UNICEF supports Zanzibar in budget planning, monitoring

ZANZIBAR: ZANZIBAR Minister of State in the President’s Office (Finance and Planning) Dr Saada Mkuya Salum has urged officials from various government institutions to use the 2022 census data results in planning and preparation of budget.

She made an emphasis here on the importance of using the 2022 National Population and Housing Census, data, when officiating at the one-day ‘High-Level Budget Monitoring Symposium’ held in Zanzibar with support from UNICEF.

Ms Salum described the ‘first ever’ symposium as a historic  as it depicted the government’s commitment to bolster national monitoring and accountability functions, and the best way to plan budget under the guidance of ‘Zanzibar Development Plan (ZADEP)’s strategic plan, which is also important in achieving the global Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs).

“Planning budget without considering census data and national priority areas, guidelines, may lead to failure to achieve the objectives,” said the minister, underlining the importance of the symposium in transformation in budget planning, and engagement of the private sector to improve services delivery.

The minister further explained that service delivery in the public institutions such as hospitals have been improving after engaging the private sector through outsourcing of some services including hospital labs services.

She said observing proper procedures in planning can also help to minimise or avoid challenges in finance including cheating in payments by dishonest executives in both the public and private sector as they provide incorrect returns and supporting documents, affecting budget planning.

She said her office battles to overcome the challenge by making thorough verification.

The Commissioner of Budget at the ministry, Ms Zena Mahmoud Hassan, said that proper budgeting enables the government to implement various projects as it is stipulated in the ruling party’s 2020-2025 election manifesto.

She also laid emphasis that budget monitoring is important in having good results.

Ms Elke Wisch, UNICEF Representative to Tanzania, said the symposium objective was to provide an opportunity to critically review progress and budget implementation challenges, and enable the identification of strategic interventions, which will contribute to the fulfillment of the goals of the Zanzibar Development Plan; improve the delivery of basic services and positively impact the lives of children and all vulnerable populations in Zanzibar.

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