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Contrasting pathways for poverty and inequality reduction in post-crisis Zimbabwe

Admos O. Chimhowu


Formation of the Inclusive Government (IG) in Zimbabwe has brought about a somewhat tentative but relatively stable economic and political environment. The key challenge is to begin to think about long-term economic growth strategy. This paper explores the problems and prospects for poverty focused recovery and development in post crisis Zimbabwe. As efforts to rebuild the economy intensify, two contrasting narratives for poverty focused post-crisis reconstruction and development have emerged in Zimbabwe. One narrative, the Agricultural-led suggests that since a majority of the poor in Zimbabwe derive most of their livelihoods off the land, it makes sense to focus on agriculture as the most direct way out of poverty.

Historically this has been borne out by available evidence as large scale commercial agriculture has always been the mainstay of the economy. With the decline of large-scale commercial agriculture over the years, an alternative narrative, the mining and service industry led model, has emerged. It argues that the decline of large scale commercial farming is terminal and smallholder driven agro-based recovery will not bring about economic growth. It suggests that economic recovery driven by mining, manufacturing and other service industries is likely to be the most feasible option. This paper looks at the evidence base for these contrasting narratives and argues that historical and contemporary evidence suggest a focus on an agriculture-led recovery program is likely to be the most direct way toward a poverty focused reconstruction and development.

Publication Type(s)

Conference Paper

Ten Years of War Against Poverty Conference Papers

Conference: Ten Years of War Against Poverty


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