Members of savings groups in Zimbabwe eagerly anticipate receiving the money they’ve saved incrementally over the previous year. But as the bond note continues to drop in value, some members are in for a rude awakening.
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.
In Zimbabwe’s capital, many children rely on daily meals offered by neighborhood drop-in centers. As center administrators struggle to provide consistency despite the crumbling economy, they wonder privately how much longer it will last.
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.
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.
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.