Wednesday, 30th November, 2022, Zanzibar: H.E. Dr. Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council represented by H.E. Hemed Suleiman Abdulla the 2nd Vice President of Zanzibar officially opened the Zanzibar Trade and Investment Forum 2022.
The 2-day Trade and Investment Forum aims to promote trade, investment and finance opportunities between Zanzibar and the rest of Africa in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
The President of Zanzibar reiterated his commitment to improving the trade and investment climate in Zanzibar and an open-door policy to investors.
“Foreign Direct Investment is of paramount importance towards implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and African Union Agenda 2063 for socio-economic growth,” said the President of Zanzibar.
The President welcomed the investors to take advantage of Zanzibar’s mega-blue strategic projects such as Mangapwani Integrated Hub Port Project, Renewable Energy, Marine Transportation and Infrastructure. The President expounded that since November 2020, the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Agency has recorded 181 investment projects valued at USD 3.056 billion creating 9000 jobs.
In his remarks, EABC Chairperson Angelina Ngalula represented by Mr. Ali Amour, EABC Board Member & Chairman of Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce said “Africa contributes only 3% to global trade. The African Continental Free Trade Area brings on board a market of 1.3 billion and a combined Gross Domestic Product of USD.3.4 trillion.”
Mr. Ali Amour stated that investing in Zanzibar offers investors a gateway to access the EAC and the AfCFTA market. He stated the Marshall Plan to accelerate Zanzibar’s economic growth and build resilience against global disruptions is through deeper integration of our supply chains and trading more with East Africa and Africa!
Hon. Mudrik Ramadan Soraga, Minister of State, President’s Office, Labour, Economic Affairs, and Investment said the AfCFTA is set to boost intra-Africa trade. He expounded that Africa’s level imports about USD 50 billion outside the continent, this is capital that could be invested to create and expand businesses and jobs.
Dr. Gainmore Zanamwe, Head, Trade Facilitation & IATF, Intra-African Trade Bank, Afreximbank said “Afreximbank has interventions to increase intra-Africa trade and investment such as Pan African Payment Settlement System and Africa Trade Exchange.”
Afreximbank has supported the Pan African Trade and Investment Agency to drive Africa Direct Investments and FDI into the continent.
Afreximbank has a 5 billion fund to support Africa’s economic recovery. Afreximbank has provided financial services for the development of industrial parks in Unguja and Pemba.
The Zanzibar Trade and Investment Forum convened 300 delegates composed of officials from the Ministries and Investment Promotion Agencies, International Investors, and Business leaders such as: Eng. Abdullahi Baba, Country Manager Dangote Cement Ltd Tanzania, Mr. Shariff Ali Shariff, Executive Director, Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (ZIPA) and Mr. John Bosco Kalisa, CEO of East African Business Council among others.
The Zanzibar Trade and Investment Forum is organized the by African Export-Import Bank in collaboration with the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (ZIPA), East Africa Business Council (EABC) and the Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC).