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Tanzania: Zanzibar Goes for Stock Market to Boost Investment

ZANZIBAR government plans a stock market to provide the islanders with ample investment opportunities and integrate majority citizens in the envisaged blue economy.

President Hussein Mwinyi said here recently that it was high time the country introduced the equity market and educated wananchi on the benefits of investing on the highly regulated and safe investment avenue.

Speaking over the devious Masterlife Microfinance operations at Vuga-based State House, Dr Mwinyi said although the equity market might not easily entice prospective in vestors as the pyramid scheme did, there were indications that Zanzibaris were yearning for investment opportunities.

“It’s high time we considered the establishment of the stock market…with adequate public awareness campaigns, many Zanzibaris will invest safely,” President Mwinyi said.

The Minister of State in the President’s Office, Finance and Planning, Jamal Kassim Ali, told the ‘Daily News’ here yesterday that the stock market is within the government’s fiveyear development plan.

Minister Jamal said there is huge potential for the envisioned market to operate efficiently because, “Zanzibar has many commercial companies; we as well have people with capital to invest.”

He cited the blue economy, which the government has vowed to pursue, saying it will create many business companies in which the islanders may easily participate through buying shares on the bourse.

Many Zanzibaris remain alien to the market but through strategic public education, they will understand and grab the opportunities that come with it, said the minister, hinting that the market introduction process might start in the next fiscal year.

The private sector has as well welcomed the idea as timely, saying Zanzibar has great potential of nursing the stock market to great success.

Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Executive Director Hamad Hamad described the stock market as a brilliant idea towards inclusion of majority islanders into the major economic activities, especially the blue economy.

“The stock market is a new concept here (Zanzibar) but it’s a good thing to avoid these devil things (pyramid schemes)… we have many companies with the potential of trading in the bourse,” said Mr Hamad.

The government was last month compelled to intercept the operations of the pyramid scheme, which had in hardly eight months conned some 39,000 islanders over 38.5bn/-.

Some analysts say the rush to invest in the deceitful business indicates among others a presence of huge capitals that are lying idle on the citizens’ hands.

Besides the potential listing entities like Zanzibar Electricity Company, Zanzibar Port Authority, commercial banks, insurance firms and other private firms; multi-trillion companies in the blue economy may as well list on the bourse to provide wananchi with opportunity to own them.

Already, the government and Oman Investment Authority have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the construction of a multi-terminal port at Unguja’s Mangapwani suburb.

Under the all-inclusive project, the government envisages a huge and modern port with various terminals for containerised and general cargo; fuel; fishing vessels; oil and natural gas; as well as a satellite city with all essential business facilities