Blue economy uplift as Zanzibar inks $3bn deal in Turkish investment

30Nov 2020
By Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Blue economy uplift as Zanzibar inks $3bn deal in Turkish investment

​​​​​​​ZANZIBAR authorities’ quest to build a strong economy through sustainable exploitation of marine resources is taking shape following the signing of a US$3billion (over 6trn/-) deal to develop modern fish processing facilities and a landing port.

The agreement inked at the weekend between Salmin Fisheries and Turkish company Northland Capital Investment is part of the government’s blue economy policy, intended to give a face lift to the Isles fishing sector, said Abdullah Kombo, the Isles minister for Blue Economy and Fisheries.

He hailed the move as a milestone for the Zanzibar economy, as it will provide employment opportunities and markets for artisanal fishers.

Salmin Ibrahim, the company’s executive director, said the project is aimed to support small-scale fishers, as investors are willing to disburse funds to have this ambitious project take off as planned.

The blue economy is a flagship sector for the incoming eighth phase government of Dr Hussein Mwinyi, with deep-sea fishing, fish farming and fish processing as key areas for serious investments to support struggling fishing communities.

The government is keen to explore extensive marine resources in the Isles special economic zone, which is a fertile area for pirate fishing activities.

President Mwinyi said at the weekend that the government is determined to bring about a revolution in the economy by developing the blue economy as well as strengthening service sectors including tourism,  the pillar of Isles economic growth.

He spoke at a function organized by CRDB Bank for senior government officials and members of the House of Representatives at Verde Hotel grounds.

Dr Mwinyi said due to limited land space there is always a challenge in planning and implementing development plans as Unguja Island’s entire land area is 1,666 square kilometers and Pemba Island has 988 square kilometers, a stretch of territory he said is inhospitable to population increase.

He said in the past land was utilized for farming and many people lived by farming and livestock keeping, but today the same land area is  needed to build people’s settlements, factories and various other economic activities.

In the circumstances, the eighth phase has decided to utilize alternative resources from the sea as well as strengthening the service sector, he stated.

He said the government aims to develop blue economy by fully utilizing sea resources including tourism activities, drilling for oils and gas, deep sea fishing, fish products processing, seaweed farming and other marine products. Read More...