improvement of the bidding system so that it yields a competitive exchange rate that reflects market fundamentals. I opine that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe must not reject highest bids.

The other huge challenge undermining the budget is the dollarisation of the economy. The fact of the matter is that whereas the budget is in Zimbabwe dollars, on the ground 90% of goods and services are charged in United States dollars. Civil servants salaries are paid in Zimbabwe dollars but the fact that government has promised to pay bonuses in hard currency itself is an admission that the Zimbabwe dollar has been debauched. It then raises the question – who is benefitting from the Zimbabwe dollar? Is government printing money and getting seigniorage revenues?

The 2022 national budget must see improvement in the disbursement of government funds to Ministries, departments and priority national projects. In the previous budgets disbursement was under 40% thereby giving a false impression of a surplus budget.

Despite these problematic issues it is encouraging to note that the economy is poised to grow by 5.5% in 2022, with exports jumping to over US$4 billion. This has strengthened the current account and will provide the necessary forex for importation of essential goods and services, and raw materials. I also note that the fiscal framework remains on balance although the is still no fiscal space to raise more revenues. This is the reason why out of total bids amounting to ZWL2.7 trillion dollars government only allocated ZWL927 billion dollars.

Development partners are also playing an important role as they are contributing a huge chunk to the budget and so is the diaspora which is now contributing US$1.5 billion per annum. Government must stay the course by continuing to finance capital expenditure and the public sector investment programme underpinned by infrastructural development.

I now turn to vote allocations and with measured caution, commend government for almost meeting the Abuja target in the health sector which was allocated 117 billion dollars or 14.9% of the budget. But I have been advised by other Economists that the vote for health is about 12% which falls short of the Abuja threshold. This begs the question whether the Minister made a genuine error or not? I personally think the Minister is smart enough and would not mislead both the President and the Nation. For now I take it that the Abuja declaration was met. The health sector must be adequately resourced in order to cope with the health care needs of a growing population ravaged by Covid-19.

Vote allocations for agriculture, education, energy, mining, tourism and industry will boost economic growth. But on Agriculture government must put more resources towards livestock health. The ‘January disease’ has caused serious de-stocking throughout the country especially in rural areas where the situation is aptly described as ‘kupisa matanga’ or burning cattle kraals.

The women and youth, SMEs and social protection received a reasonable allocation in the budget. However, despite chewing almost 60% of the budget, the purchasing parity of civil servants incomes is very low, which begs the question – why can’t government collect revenue in US dollars and pay civil servants salaries in hard currency anyway? One thing that is certain is that civil servants, being agents, will offload their earned hard currency bonus on the parallel market and this has the potential to increase parallel market rates. The payment of bonus in hard currency, welcome as it is, is however a sign of lack of confidence in the mono- currency by government itself.

The Minister of Finance calls the 2022 budget the People’s Budget but regrettably there is little or no pro-poor policies in the budget. We expect to see the plight of pensioners comprehensively addressed. The tax-free threshold must be raised to ZWL$50 000 dollars if it is going to cushion the working class. Despite harping on supporting economic value chains, there’s no clear jobs creation strategy in the budget. It is also not clear how government is going to ensure that minerals are value added and beneficiated locally, during our lifetime!. Yet these are the same issues we keep on raising year after year in pre-budget consultative meetings.

I urge government to increase the budget allocation to the local government sector which is in shambles. The urban road network needs complete overhaul. Motorists are driving on bumpy and pot holed roads which require urgent capital outlays. Economic growth is hollow if it does not lead to the improvement in the lives of people and clearly the poor state of urban roads, reduces the happiness index of citizens.

Urban water and sanitation, government must urgently intervene and make sure that urban settlements have clean running water and efficient liquid waste management systems.

On key infrastructural projects, I appeal to government to finish the Harare airport road – the section linking Enterprise road and the Flyover bridge on Mukuvisi river was abandoned many years ago. The other urgent project requiring urgent attention is the decongestion of the Mbudzi traffic circle by the construction of flyover and associated rumps.

