MEMBERS of the Zanzibar Association for Tourism Investors (ZATI) have appealed to the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar to address some hitches to smooth investment flow into the archipelago.
The call was made by the ZATI national chairperson, Mr Rahim Bhaloo, during the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held at Stone Town, Zanzibar.
Mr Bhaloo acknowledged huge efforts by the government to improve the investment climate, but noted that there were still some issues not yet resolved.
He mentioned bureaucracy in visas, licenses and work permit issuance as well as high fees as among challenges hindering smooth investment in Zanzibar.
He said the government needs to intervene to remove all setbacks in investment in the tourism industry.
“We appreciate the government, particularly President Hussein Mwinyi’s efforts to improve environment for investment, including having one-stop- centre at the Zanzibar Investments Promotion Authority (ZIPA), but we have raised some concerns that need to be addressed,” Mr Bhaloo said at the AGM meeting graced by the Minister of State (State House) Mr Jamal Kassim Ali.
In response to the concerns raised by ZATI, Minister Ali promised to look into the issues.
“The president had issued a directive to address all obstacles including bureaucracies and monopolies in issuing licenses as an important way of promoting investment in the country,” he said.
ZATI in collaboration with the Organizers of Tourism Exhibitions from Arusha KILIFAIR entered into an agreement last month to organize the first ever international tourism summit for the Zanzibar tourism stakeholders to connect with domestic, East African and global Investors.
The meeting dubbed the ‘Z – SUMMIT 2023’, is scheduled for February 23-24, next year with the aim of strengthening the growth of the tourism industry in the country, displaying investment opportunities, and also an exhibition for investors and operators in the tourism industry which contributes 30 per cent to the GDP and 80 per cent of the foreign currency.
On his part, Kilifair Director Dominic Shoo said: “The festival is one of its kind, and will be held for the first time in the Zanzibar islands where businesspersons will be linked to various opportunities to build relationships with stakeholders inside and outside of Zanzibar.”
He said union President Samia Suluhu Hassan and his Zanzibar counterpart Dr Mwinyi have, through the Royal Tour Film, helped to improve the business environment, opened doors for local and international investors to do business.