ZIMCODD is a network in Zimbabwe that deals with issues such as debt relief, trade, development and social and economic justice. The vision is to achieve socio-economic justice in the country through a living movement with the human in the center.


For a large part of Zimbabwe’s population, being self-sufficient is a major challenge. High unemployment, low agricultural production and an unstable economy are some of the causes. Major debts, injustices in the global trading system and lack of democratic governance affect the socio-economic situation. The current political situation also limits the opportunity to express your opinions freely. Therefore, there is a great need to strengthen people’s movements to increase participation.

The organization

ZIMCODD (Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development) is a broad network of labor unions, religious communities, student and youth organizations, women’s organizations and organizations working for democracy and human rights. The purpose of the network is to mobilize and involve the country’s population in the work of influencing and designing policy guidelines. One example is that ZIMCODD works for farm workers to gain increased influence on trade issues. Both ZIMCODD and the organizations involved in the network work with research, information, campaigns and impact work to highlight important issues to be able to bring change.


Organized cotton cultivars to become stronger negotiators

“I have grown cotton for over 20 years, but a few years ago I considered quitting because, like most other growers, I simply could not support myself,” said Elizabeth’s Paradzas, cotton producer in Zimbabwe.

Even though the buyers compete for the cotton, the cultivars are not paid enough. The main reason is weak control at national level, in combination with subsidies to agriculture in Europe and the United States, which also contravenes with the WTO agreements.

Elizabeth’s Paradzas told her experiences during a trade affairs forum. This led to ZIMCODD launching the campaign “Defending our livelihood, defending the Cotton Farmer”. The campaign called for the Zimbabwean government to formulate and implement beneficial programs for small-scale farming. Together with 33 other cotton-producing African countries, they pushed for the abolition of the huge contributions to large-scale agriculture in already rich countries.

The campaign had a big impact and Elizabeth Paradzas and ZIMCODD attended a WTO meeting in Hong Kong, where together with Korean farmers raised the issue of fair trade rules. After that, they managed to organize the country’s cotton cultivars in smaller associations. Through this, cotton cultivars have become stronger dealers.

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