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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Historic visit to bolster bilateral bonds

The historic visit of Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar, to the Sultanate of Oman is expected to explore various areas of common interest and mark a milestone in the strong bilateral relations of the two friendly countries.


During the visit, many memorandum of understandings are expected to be signed aiming at further cementing the relations between these two countries.


The visit that is pursuant to the successful visit to Oman by Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, aims to promote and further consolidate the special bilateral bonding and cooperation between Zanzibar in particular and Tanzania in general with Oman.


"The high-level visit aims to provide an opportunity for the premiers of both countries to hold consultations with each other on issues of common interests related to bilateral, regional and international affairs. It is the platform to bring Zanzibar and Oman relations to greater heights," a highly placed source told the Observer.


There will be negotiations to attract investments from Omani investors, promote business engagement in general to Zanzibar, notably, in the domains of the Blue Economy (Logistics, Maritime transport, Fisheries, Tourism).


There will be efforts to enhance cooperation in the areas of archives and records keeping, management of heritage sites, education and oil and gas sectors and ways of promoting trade between Oman and Zanzibar.


OMAN-ZANZIBAR RELATIONS


Oman and Zanzibar enjoy the well-established longtime historical and blood relations given the long interface of the two peoples for centuries. Oman is the only country outside Africa where Swahili is widely spoken as first language in most Omani households as well as in public life.


Over the years there have been numerous exchanges of visits at ministerial and official levels.


TRADE AND INVESTMENT


Oman investments in Zanzibar have been mainly in tourism and hospitality, construction, finance and insurance, wholesale and retail trade, logistics, accommodation and food services, manufacturing, commercial building and services. Until July 2022, a total of 22 Omani projects have been registered in Zanzibar valued at $213,019,298 employing about 900 people.


The government of Zanzibar and Oman Investment Authority have signed a number of MoUs for construction of a modern port in Mangapwani, Malindi, and development of a waterfront city in Malindi.


Oman Vision 2040 puts more emphasis on food security, with the private sector taking a major role in the economy, economic diversification, infrastructure development and logistics business.


Based on the above priorities, Zanzibar has a lot to offer as far as investment is concerned as a gateway to Southern Africa, Zanzibar being a few miles away from Mainland Tanzania, is well positioned for market access of over 450 million people. Zanzibar can offer investment opportunities in Blue Economy -- marine and water sport, aquaculture, tourism, high class hotels and lodges, underwater restaurants, water sports, conventional centres, airlines, seaweed farming and value addition.


Other areas of investment opportunities in Zanzibar include agriculture, oil and gas, energy, manufacturing, free economic zones, fisheries value chain, real estate development, health and pharmaceuticals.


On the side of Oman, there are investment opportunities which can be exploited by the private sector from Zanzibar, these opportunities include investing in Oman’s Special Economic Zones.


OMAN’S OFFICIAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE TO ZANZIBAR


Over the years, Oman has extended various development assistance to Zanzibar. This assistance covered many sectors including education.


RESTORATION OF HERITAGE SITES, NATIONAL ARCHIVES


There are also various memorandum of understandings that have been signed including agreements and MoUs to provide a legal environment and framework for strengthening bilateral cooperation between Zanzibar and Oman.


In the light of above, Oman and Zanzibar have signed a numbers of MoUs in various fields, this include MoUs in higher education, in records and archives, MoU between Zanzibar Investment Authority and Oman Investment Authority on cooperation on investment matters, memorandum of understanding in modernisation and rehabilitation of Malindi Port and memorandum of understanding in the field of fisheries and marine exploration. -- ONA


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