Zanzibar projects 6pc economic growth 

DESPITE global economic crisis attributed to drought, Covid-19 pandemic and Ukraine/Russia war, economists here forecast the isles economy to grow at 6 per cent this financial year.

“We expect the economy to grow from 5.7 per cent recorded last year to 6.0 per cent this year,” Head of the Economic Analysis Unit from the Planning Commission in the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Ms Shemsa Abdalla Mbarouk said.

Ms Mbarouk revealed this when presenting the ‘Zanzibar Economy Status and Forecast’ at the public forum to air views on “Zanzibar government national budget draft for 2023/2024 financial year held at Sheikh Idrissa Abdulwakil Hall, Kikwajuni on Tuesday.

Ms Mbarouk explained that the projected economic growth is backed by an increase in tourists’ arrivals by 30 per cent from 538,202 tourists in 2022 to 699,863 tourists this year.

“Another factor is ongoing execution of big development projects, controlling inflation and increasing financial discipline in public offices,” she said, adding that political and social stability with improved infrastructures and ports services will fuel economic growth.

She highlighted that the world economic growth is estimated to fall from 3.2 per cent in 2022 to 2.7 per cent in 2023 due to political instability caused by the Russia/Ukraine war, inflation, cost of living and financial instability in many countries.

However, she promised that the forecast about inflation in Zanzibar will decrease from 4.5 per cent in 2023 to 3.9 per cent in 2025 due to various reasons, including production costs due to the guaranteed price of cloves and good financial policies.

The forum was opened by the State Minister- Office of the President- Finance and Planning Dr Saada Mkuya Salum, who asked government institutions to ensure that they have sustainable work plans and spending.

She explained that many institutions are given money for use but it is upsetting that many have no work plan, financial and procurement plans.

“We will continue to monitor the institutions to promote financial accountability.”

“The world economy has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic followed by the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. But as the world recovers gradually, we in Zanzibar have to observe all financial precautions to remain stable,” she said.

Dr Salum urged members of the public, particularly stakeholders to give their constructive views on the best way to move forward with the budget.

He said President Dr Hussein Mwinyi has been challenging the executives on being creative to find alternative ways of obtaining funds to reduce heavy reliance on funds at the treasury.

She said that in efforts to manage and finance projects, the government has been involving the private sector, both foreign and local, to help build the country’s economy as witnessed in many countries.

Earlier, the Ministry’s Deputy Permanent/Principal Secretary (PS) Mr Aboud Hassan said his office has been organising forums annually to meet the requirements of the public finance law number 12 of 2016 section 38 and 72, which requires engaging stakeholders in preparing the budget.

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