HARARE, Zimbabwe- Zimbabweans have welcomed the appointment of a 'diverse, dynamic and youthful' cabinet, as described by president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who unveiled the team to help him rebuild the economy.

The team of 20 cabinet ministers, including the youthful Kirsty Coventry, as youth minister, and an experienced banker, Mthuli Ncube, as finance minister, was hailed by many on social media as a hopeful step in the right direction.

75-year-old Mnangagwa is under pressure, to rebuild an economy hit by lack of foreign investment, unemployment of above 80 percent, and acute dollar shortages that have hobbled some imports.

We would want to grow, modernise and mechanise our economy. We believe, in the next five years, we will be able to transform our people into middle income citizens.

Mnangagwa won a disputed vote on July 30, the first election in the southern African nation since Robert Mugabe was removed by the army, last Nov, after nearly four decades in power.

In appointing Ncube, Mnangagwa wants to show the international community that, he is giving priority to the economy and moving away from the Mugabe years, where important cabinet posts were given on patronage lines.

It sounds very encouraging especially on the choice of finance minister. That's a very good foundation for the country's economic recovery prospects, said John Robertson, a Harare-based independent economist.

Ncube, 55, is a former chief economist and vice president at the African Development Bank (AfDB), and was also a lecturer in finance at the London School of Economics and Wits Business School in South Africa.

He founded Zimbabwe's Barbican Bank and asset management company, which were, however, put into administration by the central bank in 2005, after only two years of operations. The bank's licence was later cancelled.

Ncube will be tasked with crafting an economic recovery programme, as well as, coming up with strategy to pay off Zimbabwe's $1.8 billion arrears, to the World Bank and AfDB.