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Old January 19th, 2018, 01:26 AM   #1

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Zimbabwe (or Rhodesia) before the collapse

It might have be relatively prosperous before the collapse under Robert Mugabe; a few myths may be here and there.
Calling it a developed country before the collapse is a far shoot.
A bread basket might also be baseless.
Can we straight up the facts about the recent condition?
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Old January 22nd, 2018, 01:27 AM   #2

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Go on then, enlighten us
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Old January 22nd, 2018, 08:26 PM   #3

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Here is a little article:


We have a member who is quite proficient in African history here.
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Old January 22nd, 2018, 10:56 PM   #4

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We discussed this on an earlier thread.


The "myth" here appears to be about re-writing history. Rhodesia (as was) together with South Africa was for nearly forty years the only regular EXPORTER of basic grains in the region. When crops failed in other African countries or were disrupted by the usual civil unrest, war, land-misuse and so on supplies were available from the South and this was essentially a situation that existed in every year from 1961 to c.2000. The term "breadbasket" is a fair enough description as it was the source of supply that countries who were mismanaging their own agriculture turned to when their own cupboards were bare.

The link below leads to production, land use and export statistics for the region--it is quite illuminating to browse the performance of various countries.


Being a "Developed country" is relative and there is no established criteria, but we all know what we mean. Rhodesia was never a Developed country on the level of Western Europe, North America or Australia, more accurately it was a third-world country with islands of the first world dotted around, but in 1970s Rhodesia you could drive between major town on tarmac roads that were maintained, there was a well maintained telephone system and postal service and you drink clean water from the tap. There was a reliable electricity supply, a sound currency, a first-world financial system, a UK-style education system and medical health facilities--of course not all were immediately available to the whole population, especially in rural areas where the bulk of the population were economically inactive--but most were not available at all in surrounding countries.
The country had a small indigenous manufacturing base, mainly concerned with agricultural and mining equipment and that was due to the high level of available skills. In the early 1970s Rhodesia compared favorably with countries like Malaysia, Kenya and Brazil on HDI, but the bush war, sanctions and subsequent governments essentially caused a suspension and then a regression in "development" in all but a couple of areas, primary education and rural health being the most notable.
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