Only 19% of the almost 3.5 million hectares of resettled land was considered prime or farmable. 75% of the best land was still about 4500 white farmers.” — Human Rights Watch
In 2000 land reform programs began, white farmers were forcefully displaced from farms and were replaced by new black farmers. This was a massive deal internationally and historically. It had never been attempted before. Zimbabwe also challenged imperialistic powers by joining the fight for an apartheid-free in South Africa. Zimbabwe also joined the fight against imperialism in The Congo. So in 2001 the United States of America reacted by enacting two types of sanctions.
The first were Congestional Sanctions:
ZIDERA , Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act Stops Zimbabweans from getting loans from multilateral lending institutions. Especially restructure and development loans.
The second are Executive Order sanctions. America has tried to call it targeted sanctions but when you look at the list of targeted sanctions you see a prohibition for any company in the world to do business with Zimbabwe. Otherwise those companies will be penalized or face jail sentences according to the International Economic Emergency Powers Act.
These were unilateral sanctions imposed by the United States of America. These unilateral sanctions were only possible because the United States currency dominates the world’s payment systems and a major portion of the world’s global business is done in America. So anybody that wants to do business often has to do it with America and has to cooperate with America. They need to have a bilateral agreement and relationship with America. Yet these bilateral relationships are the ones that America uses to enforce its sanctions or what we call the executive order Sanctions and these ensure that other countries across the world implement those sanctions or suffer secondary sanctions.
Executive order sanctions actually state that if a country or company assists the government of Zimbabwe with software, finance, logistics, machinery, equipment in trade that company can also face sanctions because the Americas are trying to make the sanctions effective. However, those who place international sanctions argue that our sanctions are actually self imposed sanctions due to the fact that even before the ZIDERA sanctions of 2001 — in
1999 Zimbabwe failed to pay its debts to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank which meant that Zimbabwe was banned from access to credit from these two multilateral institutions. Then again there is a misconception that sanctions in Zimbabwe did not start in 2001 but rather actually started in 1980 when we got independence. At independence Zimbabwe was left with Rhodesia’s debt. Additionally Zimbabweans were not given reparations for the destruction made by the Rhodesians that cost the nation over a trillion dollars.
Another Case Of Self-Imposed Sanctions
In Zimbabwe the interest rate is 30% per month. In only four months the interest paid on the loan would be more than the principal. This is because Zimbabwe’s interest rates have to continuously be re-adjusted in order to compensate for the hyperinflation which peaked at a whopping 600%. In addition — Zimbabwe does not have a sovereign credit rating from the three international credit rating agencies. The government has not yet solicited a rating from the big three rating agencies. It is among the African countries that are yet to request an international sovereign rating. A favorable rating enables governments and companies to raise capital in the international financial market. Institutional investors in both the developed and developing world rely heavily on rating agencies in making investment decisions.
Being unrated makes it harder for the government to get funds for big debt projects or to get debt relief. It makes it harder for entrepreneurs who are struggling to grow their businesses due to lack of funding. Individuals who lack funding cannot get a mortgage and hence cannot own a home of their own. The end result is that under these circumstances one cannot build wealth.
Can Bitcoin Finally Grant Africans Fair And Free Access To Wealth?
For centuries, Africans and African Americans have suffered from severe discriminatory policies in regards to access to credit through redlining and sanctions which both prohibited credit or increased the cost of credit. The innovation of Bitcoin was imperative for Africa and African Americans as it allowed anyone on earth access to it, and this time it includes Africans. It is not a surprise at all that
Sub-Saharan Africa is leading in Bitcoin adoption.
This time Africans and African-Americans don’t have to worry about discrimination. Thanks largely to the innovation of DeFi on bitcoin, this is the long awaited-for innovation and crucial step in Bitcoin scalability and utility in Africa.