ZANZIBAR President Dr Hussein Mwinyi yesterday reaffirmed the government’s resolve to widen sustainable uses of marine resources to build strong national economy.
President Mwinyi told the one-day blue economy forum here that Zanzibar is endowed with huge investment opportunities under the blue economy, citing artisanal and deep sea fishing as well as fish and other marine resource farming.
“We still have opportunities for profitable and priority investments, especially under the blue economy,” Dr Mwinyi told the ‘Blue economy for social and economic development; and environmental conservation in Zanzibar’ themed forum.
He further hyped seaweed farming, construction of strategic transport infrastructure, including ports; fish processing industries; oil and gas; as well as beach and sports tourism as the subsectors that still yearn for serious investors.
“We (in the government) believe in cordial cooperation with the private sector, which has the potential of creating many jobs for the Zanzibaris,” said the president, adding that the government is determined to promote sustainable uses of the ocean in production and job creation for the islanders.
The fishing sector plays a critical role in the economy of Zanzibar, it has not yet benefited wananchi, Dr Mwinyi charged, noting that plans for the procurement of deep sea fishing vessels are among the government strategies to pursue fishing as one of the country’s lucrative sectors.
He said the government is working hard on provision of modern fishing gears to small-scale fishermen and establishment of reliable fish markets through improvement of the existing and construction of new facilities to improve the social and economic welfare of the citizens.
President Mwinyi directed: “Wisdom dictates that government institutions that handle the blue economy and fisheries should collaborate with the private sector in execution of its strategic plans.”
He challenged the Tourism and Antiquities Ministry, government institutions, private sector and all wananchi to join forces in promoting sustainable tourism that will positively impact on every islander.
President Mwinyi said the government doors remain open to all prospective investors with keen interest to invest in the country’s oil and gas sector. He underscored the need for the modern integrated port, arguing that implementation of the blue economy is subject to supportive port infrastructure.
Senior Researcher and former Uongozi Institute Executive Director Professor Joseph Semboja challenged Zanzibar to build competitive economy as her lone option to graduate to the higher middle income country.
He described the competitive economy as the one that produces more wealth; enhances the standard of lives; generates profits for investors—be private or public; generates more profits for the government; and protects the domestic economy against foreign shocks.
Presenting a paper on the blue economy, Professor Semboja proposed the establishment of the competitive economy strategy, which will focus on evaluation of the real situation and possible impediments of the strategy.
He also advised Zanzibar to optimally use the available tourist attractions to reinforce the blue economy.