The asbestos mines belonging to SMM Holdings were once among the world’s most productive – before allegations of fraud and mismanagement essentially shut them down. Years-long efforts to revive them have failed, and former employees are paying the price.
As Zimbabwe grapples with pervasive unemployment, members of the country’s two largest industries – mining and farming – are at odds over land and resources. Now, local organizations have stepped in to resolve the differences, but whether the land can be shared remains an open question.
Although hundreds of thousands of women are involved in Zimbabwe’s mining industry, traditional beliefs that women bring bad luck often prevent some from thriving in the field. Many female miners are pushing back, saying that their participation is necessary for economic growth, but others say it isn’t worth the effort.
After diamonds were discovered in Zimbabwe’s Chiadzwa area, many people living there were relocated to ARDA Transau, a farm some distance away. Promised government compensation shows no signs of materializing anytime soon, leaving relocated families to find other ways to stay afloat.
Despite plenty of arable land and potential labor, Rwanda imports more food than it exports. The government has introduced a program to get farmers to use hybrid maize seeds, but some farmers are pushing back against the strictures of the program.