Zanzibar — Former Finance Minister and Deputy Premier of Mauritius, Dr Ramakrishna Sithanen on Wednesday called for the strengthening of partnerships between the private sector and the government in an effort to boost economic growth in Zanzibar.
Dr Sithanen, who held talks with the business community in the Isles, offered his experience to the business community in Zanzibar, as he explained how his country, Mauritius, managed to retain its exclusivity in the tourism industry.
He spoke to at least 40 stakeholders who are key contributors to Zanzibar’s’ economic growth, including representatives from Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (ZATI), the Zanzibar National Chamber of Commerce, Zanzibar National Industry as well as the Agriculture (ZNCCIA) and Zanzibar Association of Tour Operators (ZATO).
During a meeting presentation, Dr Sithanen, the man touted as a key contributor to the transformation of Mauritius, told the investors that the best way to grow the economy of most African countries, including Zanzibar, was to harness the public-private partnerships(PPP).
He said, “There should be cohesion between the private sector and the government. I know, it’s not an easy process for the two parties to agree as they have different interests, but they need a common ground which will be for the betterment on the country’s economic growth
Dr Sithanen suggested that Zanzibar should embrace three key strategies that helped Mauritius to grow its economy. “There should be investment in infrastructure, invest in people and in institutions,” he noted.
On infrastructure, he explained that it involves constructing more roads, airports, ports and the soft infrastructure such as good governance, credibility health and training.
“People must be trained, have an education and acquire skills. Whereas institutions refer to the judiciary system, freedom and academic,” said Dr. Sithanen.
He was invited to Zanzibar by a major tourism investment company, Pennyroyal Gibraltar Ltd and Zanzibar Amber Resort, which is currently implementing major tourism projects including hotel resorts and beaches.
The Director of Pennyroyal Gibraltar Ltd, Mr Saleh Said, believes that Zanzibar, which is geographically similar to Mauritius and has great potential to develop into a world class luxury tourist destination and facilitate Direct Foreign Investment.