Decolonization and African Economic Transitions: The Rhodesian Rebellion, Financial Policy and Exchange Control, 1962 to 1979


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


International Studies Group


My monograph will provide a first sustained examination of colonial Zimbabwe (Rhodesia)’s troubled transition from colony to independent state from a financial history perspective. Fully covered by sterling from 1890, Rhodesia's currency was established in 1966 after its Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) a year before. The rebellious colony then established a post-sterling monetary system to facilitate continued economic activity. In spite of Britain’s punitive financial measures and United Nation (UN) economic sanctions, the colony’s central bank machinery, exchange control regulations and Salisbury inter-ministerial financial co-ordination supported economic development. Zimbabwe attracted global attention in recent history as it recorded the first hyperinflation in the twenty first century and one of the worst in global history. My monograph will examine a key moment in Zimbabwe’s late colonial history in which its decolonisation was crucially shaped by financial and economic arrangements that were ultimately inherited by the post-colonial state.