That piece is a bit of a ramble.
In saying that, you just need to look at neighbouring Zimbabwe to see the great achievements of black governance.
It should be:
"In saying that, you just need to look at neighbouring Zimbabwe to see "the great achievements" of black governance."
The Zimbabwe economy after independence:
Zimbabwe's economic structure is one of great potential.
In the years prior to its independence Zimbabwe put great emphasis in developing its mining industry and as a result it is one of the most developed in Africa. The mining of such minerals as copper, nickel, gold, and metallurgical-grade ferrochromite is responsible for nearly half the countries $4.9 billion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) .
The other half of Zimbabwe's GDP is generated primarily in the agricultural sector with the majority of this produced at subsistence
levels by most of the population.
Zimbabwe clearly has the potential to generate agriculture beyond the subsistence level and thereby eliminate any degree of shortage. In any event subsistence would be sufficient to eliminate shortage if not for recent devastating droughts. Zimbabwe's mineral export industry is key to the nations developmental success. Although small, the countries mining industry is modernized and strategically developed toward exports.
Many paved roads link mines and other industries together that complement mining such as heavy machinery. Also, the areas within the vicinity of the mines are highly developed and urbanized to ensure an adequate and able workforce.
Finally, Zimbabwe participates in non-aligned trade for non-strategic products such as textiles. This greatly reduces the countries chance of becoming dependent on a trade partner.
In many ways Zimbabwe is a model for third-world economic development. Although not yet fully developed Zimbabwe clearly has the
potential to be a full fledged developed nation. Beyond its vast resources Zimbabwe is structured in a way to promote development.
This fact in and of itself distinguishes Zimbabwe from most other Lesser
Developed Countries (LDC). Zimbabwe's economic structure is one in which they are essentially self-sufficient and trade only for profit or for consumer goods. Also they perform trade with many partners with no single partner comprising garnering more than 15% of import or export goods.
By structuring the Zimbabwe's economic system in a way that keeps its partners diversified and its imports non-strategic, Mugabe has successfully led his nation to the path of development. The barriers left to full development are quite minimal compared to the ones already dominated, The structure of Zimbabwe's economic system is truly a model of economic development.
Then the land reform started in 2000:
Farmer set on fire in Zimbabwe
By Peta Thornycroft at Ingwerati Farm, Norton
Last Updated: 1:14am GMT 29/11/2005
One of Zimbabwe's last remaining white farmers was strangled and burned to death in an attack inside his home yesterday.
Don Stewart, 68, was set upon shortly before dawn in the bedroom of his tightly-guarded homestead near Norton, 25 miles west of Harare.
He was one of the last 300 white farmers left in Zimbabwe. There were 4,000 five years ago.
Police insisted that Mr Stewart's murder was the work of common criminals and had no political motive.
His assailants were unable to penetrate the barred windows and reinforced doors of his homestead on Ingwerati dairy farm.
Instead, they entered through the roof and strangled Mr Stewart in his bed. Then they covered him with a mattress, doused it in petrol and set him alight.
Several of Mr Stewart's workers tried to rescue him. But when they got inside the house, also through the roof, he was already dead.
Nothing was stolen but a hunting rifle.
Mr Stewart, who was born in Zimbabwe, lived alone.
After the strain of five years of continuous violence against white farmers, his wife, Margaret, had moved to Britain.
His son, David, worked alongside him on Ingwerati farm and lived a mile away in a cottage. He was too distraught to speak yesterday.
John Worsley-Worswick, the chief executive of Justice for Agriculture Trust, a pressure group, said:
"We are appalled at the cold-blooded murder of yet another of Zimbabwe's few remaining productive commercial farmers. It was particularly abhorrent at this time of Zimbabwe's acute food crisis."
Zimbabwe's summer rains started last week but few crops have been planted.
Commercial agriculture has collapsed following President Robert Mugabe's purge of white farmers.
