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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By Godwin Semunyu

Soccer goes down to the roots of Tanzania’s history. It is through the soccer fields in Jangwani and Kariakoo that the late Mwalimu Nyerere and the TANU comrades converged with the locals during the freedom fighting movements.

In Tanzania, whether you are a sports fan or not, you are somehow expected to support one of the two teams of 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 the biggest in Africa.

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

Leveraging on their brands’ equity, they are without a doubt 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 to sponsors and individual benefactors, with minimal revenue alternatives, a recipe

for the rise of a solo voice, with financial muscles, to take the helm.

The downside to this situation, however, is the fact 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 richest 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 of his decision to quit the club, following a stint of bad results. All hell broke loose. He reverted his decision afterward, to the fans’ relief. Needless to say, they feared the worse.

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

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

This opens up doors for the clubs to start trading shares at the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange and generate an 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 public listed company with mandatory transparency practices, the clubs will win the trust of many supporters to turn them into active members hence garner annual membership fees.

Merchandise, TV rights, and Kit sponsorship are football clubs’ major cash-cows, but with unbalanced books and desperate need for funds, the clubs naturally lose grounds on deal negotiation tables with advertisers. Nevertheless, by becoming financially stable, the clubs will have an 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.

The optimal point is, if our clubs 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 are the only light at the end of the tunnel.

Send your comments to gsemunyu@epicpr.co.tz

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A Swahili street slang that means ‘until we make it’ and/or ‘until it all makes sense’ and/or ‘keep your eye on the ball’. The slogan has been at the centre of my personal drive since I started my entrepreneurial journey back in 2016.

Through both steady and unprecedented times this slogan has been the driving force in facing challenges and pushing through hard times.

Our country is not unique in facing this COVID 19 global pandemic. As business owners, we are being hit with the same negative consequential economic effects as faced by those in fellow developing nations. Being a practising corporate lawyer and an inward investment advisor places me at the country’s entry gates exposing me head-on to investor challenges and strategies during this uncertain time.

The act of advising clients to send employees on unpaid leave, forced leave and outright closure of business tends to send a very grim picture on what is going on the ground.

Yet, being at the gateway exposes me to foreign investor interests, and new market entry propositions in the midst of all the economic and logistical challenges. From December 2019 to April 2020 we have set up investment vehicles on the lookout for opportunities in tourism, microfinance, manufacturing and some in relief efforts towards the effects of Covid-19.

The question that comes to mind is ‘What are foreign investors seeing that we as Tanzanians and local business owners are not seeing?’ Should we really be cowering in terror, depressed and paralyzed out of fear, waiting for the storm to settle (until when?) or should we use this time to not only take care of ourselves and those around us but to also re-strategize, seek new growth opportunities and better position ourselves for the brighter days?

The current situation took me back to my employed days when once I had gone three months without a salary during which time I realised I could actually survive running my own business, and thrive. In those months I improved on client relations and found ways to make money on the side by purposefully marketing the broad range of skill sets I had acquired over the years. That was the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey.

Therefore, this pandemic can be responded to with the same resilience. Why not innovate? Why not think out of the box? Why not tend to the untouched wish list? Why not now?

Should we keep dwelling on the unknown and that which we have no control over? I believe we should face what we do know and improve on what is within our means. That is the spirit of #Mpakakieleweke

With that being said, our firm is pushing our online employment law application www.kazibox.co.tz which allows employees and HR managers alike to easily access essential employment law related resources through a webapp. Since many companies have implemented social distancing policies there has been a huge increase in online communication and administration in the country. We trust we can capitalize on this.

In a more personal capacity, I am chasing my dream to enter the tourism and risk management industries. How crazy is that? Building a beach camp site when there are no tourists to be seen…yet.

Being involved with the risk management firm www.castorvali.com at a time when major projects are on a slowdown has also led to the opening of other opportunities like the issuance of reports and updates on COVID-19 and its impact on business within the East African region. These reports are proving to be of increased significance to corporates keeping an eye on their investments in East Africa.

This in my mind is what the ‘Mpaka Kieleweke’ slogan is all about: taking the bull by the horns and dealing with whatever comes our way as it comes. I honestly believe that in the end the sun will shine, and we will be better positioned to continue the transformation of our beautiful growing nation.

Let us be safe, and let’s keep chasing our dreams as they are all we got.

By Kamanga Wilbert Kapinga ~ Managing Partner at KW Kapinga & Partners

SOURCE: HERE

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