Coping with uncertainty - Petty producers in postwar Mozambique

Coping with uncertainty - Petty producers in postwar Mozambique

Since the early 1990s, Mozambican society has undergone significant changes. The Peace Accord in 1992 enabled demobilisation of most former soldiers and repatriation of almost two million refugees from the neighbouring countries, and the Government has launched an extensive programme of market-oriented reform and political reconciliation. Focusing on the business environment of petty producers, this paper examines the effects of these reforms. Special attention is paid to the response or coping strategies of business-operators to circumstances characterised by strong market fluctuation and weak state institutions. The hypothesis is that the business strategy of micro entrepreneurs can be understood as responses to instability in the business environment caused by a combination of three factors: a) Dysfunction of state institutions such as harassment or petty corruption; b) Individual events like theft and sickness, and c) Fluctuations in supply of raw materials and swings in demand -resulting from for instance drought. [author]

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