UNION Vice-President, Dr Philip Mpango yesterday launched Zanzibar's tailoring and leather factories, challenging the operators to maintain high quality and produce at competitive prices.
He challenged Zanzibar's special departments under whom the President Samia factories operate to explore domestic and international markets for their products and observe the demand of consumers--schools, soldiers, mines and sportspeople.
"Produce high quality products, which can compete with imports; if you produce quality products at competitive prices, consumers will prefer yours over imports," counseled Dr Mpango.
Vice-President Mpango further challenged employees to work hard and preserve the factory machines through routine maintenance to benefit the current and future generations.
He reminded the industrialists over environmental conservation, saying: "We still have a serious problem of environmental pollution; your operations must consider appropriate procedures to conserve the environment." He asked the industrialists to devise new uses of industrial waste.
The Union and Zanzibar governments, Dr Mpango said, are determined to build up the industrial sector as a strategy to speed up the national economic growth, explaining that the government envisages competitive industrial-based economy to attain the high middle income status.
He commended Zanzibar's special departments for the initiative, which he described as high- ly beneficial for the country's social and economic development." These industries are labor in- tensive, so they will create more jobs for our people; they have backward and forward linkages with other sectors like farming and chemicals," he said.
Zanzibar government, through its special departments, has investment in Zanzibar Quality Tailoring Ltd (ZQTL) and Zanzibar Leather and Shoe Factory (ZLSF) to produce uniforms for the departments' soldiers.
Speaking at the launch, Minister of State in the President's Office, Regional Administration, Local Governments and Special Departments, Masoud Ally Mohammed expressed his delight on the project, which he said had been his dream since he assumed office.
"When I first came here last year; there was nothing but dust and a few scattered bricks. I vowed to have this project realized, and here we are today," said the minister.
He said the industries will save a lot of taxpayers' money, which was spent on the importation of uniforms, especially shoes. "We had been spending over 70,000/- to im- port a pair of shoes per one soldier, but with these factories, it will cost us hardly 35,000/-," Minister Masoud said.