POLITICS OF FOOD AID AND FOOD CRISES IN AFRICA: THE ZIMBABWEAN EXPERIENCE

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Abstract

The study sets itself the task of examining politics of food aid and food crises in Africa focusing on the Zimbabwean experience. In Addition to problematizing the economic and political imperatives of food aid for the developing nations, the study, also explain how the character of political leadership have contributed to the national development crisis in Zimbabwe, and; explore the organic interconnections between the character of the governance of the global food system, the flow of food aid , and food insecurity in Zimbabwe; and, based on the findings, proffer policy solutions to the identified problems. To explore root causes of the global food crisis, and the Zimbabwean food crisis in particular the following questions will be addressed in the present study: Has the character of political leadership contributed to the national
development crisis in Zimbabwe?; and, Is there an organic interconnection between food insecurity in Zimbabwe and food aid, and as well as the character of the governance of the global food system?. The study was undertaken within the theoretical assumption of the Marxists political economy paradigm, which was developed, by Karl Marx, Fredrick Engel’s, and V.I Lenin as a critique of capitalism which is a radical critique of the humanitarian strategy adopted by the developed nations in their relations with the developing countries. The theory was adapted to the objective nature and character of the governance of the global food system, the flow of food aid, and political leadership, as well as food insecurity in Zimbabwe. The above theoretical insight provides both conceptual and analytical framework through which the paradox ,and
political economy of foreign food aid can be understood, in such a way that the reader sees both food not only as an economic tool but also a more fundamental tool of foreign policy, and economic diplomacy. Our method of data collection was through the secondary source of data collection. Frequency tables, and charts, were used to organize the quantitative information gathered in concise and ordered form to clarify the relationship between the character of the character of political leadership in Zimbabwe, the character of the governance of the global food system, food aid and food insecurity in Zimbabwe. The findings of the study confirmed the two hypotheses. Against the above background, the study concludes that the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe is a mixture of contradictions in both the domestic and international political system, both of which does not encourage achievement of the objective of the First Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme hunger and poverty. Finally, against the background of the productivist agricultural policy driven by the logic of commodity production and exchange, the study recommends a shift back the traditional concept of self-sufficiency through sustainable agriculture. However, this is dependent on the political situation of ensuring peace and security.
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