Beyond the Crises: Zimbabwe's Prospects for Transformation is a welcome addition to the academic and policy literature with a much broader and all-embracing focus in terms of policy interventions. By focusing on different aspects of social and economic justice, Murisa and Chikweche go beyond initiating a broad discussion on these two key pillars of human development with a view to suggesting possible future directions of practical solutions and policy development for the attainment of inclusive social and economic justice for Zimbabweans.
The book is a gem that seeks to tackle policy alternatives the Southern African nation could have pursued to avoid the quagmire that has entangled it today.Purchase
This book is dedicated to all the suffering but resilient Zimbabweans- Murisa and Chikweche, 2016
"The main theme of the book is the recognition of Zimbabwe’s need for a new framework for inclusive and equitable socio-economic development."
The chapters in the book cover diverses areas beginning with an analysis of the current political and socio-economic context. The main thrust is to identify the underlying causes behind the lack of transformation especially in the post-2000 period. We then attempt to answer the "what if" question by looking at experiences, trends, and innovations from elsewhere as potential solutions to a more creative and comprehensive socio-economic framework.
In Chapter 1, Murisa embarks on a very ambitious project of analysing the processes of state and non-state led attemps at nurturing democracy since independance. He examine in detail how the different cycles of economic performance have had an impact on the nature of state and society relations, by focusing on the texture of public participation
Murisa and Nyaguse analyse the evolution of social policy in Zimbabwe from the heady days of welfarism to privatization and eventual crisis in the post-2000 period. This chapter provides an important background for many other chapters in the book as it analyses important historical factors that contributed to economic collapse and also how the majority poor have also been affected.
Chikweche and Murisa focus on financial inclusion and exclusion, an issue that has been neglected in many transformation narratives. They argue, based on experiences elsewhere that adequately sized amounts of short-term credit to the majority poor operating on the sidelines of the formal market can potentially go a long way in improving their livelihoods, creating new forms of economic assets at individual household and community level but also in creating demand for manufactured goods.
Murisa and Mujeyi revisit rural development and discuss the significance of the fast-track land reform as a potential signal for the re-imagining of rural transformation in Zimbabwe in terms of production patterns, land and labour relations. The chapter interprets the importance of current trends of land redistribution and utilisation and their implications on Zimbabwe’s agricultural, and rural development in the next ten years.
Mutopo highlights the critical role women-centred notions of agency have played in fast-track farms and also exposes the developmental gaps on the part of external agents, notably the government, non-governmental organisations and farmers unions. The chapter critiques Zimbabwe’s National Gender Policy which is silent on the role that rural women play in agricultural development at a national level.
Ndebele-Murisa and Mubaya review the negative repercussions of climate change on rural livelihoods especially in terms of the capacity of communities to ensure adequate food supplies through own production. The chapter further explores the impact of climate change on agriculture from the context of its synergy with adaptation strategies in agriculture.
Mutasa and Ndebele-Murisa present a case for a sustainable and equitable model of sharing Zimbabwe’s diverse biological resources in order to enhance livelihoods and broad socio-economic development. The chapter briefly highlights the historic framework in which the country has managed its biological resources in comparison to the regional and global context of natural resources management.
Chikweche focuses on the emerging global discourse on the significance of the world’s disadvantaged inhabitants who from a business perspective had been ignored as an irrelevant and unattractive market. This market, which constitutes at least two thirds of the world’s total population, has been described as the invisible bottom of the pyramid (BOP) market. The chapter attempts to contextualize the relevance of this discussion to the Zimbabwean context.
Chikweche and Mujeyi in Chapter 9 undertake an analysis of small, micro and medium entreprises (SMME) development and entrepreneurship in Zimbabwe in view of the already misplaced focus of using one policy or two.
Murisa and Nyaguse look to future Zimbabwe, informed by the chapters in this volume. They assert that the country's goal for years to come should be the attainment of inclusive socio-economic transformation based on the adoption of a broad range of interrelated policy measures and strategies based on values or principles of inclusion, dignified access and respect for all. They suggest that new partnerships should be involved in creating a transformative socio-economic framework.
The chapter is framed in the form of a proposal for a new form inclusive democracy by bringing back the participation of local communities in decision making in a more sincere manner than the current tokenist and limited forms.
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