As Zimbabweans continue to cope with an unstable economy, greenhouses are popping up in backyards in both urban and suburban areas. Amateur farmers now provide produce to local markets and earn a consistent income.
In Zimbabwe, legal tender can take the form of U.S. dollars, bond notes, EcoCash, mobile wallets and a pseudo-currency called RTGS. As their values rise and fall throughout each day, there’s real money to be made from trading money.
In Argentina, the peso is plunging, inflation is rising, and the state is making deep cuts to its science budget. The lack of money and the faltering economy mean that researchers can’t afford to publish their research or to attend conferences.
Workers from around the world came to Argentina for jobs that would let them send meaningful remittances to family members in their home countries. But Argentina’s peso is rapidly depreciating, and inflation is rising, and now many of these migrant workers are wondering what to do about the plunging values of their remittances and their bank accounts.
Zambian banks demand substantial collateral and charge high interest rates for loans, so local women are increasingly turning to informal lending cooperatives, called village banking, for loans large and small. The groups operate on trust, but the high volume of money outside the formal banking sector comes with risks.
High rents and high taxes present major barriers to operating a store in Kampala, especially in the city center, so more and more enterprises are making their businesses mobile. Even as the practice booms, there’s still one lingering problem: It’s illegal.
Zambia’s government and its banks insist the country’s new taxpayer identification numbers aren’t used to collect additional taxes. But the public’s suspicions about this ID requirement have driven many locals to favor digital transactions, now a booming business.
The terrain around Hutwe, a village in DRC’s North Kivu province, has long been rich and fertile, but armed violence there in the 1990s and 2000s isolated the area. Now, the violence has abated, and a cooperative is helping farmers process and sell their high-quality coffee.
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?