Zimbabwe is not a problem that is going to simply disappear and needs to become part of any responsible Government’s agenda with the aim of finding a workable solution.
Whilst it is recognised, by all parties concerned besides the Government recipients, that simply giving monetary aid is no benefit at all and a compromise is needed.
The solution to any problem lies in it’s cause.
Ergo the solution to Zimbabwe’s economic crisis must be found it its core business which in this case is agriculture.
Right now it has very little and without a massive injection of funds will remain so.
A massive injection of funds into the agricultural sector will not come from where it should come from, as that source is the very reason why the agricultural sector needs the funds.
Aid had proven to be an exercise in futility and serves only to promote the well being of a few people at the top of the governing totem pole.
Zimbabwe is addicted, the Governing body is addicted to greed, corruption and the promotion of the extremely stupid and the rest of the populous has until very recently been addicted to accepting the end result of the Governments ineptitude.
Like any addict it needs to recognise the addiction and to have sunk so low that there is no alternative but to help themselves.
Recent events in Zimbabwe suggest that just such a low has been achieved, though hardly an achievement.
If the ground swell of resistance continues and ends in the removal of Mugabe and his ineptitude’s what is to stop a similar result to most of the Arab spring uprisings in north Africa with incompetence being replaced with more incompetence and a great deal more chaos and the hardship continues?
A sustainable economic solution needs to be offered.
In the past a solution in the form of monetary aid, in one form or another, has been conditional on demands. Demands in an African country do not work, there is a lot of pride in African nations, misplaced or not, but an offer is going to work where a demand will not.
Prior to 2000 Zimbabwean agriculture accounted for 41 percent of all exports, 18 percent contribution to the national GDP and was responsible for over one third of all jobs in the country.
A vibrant agricultural industry will by association revive all other industries resulting in higher employment and standards of living which will in turn increase sustainable Government earning which, if governed correctly, will re establish the infrastructure, chiefly roads, electrical generation and more vitally, water sanitation and supply.
Another secondary spin off would be the possibility of a fully backed local currency again. pre-independence the local currency was stronger than the British Pound and not just becuase the reserve bank Governor said it was.
And possibly the most important result would be the climate of investment this would create, assuming non Governmental interference.
To achieve this is remarkably simple.
There are currently around 5600 former commercial farms in Zimbabwe that are now derelict or used as a status symbol for the politically inept and badly run or under utilised.
These farms are the back bone of the Zimbabwean economy and the key to it’s recovery.
These farms need competent farmers back on them. Black or white it matters not, their competency does.
Having done a little research it appears that a figure in the region of US$1.8 million per farm would be needed to completely restore all 5600 farms to a pre 2000 state. In total this amounts to some 10 billion dollars.
This can not be a loan to the legitimate farm owner but needs to be in the form of funding, why would a competent farmer pay to restore what was once his and destroyed by others!
Who would repay the loan?
The Government, from revenues accrued from the agricultural industry. If this loan was administered by an organisation such as Price Waterhouse with no political interference what so ever it would be safe, or at least as safe as any other loan made to African states by the IMF.
Of vital importance to investor confidence is the payment of the land and assets, at pre 2000 evaluations, to any farmers who do not wish to return for what ever reason.
This will open up land for sale to any competent farmer of any race or creed and at the same time ensuring the legitimacy of the ownership, with all the benefits that legitimacy brings with it.