Tinashe Nyamunda

The Dollar Peg, Currency and the Making of Zimbabwe’s Post-Colonial Economy

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The article explores the antecedents of Zimbabwe’s currency and economy from its colonial origins. It examines how colonial processes and development created lasting legacies, including the changes shaped by the reconstruction of the international economic architecture in the period of the Bretton Woods system (1944-1971) and thereafter. The study also examines the extent to which pegging against the United States dollar (a global key currency) at Zimbabwe’s independence shaped the trajectory of its economy. The dual impact of colonial legacies and the peg influenced processes of state and economy making in ways that few economic historians of Zimbabwe have considered. The article challenges ideas of the universality and neutrality of money, identifying the centrality of power politics in the construction of the international architecture of exchange. It locates Zimbabwe’s position in these exchange arrangements, while also considering the discourses and epistemologies informing policy makers who pursue and reinforce neo-liberal ideas of money and economy-making informed by these global architectures. The article provides a glimpse, not just into the history of colonial and post-colonial Zimbabwe’s monetary and economic system, but also of how imperial and post-Second World War financial architectures play out in the specific context of and location of a developing African country


  • Currency
  • Sterling
  • Rhodesian Dollar
  • Zimbabwean Dollar
  • Economy


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