Zanzibar — ISRAEL has pledged support for Zanzibar's ongoing economic development initiatives which aim at poverty reduction. The promise was made when Israeli Ambassador in Tanzania, Mr Gil Haskeli, met with the Zanzibar Second Vice-President, Mr Seif Ali Iddi, at his residence in Dar es Salaam.
"In strengthening our relations, I need to hold talks with the authorities on how we can implement our support, particularly in the health and agriculture sectors," said Mr Gil.
According to a press statement from the Second Vice-President's Office, Israel has been offering long- and short-term training and capacity building to Zanzibar civil servants in the fields of health and agriculture.
"We are ready to use our skills to support the development of health and agriculture sectors, which include irrigation," said Gil as he commended the people of Zanzibar and Tanzania mainland for the smooth process towards getting a new union constitution. The Israeli diplomat wished Tanzanians a peaceful and stable process in having the new constitution, which would mark historical landmark since Tanganyika's independence and Zanzibar's revolution.
Mr Seif Iddi thanked Israel for its support and reminded the envoy about the promise made by the country to help develop Zanzibar's disaster management department.
"There is a global increase in disasters and Zanzibar is vulnerable to disasters, yet it is still weak in managing disasters due to the lack of skills and facilities," said Mr Iddi.
The vice-president said development initiatives also include supporting and empowering local people through their savings and credit cooperative societies (SACCOs) and promoting tourism. He said Zanzibar could surpass its target of attracting tourists from 240,000 to 255,000 tourists next season.