Zanzibar, 12 June 2019 - From 10 to 11 June 2019, almost 100 participants, representing a variety of stakeholders, gathered for the official launch of the preparation of the Zanzibar Urban Policy (ZUP).

Opening the workshop, Mr. Salihina A. Ameir Deputy Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Lands, Housing, Water and Energy, highlighted the importance of having a policy to chart a sustainable urban future for Zanzibar. Mr. Muhammed Juma, Director, Department of Urban and Rural Planning emphasized the need to work with different levels of governments and stakeholders to craft the future of Zanzibar together at a critical moment taking multiple issues into account; such as the high rate of urbanization and the current urban sprawl, compounded by the increasing impacts of climate change that will make cities and communities more vulnerable. At the same time, Zanzibar benefits from a wealth of cultural heritage and marine environment that need to be preserved and harnessed as critical assets for the islands’ future.

Through a series of interactive group sessions, stakeholders identified six priority issues that the policy shall consider in relation with the new Zanzibar Development Vision of 2050. These include urban-rural linkages; climate change and environment (risk mitigation and resilience); smart city, technology and innovation; urban planning, mobility and governance; cultural heritage and tourism; and land, housing and urban development. This prioritization exercise allowed stakeholders to articulate policy options, strategies and actions that will constitute the backbone of the Zanzibar Urban Policy.

The timeline for formulating the new urban policy was also discussed and agreed upon along with the validation of the feasibility of the policy. The Government also revealed that consultations will be undertaken throughout the eleven districts and that all reports will be validated by a wide range of urban and rural actors. Also, the workshop was an opportunity to announce the 13 ZUP Board members whose tasks will include overseeing an inclusive and participatory urban policy process.

The ZUP is supported by the Booyoung Fund from South Korea, as well as by the United Nations Development Account that focuses on Urban-Rural Linkages.


Banner image: Aerial view of Stone town, Zanzibar, Tanzania. [Shutterstock/marius Dobilas]