Zimbabwean independence ended racial segregation and colonial rule. Yet the hopes and expectations that it would radically improve living conditions for the country’s black majority remain unmet. The bulk of housing for the poor is marginal, overcrowded, and unsafe. Women are especially vulnerable, with limited mobility and tenure rights.
Results from IDRC-supported research at the Université de Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), show that unregulated population growth — averaging 10 births per woman — combined with a lack of education and economic opportunities for impoverished youth, contribute to the proliferation of youth gangs who terrorize cities like Kinshasa and Mbuji-Mayi.