A new pricing system is the latest indication that Zimbabwe’s economic crisis is fundamentally changing how the country does business. Some vendors and consumers are praising the system – so why are the authorities discouraging it?
Damien Mander, founder of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation, has changed the lives of the women he’s hired to be wildlife rangers in Zimbabwe’s Lower Zambezi Valley. But many people in the conservation world worry that Mander’s approach is neither effective nor safe.
A government policy enacted without notice on Oct. 1 eliminated U.S. dollars from bank accounts throughout the country and replaced that money with a new monetary unit that some central bank officials say should be called a “local dollar.” Accessing those dollars had grown increasingly difficult, but seeing them disappear was a crushing blow for people who had saved them.
Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare, is growing quickly, and the government struggles to meet the city’s education needs. In neighborhoods without public schools, illegal for-profit schools are springing up, providing students with education – and a host of challenges.
High fees keep many children in Zimbabwe out of public schools that are supposed to be open to everyone. In one Harare neighborhood, young adults who lost their chance at education as children say a brand-new public school is too expensive for them to attend.
In a bid to boost local manufacturing, Zimbabwe in 2016 restricted imports of more than 30 goods, synthetic hair extensions among them. But the hair extensions are still available in markets, salons and beauty shops across the country. Locals are turning them into low-cost wigs for hair lovers.
Many commuters in Harare rely on “kombis,” or commuter omnibuses, as their preferred means of transport. But a rise in physical assaults by bus “touts” has left many riders fearful. One tech entrepreneur is looking to change that.