By Godwin Semunyu

Soccer goes down to the roots of Tanzania’s history. Through the soccer fields in Jangwani and Kariakoo, the late Mwalimu Nyerere and the TANU comrades converged with the locals during the freedom fighting days.

In Tanzania, whether you are a sports fan or not, you are somehow expected to support either Yanga or Simba. A friend once joked that we are first Tanzanians, then we mention our tribes, followed by our support for either of the two teams. I see no lie. Each club is estimated to enjoy a fan base of between 15-20 million followers, one of Africa’s biggest fan base.

However, with all their mighty brand prowess and lucrative fan bases, Simba and Yanga are still living in a world of financial dependency and relying heavily on funds from sponsors and donors in exchange for advertising values.

Leveraging on their brands’ equity, they are undoubtedly the “adverting heavens” to most local businessmen. Perhaps that is their blessings in disguise. As a result, the clubs have developed a tendency of over-reliance on sponsors and individual benefactors, with minimal revenue alternatives, a recipe for the rise of a solo voice, with financial muscles, to take the helm. It is not an entirely bad situation as it has worked perfectly elsewhere.

However, the downside to this situation is that it lacks a going concern and sustainability. When the dominant voice stumbles, so does the entire institution. Yanga fans learned the hard way when their previous benefactor stepped down abruptly. Within three months, they went from being the wealthiest club in East Africa to a club pleading for fans’ contributions to pay salaries.

A few months back, Simba’s main sponsor pressed the panic buttons when he tweeted a decision to quit the club, following a stint of bad results. Though the decision was reverted afterward, the fans already feared the worse.

Lack of sustainable revenue streams that act as shock absorbers leaves the clubs vulnerable in any mishaps. History has taught that over and over again.

The Government has instructed the two clubs to embark on the ownership model where shares are distributed into 51% to 49%. The ordinary fans own 59%, and a mega investor(s) holding the remaining 49%.

This opens up doors for the clubs to start trading shares at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange and generate instant capital to fund operations and growth. Apart from investing in squad and training facilities, it could also be ventured into income-generating tributaries like bonds or short-term fixed plans to guarantee working capital.

The move will also amplify the fan bases as many will jump at the opportunity to own a part of their beloved clubs. Furthermore, as a publicly listed company with mandatory transparency practices, the clubs will win many supporters’ trust to turn them into active members, hence garner annual membership fees.

Merchandise, TV rights, and Kit sponsorship are football clubs’ major cash-cows. With unbalanced books and a desperate need for funds, the clubs naturally lose ground negotiating tables with advertisers. Nevertheless, by becoming financially stable, the clubs will have the upper hand and detect terms.

For instance, the clubs could opt the modern way of kit sponsorship, where multiple advertisers are accommodated. Recently, the English club, Arsenal, signed with Rwanda a three years kit sponsorship deal worth USD39 million to have a “Visit Rwanda” Ad on the sleeves.

Mind you, Arsenal already had five years kit deal with Emirates Airline worth £200m (USD 280mmillion) for the front part of the jersey and around £300 million five years deal with Adidas for the company’s logo on the top left corner, of the same jersey.

It should be clearly stated that floating shares is one thing, but inspiring investors’ confidence is an entirely different ball game. To achieve that, the clubs will have to be appropriately structured and professionally managed.

The clubs also need to invest smartly in the playing squads to get favorable results; game results are an essential driver of the share prices.
In England, for instance, where most Premier League clubs are listed, studies have revealed that share prices reacts asymmetrically to game results. The negative effect being greater and quicker for losers than the positive impact for winners. This is because losing is a stronger predictor of future losing (and hence lower financial performance) and vice versa.

The optimal point is, if the two clubs, which commands the support of close to 30 million Tanzanians, are to make a significant leap forward, financial independence is of the essence. But since mobilizing capital the old way has proved to be a daunting task, floating shares is the only light at the end of the tunnel.

Send your comments to gsemunyu@epicpr.co.tz.

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By Godwin Semunyu.

