Economic Dualism in Zimbabwe

From Colonial Rhodesia to Post-Independence

Daniel B. Ndlela



Using a combination of theoretical and empirical approaches, Economic Dualism in Zimbabwe demonstrates how economic dualism can be eliminated through structural transformation of the traditional agricultural sector and reallocation of labour across sectors. The author comprehensively discusses the origins of dualism in Zimbabwe, how it developed in land, labour, credit and financial markets, who stands to gain and lose from it, and ultimately what reforms are needed to eliminate dualism from the economic system.


The dualistic nature of the economy of Zimbabwe as well as that of its neighbouring country, South Africa, is not accidental. Nevertheless, the author aptly and persuasively argues that while economic dualism was a colonial design, the post-independent African state embraced and continued with the colonial dualistic structures as the ‘new normal, while loudly blaming colonialism and imperialism for having planted and perpetrated this form of underdevelopment’. - Daniel Makina, University of South Africa


Daniel B. Ndlela is a Lead Researcher and Team Leader with Zimconsult, Zimbabwe, formerly taught economics at the University of Zimbabwe, and was Senior Regional Adviser on economic co-operation and integration for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).