||Neoliberal water, neoliberal trade, 19 August
|Speakers: Simphiwe Nojiyeza and Richard Kamidza
Date: Monday, 19 August, 2013
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 602, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal
The African version of the neoliberal system known as Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) has had especially dubious results in Ghana and Malawi, as a doctoral thesis now conclusively demonstrates. Cost recovery and decentralisation of responsibilities without resources are the primary means by which the poor are financially squeezed, not unlike other neoliberal strategies in development policy and projects. Civil society has had uneven engagements with IWRM, and some NGOs support the concept notwithstanding evidence of its adverse impacts.
The European Union's imposition of Economic Partnership Agreements has generated uneven resistance in Southern Africa, with multiple and divergent interests especially evident in Zimbabwe. There, civil society is typically split between 'distributive' advocates and 'democracy' advocates. Do EPA struggles offer an opportunity to revise our impressions of economic justice during an era of extreme globalisation?
Simphiwe Nojiyeza is a CCS-based doctoral student of development studies, with many years experience in Durban, South African and Africa-wide civil society advocacy.
Richard Kamidza has worked for numerous institutions in the Southern African region, including in his native Zimbabwe. He has nearly completed his UKZN Development Studies doctorate at CCS.
Zimbabwe’s Trade Negotiations with the European Union: State Shortcomings and Civil Society Advocacy, 2000 – 2013
The dissertation interrogates the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiation between the European Union (EU) and Zimbabwe, covering trade in goods, trade in services, trade-related rules and development cooperation. Within the African-Caribbean-Pacific (ACP) configuration, Zimbabwe belongs to eastern and southern Africa, and used this base to extend the 1980 Lomé Conventions and 2000 Cotonou Agreement with the EU. But EU-Zimbabwe trade relations have reflected changing motives of the EU as the dominant development partner. Since the Lomé Conventions, Zimbabwe has exported diverse agriculture, manufacturing and mining products, especially beef, leather, vegetable products, beverages, spirits and vinegar, flue-cured tobacco, sugar raw and refined, cotton raw and lint, fermented tea and coffee, cut flowers, precious or semi-precious metal scrap/stones, articles of base metals, nickel and ferro alloys. In turn, the country has been importing machinery and mechanical appliances, electrical equipment, vehicles, aircraft and associated transport equipment, and products of chemical and allied industries. But notwithstanding generous access to the EU market under Lomé, Zimbabwe (and other ACP economies) could not improve economic growth or broaden development through trade.
As a result, many civil society organisations (CSOs) were critical of recent free trade agreements, although their critiques reflected extreme ideological diversion. Zimbabwe’s EPA debate reflected two distinct groups: ‘collaborators’ who emphasised direct interaction with the state in their engagement and participation in the process, and ‘resisters’ who repudiated any formal interaction and consultation, instead opting for confrontational tactical engagement. This not only prevented a collective, strategic CSO engagement on the process, but also created dilemmas in pursuit of a fair EPA outcome. Likewise, the post-2009 Government of National Unity (GNU) was confronted with neo-liberal versus protectionist struggles and related tensions, resulting in disunity in economic policy-making and EPA negotiation processes.
The study interrogates Zimbabwe’s state-stakeholders and their fault-lines in a context of EU dominance, as well as the bilateral-related sanctions imposed against ZANU (PF) leadership during the negotiation process. Subsequently, an economically weak and vulnerable Zimbabwe signed and ratified an asymmetrical interim EPA with an economically powerful EU. The 31 July 2013 election may alter the power balance sufficiently to lead to a reconsideration of the deal, as Zimbabwe continues to ‘look East’ in its economic orientation.
The study’s contribution to the field of bilateral trade negotiations is in exploring theoretical concepts of ‘guerrilla negotiating approaches, strategies and tactics’ employed by negotiating parties and CSOs that have extreme ideological differences between liberal and redistributive interpretations. The possibility of coherence is increasing given the unsatisfactory politics of EU-Zimbabwe trade.
Integrated Water Resources Management and the Manufactured Scarcity of Water in Africa
INNOCENT SIMPHIWE NOJIYEZA
The African version of the neo-liberal system known as Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) has had especially dubious results in Ghana and Malawi, as this doctoral thesis now conclusively demonstrates. Cost recovery and decentralisation of responsibilities without adequate resources are the primary means by which the poor are financially squeezed, not unlike other neo-liberal strategies in development policy and projects.
Civil society has had uneven engagements with IWRM, and some NGOs support the concept notwithstanding evidence of its adverse impacts. The IWRM framework was accepted as best practice during the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit of 1992 (and included as chapter 18 of Local Agenda 21), and integrated into the Dublin principles of 1992, and taken forward in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation during the World Summit on Sustainable Development of 2002. The Principles of IWRM were developed during the 1992 International Conference on Water and Environment and are commonly known as Dublin Principles. Since the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, many countries that adopted the Summit resolution to formulate IWRM policies by 2005, began to do so.
IWRM quickly became the favoured strategic approach of development agencies, international financial institutions, donors, state water officials and some NGOs. But a critique emerged from Ghana, during the early 2000s, of the IWRM’s implicit commercialisation and privatisation of water in urban areas. There was growing concern about excessive cost-recovery and self-management of water in rural areas without the benefit of state subsidies. Water commodification and decentralisation – meaning in practice, fewer resources and more responsibilities for lower tiers of government – is also a problem elsewhere on the continent, where governments are abdicating their responsibilities to supply and finance water and sanitation, under the rubric of IWRM.
Using household interviews and focus group discussions in the Densu area of Ghana, and in the Balaka, Ntcheu and Mangochi areas of Malawi where the African Development Bank sponsored the implementation of IWRM projects, and basing my analysis on water and sanitation governance, new institutional economics and environmental economic theories, I conclude that implementation of IWRM results in what I term ‘manufactured scarcity’ of water in rural Africa.
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