Zanzibar, Indonesia agree on strong ties

[Indonesia, Zanzibar] Zanzibar and Indonesia have underscored the need to further strengthen their cooperation in key areas of education, agriculture, tourism and trade.

Indonesian Ambassador to Tanzania, Prof Rotlan Pardede said here over the weekend that his government will establish co-operation with Zanzibar to promote seaweed farming and fisheries.

Prof Pardede, who paid a courtesy call to President Shein, pledged during their meeting at State House that Indonesia will provide scholarships to Zanzibar students through a special programme.

The Indonesian Ambassador hailed the existing trade relations between the two countries, saying over the past three years some 400 businessmen from Zanzibar have transacted businesses in the Asian country. He used the occasion to invite Zanzibar to the inaugural Indonesia-Africa Forum scheduled for April 10-11 next year in Bali.

The forum seeks to boost social economic partnerships between Indonesia and countries in sub-Saharan Africa and facilitate business matchmaking, encourage technical cooperation and explore possibilities for triangular cooperation, among others.

The forum will provide space for dialogue between African and Indonesian businesses with several agreements expected to be signed. Dr Shein lauded the two countries’ long-existing and historical relation, which dates back to pre 1964 Zanzibar Revolution and vowed to further strengthen it. He commended Indonesia for achieving huge success in the agricultural sector, especially rice cultivation and fisheries, tourism and commercial sectors.

Indonesia is the world’s third largest rice grower and was expected to export 100,000 tonnes of the staple food this year. Dr Shein acknowledged Indonesia’s fishing industry and asked the Asian nation to support Zanzibar efforts to develop its fishing sector, saying the Isles is determined to promote sustainable fisheries as agreed during the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) meeting in Jarkata last March.

President Shein also spoke enthusiastically on the envisaged cooperation on seaweed farming, with Indonesia expressing readiness to support the Isles in value addition to the sea crop by processing it domestically to discourage export of raw seaweed.

Zanzibar is reportedly the third biggest exporter of seaweed— after the Philippines and Indonesia, with 16,000 tonnes exported annually, employing over 20,000 farmers in the sector.

Dr Shein also welcomed cooperation in the tourism and education sectors, noting that Zanzibar must draw a leaf from Indonesia’s tourist Island of Bali, urging local universities including State University of Zanzibar (SUZA) to build relations with their Indonesian counterparts.

President Shein also hosted the Ambassador of Oman Ali Abdullah Al-Mahruqi, with the two leaders discussing various areas of cooperation between Zanzibar and Oman. Oman has been supporting Zanzibar’s social and economic sectors.


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