Tanzania records an estimated 1.5 million tourists annually, accounting for 17 percent of the GDP, more than 2 million employments – and is the leading sector in foreign exchange earnings garnering over $2 billion annually (about Sh4.6 trillion). According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

International tourist arrivals to Africa grow at around 5% per annum with close to 1.4 billion visitors. Africa’s top tourism destinations are Morocco, with around 11 million arrivals, and South Africa, with around 10 million tourist arrivals, annually.

If you look closely at the figures, you will notice that destination Tanzania, blessed with unraveled natural attractions from the breathtaking coastline, National parks to Africa’s highest peak in Mount Kilimanjaro, ought to have more significant numbers than what is currently garnered.

It is time to repackage our tourists’ offerings by adding more value and create a new competitive edge. You will agree that Morocco has nothing astronomical to get ten times the tourists than what Tanzania is getting. There are some other areas that we can tap to add value to our tourists’ packages: Sports and medical tourism come to mind.

Sports tourism is a diamond in the rough, Today, sport is regarded as the world’s largest social phenomenon. And, tourism is on its way to becoming one of the world’s most significant industry—an optimal combination of the two, tourists from all over the world dance to your tunes.

Whether it is the World Cup, the Olympics, Marathons, Tennis, Golf, Formula One, NBA Finals, or a mere “El Classico” soccer match between Real Madrid verses Barcelona in Spain, more and more tourists are now interested in traveling to new destinations, just for sports activities. In 2018 the sports tourism industry was worth $1.41 trillion, and this figure is expected to increase to approximately $5.72 trillion by 2021. This is a whopping 41% growth in only four years.

This is a diamond in the rough. For Tanzania, it is about time to capitalize on this booming industry. One area that can yield instant success in staging world-class marathons. For the year 2021, Tanzania has register 97 Marathons to take part in different parts of the country. I firmly believe that the time has come to turn the marathon from “fun runs” to internationally recognized races.

It is time to ensure at least 3 of our Marathons, especially those in tourist towns such as Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar, are organized to international standards to attract international participants. In Ethiopia, for instance, every November, they contain races named “Great Ethiopian Run,” drawing close to 37000 participants, the majority being foreigners. We already have a Blueprint in Kili-Marathon that attracts close to 12,000 athletes annually; it is time to build into it by creating a memorable experience for the runners.

Strategically, the event can be turned from the current one-day event to a week-long festival that includes music festivals and park tours. On the other hand, Beach-based sports such as beach soccer and volleyball can also attract international attention if well organized and promoted. The Beach soccer competitions are comparatively cheaper in terms of investments, but the returns could be quite significant.

This tournament can be arranged parallel with the annual “Sauti za Busara” concert in Zanzibar to rip tourists from both the music and sports worlds. It is time to contemplating hosting CAF Beach Soccer Tournament. Medical tourism is the new norm. Over the past few years, Tanzania has transformed the health sector with Investment in specialized services, which has reduced the number of patients seeking medical treatment abroad.

Records show that Tanzania refers to 200 to 300 patients abroad annually, but the number has since dropped to less than 60. The health sector’s significant improvements could open doors to become a minor medical tourism destination for neighboring countries. Tanzania can borrow a leaf from India’s medical tourism industry, which is estimated to grow by 200% by 2021, hitting $9 billion.

India receives close to 240,000 foreign tourists annually on medical grounds. A significant percent is coming from African countries. With the improvement in Tanzania’s renowned medical establishments, it will be comparatively cheaper for people from most African countries to opt for Tanzania as a preferred medical tourism destination.

On several occasions, we have heard of significant improvements at the Jakaya Kikwete Cardiac Institute (JKCI) and Ocean Road Cancer Institutes, which can handle complicated cases referred abroad. The two giants also receive patients from neighboring countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Comoro, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, and Burundi.

The horizons can be broadened. Tourism is undoubtedly amongst the leading pillars of our economy in terms of employment and earnings. However, with the market dynamics and sizeable competition from the world over, we ought to be more creative and vigilant in increasing value for tourists to pick Tanzania from all the available alternatives. For comments, please email me : gsemunyu@epicpr.co.tz

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By Godwin Semunyu
The Zanzibar 8th phase Government under President Dr.Hussein Mwinyi is setting the pace towards attaining a robust 2050 vision, emphasizing in building an economy that capitalizes on marine-based products. “The blue economy,” as it technically termed.

