Formerly one of Africa's most promising economies, Zimbabwe has begun a process of economic reconstruction after decades of political turmoil and economic mismanagement. In this policy brief, Hany Besada and Karolina Werner recommend ways in which Zimbabwe can reinvigorate its economy while safeguarding its environment and resources. The authors suggest that a new code for corporate social responsibility is essential as the country looks to the private sector for economic stimulus and the means to deal with the devastating effects of climate change. The authors suggest that South Africa's King III Report is an appropriate model for reform and point to specific elements of that report most suited for adoption in Zimbabwe, where the advent of a national unity government in February 2009 launched a new but still tentative era of political stability. The brief defines Zimbabwe’s top national priorities as restoring the rule of law, demonstrating fiscal responsibility, and putting in place macroeconomic and structural reforms to win the confidence of domestic and international investors. While government leadership is essential, rebuilding the economy must be accompanied by a new sensitivity to environmental concerns on the part of the business sector, which many hope will become the driving force in Zimbabwe's reconstruction.
Karolina Werner is a researcher associated with CIGI’s African Initiative. She formerly worked at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria.