the region will see life expectancies fall to near30 years—the same as at the end of the 19thcentury (UNDESA, 2005). Without adequate financial and strategicsupport for human capacity planning, calls forgreater political leadership amount to mererhetoric. In the absence of a functional civilservice of well-trained, highly skilled, andknowledgeable people, such political promisescannot be kept. A fundamental organizationalprinciple of the state—the cadre of civil ser-vants who assure its effective functioning—isthrown into question by incapacity due to theprolonged illnesses and early deaths of govern-ment employees.Take Zambia: According to the UnitedNations Commission on HIV/AIDS andGovernance in Africa (CHGA), mortality fig-ures in the education sector from 2001 to 2004,projected to 2011, indicate that 13,000 teach-ers will need to be trained, instead of the 5,093needed without AIDS. A similar study of localgovernments reveals that Zambia could lose 32percent of its workforce to HIV/AIDS over thenext 20 years and government agencies willneed to replace an additional 1.7 percent of thestaff each year over the same period to maintaincurrent staffing levels (CHGA, 2004).It is not, however, only the absolute levels of mortality that should concern policymakers,serious though they are. They should be partic-ularly concerned about the broader implica-tions of high and rising levels of morbidity andmortality for institutional knowledge formationand retention—that is, how to sustain anorganization and ensure that it operates effi-ciently under conditions of persistent loss of human resource capacity. The impact of HIV/AIDS on the educated and professionalcadres reduces their ability to pass on theiraccumulated knowledge and expertise to suc-ceeding generations. As a result, younger andless experienced workers find it harder toacquire the specialized skills, expertise, and pro-fessionalism needed for their jobs. In the longerterm, fewer experienced officials will be avail-able to train younger personnel in key formalskills, or pass on more informal standard oper-ating procedures or norms such as ministerialaccountability, bureaucratic neutrality, officialethics, and institutional transparency, with neg-ative consequences for the quality of both pub-lic and private services.
AIDS and Economic Development
The problem is particularly acute for people inrural areas. HIV/AIDS is significantly reshap-ing the indigenous transfer of knowledge of local agro-ecology, farming practices, and farmmanagement. These changes in rural knowl-edge structures are, in turn, restructuring rurallivelihoods at several levels. At the householdlevel in some countries, chronically ill heads of households reduced the area of land they culti-vated by as much as half, resulting in decreasedcrop production and lower food availability (Drimie, 2002). In rural Zimbabwe, maize out-put by households that experienced a death dueto HIV/AIDS declined by nearly half, more insome households (Kwaramba, 1997).Lowered production due to the loss of house-hold labor often continues for at least one yearafter a death occurs. Some households, especially those already short of household labor, may neverreturn to previous production levels, and familiesseverely impacted by the loss of income may beforced to disperse to survive. At the community level, the epidemic is shifting the composition of agricultural output from commercial cropstoward food for consumption, with adverseeffects on incomes and employment. While thismay ensure household food supplies in the shortterm, it has long-term effects on the growth of outputs, incomes, and foreign exchange earnings,and therefore on development. Ahighly publicized World Bank study argues that after allowing for intergenerationallosses of human capital (and knowledge), theprojected macroeconomic effects of HIV/AIDS will be severe (Bell, Devarajan, & Gersbach,2003). These intergenerational effects havealready been widely noted, especially on agri-culture (McPherson, 2002). The impact is fur-ther aggravated by existing weaknesses in statecapacity, such as a lack of civil service reforms,
The net effect of HIV/AIDS on theAfrican state maybe institutionalfragility, thuscompromising itsoverall capacityto deal effectivelywith nationalemergencies,while increasingpolitical instability.