AfDB boss affirms support to Zanzibar’s blue economy agenda

PRESIDENT Hussein Mwinyi has commended the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the impact of its funded projects in Zanzibar and new pledges to support the blue economy agenda.

Dr Mwinyi was speaking at the State House, Stone Town, where he received a visiting AfDB delegation led by its Head, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.

“We have made admirable progress with AfDB funded projects including in health, water, roads infrastructure, and sanitation, and the on-going Pemba Airport,” President Mwinyi said.

Dr Mwinyi explained that he was impressed with on-going support and Zanzibar’s priority areas under the blue economy, which include skills building among youths and value addition of sea products- fish and seaweed by establishing processing factories.

“More is needed to be done in the tourism industry such as having skilled young people, employable in booming hospitality industry. We expect an increase in hotels, therefore, skilled labour remains crucial,” said Dr Mwinyi.

Currently tourism contributes 30 per cent to Zanzibar’s GDP and the government is committed to see the sector contributes more.

Equally, he thanked the AfDB for the promise to support Tanzania by raising funds from about 460 million US dollars to 1.8 billion US dollars.

“This will make a big difference in our development projects both in mainland and Zanzibar,” he said.

On his side, Adesina said the AfDB was proud to contribute to the country’s development, adding: “I congratulate you, His excellence, for the ongoing achievements in development projects Zanzibar has been recording under your leadership.”

Dr Adesina further said: “We would be supporting more in skills building, infrastructures development, addressing the impact of climate change on blue economy.”

According to State Minister, President’s Office (Finance and Planning), Ms Dr Saada Mkuya Salum, the AfDB’s support also include food security (by increasing food production).

She said it is the first time the AfDB President visited Zanzibar since he was appointed in 2015 and now in his second term.

“We are pleased that he decided to physically engage with top leaders in Zanzibar and pledged to continue supporting various projects,” she said.

The AfDB delegation to Zanzibar was also accompanied by the Minister for Finance and Planning in the union government Dr Mwigulu Nchemba.

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