Zanzibar leases 10 small islands

12Jan 2022
Henry Mwangonde
The Guardian
Zanzibar leases 10 small islands
  • Expects to get $261.5m, says President Mwinyi

​​​​​​​AUTHORITIES in Zanzibar are finalizing the leasing out of ten small islands and the formulation of a governing policy and 149bn/- progressive strategy to facilitate the development of the blue economy.

President Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi said in a televised speech yesterday to mark 58 years of the Zanzibar Revolution, that the strategy will facilitate stakeholders in the blue economy, especially fishermen and seaweed farmers.

Already about 36.5bn/- has been set aside, from proceeds of a loan to assist efforts towards economic recovery from effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Procedures have been completed for the government to purchase 577 fishing boats, 500 boats for seaweed farmers and authorities are now engaged in outreach work to spread skills on how to get bumper yields, he stated.

The first phase of the strategy will benefit 26,000 residents and will involve 5,777 fishermen and 5,000 seaweed farmers, along with 400 fish gardeners, making a total of 130,000 people participating in the project, he said.

Plenty of effort has been directed at the control of inflation, setting indicative prices for specific products where necessary, he asserted, highlighting that the rate if inflation from January to November 2021 registered an overall average of 1.7percent, from 3.4percent during the same period in 2020.

The government collected 745.1bn/- revenues during the period, a 22-percent increase from 610bn/- collected during the same period in 2020, he stated, attributing the increase to harmonization of electronic revenue collection systems now linking public and private sector activities.

Investments on outlying islands is a major theme in current policy, with the government renting 10 mall Islands to eight investors whose activities are likely to stimulate economic growth, he affirmed, seeing this initiative as part of the ongoing efforts to boost the blue economy, further widening investment opportunities in small islands.

A total of 53 local and foreign investors are lined up to operate investment projects, which promises to drive up skills and ability to conserve the environment, biodiversity, cultural heritage and ensure community development, he said.

Investors were selected ion the basis of provision of high end investments, financial capacity and payment of lease acquisition costs, he further noted..

The islands include Changuu, Bawe, Chapwani, Pamunda A and B, Kwale and Chumbe, all in Unguja zone, while Matumbini A, Njao and Misali are located in Pemba zone.

The government is expecting to get $261.5m from these investments, with two islands—Matumbini and Njao - yet to get investors but efforts are ongoing to make sure they are given to investors in the second phase of this investment drive, he added.

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