26 December 2012

Tanzania: Poverty Hinders Development Goals in Zanzibar

Zanzibar — CHRONIC poverty, inequality, heavy dependence on foreign donors, urbanization, and climate change are some of the challenges hampering 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets, Economists in Zanzibar have said.

Speaking at the workshop on post-2015 development agenda held here recently, Mohammed Jidawi, and Elineema Kisanga said that the government and people of Zanzibar should think beyond the 2015 deadline of MDGs, as most of the countries are likely to miss the target.

"We have been doing quite well in various areas like education for all our children, but our country still faces some challenges. We should think how to overcome the challenges that hinder development", said Jidawi at the workshop held in both Zanzibar and Pemba islands.

The workshop organized by the Zanzibar's Finance, Economic, and Development planning ministry intends to listen to the stakeholders and sensitize people think beyond 2015 particularly incorporating climate change and environment in the national development plans (MKUZA, and Vision 2020).

However, beyond 2015 is also a global campaign aiming to influence the creation of a post 2015 development framework that succeeds the current UN Millennium Development Goals. Mr Luwaga Kizoka, and Ms Jamila Abbasi from the development planning office appealed to the people of Zanzibar to be creative, work hard, and think on how Zanzibar vision 2020 can be achieved mainly to reduce abject poverty, built a strong agriculture, and tourism industries.

"We also need peace and political stability, national unity, good governance, modernized production and high degree of foreign direct investments, and sustainable economical growth (GDP) of not less than 10 per cent annually," Kizoka said.

He said that 44.4 per cent of the Zanzibar population lives below the poverty line, and 44.3 per cent of the Islands population are below age 15, "these are also challenges in meeting the qualitative targets." The officers said that the world is on an unsustainable path, and people must urgently chart a new course forward, one that brings climate change, equity and environmental concerns into the economic mainstream.

Ms Amina Ahmed, Secretary to the Planning Commission said at the meeting that challenges today are many, which include ecosystems are under siege, and soaring inequality within and between countries, "we should think of how to provide greater opportunity for more people with less impact on our environment."

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