Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Zimbabwe drops plans for national currency

The southern African country discarded the Zimbabwe dollar at the beginning of the year after hyper-inflation estimated at around a trillion percent rendered it worthless.In its place, the government adopted a range of foreign currencies, including th e British Sterling Pound, American Dollar and South African Rand, as legal tender.All transactions, including salaries for workers, in the country are carried out in foreign currency.Economic Planning and Development Minister Elton Mangoma said the Zimbabwe dolla r would only be re-introduced if the country's battered economy started working again."Our focus is to ensure that we first have a vibrant industry. We must ensure th at the industry can now hold the currency and enable it to trade with the other currencies," he said."If we try to re-introduce the local currency now, it will face the same fate of being wiped out of its value within weeks," he added.Poor policies, mismanagement and corruption brought the country's economy to its knees, with over 90 percent unemployment, food shortages and other social difficulties.A new coalition government, including the opposition, is trying to re-build the economy.

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