Category Archives: ASAUK 2014

New research on land reform in Zimbabwe

Here is a useful summary of the papers presented by Leila Sinclair-Bright, Gareth James and Grasian Mkodzongi, at the ASAUK conference last week.

To accompany the recording of the discussion, here is a link to my own PowerPoint slides, which should help to further illustrate the points made during my presentation. I’m afraid it doesn’t make much sense without them, so I hope that those who are interested find this additional material both interesting and useful.

 

zimbabweland

As mentioned last week, the University of Sussex hosted the major biennial UK African Studies Association conference. Around 600 delegates were registered, and there was a real buzz, with panels on every conceivable topic from every corner of the continent. Quite a few papers reported on new work from Zimbabwe, and land and politics was a recurrent theme. In the end we had a single panel of three papers (as several panellists had to drop out at the last minute). It was a fascinating session to a standing-room-only audience.

The three panellists all reported on new research in the now not-so-new resettlements, representing different geographic areas, and diverse methodologies. All looked at how new livelihoods are being carved out following land reform in A1 sites. This included in-depth reflections on the relationships between farmers and farmworkers, a quantitative assessment of production outcomes across sites compared to communal and old resettlement…

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ASAUK 2014: New narratives and emerging evidence in the Zimbabwe land debate

The ASAUK biennial conference will be held at the University of Sussex and will run from Tuesday 9th to Thursday 11th of September, 2014. As it’s now fast-approaching, I thought I’d post a quick message to draw your attention to the panel ‘New narratives and emerging evidence in the Zimbabwe land debate’, which takes place on Wednesday 10th from 09:00-10:30 and 11:00-12:30.

The panel will debate the latest research on land, agriculture and rural livelihoods in Zimbabwe. There are 6 papers that each extend, challenge and nuance the findings of earlier studies. In today’s world, where anything over 140 characters is too wordy, I won’t post abstracts, but here is a list of panellists and working titles:

Shiela Chikulo, ‘Emerging market discourses in a changing ‘agrarian economy’? The case of the fresh vegetable markets in Zimbabwe’, Ruzivo Trust, Harare.

Marleen Dekker, ‘Navigating through times of scarcity: the intensification of a gift-giving economy after dollarization in old resettlement areas in Zimbabwe’, African Studies Centre, Leiden.

Gareth James, ‘Fast track land reform: smallholder land use and production outcomes in Shamva, Hwedza and Makoni districts of Zimbabwe’, Centre of African Studies, Edinburgh.

Grasian Mkodzongi, ‘The political economy of mineral resource extraction after Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform Programme: The case of Mhondoro Ngezi District’, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Patience Mutopo, ‘Ethnographic reflections on the land reform and rural development in Mwenezi District, Zimbabwe’, African Studies Centre, Cologne.

Leila Sinclair-Bright, ‘Zimbabwean land reform: sympathy and recognition of farmworkers’ claims to belong’, Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh.

The discussion will be chaired by Ian Scoones of the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex, and author of Zimbabwe’s Land Reform: Myths and Realities. 

So, if you’re going to the conference, look out for us and come join the discussion. Also, keep an eye on the Twitter feed @researchingzim for updates, and I’ll try and post a summary of the discussion here after the conference.