‘Z’bar national debt is soaring’

24Feb 2021
The Guardian Reporter
ZANZIBAR
The Guardian
‘Z’bar national debt is soaring’

ZANZIBAR Minister of State in the President’s Office (Finance and Planning) Jamal Kassim Ali yesterday said that national debt has reached 896.2bn/- which is sustainable and allows Zanzibar to borrow from productive projects for economic growth and development.

ZANZIBAR Minister of State in the President’s Office (Finance and Planning) Jamal Kassim Ali.

Ali (pictured) said when responding to queries raised by members of the House of Representatives, who contributed to the Zanzibar economy, development plan and budget estimates for the 2021/22 financial year.

According to him, external debt has reached 691.5bn / - where 95.9 per cent is guaranteed and paid by the government of the United Republic of Tanzania including major clean and safe water projects while 4.1 percent is under the revolutionary government of Zanzibar.

The minister said the domestic debt has reached 204.9bn/ -, of which the Zanzibar Social Security Fund (ZSSF) is 51.7bn/- and the bond from the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) is 154.1bn/ -. He said that by December 2020, the average national debt-to-economic ratio is 22 percent below the international average of 50 percent, noting:

“The rate indicates that the debt situation is resilient and Zanzibar has the ability to borrow money for more strategic projects that are productive in boosting the national economy.” He told the house:

“The national debt-to-economic ratio has reached 22 per cent, this indicates that our debt is resilient and we can borrow more in productive strategic economic growth projects.”

He said the government would borrow money from key projects by involving the private sector including port construction and the blue and energy economy investment sector.

Ali said that blue economy projects are the priority of the Isles’ government in achieving its goals of seeing Zanzibar achieve economic growth and become a hub of trade in the east and central African region.

“We are focused on investing in the blue economy in partnership with the private sector which we have given the opportunity to partner with to see us make great strides in economic development,” he said.

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