Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Saudi Millionaire Supports Plans for Women's Bank in Isles

Zanzibar — ZANZIBAR President Dr Ali Mohammed Shein was on Wednesday impressed by the pledge from a Saudi millionaire, Sheikh Al-Yousef to support plans to establish a women's bank in the Isles.

Dr Shein has on several occasions since the 2010 presidential elections campaigns been promising women that he would initiate the establishment of a bank in the Isles to help empower women. The plans have apparently gained weight after the president met with the Saudi tycoon on Wednesday.

"I will support efforts to establish a women's bank in Zanzibar," said Al-Yousef when he held talks with Dr Shein at the State house. Al-Yousef is the Executive Chairperson of the Al-Yousef Charitable society in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian also informed President Shein that he was finalizing plans to start supporting women groups, including widows and the divorced, alongside establishing a poultry farm whose produce will be for both local consumption and export.

He thanked the Zanzibar government for allocating land for the project, which he says will create employment opportunities for locals as Dr Shein promised improved investment environment. Al-Yousef is also planning to help solve water problems in the Isles by funding construction of 80 boreholes and wells.

Water shortages remain a serious problem in many parts of Zanzibar. In his discussions with Dr Shein, the Saudi Arabian millionaire also said that his organization has approved the construction of about 400 low cost houses to be leased to the poor people in Pemba Island.

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