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Zanzibar is looking to explore other economic options outside tourism

  • Zanzibar seeks to diversify its economy by commissioning information and technology projects through the Zanzibar ICT Infrastructure Agency (ZICTIA). 
  • Initiatives include establishing an international gateway from Mombasa, constructing a data center, and creating a digital free zone to attract tech investments. 
  • ZICTIA aims to develop a cyber metropolis, providing a digital platform for major corporations to invest in and bolstering the growth of the indigenous IT industry.

Zanzibar, an island nation known for its tourist attractions is looking to diversify its economic options by commissioning a handful of information and technology projects, through the Zanzibar ICT Infrastructure Agency (ZICTIA).

 These initiatives include creating an international gateway from Mombasa, constructing a data center, and creating a digital free zone, where the work to unite the businesses is underway.

Zanzibar's economy has always been heavily reliant on tourism. In order to provide employment possibilities and raise national income, it now wants to reverse course and seek investment in the IT industry.

At a three-day conference put on by ZICTIA in partnership with other businesses, including FreeFold, the companies demonstrated how technology was being utilized to expand cities. The enterprises, according to Zanzibar President Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, will contribute to the growth of indigenous talent and result in significant improvements in the ICT industry.

The president promised that his administration would offer the assistance required to make sure the objectives are met. Dr. Hussein Mwinyi, said, “We have the areas of policy, registration, and guidelines where we can support to ensure what is needed by investors to meet their needs."

He also added, "I will be happy to work as a team to ensure every necessary change in policy, authority, and registration in order to make Zanzibar a digital free zone. We need a strong international gateway infrastructure, a submarine cable data center, and a fiber optic network across the country. We are happy to work with the private sector in all these sectors."

Shukuru Awadh Suleiman, the executive director of ZICTIA, stated that through investing in digital free zones, Zictia anticipates acquiring 3,000 hectares, where a cyber metropolis would be constructed for major corporations to invest in. He claimed that at the moment, the Freefold Company mostly works to support innovative small business owners.

According to the founder of the Threefold Company, Kristof de Spiegeleer, Zanzibar is not only an excellent location for investment, but it is also a location where change can be quickly enacted. For this reason, they have developed the internet in a digital free zone initiative.

"The internet is everything for now, it is being used for learning, communicating, and various innovations. The special economic zone is one area that offers everything in a digital way. You cannot bring more than one million people to Zanzibar to do shopping, but through digitalization, you can bring them and improve the economy," he said

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