There was a great article today in the Wall Street Journal about Zimbabwe. I follow Africa politics very closely as I did a small stint in the Democratic Republic of Congo back in 2000-2001 (at one point I was the monopoly owner of international telecommunications in and out of the country). Anyway while I was in Congo there was a thing going on called World War Africa, many millions of people died and I had the miss-fortune of being able to stay in the same hotel as Robert Mugabe and his top military men for a few nights.
The problems in Africa are very sad as you have a large population of very poor and under educated people controlled by typically corrupt and crazy governments, such is the case in Zimbabwe (a very beautiful country with incredible nice people). Mugabe is just strangling the country and everyone is letting him get away with it.
Which is why I like this article so much as the latest tactic to try and cut the Mugabe regings power is very entreprenuearial. The article talks about how the German goverment lobbied a German compnay supplying the paper for Zimbabwe’s money to stop selling it to them. In most countries that would not be such a big deal, but in a place where there is 1,000,000% inflation annually new money has to be printed constantly in order to keep things going.
It will be interesting to see how big of an impact such a small thing (cutting off money paper) will be. My feeling is that might actually be the thing that topples Mugabe. Without the new money he can’t pay the military, without paying the military he losses there support, without their support, bye bye Dictator.