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Course of development of Zimbabwe from 1965-2005

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This document highlights the course of development of Zimbabwe since its independence in 1965. The country had witnessed a contrast economic growth. The economic assessment and social scene appeared at the very least disastrous forty years later.

In 2002, the GDP per capita regressed on a level similar to that of 1965, thus sweeping off the profits related to the growth of the following years till the nineties. The life expectancy and the birth ratios fell considerably since the end of the year 1990 and till today it is lower than as it was in the 1960's. We will analyze the reasons for Zimbabwe's decline, the phases of rupture and causes of the same.

We will begin by a cross analysis and try to answer this question by studying in parallel the evolution of the indicators of socio-economic factors and the evolution of the public policies at both the national and international level. We will also confront the various economic theories taking into consideration of the course of development of Zimbabwe during 1960s. We examine the impact of the public policies on the regional, national and the international levels.

We will initially study the economic priorities of the new independent government, the evolution of the various sectors of the economy, the agricultural transition to the regression from manufacturing industry and the correlations from these variables with the total socio-economic deterioration.

We will also approach the evolution of the public expenditure and the increase in deficit, its causes at the internal and external level just like the shared responsibilities of the State and the International financial institutions. Lastly, we will try to establish possible coherences and correlations between the evolution of the socio-economic indicators and that of the bilateral and multilateral government aid on the one hand and the evolution of the foreign direct investments on the other.

While the main socio-economic indicators (GDP, infant mortality, life expectancy, HDI) had a positive development since the 60's until 1990-1995, the second half of the 90s marked a definite stage of breaking very steep. In recent years, life expectancy has fallen by 11 years (56 years for the period 90-95 years as against 45 for the period 97-2002).Conversely, infant mortality increased sharply over the period 95-2002. The negative health and education indicators below combined with a gradual decline in per capita GDP lead to a steady decline in the index of human development since 1990.

The rapid spread of HIV and increasing prevalence of AIDS in 90 years largely explain this drop in life expectancy and higher infant mortality. Today, an estimated 33.7% of the adult population is infected with HIV. The deteriorating economic situation and food shortages are of course an aggravating factor for the sick and vicious cycle of disease is itself worsen the economic situation of families where the adults are too sick to continue to exercise a professional activity.

According to the Bank, in 1999-2000 the AIDS epidemic has already left some 670,000 children orphaned. Projections indicate that by 2010, the number of orphans due to direct the AIDS epidemic is likely to reach 1.5 million. Economic insecurity of families affected by AIDS directly affects the education of children as evidenced by the statistics below there is a significant decline in primary net enrollment rates over the period 1990-2000 (-6.7%).

Tags: Zimbabwe; course of development; economy of Zimbabwe

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