Zanzibar has been working to improve policies and strategies to ensure that its marine resources are sustainably utilised as per the country’s blue economy agenda. The blue economy includes its fishing sector, seaweed farming, fish processing factories, fish farming, and oil and gas drilling in its ocean.
Another sector that falls within its portfolio is seaside tourism.
President Hussein Mwinyi took office in November of 2020, and since he was instated, he has been ensuring that strategies are put in place to ensure the marine sector is properly utilised for its available opportunities. The latest plan includes the building of a port at Mangapwani on the Unguja offshore island off Zanzibar.
During the recent inauguration of the House of Representatives, Mwinyi pledged to “build a new Zanzibar” through the modern blue economy.
President Mwinyi also paid a visit to the project site, which, once completed, would have a significant impact on the islands’ economy. He emphasised the government’s commitment to transforming Zanzibar into a commercial and tourism center for East and Central Africa by constructing critical economic infrastructure.
Planning a new port and upgrading old infrastructure
The revolutionary government envisions a massive and modern port with multiple terminals for containerized and general cargo, fuel, fishing vessels, oil and natural gas, as well as a satellite city with all required commercial facilities, as part of the all-encompassing Mangapwani project.
A small port in the Mkokotoni district of North Zanzibar opened last week, promising to stimulate trade in the area. This was part of a series of activities and initiatives that were launched ahead of the 58th anniversary of the Zanzibar uprisings.
“When we came up with the blue economy policy, we targeted private sector involvement in the execution of big projects and also empowerment of our people so that they can participate fully in building the country’s economy,” Mwinyi said, according to Xinhaunet.com. “We are holding talks with private companies so that they can fix infrastructure at our ports and modern hotels.”
“We have pledged to provide 300 000 employment opportunities in a period of five years … these employments will not come from the government alone but from the private sector as well,” he said. “The government plans to cooperate with financial institutions to empower people so that they can employ themselves in areas which they are capable of doing so.”