ZANZIBAR is on track to achieving Middle Income Country (MIC) status by next year as per the vision 2020, President Ali Mohamed Shein has said.
Speaking at the ‘Eid al Fitr’ baraza in Zanzibar yesterday, President Shein said Zanzibar was inching closer to a middle income status due to increased revenue collection and a robust growing economy.
“Based on the promising revenue collection, no doubt that our country is well on its way to upgrade into middle –income country status next year,” President Shein said at the ‘Eid Baraza’ for the Eid al-Fitr festival, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Dr Shein informed the gathering that Zanzibar’s gross national income has grown from 181.48bn/- in 2010/2011 to 668.7bn/- in 2017/2018, while the income per capita has increased from 942,000/- to 2.3m/- in the same period.
“We have also recorded admirable economic growth from 7.0 percent in 2017 to 7.1 percent last year with anticipation of 7.8 percent coming fiscal year- 2019/2010 along with control over inflation from 5.6 percent in 2017 down to 3.9 percent last year.
All these gains give us hope of becoming middle income country in 2020.” According to the World Bank, middle-income countries are nations with a per capita gross national income (GNI) between USD 1,005 and USD12,235. MICs are one of the income categories that the World Bank uses to classify economies for operational and analytical purposes.
The Isles president thanked the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Zanzibar Revenue Board (ZRB), civil servants, ministers and the taxpayers for being honest in revenue collection enabling the country achieve its development goals, “Thank you, but we can collect more revenue if we double our efforts and be innovative.”
He said the government has good plans to overcome challenges such as poor roads, understaffed health facilities and congestion in schools with shortage of teachers, as he appealed to leaders and executives implementing the ‘Decentralization –by- Devolution (D-by-D)’ policy to work harder and not to be disheartened by emerging challenges.
During Ramadan, Muslims learn a lot from their clerics, therefore Dr Shein asked people to remain committed in observing the teachings: avoid telling lies, being a thief, corruption, fornication, give charity to the needy and maintaining peace and stability.
The Eid Baraza was held at Idris Abdulwakil multipurpose Hall, the former House Representative building, where Ministers led by Second Vice President Ambassador Seif Ali, First Lady Mwanamwema Shein, Muslim leaders and some residents among others attended. The traditional Baraza was followed by family visits and sharing foods and other gifts to celebrate the big Day.