zanzibar targets resources and ict sectors to diversify the economy away from tourism

Zanzibar targets resources and ICT sectors to diversify the economy away from tourism

Zanzibar has put 12 new oil and gas exploration blocks up for grabs, in line with President Hussein Mwinyi’s $2.4 billion plan to encourage shipping, oil exploration and seaweed processing while promoting the “blue” economy, as the East African country looks to explore other economic options outside tourism Suleiman Masoud Makame, Zanzibar’s Minister for the Blue Economy and Fisheries, said that “the government is now inviting oil and gas exploration and extraction companies to view Zanzibar’s data and suggest areas of interest to invest in before the bidding process begins”.

Other government initiatives include the establishment of an international gateway from Mombasa, the construction of a data centre and the creation of a digital free zone to attract technology investment – all part of an effort to diversify Zanzibar’s economy and reduce its reliance on tourism, which now accounts for more than a quarter of its GDP.

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These information and technology projects are being commissioned by the Zanzibar ICT Infrastructure Agency (ZICTIA), which aims to develop a cyber metropolis, providing a digital platform for major companies to invest and support the growth of the indigenous IT industry.