World Bank commends Zanzibar’s development initiatives

ZANZIBAR: THE World Bank has praised the Zanzibar government for recording significant strides in development initiatives in recent years.

The compliments were made by Nathan Belete, the World Bank Country Director for Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe in a meeting with President Hussein Mwinyi at the Zanzibar State House.

“Your efforts are recognised beyond borders, leading to the improvement of people’s lives. This has also helped to build Zanzibar’s reputation internationally,” Mr Belete said.

He said the mission to the Islands included inspecting projects funded by the World Bank and plans to open an office in Zanzibar.

At the meeting, Dr Mwinyi thanked the bank for its efforts to continue supporting developing countries, including Tanzania.

Dr Mwinyi explained to his guest how Zanzibar has been benefiting from the opportunities from the Bank, including aids, grants and loans for supporting various development projects, including  health, education, infrastructure, blue economy, women’s empowerment and the courts.

“We are happy and appreciate what the bank has been doing for Zanzibar. This is due to the existing cooperation between the Bank and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. We look forward to continued collaboration,” Dr Mwinyi said.

Cooperation is also in training and capacity building through international meetings, workshops, conferences as well as technical assistance, among other areas.

President Mwinyi also requested the Bank to look at the best way to support Zanzibar to have a reliable source of energy with solar energy, wind and natural gas as areas of focus, “Lack of reliable supply of electricity remains a challenge in development.”

President Mwinyi welcomed and praised the idea of the World Bank to establish an office in Zanzibar, a move that will strengthen the good relationship and cooperation between the two parties in supporting the development programmes.

Minister of State, Office of the President, Finance and Planning, Dr Saada Mkuya Salum who accompanied the World Bank team to the State House explained that Zanzibar has achieved great international respect by being visited by world leaders.

“Zanzibar is also expecting to be visited by the World Bank President, Ajay Singh Banga, to attend the planned 20th Review meeting of the Bank, which provides technical and development aid for three years to the developing countries,” said Ms Salum.

She said the World Bank meeting scheduled for December this year is also expected to be attended by other ministers from different countries, including UK (responsible for African affairs).

Dr Mkuya mentioned that Zanzibar for the first time will be the host of one of the most important meetings in the world, to be attended by more than 300 delegates.

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