Zanzibar President Dr Hussein Mwinyi and US Ambassador to Tanzania Ambassador Michael Battle held conversation in the Isles on Tuesday when the former pressed on the high value-value tourism.
Dr Mwinyi called upon investors to seize opportunities available in the tourism sector by improving available hotels which are short of modern facilities.
“Currently, we have more tourists than available hotel beds. We are not talking about mass tourism, but rather high-value tourism that is sustainable in the long run,” the Isle’s President stressed.
Ambassador Battle paid a courtesy call on the President at the State House in Zanzibar, being his maiden official visit in the Isles.
Apart from tourism, the duo discussed various ways geared to unlocking the blue economy as well as deepening partnerships in the health, education and good governance sectors.
“Unfortunately, we have not been able to fully utilize the fisheries around our islands due to lack of transparency and proper processing facilities. Unlike the Mainland that has processing plants in Lake Victoria, we have not done the same for our oceans,” Dr Mwinyi said.
He added, “Investing in fish processing will create many jobs here in Zanzibar, where most people rely on fishing as their livelihood. We need to modernize the traditional fishing methods and give fishermen access to the right markets and tools to earn more.”
On his part the US Envoy in the country said he appreciates Zanzibar’s intentionality in seeking external investment and that their goal is to increase American trade and investment in Zanzibar.
“We hope to create jobs and generate wealth in the region,” Dr Battle said and added:
“I have been following your leadership and I am very pleased with the direction Zanzibar is taking, particularly with regards to its openness to trade and investment. I also appreciate Zanzibar’s intentionality in seeking external investment. As the US aims to increase American trade and investment in Zanzibar, we hope to create jobs and generate wealth in the region.
“I am also very pleased to learn that you recently announced the formation of a committee to discuss the functioning of the government of national unity. I understand that there are still some timing issues being worked out with the ACT, but the announcement itself was very encouraging. This puts Zanzibar and Tanzania on the same trajectory of reaching out to different parties and creating a context in which democracy can flourish.
“I would like to discuss trade and investment issues with you and explore ways in which the US can support your vision. I have also read some of the recent comments you made about the importance of Tanzania providing more open space for women to have full rights, protecting children, and promoting human rights for all. I believe it is essential to move in this direction and create opportunities for respecting and protecting human rights for all.
“As we both know, on the African continent, much of the productivity in agriculture, small businesses, and entrepreneurship is led by women. Furthermore, women outnumber men not only on the African continent but everywhere in the world. Therefore, it is crucial to provide women and girls with the opportunity to develop to their full potential and experience the same opportunities as everyone else.
“I have great respect for your leadership, and I look forward to partnering with you in the future. The US government has invested heavily in Tanzania through USAID and other entities. We hope to expand our partnership and would like to hear your perspective on how we can best collaborate with you.