oa Africa Insight - Nationalization: Lessons from Southern Africa

Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



At independence most African countries, including those in Southern Africa, inherited deep-rooted problems of underdevelopment and retrogression. These manifested themselves in gross inequalities among the population, mass poverty, developmental imbalances between the urban and rural areas, food shortages, an inadequate production base and unsophisticated technology, unemployment, an indigenous population lacking in skills, deficiencies in basic and social infrastructure, an inadequate human resource base and inappropriate physical capital. In addition, foreigners and multinational corporations owned or controlled most of the economy. Nationalization came to be regarded as the logical solution to these economic and social problems, and as a means of realizing the essence of political independence. This paper will highlight the major nationalization programmes in Southern Africa, and Zambia in particular, the justifications put forward by these states for greater government involvement in the economy, and the lessons to be learned from their experience.

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