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Economy




Historical Background

Perhaps you have repeatedly read on this website the historical role of Zanzibar as a political power house of East Africa. Because of its political dominance, Zanzibar managed to build a strong economy and, at those days, the name was decorated with many superlatives and history making achievements. It was the first in the region to have railways in 1879. The railways headed southwards from Zanzibar town to Chukwani and its two cars were initially pulled by mules. The economy was initially dominated by trade of ivory and slaves but when the trade in human cargo was limited in the early years of the 19th century, Zanzibar retained a large proportion of slaves to work in clove and coconut plantations. Therefore, cloves and copra became the leading commodities for Zanzibar and hence agriculture has been, and is still now, the anchor of its economy.

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Major Sectors


Zanzibar's major economic sectors include Agriculture, Trade and Industries, and Tourism. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy largely due to the clove industry, which is the main foreign currency earner for the Indian Ocean islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. Historically, trade has been second to Agriculture but many years of isolation and the socialist policies adopted after the 1964 revolution completely undermined its potential in Zanzibar economy. Recently, tourism has emerged as a possible successor to the ailing clove industry.

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Investment Information

Information relayed so far has given the reader historical information and the status of major economic sectors in Zanzibar. The approach used has been more of objectivity rather than being persuasive as some would expect. Our goal is to promote Zanzibar but we are not interested in giving our readers false picture about the country. If you are a potential investor you will find this information very useful in the process of making your decisions. On this section we have collected official information for those wishing to invest in Zanzibar.

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