Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Zanzibar's Standard of Living Improves

STANDARD of living in Zanzibar has gone up with statistics showing income per person climbing to over one million shillings in a year.

The Bank of Tanzania says in a Zanzibar 2012/13 Annual Report, availed to 'Daily News' that the standard of living in the Isles had gone up by 4.5 per cent with the per capita income of 1,003,000/- in 2013, up from 960,000/- recorded in 2011.

The average per capita income in Tanzania increased to 17.9 per cent to 1,025,038/- in 2012 up from 869,436.3 in 2011, according to the government official data.

The Bank of Tanzania attributed the growth in Zanzibar mainly to growth in the industrial and services sectors which are two major driving sectors of the economy. "Zanzibar's economy was generally resilient to external shocks," the BoT report says.

The living standard, assumed is equal divided to the population, was realised after the economic growth increase by 0.3 percentage points to 7.0 per cent in 2012.

The increase signifying that the growth rate is almost trickling down to the population as per capital to be meaningful has to be above inflation rate. However, an economist Leonard Mwanga said the GDP per capita very closely reflects the 'average' revenue per person in the isles where its growth assumes that everyone in the chain benefits.

"The growth will have a trickledown effect on the population, thus improving standard of living but it must be above inflation rate to be felt," Mr Mwanga told 'Daily News'.

The per capita could increase further if more tourists toured the twin isles of Zanzibar. Also the revenue from clove declined during the period under review. The services sector growth rate picked up by merely 0.1 percentage points to 8.7 per cent in 2012.

The value of hotels and restaurants, exhibited a mild performance having increased to 87.5bn/- in 2012 from 87.4bn/- recorded in 2011. "This performance is associated with low tourism activities as a result of a 3.3 per cent decline in the number of tourist arrivals to 169,223 in 2012," BoT indicates.

The decline of tourist arrivals was mainly associated with economic problems in the EURO zone, weak demand in advanced economies and in the emerging markets.

The agricultural activities grew by 1.3 per cent in 2012, down from a growth rate of 2.7 per cent recorded in 2011, mainly associated with the unfavourable weather conditions which affected food and some export crops production, especially cloves.

The growth was boosted by transport and communication sub-sector that rose by 18 per cent to 130.6bn/- during 2012 compared to 110.7bn/- recorded in 2011. "The growth in the sub sector was associated with the expanded activities of the telecommunication companies," BoT says.

During 2012, the industrial sector grew by 9.2 per cent compared with 5.8 per cent recorded in 2011. This growth was associated with a significant increase in mining and quarrying and construction sub-sectors.

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