Zanzibar set for new regional role

Wednesday April 17 2019

Minister of State in the Vice President’s

Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office (Union Affairs and the Environment), Mr January Makamba 

By Alex Malanga @ChiefMalanga

Dodoma. The Union government has passed guidelines that will enable Zanzibar to have a greater role in regional and international affairs, Parliament was told yesterday.

The Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office (Union Affairs and the Environment), Mr January Makamba, said the guidelines were approved in February.

He made the revelation while tabling his docket’s 2019/20 budget proposals. Mr Makamba asked the House to endorse Sh36.9 billion for the next financial year, up from Sh21.6 billion currently. “On February 9, 2019, the Union Committee, which draws members from the mainland and the isles, held a meeting here in Dodoma, which approved guidelines on the participation of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar in regional and international affairs,” said Mr Makamba (pictured).

The guidelines, he added, touched on areas such as regional and international conferences and opportunities for higher learning and training abroad.

Also on the list is seeking aid and loans for financing development projects.

“The Union is the identity of our nation, and an indicator of our unity. That is why we are doing all in our power to cement our cooperation on non-union matters,” Mr Makamba said.

He added that in the 2018/19 financial year, the two governments coordinated the committee that was established specifically to handle union matters.

The committee is also charged with coordinating the implementation of economic, social and political issues.

Mr Makamba said of the proposed Sh36.9 billion budget, Sh29.1 billion was meant for the Vice President’s Office, with the remaining Sh7.8 billion being for the Vice President.

He added that of the Sh29.1 billion requested for the Vice President’s Office, Sh19.2 billion would be set aside for development projects, with the rest being budgeted for recurrent expenditure.

Priorities in the next financial year, which will start on July 1, include, boosting food security in drought-hit areas and setting up of an adaptation management system.

The list also includes capacity-building for institutions, which is meant to enhance their ability to manage and conserve the environment. Parliament passed the proposals.