The ESAP experiment in Zimbabwe is widely seen as an almost unmitigated failure and the cause of the economic crisis of the late s. An Introduction to ESAP: Zimbabwe By David Coltart. 31st January Danish Volunteer Service Development Workers Meeting. ESAP’S FABLES II. BY RICHARD SAUNDERS. Richard Saunders is SAR’s Zimbabwe correspondent. Zimbabwe’s Economic Structural Adjustment Programme.

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AfricaFiles | Economic Structural Adjustment Programme (ESAP)’s Fables II

I think that we need to look at the theory first and thereafter take a quick look at how it is actually being implemented in Zimbabwe. And increasingly, Zimbabweans are making the links between ESAP, budget cuts and the decline in the national standard of living.

Anti -social dimensions of adjustment To offset any negative impact of ESAP on poorer Zimbabwean households and retrenched public sector workers, government introduced the Social Development Fund SDF to assist poor households with school fees, health fees and food money subsidies. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. By providing quality and cheaper maize meals products and being located close to customers in the poor communities of the country where they do not to incur transport costs, small operators have not only been successful but they have enhanced food security in areas they operate.

In the army entered the Congo and the breakdown began in earnest. In the s, Zimbabwe had been a star performer in Africa in the provision of social services and in the reconstruction and development of its public infrastructure. In particular they point out that the long awaited plan to trim the bloated civil service and cut the size of the Cabinet seems to be on hold. The effects of economic structural adjustment programme and the shelter development strategy on the housing construction industry in Zimbabwe.

Ij is too embarrassing for Government to admit that it has formally abandoned socialism to embrace this elitist, tribally-based capitalism. Most centralised controls of the economy are in the long term completely contrary to the essap of the programme.

Because ZANU-PF appears to view it as a means to an end I fear that they themselves are part of the problem, not part of answer to our present woes. The initiative has spread to other sectors which include livestock in order to improve the national herd and resume beef exports.


The last years of the decade had seen rising levels of investment and exports and declining debts. Government and its bankers said the new investment would be focused on modernizing the manufacturing sector which would enable the country to compete in international markets and earn the hard currency needed to pay back ESAP’s underpinning foreign loans. Inthe government began to systematically enforce the system of user fees for health services.

Much greater pragmatism should have prevailed, including willingness to incentivise local industry to adjust to the new environment iin tariffs and export subsidies and the development and execution of an industrial strategy based on micro-economic reforms required to tackle the constraints to deepening industrialisation. As I stated above, the Structural Adjustment Programme is in essence the introduction of a free market economy. The Government zmibabwe participated in the heavy social sector expansion with the aim of redressing colonial, social and economic injustices.

As a result the exports required to repay the loans, and to perpetuate the foreign exchange cycle, do not materialise and the country is left with an economy in the same state it was in prior to the implementation of the project plus a huge foreign debt zimbabe it now has to repay. What is clear from this account is that no progress zimbbawe be possible zimbabww Zimbabwe until a new regime emerges that is willing to honour its commitments and adopt policies designed to benefit the whole of Zimbabwean society, rather than its own supporters.

Inafter two consecutive poor rainy seasons, the on contracted by at least 7. Clearly something had to be done about the economy.

JavaScript is disabled for your browser. Many doctors, nurses and technicians have been tempted into the higher-paying, better equipped local private sector, or out-of- country altogether.

Origins of the Zimbabwe crisis

But though the state may be “smaller” in terms of personnel, it is not necessarily more efficient. Hence, Zimbabwe is not a preferred recipient of funds from Western financial institutions.

However it discouraged new investment, exports and especially new job creation. Second, the ESAP reforms were badly sequenced, and unevenly applied.

Finally, its training component for retrenched workers was too short and not always relevant to needs.

Origins of the Zimbabwe crisis — Helen Suzman Foundation

However, President Mugabe has stood firm on his beliefs and disregards the conditions set by the IMF and World Bank because they are not compatible with the demands of the development in Zimbabwe and other developing nations, especially in Africa. These controls and allocations supported existing firms producing for the domestic market, and favoured workers with formal sector zibmabwe.


As I have said before, the essence of the Structural Adjustment Programme is the loosening up of the economy, the Land Bill and other Acts and actions I have mentioned above are a fundamental contradiction of that principle. Winter is regional director, Africa, for TechnoServe Inc. I believe that it is because it needs to maintain control militarily if they cannot retain control through other means.

Richard notes that trade liberalization provides free access to capital goods and imported raw materials, it also opens the domestic market to competition from imported goods which place seap strains on local companies were feeling a negative impact of liberalization. It resulted in gender imbalances in the political, health and business sectors among others.

Fourthly, minimum wages and a system that required ministerial permission to retrench workers reduced employment. Whilst the prime goal of privatization is to unload enterprises the haemorrhage public money, it is no panacea for sustainable growth in the economy of African countries.

The development of ideas surrounding this research and methodology of fieldwork are also discussed. The recovery in and from drought and the inevitable stresses induced by adjustment was rapid and robust, with significant increases in investment and growth. In a short time, ESAP’s World Bank-inspired reforms has ripped into the existing economic and social infrastructure, shifting the focus of many mass-oriented development social programs away from redistribution towards management of defined and limited, zimbqbwe declining, public resources.

The government has since addressed these shortcomings in its new Poverty Alleviation Action Plan. Privatisation is associated with higher levels of unemployment with its zimbawe social ills. Yet fees remained in place, largely at the insistence of ESAP policy makers. It was made the responsibility of potential beneficiaries to apply to the SDF for relief and there was considerable general confusion, even among government officials, as to what criteria qualified an applicant for assistance, and how screening should be carried out.

There were four problems. The Editorial in the same copy of the Financial Gazette states that it is worrying that some targets have not been met.