The US$ 54M Blue Economy Project in Zanzibar Launched

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The US$ 54M Blue Economy Project in Zanzibar was recently launched. The project was launched by the African Development Bank Group and the Republic of Tanzania. The project includes the expansion of Zanzibar State University and the upgrade of Karume Institute of Science and Technology (KIST).

The former will be expanded through the equipment of technology and the construction of a business incubator at Unguja, the archipelago’s main island. The incubator will offer training and mentorship to young entrepreneurs, bolstering job creation in tourism, and the maritime sectors.

The expansion of KIST on the other hand will comprise the construction of five vocational training centres in Unguja and Pemba islands. This will particularly help boost the oil and gas industry by providing new skills and training to 400 SUZA academics and lecturers. It will also help offer courses relating to the oil and gas industries.

Skills Development for Youth Employability in Blue Economy Project

For starters, the recently launched project will offer Skills Development for Youth Employability. This phase of the project will enable Zanzibari youth to catch well-paying maritime and other blue economy jobs.

The Bank is providing grant funding of $48.65 million for the project, with the Tanzanian government donating an additional $5.42 million.

The project will help about 43,000 youth (40% female) and organize over 1,500 to start their own enterprises. Additionally, they will be able to progress their livelihoods and spur the formation of new jobs.

Ocean-based activities, including tourism, contribute over 29% of Zanzibar’s gross domestic product and employ about 33% of its workforce. Moreover, 60% of tourism workers in the islands are foreigners.

Also Read: Unguja fish processing plant project in Zanzibar underway despite construction contract changes

Blue Economy Project in line with Zanzibar’s 2021 Education Policy and the Blue Economy Strategy

Importantly, the project is aligned with Zanzibar’s 2021 Education Policy and the Blue Economy Strategy. African Development Bank Group Tanzania Country Manager Patricia Laverley acknowledged the Government of Zanzibar’s request for support. The bank is committed to tackling the peninsula’s high unemployment, especially among the youth.

She said the Bank’s presence at the launch ceremony was evidence of its commitment to advance human capital development and help transform Zanzibar’s economy.