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Accepted Paper:

Rethinking development in post-colonial Zimbabwe: The case of the CAMPFIRE project in Kanyemba.  
Neil Maheve (Rhodes University)

Paper short abstract:

I bring a fresh, nuanced understanding of development in the new dawn of decoloniality by dismissing the mainstream idea of development and conservation in marginal rural areas. My research brings a fresh impetus to understanding development from the local perspective and their expectations.

Paper long abstract:

This research endeavors to re-evaluate the concept of development in Zimbabwe, focusing on the Community Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) in Kanyemba. Drawing upon the tenets of the post-development theory, this study seeks to contextualise the participants' experiences in the program and challenge the prevalent belief that development is a uniformly positive and homogenous phenomenon. The study adopts an ethnographic methodology to critically analyse the program's impact on the local community and determine the root cause of its unpopularity. Qualitative research techniques, including in-depth interviews, participant observation, and document analysis, are employed to understand the attitudes and experiences of the people involved in the program, with a particular emphasis on marginalised groups such as women and ethnic minorities. The research highlights the significance of incorporating local cultures and indigenous knowledge into development initiatives and demonstrates that the neglect of these factors resulted in the failure of the CAMPFIRE program in Kanyemba. By illuminating the experiences of marginalised groups, the study brings to the fore the imbalances inherent in mainstream development. It advocates for a more inclusive and equitable approach to development that considers local communities' cultural context and expertise. This study provides valuable insights into the potential and limitations of the CAMPFIRE program in Kanyemba. It contributes to ongoing discussions about sustainable development and the role of local communities in conservation efforts. Through its rethinking of development in Zimbabwe, this research represents a critical step towards a more nuanced and equitable approach to development.

Panel P52
Towards rethinking and decolonizing Africa's development futures: the place of indigenous knowledge
  Session 1 Thursday 29 June, 2023, -