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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The World Bank and Urban Programmes in Zimbabwe: A Critical Appraisal
Author:Ramsamy, Edward
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:urban housing
World Bank
Urbanization and Migration
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Politics and Government
international relations
Abstract:Effective in 1985, the World Bank's first urban development project in Zimbabwe, called Urban I, set out to implement the recommendations of the urban mission's report in four major cities: Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare and Masvingo. The Bank tried to incorporate its evolving policy of privatization and reduction of urban subsidies into its urban programmes in Zimbabwe by involving local building societies. Although these societies were the traditional source of financing for middle and upper-income mortgages, the Bank sought their participation to cover the capital costs of plot and housing construction for low-income groups also. The purpose of Urban II (presented in 1989) was to continue this trend and to expand the role of private sector financial intermediation for housing from a pilot operation in four cities to a nationwide sector programme. The World Bank's own assessments of its efforts claimed that the 'highly satisfactory' projects were 'an excellent example of privatized housing finance'. The present paper, in contrast, argues that the Bank did not, in fact, influence the broader policy climate in a manner that improved the lives of the urban poor. Bibliogr., ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]