Mr Stewart's murder came as the self-destruction of Zimbabwe's opposition allowed President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party to sweep to an easy victory in elections for a newly-created senate.
and Zimbabwe today:
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Background to the Economic Crisis in Zimbabwe: By Eddie Cross
1. At Independence in 1980 we took over an economy battered by 15 years of armed conflict, mandatory UN sanctions and political isolation. Debt was small - about US$700 million or 17 per cent of GDP. The Zimbabwe dollar bought you two US dollars.
2. In the first two years of Independence the economy grew 24 per cent, this was followed by 15 years of steady growth - about 5 per cent per annum. Inflation was held at about 9 to 12 per cent per annum. The budget deficit was large at 8 to 9 per cent of GDP and by the year 1995 the national debt had reached US$5 billion or 60 per cent of GDP.
3. In 1997 the economy peaked at US$8,5 billion, exports at US$3,4 billion and employment at 1,4 million. At that stage we were: -
a. The largest exporter of tobacco in the world after the USA.
b. The sixth largest producer of gold.
c. The biggest market for South Africa in Africa.
d. The second largest economy in the region and with the third highest GDP per capita.
e. Life expectancy was about 60 years and we had a literacy rate of 85 per cent with 95 per cent of all children of school going age in school.
f. Inflation was 12 per cent.
g. The exchange rate was 12 to 1 against the US dollar.
4. In 1997 the State made several serious errors of judgment: -
a. They paid the war veterans nearly 300 million US dollars in war service gratuities without budgetary approval.
b. They sent 11 000 troops to the Congo where they spent 4 years and used nearly US$2 billion in scarce resources fighting a war to keep Kabila in power.
c. They pushed the budget deficit over 10 per cent of GDP and lost the support of the multilaterals.
5. In 2000 they began the farm invasions and in the process reduced commercial farm output by 80 per cent - with still no sign of recovery. These plus deficiencies in the electoral process led to a further loss of international standing and increased isolation. There was a near total collapse of confidence.
Zimbabwe today has an economy that has shrunk by half to just over US$4 billion, exports by two thirds to US$1,4 billion. Employment has declined by 45 per cent and industry by 60 per cent. Agricultural output this year will be 70 per cent down on the level achieved in 1997. Mining output is down and falling rapidly. Tourist arrivals have fallen from over 1,2 million in 1997 to less than 300 000 this year.
Life expectancy has halved, income per capita has also declined substantially. National population has fallen from an anticipated 16 or 17 million to just over 10 million today with 4 million Zimbabweans outside the country and some 2 to 3 million incremental deaths over and above normal mortality. 60 per cent of all children are not in school and all State controlled institutions are in dire straights.
For a country not at war or under sanctions, these are the most precipitous declines in economic and social welfare ever witnessed. They represent a calamitous state of affairs with no sign of any resumption of either stability or recovery. In fact the decline has accelerated in recent months very dramatically.
The US dollar is now trading at 20 million old Zimbabwe dollars to one in the open market compared to 1 to 2 in 1980 and 12 to 1 in 1997. Nothing tells you more about the collapse in the economy than that single statistic.
Why has this happened?
1. The Zimbabwe government has abandoned any pretext of fiscal and monetary discipline as the budget deficit is now at an astonishing 50 per cent of GDP. Sustainable deficits are thought to be about 3 per cent.
2. The government has abandoned the rule of law and has thrown caution to the winds in its delinquent behavior.
3. There has been a total collapse of confidence in the government and in the economy. Capital flight has reached unprecedented proportions of nearly 10 per cent of GDP per annum.
4. All sectors of the economy are in steep decline with no turn around in sight.
5. All the key State institutions are basically bankrupt and unable to undertake their roles as service providers.
6. Corruption has reached monumental proportions with the State and its agents consuming anything up to a third of total GDP on corrupt activities and expenditure including massive transfers of funds to external accounts.
7. A total loss of credibility as a State and a Government. We have become a regional embarrassment and an international pariah.
The final consequence of this series of events is that inflation is now over 3000 per cent per annum and the risk of Zimbabwe becoming another failed African State is increasing daily.
Posted by Izzy Mutanhaurwa at 3/29/2007 11:39:00 PM
Isn't this a story about "the great achievement" of black governance?