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Zanzibar Eyes Oil in $2 Billion Growth Plan Despite Climate Risk

  • Islands aim to boost fishing & oil, create shipping hub
  • Business was devastated by Covid-19 travel restrictions
A woman gathers seaweed and harvests mussels while tourists line up to board a tour boat on Nungwi Beach in Zanzibar.
A woman gathers seaweed and harvests mussels while tourists line up to board a tour boat on Nungwi Beach in Zanzibar.Photographer: Gulshan Khan/AFP/Getty Images

Zanzibar is touting a $2-billion plan to entice shipping, explore for oil and process seaweed as it seeks to expand beyond tourism that makes up more than a quarter of its economy. 

The five-year blueprint proposes developing an oil and gas industry alongside efforts to boost its “blue” economy, Hussein Mwinyi, president of Tanzania’s semi-autonomous archipelago, said in an interview. The government will hire an adviser for the financing and debt needed to fund almost two dozen wide-ranging projects estimated at 5.5 trillion shillings ($2.4 billion), he said.