'Economic Self-Reliance’ That Never Was: the Zimbabwe Conference on Reconstruction and Development (ZIMCORD), Aid and the Genesis of Zimbabwe’s Debt Problem, 1979-1985
Chaired by Friedrich Ammerman, with comments from Dr Elizabeth Banks and Dr Johanna Gautier
In 2008, Zimbabwe's hyperinflation made international headline news as the second-highest inflation in history. As the peak reached 89.7 sextillion per cent, this event created an enduring image of Zimbabwe: one run by a nepotistic dictator for over three decades, with an absence of sound economic policies, riven with levels of corruption and fraud that would leave Bernie Madoff green with envy. This talk explores the pre-history of this headline event to show how Zimbabwean political elites and international institutions worked together in the wake of the country’s independence in 1980 to create privileged financial conditions. Zimbabwe enjoyed unprecedented access to aid and loans, but these privileges eventually led into a trap of debt distress - and record inflation.
The Work Behind the Talk: Archives and Methods of Histories of Africa and Decolonization
Chaired by Dr Geraldine Sibanda, featuring Dr Emma Kluge, Dr George Roberts and Dr Elizabeth Banks
In this panel Dr Sibanda is joined by other postdoctoral fellows to for a discussion of logistical, theoretical and methodological considerations when writing decolonisation and postcolonial history in Africa and elsewhere.
Geraldine Sibanda is a postdoctoral fellow with the International Studies Group at the University of the Free State. Her presentation draws on her monograph currently under construction, derived from her PhD thesis 'Finance, Economic Planning and Power in Zimbabwe, 1980-2013', awarded by the University of the Free State in 2021.