Conflict over Scarce Economic Resources: An Analysis of the Zimbabwe/Nigeria Small-Scale Business Relationship in Harare

Takudzwa R. Dodo, Obediah Dodo


Zimbabwe is currently undergoing a difficult economic phase where unemployment rate is over 85% and the economy is largely informal. The few formal business operations are in the hands of few foreigners who established themselves during the 2007-2009 economic crises when most Zimbabweans were economically down and crippled. The study sought to establish the relationship between the disempowered Zimbabweans and the few empowered foreigners with a view to establish the volatility vis-à-vis the situation in the neighbouring South Africa regarding xenophobia. The study was conducted in Harare through a mixed method approach which saw 10 key participants drawn from both Zimbabwean and Nigerian business operators being interviewed. To compliment interviews, policy documents and other relevant literature was reviewed. Data was analysed using Constant Comparison method based in grounded theory approach. The study did confirm the dominance by foreigners in business operations and the existence of an aggrieved voice within the Zimbabwean citizens. However, it also established that the possibility of a Zimbabwe/Nigeria conflict is far-fetched given available conditions.

Keywords: economic resources, xenophobia, unemployment, immigrants, investments, conflict.

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