International development programs and political economy of the local in Zambia
Kwamina M. Panford
Thomas H. Koenig, Jordan Gebre-Mehdin, Ballard C. Campbell (1940-)
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Department or Academic Unit
College of Arts and Sciences. Law, Policy, and Society Program.
Poverty--Zambia--Case studies, Zambia--History, Zambia--Politics and government
Law and Society
This dissertation is a study of the De-Africanization of African Development using Zambia as a case study. The study explains lingering poverty despite the pursuit of development since independence in Zambia in 1964 and attempts to re-conceptualize development as poor Zambians perceive and understand it. In order for this study to contribute to a fuller understanding of the prevalence of material poverty in Africa, I utilize examples from many other African countries.
Using the Political Economy of the Local Approach, I investigated the links between local or village-level social relations and structural under-development in Zambia. Mainstream development has treated indigenous agriculture as backward and this has provided a pretext for the type of development and modernization that is destroying the environment and impoverishing more Zambians. I used village and household level information to describe how orthodox development is adversely affecting rural Zambians. The study also provides a history of the concept and practice of development, focusing on the historical continuums of the practice from colonial Zambia to the present.
A major observation is that poverty in Zambia and other African countries is persistent because independence did not change the mode and definition of development. Additionally, conventional discourse has shifted development in Zambia away from appropriate land reform to the private-sector development and export of non-traditional cash crops. Mainstream development in Zambia is based on the erroneous assumption that both growth and development can only be achieved through the privatization of indigenous land. My study shows that privatization is not resulting in development for poor Zambians and is inimical to their interests. Along with cash crop plantations, privatization of land in Zambia happens through preservation of tourist game reserves and appropriation of land for mineral extraction.
One of my conclusions is that development in Zambia should not focus on privatization per se and on single cash crop plantations, mining and preservation of land for tourist game reserves. Rather development should be based on small, bio-diverse farms that will ensure access to land for the majority and environmental sustainability. Moreover, policy makers should recognize that the privatization of land may not be a sufficient and necessary condition for successful and sustainable development to avert food insecurity. Among poor Zambians, poverty is created and perpetuated by alienating the people from their source of livelihood through the neo-liberal privatization of their land.
Mwenechanya, Mbosonge, "The de-Africanization of African development : international development programs and political economy of the local in Zambia" (2009). Law, Policy, and Society Dissertations. Paper 16. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20000062
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