Things are getting even worse in Zimbabwe.
I gave a paper on the situation in Zimbabwe at a conference in South Africa in 2003. At the time, inflation was rampant, unnecessary famine was causing people to starve, and the country's president, Robert Mugabe, showed little respect for the rule of law by, among other actions, regularly harassing his political opposition and intimidating reporters who dared to expose the truth. This had all been going on for more than three years at that point, but similar, less extreme precedents stretch back a couple of decades.
Four years later, seven years after things started to really go downhill, little has changed. It breaks my heart that all of Zimbabwe's people have never really had a fair chance. They were subjected to the rule of a white minority regime which denied all black Zimbabweans political rights, then the liberation led by Mugabe, which seemed to hold so much promise, has evolved into a tyrranical mess. How does a country overcome a history of racism, hatred, and corruption?