ZANZIBAR government has unveiled a partnership deal to enhance investors’ online services to ultimately make the isles the most preferred investment destination.
The three-year collaboration between NMB bank and Zanzibar Investment Promotion Agency (ZIPA) seeks to upgrade the Zanzibar Investment Electronic Window (ZIeW), which the two organisations jointly crafted during phase one of the investor e-service improving project.
In this e-venture deal, NMB seeks to further contribute to efforts of the government to make the isles a highly competitive investment destination.
Like its predecessor, the second phase of the ZIPA Online Services undertaking is part of the reforms the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar is instituting to attract domestic and foreign investments.
In his remarks to officiate signing of the new partnership’s memorandum of understanding (MoU), Minister of State, President’s Office, Labour Economy and Investment, Mudrik Ramadhan Soraga said the historic development cements the constructive engagement the government through ZIPA has had with NMB Bank in the last two and half years.
“This partnership means a lot to the digital transformational journey of the Eighth Phase Government, which among other things seeks to ensure all its operations and delivery of public services are digitalised by 2026,” said the Minister of State President’s Office – Labour, Economy, and Investments.
Using NMB Bank’s innovation prowess, digital solutions creativity and superiority in technological expertise, the new e-venture will among other things integrate ZIeW with other e-government portals.
The Chief Executive Officer of NMB Bank, Ms Ruth Zaipuna, said additional value to the e-one stop centre will not only accelerate investment in Zanzibar but also make ZIPA a centre of excellence in conveniently providing quality and speedy services to investors.
“We are grateful to the government for inviting NMB to be a partner in Zanzibar’s socio-economic journey and according the bank the opportunity to participate in initiatives to service investors more efficiently,” she stated in her remarks before signing of the MoU.
On the merits of the partnership, Ms Zaipuna said it firstly sustains NMB and ZIPA synergistic cooperation. The project will also link ZIeW with other regulatory dockets such as the Immigration Department and Zanzibar Business and Property Registration Agency.
Subsidiary goals of the partnership include such items like joint promotion of investment incentives and opportunities, she added, noting that the bank will also be offering investors financial and fiscal solutions, including digital tax collection.
On what phase one of ZIeW has accomplished, ZIPA Executive Director Shariff Ali Shariff the most interesting results include increment of registration requests and fee payments made digitally.
According to him, it has now become easier and quicker for an investor with all documentations to process registration and receive the investment certificate even before entering Zanzibar.
When officiating the launch of the system and the revised Zanzibar Investment Guide last March, Zanzibar President Hussein Mwinyi emphasised the importance of public-private sector collaboration in promoting investment.
He said his administration will continue to work closely with various stakeholders to enhance the business environment and better investment conditions in Zanzibar.
Ms Zaipuna said the top lender can equally play a pivotal part in that area by offering investors and the whole business community highly innovative banking solutions and novel digital finance services.
“NMB Bank has all it takes to diligently and effectively do that,” she emphasized noting that the requisite financial muscle emanates from its over 1.7tri/- balance sheet and record profits that amounted to 429bn/- in 2022.
The Director General of Zanzibar’s E-Government Agency, Mr Said Seif Said, said NMB was not only the right lender to bank with but also the right partner in Zanzibar’s quest to become a digital economy.