Zanzibar, a combination of Unguja and Pemba islands, has a total surface area of 2,550 sq.Km with a population of close to 1.6 million people.

According to President Mwinyi, Zanzibar’s population has grown in five folds within 50 years, from only 300,000 in 1964. The number is expected to increase to over three million by the year 2040.
the drastic population growth will effectively increase density and consequently increase pressure on land for settlement and production.

Understanding the blue economy vision The ocean covers 72% of the earth’s surface while constituting more than 95% of the biosphere. Human beings’ livelihood is equally blue as it is green. However, less production is done on oceans than on land. Therefore, the blue economy is the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, job creation, and better ecosystem health, from fishing to renewable energies, maritime transport, tourism, and waste management.

In Zanzibar, for instance, most of the fishing activities are taking place within fishing grounds in territorial waters, yielding around 1,806 metric tons annually. Comparatively lower to neighboring Mombasa and Lamu that produces about 24,096 metric tonnes annually.

Currently, Zanzibar’s GDP stands at Sh3.1 trillion, with tourism contributing 30 percent, agriculture 20 percent, Industry 18 percent, and other sectors carry 12 percent.

The figures could increase significantly if strategic and deliberate efforts are employed to leverage ocean-based resources like offshore hydrocarbon, energy, tourism, maritime transport, shipping, and deep-sea fishing. Certainly,

Plans should increase the yields through stern investment in deep-sea fishing to cater to local and international demands. There is a ready-made market in the landlocked countries of Rwanda, Burundi, Congo, Malawi, and Zambia.
Reports have indicated that the Eastern Africa region will increase fish consumption from 4.80 kg in 2013 to 5.49 kilograms by 2022. Rising population growth and income levels imply that the region will need 2.49 million tonnes of fish to fill the demand-supply gaps.

Kudos to the Zanzibar government for establishing the Fishing Corporation (ZAFICO) along with the construction of 26bn/- Malindi fish market that, apart from providing reliable stocking facilities with cold rooms, will also create close to 6,000 jobs.

Coastal Tourism is another important pillar of Zanzibar’s blue economy vision. Tourism contributes over 30 percent of Zanzibar GDP, contributing immensely in providing employment and 80% of foreign exchange.
The sector that enjoys an annual visit of around 500,000 tourists boasts a wide variety of options ranging from the historical and cultural sites of Old Stone Town to beach and leisure activities. Zanzibar has more than 500 hotels and guest houses, with a total of 7,500 rooms and a total of 114 tour operators. One of the best in the region.

Zanzibar needs more marketing efforts to promote the Mantra Resort in Pemba, the only underwater hotel in Africa. The Mantra resort rooms are 4 meters under the surface of the Indian Ocean, providing a unique underwater experience to the tourist. If well promoted, The $750 Per night per person rooms will surely be making its way on to the top bucket list of millions of tourists from all corners of the world.

However, the Zanzibar tourists’ sector should not become complacent or rest on their laurels but rather be on their guard by creating more tourists’ values. Zanzibar should always keep in mind the constant competition from Seychelles, Mauritius, and the Maldives.

Another critical area of the Zanzibar Blue economy vision is Seaweed farming. So far, the sector has created more than 25,000 jobs as Zanzibar is the third-largest exporter of seaweed in the world, after the Philippines and Indonesia. The room for expansion in this area is immense.

Furthermore, there is light at the end of the tunnel for deep-sea gas exploration in Zanzibar. Recent development including the initial signing of the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) between the Zanzibar Government and the UAE based RAK GAS company, has paved the way for further exploration of oil and gas reserves archipelago. This area is of significant importance.

The future is blue

With resources like land for farming becoming scarcer, Zanzibar, like many other islands, ought to fully optimize all the resources presented by the Indian ocean. The blue economy is, therefore, a way forward.

President Mwinyi’s decision to form a special Ministry for Blue economy and fisheries is a bold statement of intent that for Zanzibar, the future is blue.

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