Barack Obama faces many challenges as U.S. president-elect ? among them bringing American influence to bear to resolve the long-running crisis in Zimbabwe, where many are wondering how U.S. policy on the country might shift in an Obama administration.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change immediately hailed the election of Obama, 47, the first African-American to be elected U.S. president. But President Robert Mugabe later this week said he is ready to engage the Obama presidency.

The state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Mr. Mugabe as saying Obama faces "huge challenges" but that small and developing countries would work with him.  

For perspective reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe we turned to political analyst John Makumbe, a professor at the University of Zimbabwe, and American Enterprise Institute for Policy Research Resident Fellow Roger Bate.  

Makumbe said expectations are high that Obama will be better able than Bush to persuade African leader to increase political pressure on Mr. Mugabe for cooperation with the opposition in a national unity government to address the country's needs.

More reports on VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...