Zanzibar Looks to Fishing for Improved Export Earnings

After a rough past year has seen archipelago country, Zanzibar had its earnings reduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Zanzibari government is looking to reap rewards from its fishing and seafood exports. 

The government of the country hopes to see a bounce back from the country’s seafood industry as a major driver of its economy, after a tough period of economic losses with COVID-19. 

Three key industrial players have been identified with fisheries, seaweed farming and coastal tourism set to drive the archipelago’s new drive for export riches. Officials have also enthused about the need to have more gains from the oceans as they look to tap the boundless resources from water bodies. 

Zanzibar plans to stimulate production and improve exports from its blessed oceans, if feelers from Zanzibar city are anything to go by.

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The semi-autonomous archipelago is looking to stake a strong claim for an improved economic gain, despite its battle with old fishing methods and a population that needs to be egged on to improve with fishing.

Zanzibar’s fishes gave the country some money in 2019, but more is expected with the fisheries sector contributing merely 4.8% to the GDP, a 0.4% increase from what it managed the year before. 

In the same year, 36,728 tons of fish worth 196.65 billion Tanzanian shillings ($83.7 million) were harvested during the time compared to 38,107 tons reaped in 2020. This already shows progress on the part of Zanzibar and it’s expected to get even better.

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Ayoub Mahmoud, regional commissioner for Zanzibar’s Unguja North said the country aims to reach its goals through effective marketing and improved production.

“Zanzibar will soon be a hub for international seafood business that will increase employment, improve trade balance and promote our food security,” he said.

The archipelago also has a strong potential of being a great holiday destination for many and has seen locals pitch their business tents for prosperity but look to get even more.

Currently, the fisheries sector contributes more than $20bn to the African economy with Zanzibar, although a small nation, working hard not to be tagged a small fry in the big, export-driven school of fishes. 

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Zanzibar is also strategically set for the African Union’s “Blue Economy for Africa’s Future 2063” Agenda, as the continental water bodies are expected to drive economic prosperity and social reformation for most nations. 

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