Many young Zimbabweans are hoping this week will prove a watershed moment for their country's economic future as well as its politics.

After nearly four decades of Robert Mugabe's unchallenged power, the country's banking system, agricultural system and industrial sectors are in urgent need of reform.

We mistakenly adopted the US dollar as the cost base of Zimbabwe ... It made us uncompetitive in many circumstances, especially when the Rand depreciated dramatically. It's not really correlated with the economy of the region. One of the major steps forward could be a participation in the Common Customs Union and the Rand Monetary Union."

Samir Shasha, CEO of Cambria Africa

So one of the key challenges for Zimbabwe's new leader Emmerson Mnangagwa will be to transform the economy into one that can offer good employment opportunities.

They call Mnangagwa 'the crocodile', but can Zimbabwe's new president attack the country's broken economy and demonstrate a real commitment to reform?

Andrew Simmons reports on the challenges ahead and why some people are sceptical. And Samir Shasha, the CEO of Cambria Africa, joins Counting the Cost to discuss Zimbabwe's economic future.

"There is a tremendous level of optimism in Zimbabwe at the moment," says Shasha. "I think that people would be well advised not expect too much too soon. There will be a lot of need for support and changes... There is an interest in making changes and bringing about a new dawn. I truly believe that...Optimism is something that goes along with investing in Zimbabwe and people are optimistic."

He is hopeful that there will be increasing economic support for Zimbabwe - from both the region and the West - and that Zimbabwe will "see a greater degree of confidence and commitment, both from the outside and investors from the inside."

"I think that when we look at the South African example, empowerment as opposed to indigenisation is truly the way forward [for Zimbabwe] and if policies became more inclined towards empowerment rather than indigenisation, you would have a greater comfort level as far as foreign investment is concerned. If we look back, most of the laws here were based on creating some political favour. And I think that that will change," he tells Al Jazeera.

"There is tremendous potential in empowerment. Zimbabweans have one of the greatest resources and that's the resource of education. It's one of the most educated countries in Africa, it has the highest literacy levels. The Zimbabweans that are no longer here, the expatriate Zimbabweans, are really economic refugees ... I think that that makes for one of the greatest foreign investments - the return of the diaspora so to speak - to this country."

Libya's slave trade

The UN-backed government in Libya said it's looking into allegations that African migrants are being sold at 'slave markets' in Libya.

According to reports, the trade works by preying on the tens of thousands of vulnerable people who risk everything on what's been described as the deadliest route on earth.

They get off the bus when they arrive in Libya and they are quickly put into a kind of murder machine, an extortion machine. They are robbed of their possessions, their families are called. They are forced, they are tortured, they give them money. And then they are sold.

Leonard Doyle, International Organization for Migration

They use smartphones to connect with people smugglers to get them to the coast in the hope that they can cross the Mediterranean into Europe.

There is no proper registration process for the tens of thousands of refugees arriving in Libya.

According to reports, the business of detention centres is unsupervised in some parts of the country and stories of torture, rape and forced labour have emerged.

When the centres get too crowded, people are then allegedly sold off like goods in an open market.

The International Organization for Migration says trade in humans has become so normalised that people are being bought and sold in public for as little as $400.

Mahmoud Abdelwahed reports from a detention centre in the Libyan capital Tripoli. And Leonard Doyle from the International Organization for Migration joins Counting the Cost to discuss Libya's modern-day slavery.

"As shocking as it seems, it's indeed true. And the reason it [slave trade] can happen is because there is really no rule of law across much of Libya. Libya is a country as big as France, with a lot of space there. Migrants are coming there.... they see the promise of a new life when they go to their Facebook feed and they think something wonderful is waiting for them in Europe, because a smuggler has abused the system and has sold them that lie," says Doyle.

"They get off the bus when they arrive in Libya and they are quickly put into a kind of murder machine, an extortion machine. They are robbed of their possessions, their families are called. They are forced, they are tortured, they give them money. And then they are sold. Unbelievable, but they are sold in open, public auctions: $400 for a labouring man, maybe a bit more for a women who can be put in the sex trade. And this is what's happening across the country."

Also on this episode of Counting the Cost:

Tencent: China's biggest social media company Tencent is now the fifth most valuable publically-traded company in the world edging Facebook out of the top five.

Uber cover-up: If a company that has your credit card address and tracks your movements was hacked you'd be alarmed. But what if it paid hackers to destroy the data? We look at why Uber is under pressure from regulators after a secret data breach cover-up. Alan Fisher reports.

South Korea gold: Many South Koreans still remember giving up their gold to help their country when South Korea's economy was facing ruin two decades ago. Kathy Novak reports from Seoul.

Source: Al Jazeera