ZANZIBAR President Dr Hussein Mwinyi has expressed his government commitment to strengthening seaweed farming and called upon the US government to support the efforts, especially by boosting production and value addition of the commercial crop.
The president made the remark here on Friday when he held talks with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary, Dr Jewel Bronaugh and his delegation who paid him a courtesy at the Zanzibar State House.
Dr Mwinyi said through the Blue Economy Policy his government focuses at strengthening expertise in seaweed framing in order to add value and bring efficiency to farmers, mostly being women.
He said Zanzibar has limited land and for a long time has been engaging in cloves production.
Dr Mwinyi further said that, the government intends to increase employment especially for the youth through fisheries, noting that the sector has enormous contribution in providing more employments, when it will have a better fishing and processing system.
He said the isles government has placed emphasis on strengthening economic infrastructure by improving Unguja and Pemba airports, as well as ports.
Dr Mwinyi further said that, the formation of the government of the national unity has opened doors for investment through various sectors including, tourism.
Elaborating, he called upon US tourists to visit Tanzania noting that the government has improved tourism infrastructures and various tourists’ attractions.
In a related development, Dr Mwinyi thanked the US government for its long term cooperation with Zanzibar and Tanzania in general, adding that various supports extended to the isles through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are welcomed.
In response, the US government has expressed readiness to support Zanzibar’s efforts in strengthening various economic activities among others, agriculture and tourism.
The commitment was made by Dr Bronaugh saying that his government was ready to support the isles efforts in strengthening various economic areas.
In his address, he said the aim of their visit was to strengthen trade relations between Zanzibar and the US, so that their traders will have an opportunity to explore various opportunities in agriculture and tourism sectors.
Hence, he commended the isles government for its cooperation with the US pledging to strengthen the ties for the benefits of both sides.
Meanwhile, President Mwinyi has also called upon individuals and companies from Sweden to come and invest in Zanzibar, saying the Islands have been transforming fast to being the most ideal investment destination in the East African Region.
With its good location, growing financial services and improved infrastructure, Dr Mwinyi said Zanzibar needs more investments in energy and tourism to support the ongoing efforts in building the national economy.
The Isles President was speaking at the State House with the Swedish Ambassador to Tanzania, Charlotta Ozaki, who was on her familiarisation tour to the Island.
He said to some extent, the economic growth and other developments in Zanzibar are being hampered by lack of reliable power supply, adding that the Islands do not have independent sources of energy, thus heavily rely on the electricity from the National Grid in the Mainland.
“The Demand for power has been increasing due to growing economic activities, including investment in various sectors. We invite serious investments in energy as the government looks for ways to get investors in solar energy, wind power and other sources,” he said.
In addition, Dr Mwinyi said Zanzibar has been receiving an increasing number of tourists necessitating demand for more first-class tourist hotels, “We invite Swedish investors also to come to construct modern hotels and resorts.”
Equally, he explained to the Ambassador that Zanzibar’s priority area is the Blue Economy because it offers many opportunities for economic development, job creation, and poverty alleviation.
“Fisheries industry as well as seaweed cultivation are leading but are facing challenges with low production and low price, but plans are under way to improve the situation,” he pointed out.