FINANCIAL experts from a Chinese Bank, Exim, are expected in Zanzibar next month, to finalise procedures for the construction of an apron area at the Abeid Aman Karume International Airport.
Speaking at a meeting with Second Vice-President, Ambassador Seif Ali Idd recently, Chinese Consul General in Zanzibar, Xie Xiaolon, said that Exim Bank will send in three financial experts ahead of issuing a loan to the government of Zanzibar for the completion of the project.
The impending loan issuance follows a request made by Dr Idd when on an official tour of China last December. Mr Xie said the Exim management will provide the Zanzibar government with a loan amounting to 50 per cent of the total fund required to bankroll the construction of the apron area and was optimistic that the completion of the project will considerably boost the air transport sector in the Isles.
He assured the second vicepresident that China will continue supporting Zanzibar Island and Tanzania as a whole and strengthen the existing historical cooperation between the two friendly nations.
Ambassador Idd expressed his appreciation to Mr Xie for what he described as Consul General's extra efforts that helped fast-track the loan agreement. Dr Idd noted that the completion of a new apron at Terminal Two, which is set to last eight months, will be vital to the economy of Zanzibar, as it will increase the terminal capacity and boost revenue receipts.
Upon its completion, the envisaged apron area will enable International Airport to handle bigger aircraft and facilitate unloading and loading of more cargo as well as increase the number of passengers, especially tourists visiting the Indian Ocean archipelago.
The second vice-president told the Consulate that the goal of the revolutionary government of Zanzibar is to improve air transport infrastructure and set up good environment for the growth of the tourism sector, which is envisaged to replace cloves as the backbone of national economy.
The Abeid Aman Karume international Airport is the major airport serving the Zanzibar Archipelago. The airport, located near Stone Town, is served daily by most major Southern African airlines, as well as long-haul