Turning to Matabeleland, the Beitbridge border post must be modernised and turned into a one stop border post in order to improve the movement of traffic, people, goods and services. Government must complete the Zambezi water project in 2022 in order to provide a lasting solution to the water challenges faced by that region. The Kwekwe-Nkayi-Lupane road must be constructed and tarred in order to shorten the distance to the tourist resort of Victoria falls.

More schools and tertiary colleges must be constructed in Mashonaland East and Central provinces. I have raised some of these project issues so that government remains alive to the development gaps that exist.

In conclusion, this cursory look at the 2022 national budget is meant to provoke further debate on the manner in which government has proposed its budget measures. It is hoped that the global economy will not be adversely impacted by the new COVID-19 variant which has got a potential to reverse the economic stimulus measures which have been provided by the IMF through the SDRs. And talking about SDRs, civil society and none- state actors must now engage authorities on the proposed allocation of the $1 billion SDRs that Zimbabwe recently received from the IMF.

Last but not least, the US$50 tax on new cellular handsets flies in the face of digitalization. We must promote mobile banking and handshake with technology. Zimbabweans had long transited from being digital migrants to becoming digital natives. This tax must be reversed while other revenue raising measures are explored.

MDC blew an opportunity, they don’t deserve another chance. 

Douglas Mwonzora and Nelson Chamisa

Political analyst Wilbert Mukori says the country’s biggest opposition party MDC doesn’t deserve another chance for dialogue as they slept on duty during the government of national unity (GNU).

The government of national unity formed by Zanu PF, MDC-T and MDC-N, was supposed to champion necessary reforms for the country.

However, the GNU ended abruptly in 2013 when the court sided with Jealous Mawarire to compel President Robert Mugabe to proclaim the elections.

Seven years after the GNU, the two formations of MDC (MDC-T and MDC Alliance) are all pushing for dialogue. An inclusive government, or a transitional authority.

According to the MDCs, the inclusive government or transitional authority will be for putting reforms that are necessary for credible, free and fair elections.

However, speaking during The Debate on OpenParly, Mukori the opposition doesn’t deserve another chance because they forgot about reforms when they went in the GNU with Mugabe.

He said they are even willing to give Zanu PF legitimacy by contesting in the 2023 general elections without reforms.

“If MDC made a mistake, then we should give them another chance. But was that a mistake, the answer is definitely no.

‘’MDC went into the GNU and the minute they were in power they completely forgot about the reforms. They were confident that without any reforms they would still win the 2013 elections.

“So why should we give them another chance, the truth is they don’t deserve another chance. Right now, MDC are the ones gearing to participate in the 2023 elections and they keep participating in these flawed elections only to give Zanu PF legitimacy. And yet they are determined to do it because Zanu PF is offering them something.

“As long as MDC leaders are getting a share of the spoils of power they will continue to participate in these meaningless elections.

“Even if there was to be another GNU, the MDC guys, as far as they are concerned if they get a concession where they get some Parliamentary or cabinet positions, they will be content with that,’’ he said.

GNU did not deliver in 2009

Mukori added that everyone is agreed that the unity government of 2009 to 2013 did not deliver. He argued that GNU was the reason for the current challenges in the country.

He said Zanu PF was and still is not going to reform itself out of power. Mukori added that MDC had the onus to bring to force those reforms in the GNU, but they failed.

“Many people accept that the GNU of 2008 and 2013 did not deliver and that is the reason why we are in this mess.

“Zanu PF will never reform itself out of office. So, the onus of implementing the democratic reforms necessary for free, fair and credible elections did fall on MDC and it failed to implement even one meaningful democratic change.

“The primary task of the GNU was to move the country away from the one-party state and that process failed in 2008 because Zanu PF didn’t have the political will to do it and MDC slept on the job.”

MDC blew an opportunity, they don’t deserve another chance.

Zambia elections: Six lessons for African electoral democracy

President-elect of Zambia Hakainde Hichilema. (Photo: Salim Dawood / AFP / Getty Images)

Opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema defeated incumbent Edgar Lungu in Zambia’s presidential election on 12 August. Hichilema secured 2,810,757 votes while Lungu had 1,814,201. The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) declared Hichilema president-elect on 16 August as Lungu conceded defeat. What are the lessons for Africa?

