Zimbabwe: Resource Curse

Paradox of the Plenty


Zimbabwe: Resource Curse

In his book, Resource Abundance and Economic Development, Richard M Auty, professor of economic geography at Lancaster University, emphasizes that the presence of natural resources in large quantities does not predestine a country to prosperity.

By TST Writer

Resource Curse

Referring to what he describes as the “resource curse” or “paradox of plenty”, he argues that countries with a large abundance of these commodities(such as fossil fuels and certain minerals) tend to have less economic growth, less democracy, and worse development outcomes than countries with fewer natural resources.

The disastrous economic policies pursued so relentlessly by Robert Mugabe in the past twenty years have not only impoverished the generality of Zimbabweans but enriched the elites and chronicled unbridled corruption, nepotism and cronyism. The charade currently being conducted by ZACC will have to do better than hunt for and persecute perceived G40 members.

Rule of Law

Zimbabwe needs to open up its economy, embrace globalisation, secure framework for both foreign and domestic investment to flow with guarantees, and establish rule of law where it is law that rules- not populism. Dining and wining as former liberation war parties under the pretext of solving southern Africa’s underdevelopment will not solve anything.

The Verdict

As per Professor Richard M Auty prognosis, Zimbabwe is suffering from the resource curse “disease” underpinned by corruption and looting from Zanu PF connected elites.

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