Banking on its geographical position in the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar is positioning itself to compete with other island states in tourism, oil and other marine resources.
Zanzibar President Dr Hussein Mwinyi has held discussions with investors wooing them to the island to make Zanzibar a business hub on Eastern Africa’s Indian Ocean coast.
To pursue a Blue and private sector-led economy, President Mwinyi has created a Blue Economy and Fisheries Ministry to spearhead development.
Upon assuming the Island’s presidency on November 2, Dr Mwinyi had held a series of discussions with executives from various firms and business institutions, asking them to invest in Zanzibar.
The president held discussions with the Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce on December 5 to chart his economic plans for the next five years.
He also held discussions with members of Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors and Zanzibar Association of Tour Operators urging them to increase their investments and enjoy tax harmonisation programmes and supportive government.
Dr Mwinyi had earlier on met with the Resident Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Tanzania Amin Kurji on December 1 then asked the AKDN to increase its economic and social investments in the island.
Zanzibar Serena Hotel and the $2.4 million investment on the restoration of historical sites at Stone Town under the Aga Khan Trust for Culture are major tourist investments implemented by AKDN.
The President also met executives from CRDB Bank from the Mainland, the NBC and National Microfinance Bank, and invited them to increase their financial base on the island.
On December 16, he held similar discussions with the Under-Secretary from the Omani Ministry of Heritage and Tourism aimed at restoring the Beit Al Ajaib or House of Wonders historical palace that is a major tourist attraction in Zanzibar.
The he had also met Dubai-based hotel investment tycoon Ali Saeed Juma Albwardy to explore tourism and hotel investment slots in the island.
The government plans construction of modern ports with adequate infrastructure to support fishing, fish processing, tourism, and other ocean-related economic activities. Zanzibar is pursuing a strong Blue Economy through its new Development Vision 2050 plan.