Edited by Joseph Mark S. Munoz
Chapter 13: HIV/AIDS, geopolitics and impact on business in southern Africa
Over the last thirty years HIV/AIDS has ravaged the peoples and economies of the ten countries usually considered as comprising southern Africa. This chapter argues that the main factors that saw the rapid proliferation of the disease in southern African countries are rooted in geopolitical relations both during the colonial and post-colonial periods in addition to, among other reasons, economic turbulence resulting in high levels of poverty, uneven distribution of resources and labor supply, and low levels of literacy. The chapter further examines the economic costs of the disease which include impacts on labor supply and the attendant decline in productivity, rising costs of healthcare, and decline in capital formation and savings rates. In addition, civil wars in countries such as Mozambique and Angola and the ensuing refugee movements, migration of labor from poverty stricken countries such as Malawi and Zimbabwe, as well as Mozambique, to more prosperous countries such as Botswana and South Africa all combined to exacerbate the HIV/AIDS crisis. Indeed, international migration within the southern African sub continent has not only resulted in the fast spread of HIV/AIDS but has also contributed to a loss of labor to sustain food production, resulting independency on food imports and strain on foreign exchange reserves.
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