First, general elections must not be political theatre meant to legitimise the incumbent.

In 2021, Africa witnessed some elections characterised by procedural uncertainty and outcome certainty. For example, in Djibouti Ismail Guelleh “won” a fifth term with an extravagant display of  97.44%. The late president of Chad, Idriss Déby, “won” a sixth term with 79.32%. Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda, in power since 1986, retained power and in the Republic of Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso “won” a fifth term with 88.57%.

Elections were held to portray at least a semblance of legitimacy, but at the same time to allow authoritarian controls for the incumbent to continue. Elections should allow for procedural certainty and outcome uncertainty. This allows any contestant to win and take over state power.

Second, democracy needs strong institutions and not strong men.

What enabled the smooth transfer of power was not just the goodwill of Lungu, but also independent institutions. The professional conduct of the Zambian military institution and its non-involvement in civilian political processes has been a critical factor in ensuring peaceful transitions from one leadership to the other. This is contrary to Zimbabwe, where there is a symbiotic relationship between the army and the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF).

Militarised politics, which is anathema to electoral democracy, is prevalent in Uganda, Togo, Sudan, Mali, and Egypt. Other institutions that fought back authoritarian resurgence were the ECZ, civil society, the judiciary, and independent media. As went the institutions so went the transition in Zambia.

Governance by strong men has failed to deliver electoral democracy in Africa. Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, in power for 41 years,  produced another sham election in 2016 where he got 93.7% of the vote. El-Sisi of Egypt held a farcical election in 2018 with a dramatic 97 % win. Cameroon’s Paul Biya, in power for 38 years and 88 years old, had a phony election in 2018. Paul Kagame of Rwanda seems allergic to electoral democracy. Zimbabwe’s new strongman, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has shown no penchant for genuine democratic reforms as the country heads for another political ritual in 2023 disguised as a general election. A practical take from Zambia is to invest in reforms of institutions that will outlast reformers.

Third, swift diplomatic interventions are important in enabling state power transfer. 

Behind the scenes, Zambia’s fourth president, Rupiah Banda, former Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma, and former Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete engaged Lungu and Hichilema to facilitate a peaceful democratic transition. They did not wait for a formal Southern African Development Community (SADC) team once there was a Donald Trump-like signal from Lungu and his team. Autocrats like Museveni, who tried to block the transition by urging Lungu to stay on, became isolated.

Crisis-torn countries like Eswatini do not need to wait for the formal mediation processes from moribund institutions like the SADC. There is room for critical actors — visible or invisible — to unlock, shape, and catalyse electoral democratisation processes.

Zambians wait to cast their ballots at a polling station during the general elections in Lusaka on 12 August 2021. (Photo: EPA-EFE / STR)

Fourth, election rigging has a ceiling.

This was not an ideal free and fair election. Police selectively stopped opposition parties’ campaign meetings, citing Covid-19 regulations; public media favored Lungu, some traditional leaders were partisan, Lungu’s party was the main perpetrator of political violence, the government restricted use of the internet and the incumbent partly used state resources for party campaigns.

To mitigate against rigging, a whopping 83.5% of eligible voters registered. Voter turnout rose to 70.8%. compared with 56.45% in 2016 which made it difficult to reverse the outcome. A robust Parallel Voter Tabulation system was in place. Alongside was an active citizenry committed to defending the vote. This reduced rigging related to inflation and deflation of numbers.

Fifth, the youth are not clueless about politics.

The relationship between youth, politics, and elections was stark. About 54% of the 7,023,499 registered voters were under the age of 35. They voted in large numbers. The youth were responding to increasing socioeconomic hardships. In 2020, the estimated youth unemployment rate in Zambia was 22.63%.

However, most of the employed are in precarious informal jobs that lack social security. This is a lesson to Africa, where almost 60% of the population is under the age of 25. Even in Africa’s most industrialised country, South Africa, the official youth unemployment rate was 46.3% in the first quarter of 2021. The youth bulge in Africa is an electoral time bomb.

Sixth, Africa needs transformative pro-poor policies.

