ZANZIBAR: PREPARATIONS for Zanzibar’s annual ‘Mapinduzi’ International Trade Fair to mark the 60th anniversary of the revolution have kicked off, with the Minister of Trade and Industrial Development, Mr Omar Said Shaaban, announcing the date of the event and inviting potential participants.
This will be the tenth trade fair since its inception, but the first to be held in a new permanent location, Nyamanzi West ‘B’ District, approximately 30 kilometres from Zanzibar City.
In the past, the trade fairs were held at Maisara grounds. Speaking on different occasions about the event, Mr Shaaban said the exhibition will commence on January 7 and run until January 19, 2024. The aim is to bring together local and foreign businessmen to showcase and sell their products.
“The idea of having a permanent place for the international trade fair was deliberately taken by the eighth phase government under President Hussein Mwinyi, who has the vision of transforming Zanzibar,” said the Minister.
He added that apart from business, the exhibition is also an opportunity for government and private institutions that provide services, as well as entrepreneurs, to find a market for their products.
The theme for the 2024 Zanzibar International Trade Fair is “e-business for business development and investment.” He explained that the designated area for the exhibition covers 11 hectares and will be used for various sustainable events even after the end of the ‘Mapinduzi’ exhibition.
The minister stated that this is a significant and unique project where the ministry will ensure that there is at least one event every quarter of the year that brings people from various activities nationally and internationally. He said that the new place for the trade fair is being developed by the contractor ‘Jeshi la Kujenga Uchumi (JKU)’ department and is currently in the final stage, including the erection of special tents for the exhibitions. Each tent has the capacity to accommodate 64 booths for entrepreneurs.
Furthermore, he mentioned that one large tent will be built for the conference hall, with a width and length of 50 meters respectively. The conference tent will have the capacity to accommodate 1500 people, which has never been available before.
He emphasised that the government has invested a significant amount of money (8bn/-) in the project to match the status of the 60 years of the Zanzibar Revolution, which has transformed the islands.
“Since President Mwinyi came to power, he had a vision of having a dignified and permanent area for business exhibitions, and he gave us instructions to make sure that happens. We are happy today that his mission has been fulfilled,” explained Shaaban. He also mentioned that these modern tents can last for 30 years.
The trade fair exhibition next year is expected to involve 640 traders compared to 428 in 2023, and the online registration process has already begun. Due to the uniqueness of the trade fair, visitors will be required to pay an entrance fee. The Minister also unveiled the logo ‘Zanzibar International Trade Fair’ (ZITF) for 2024.