President Ali Mohamed Shein touted tangible socio-economic gains and unshakeable faith in the unique union that gave birth to the United Republic of Tanzania as the nation celebrated the 56th Revolution Day here yesterday.
While highlighting social, economic and cultural feats attained in post independence era, Dr Shein stressed on the significance of the unity between Zanzibar and Mainland Tanzania and warned any crook bent on disrupting the Union.
Addressing the nation at the packed Amaan Stadium, the Isles President spoke proudly of the great feats that the seventh-phase government has registered socially, economically and culturally.
Dr Shein explained that during his nine-year occupancy in the Mnazimmoja- based office, the revolutionary government has undertaken sweeping economic reforms to improve the living standards of the people.
“Concerted efforts have consequently led to 1.6 times growth in GDP (gross domestic product) from 1,768bn/- in 2010 to 2,874bn/- in 2018,” said President Shein, adding that the economy grew at 7.1 per cent in 2018 from 4.3 per cent in 2010. “The blossoming economy amplified the per capita income from 675 US dollars (about 942,000/-) to 1,026 dollars (over 2,320,000/-) during the period under review,” said Dr Shein.
The government also successfully controlled inflation, reducing the general price rise from 14.7 per cent in 2011 to 3.9 per cent in 2018. As a result, the value of the country's currency purchasing power stabilised and life became relatively affordable for many households.
Economic growth was also reflected in domestic revenue collections, which increased four times to 748bn/- in the 2018/19 fiscal year from 181bn/- in 2010/11.
Through data, Dr Shein said the government devised strategies to attract investments worked well, with the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (ZIPA) registering 304 projects worth 3.74 billion US dollars (over 8tri/-), creating 16,866 jobs, mostly for Zanzibaris.
President Shein said as per Mzee Abeid Amani Karume's September 23, 1964 declaration on provision of fee-free and decent education to all Zanzibaris without discrimination, all the revolutionary government phases have put great efforts to improve the sector.
The government increased budgetary allocation to education almost four times – from 47bn/- to 178bn/- between 2010/11 and 2019/20 fiscal years.
“By last year, Zanzibar had 382 nursery schools with 85,974 pupils compared to 238 schools with 29,732 kids in 2010,” said Dr Shein.
The number of secondary schools by the end of last year had reached 284, with 130,713 students, more than double the 105 schools with 80,008 students in 2010.
President Shein said his nine-year administration has worked vigorously to register the great feats in almost all sectors – health, infrastructure, tourism and judiciary.
But, he reminded the Islanders to protect, honour and sustain the forefathers engineered revolutions, without which Zanzibaris would have been still suffering under the Sultan rule.
“Whatever we enjoy today is the product of the 1964 revolutions. As patriotic citizens, we are dutybound to defend and honour the revolutions at all costs,” President Shein counselled thousands of his country mates who thronged the 15,000-seater capacity arena and braced the scorching sun to celebrate the day.
The revolution led to the merger of the Tanganyika mainland with the islands of Zanzibar and President Shein insisted that the two governments will allow nobody to tamper with the national treasure.
“Our two governments are fully committed to honour our forefathers – the nation's founders – by ensuring that the union is preserved, defended and sustained,” Dr Shein told the cheerful crowd.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania Tel Aviv, Israel.
Zanzibar Great Strides on display