Livelihoods in Crisis? New Perspectives on Governance and Rural Development in Southern Africa

Edited by: William Wolmer and Ian Scoones

July 2003
Volume 34 Number 3

Southern Africa is in the midst of a major food crisis. Fourteen million people are reported to be at risk. Most commentators agree that since around 1990, livelihoods have collapsed in many areas, with an increasing number of people, particularly in rural areas, vulnerable. But this is 2003, following decades of post-independence development assistance and once-great hopes for the region as both the food basket and economic motor for the continent. What has gone wrong? Has “development” failed? Do we need to radically rethink the paradigms for development in the region? By focusing on Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe, a complex story of livelihood change emerges.