Last updated: 10 july, 2009 - 10:27 GMT

Reviving Zimbabwe's economy

Welshman Ncube

According to the United Nations, Zimbabwe's unemployment rate reached 94 percent this year

How do you persuade people to put money in your country when the economy has gone through the floor and politics is riven from top to bottom?

Zimbabwe's coalition government is currently trying to do just that with an economic charm offensive in New York and London and a conference in Harare.

One of the difficulties may be that the policy of confiscating white-owned farms might deter others from putting their money in.

The government has tried to reassure investors.

Dismal figures

However such reassurances belie some amazingly dismal figures.

According to the United Nations, Zimbabwe's unemployment rate spiked to 94 percent at the beginning of the year.

In other words, out of the country's twelve million people, only 480,000 had formal jobs.

This is before taking into account inflation - estimated at 231 million percent.

Next week, the Commonwealth Committee on Zimbabwe, made up of former British colonial countries, meets to review sanctions and aid in the light of the unity government in Harare.

They will no doubt be torn between wanting to help the people and not wanting to shore up a regime with elements of despotism.

Welshman Ncube is one of those people from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change who joined the government. He is the minister for industry and commerce and Steve Evans asked him to describe the current state of the economy.

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First broadcast on 10 July 2009

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