Blue economy: Zanzibar to bank on local lenders

Monday December 07 2020
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Zanzibar President Hussein Ali Mwinyi greets NMB Bank chief executive Ruth Zaipuna upon his arrival at the Zanzibar Taarab Night entertainment event on Saturday evening. Looking on is Zanzibar House of Representatives Speaker Zuberi Ali Maulid. The Zanzibar government said during the event that it is banking on local lenders in its endeavour to promote the blue economy. PHOTO | CORRESPONDENT

By The Citizen Reporter

Zanzibar. The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar said at the weekend that it will tap into the financial muscle of local banks to realise President Hussein Mwinyi’s Blue Economy aspirations.

First highlighted at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2012, the Blue Economy concept is defined as the economic and trade activities that focus on the ocean-based marine environment, associated biodiversity, ecosystems, species, and genetic resources whilst ensuring conservation.

Blue Economy is one of the key development blueprints for Dr Mwinyi’s administration, which he highlighted when inaugurating the House of Representatives a few weeks ago.

Speaking during an entertainment event christened ‘The Zanzibar Taarabu Night’ here at the weekend, the NMB Bank’s chief executive officer, Ms Ruth Zaipuna, said armed with a balance sheet of over Sh7 trillion, the lender has enough financial muscle to actively engage itself in economic development of the Isles.

NMB Banl Plc sponsored ‘The Zanzibar Taarab Night,’ which was organized by CCM’s Mjini Magharibi Region in a move to congratulate President Mwinyi for emerging victorious ingthe October 28 General Election.

Dr Mwinyi, Second Zanzibar Vice President Hemed Suleiman Abdullah, and Speaker of the Zanzibar House of Representatives, Mr Zubeir Ali Maulid, were some of the notable guests at the event.

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“We are strategically positioned to work with the Zanzibar government in advancing the Blue Economy concept,” Ms Zaipuna said - noting that, to begin with, the bank has trained fishermen, seaweed farmers and salt harvesters on how to boost their roles in the economy.

“By 2021, the programme will have reached a total of 2,000 Zanzibar residents.

“Ultimately, we will avail to each of them a loan that ranges between Sh500,000 and Sh5 million,” she said - noting that the bank is also supporting Zanzibar’s tourism sector.

The CCM Deputy Secretary General (Zanzibar), Dr Abdulla Juma Mabodi, commended the bank for its involvement in the development of the Isles.

The Regional Commissioner for Mjini Magharibi, Mr Idrisa Kitwana Mustafa, told journalists that participation by banks in the Blue Economy is a key element in the execution of the Isles’ development goals.