Lungu’s development policies were detached from the quotidian concerns of the peasantry and the working class. The government borrowed up to $12.74-billion to partly finance utopian white elephant urban projects while people were hungry. In the countryside, big mines like First Quantum Minerals in Solwezi destroyed the peasantry’s livelihoods through the acquisition of 60,000 hectares of farmland. It was not surprising when Lungu received a paltry number of votes in such areas. The mining policies favoured the elite and were characterised by patronage and corruption. Across Africa, foreign investors are targeting more than 10 million hectares of land.

In the absence of transformative pro-poor policies, one lesson from Zambia is that citizens can reclaim their power. DM/MC


Picture Credit: Copyright: © 2018 Bloomberg Finance LP
Canada, US and Mexican Presidents showcasing their signatures for the newly signed Trade Agreement replacing NAFTA
There has been a notable debate over the differing perspicacity between the former President of United States Donald Trump and the current one, Joe Biden. These varying profundities can best be explained during their race for the white house in which both individuals tended to have differences on how they would deal with the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) issue. Before delving much into the major fulcrums, it is therefore important to understand the main objectives which resulted in the enactment of the AGOA and NAFTA. To take note of this is that the African Growth and Opportunity Act is a trade policy and US commercial engagement with Africa. It provides Sub-Saharan Africa countries with duty-free access to the US market for thousands of products under the Generalized System of Preferences (GPS). Apart from this AGOA, has conditionalities for African states first which they must meet before and these include establishing a market-based economy, the rule of law, political pluralism, eliminate trade barriers to the US, reduce poverty, combat corruption, and protect human rights. Of critical importance is that Trump unlike Biden had low recognition of the AGOA since he wanted to pursue an inward-looking policy under his “America’s first” policy and this would eventually result in the disintegration of the AGOA, as articulated by Christon van der Rheede, Executive director of Agri-SA that if Trumps wins another second term during the election then “Africa might lose the AGOA and Trump might decide to completely scrap it as a sort of tactic to force South Africa and other African states to his regime”. Therefore this clearly shows that Trump had low regard for Africa and his re-election would pose danger to African trade and investment. Worth noting is that the Biden administration has a soft spot for Africa as stated by the Chairman of the US Foreign Affairs Committee that Sub-Saharan Africa is on the front of the US foreign policy supported by the expansion of diplomatic, humanitarian, and commercial activities in the region. Biden has also pledged to increase and widen investment opportunities in Africa and under the current global crisis of coronavirus, the current President has promised to stand with Africa. The Biden Administration constantly reiterates that AGOA is a solid trade and investment-based component of US-Africa policy under the Millennium Challenge and US International Development Finance Corporation. To take note is the statement made by Rosa Whitaker, president, and CEO of the Whitaker Group and the first-ever assistant US-trade representative for Africa when she said that for a long time the US-Africa relations were characterized by “paternalism” and “beltway cronyism” and that Biden administration can “Build Forward Better”. This clearly buttresses the idea that Trump and Biden had diverging views on the way forward concerning the AGOA.
Furthermore, there is a need to consider the North America Free Trade Area, (NAFTA) which was implemented to promote trade between the US, Canada, and Mexico, and the agreement aimed at eliminating trade tariffs between these three countries, and this was established on January 1, 1994. Numerous tariffs in particular those related to agricultural products, textiles, and automobiles were gradually phased out. But however, NAFTA was a controversial agreement, in particular on the issues of trade growth and investment as it improved the US economy compared to that of Canada and Mexico and hence hurting these economies yet the purpose was to encourage economic activity among North America three major economic powers. Thus during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised to repeal NAFTA and in August 2018 he announced a new trade deal with Mexico to replace NAFTA. The US-Mexico trade agreement as it was called would maintain duty-free access for agricultural goods on both sides of the border and eliminate non-tariff barriers and around September 2018, Canada joined the agreement and it is called The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
Worth noting is that the Biden administration supports the USMCA but there is a need to do more work on the agreement especially on issues of climate change where it is silent. Thus the different characters between Trump and Biden also shaped their behavior in embracing foreign policy.
Privilege, R. Zimunya -MSc in International Trade and Diplomacy (UZ)
+263 772 128 845 (calls\App)