Mwinyi asks BADEA to support the blue economy policy

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Mwinyi asks BADEA to support the blue economy policy
Mwinyi asks BADEA to support the blue economy policy

Africa-PressTanzania. ZANZIBAR President Dr Hussein Mwinyi yesterday asked the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) to support the blue economy policy for social and economic development of the country.

President Mwinyi described the Khartoum-based bank as Zanzibar’s best development partner with its financial support spanning from education, health and infrastructure sectors.

Speaking to the visiting BADEA Managing Director, Dr Sidi Ould TAH, Dr Mwinyi commended the financial institution for its new strategies in the funding of agriculture, economic empowerment of wananchi and supporting youth and women.

He said the revolutionary government has resolved to fully pursue the blue economy, underscoring the need for the Arab bank to support the ambitious policy and vision.

President Mwinyi appreciated BADEA’s continued development efforts in Zanzibar, saying the bank’s investments in various sectors have improved the welfare of the islanders, socially and economically.

The visiting CEO assured the president of the bank’s commitment to continue working closely with the government in the country’s development drive.

During the conversations, Dr Ould unveiled the bank’s new 2030 strategy, which reflects increased loan and grant opportunities, thanks to increased capital from shareholders.

Dr Ould arrived is the isles on Wednesday afternoon and met the Minister of State, President’s Office, Finance and Planning over deliberations on funding of various projects in Zanzibar.

During the discussions, Minister Jamal and Dr Ould agreed to modify their working style and speed up project implementation. The two sides committed themselves to start a new chapter in their working relations.

Speaking at the afternoon meeting, Minister Jamal decried the slow pace of BADEA-funded project implementation, saying the undue delays were denying wananchi the right to enjoy the benefits of especially the infrastructure projects.

The Arab bank has funded over 15 projects in Zanzibar in health, education and infrastructure but five of them have not yet been completed. “It’s high time the continuing projects were completed to give wananchi the intended benefits,” the minister said.

Massive renovation works at Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Unguja and construction of Chakechake-Wete road projects are among the ongoing projects.

The minister appreciated the bank’s support in construction of road infrastructure, education and health but asked for more support, especially in construction of low-cost educational infrastructure, including school dormitories.

“Zanzibar has acute shortage of boarding schools, which are essential for conductive learning environment,” he said, underscoring the need to have more technical colleges to train home grown experts in the blue economy.

Dr Ould shared the government concerns on project delays, pledging to change and adopt a speedy model. “The rate of project approval remains low; at an average of three to five years per project though there is a possibility of implementing the project within a year.”

He said speedy project implementation is one of the bank’s new strategies, noting that BADEA is eager to support Zanzibar in the development of value chain in the blue economy.

“The focus is now on new projects of high size and large impact…speed in project implementation is possible but it needs partnership and collaboration from both sides,” said Dr Ould, hinting that the bank envisages using satellites in project monitoring.

“We are ready to help, facilitate and speedily execute the projects,” he said, “We need tedious plans to achieve that.”

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