The zanzibar political economy

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The Zanzibar Political Economy

Zanzibar is part of the United Republic of Tanzania, consisting of two main islands, Unguja and Pemba with a total land area of 2,643 km2 (Unguja 1,658 km2 and Pemba 985 km2). It is located in the India Ocean about 30 kilometres of the East African coast between latitude 5o and 7o South of Equator. According to the 2002 National population census projections, Zanzibar's population was at 1,193,127 in 2008, with a population density of 370 people per km2 and annual growth rate of 3.1 percent. Zanzibar has a semi autonomous government that looks at the affairs not under the Union Government, which include social and economic affairs. It has legislative assembly known as the House of Representatives, the Executive headed by the President of Zanzibar and its own judicial system. However, other aspect like international relations controlled by Union government.

The theme of my research is 'The ownership of the Aid'. As an Economist working in government sector, among my duties include; to helps Zanzibar in maximizing the amount of AID and Grants from donor organizations and to ensure efficient utilization of donor funds and abiding with the principles of Aid Effectiveness. The motive behind for conducting this research is to develop my capability and to have a broad visualization on this critical aspect, which grows to be of an importance, which is aid assistance and economic development.

Ownership on the Aid is a new paradigms discussed in Paris declaration on Aid effectiveness in March 2nd 2005 which focused on 'Partner countries exercise effective leadership over their development policies, and strategies and co-ordinate development action, and accelerating achievement of the MDG' (Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, (2005).

Zanzibar economy is predominated by Agricultural activities accounting for an average of 27.3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and providing about 75% of the foreign aid earnings (OCGS, 2007). The balance of trade deficit tends to increase from 2003 to 2008 from Tanzania Shillings -54,445.6 millions to -63,250.4 millions Tanzania Shillings respectively (Economic Survey: 2009). Hence this situation evaluate that, there is a negative indication in balance of trade of Zanzibar. Yet the revenue has dramatically decreasing which led Zanzibar to become dependence on aid.

Zanzibar receives both kinds of aid, bilateral and multilateral since 1964's independence. Development partners align their support with development projects implemented in Zanzibar. Aid modality in Zanzibar can be summarised through different mechanism namely, Loans and Grants, budget support or project support, direct for Zanzibar only from component of union projects, food aid, emergency and relief assistance and by public institutions or by NGO and private sector institutions (Ronsholt 2004:10). Despite the fact that, Zanzibar could receive grants assistance from donor countries except loans, it should have grantee from Government of Tanzania (Article N0 22; (1964: viii). In this regards the state receives grants from bilateral assistance independently.

Usually all donor negotiations committees of Zanzibar attend either bilateral or multilateral meetings of The United republic of Tanzania, and receives some invitation as individually state from donors. However, some of it passes through Government of Tanzania. Furthermore, Zanzibar implements her development projects and policies autonomously.

Relevance and Justification

It is noticeable that the practical ownership of aid is decisive point of debate among the development partners and recipients countries and others agencies, on its measures, whether weak or strong ownership, due to different dimensions which identified between them. However, many writers in this area give their impression to agree that the area has a conflict interest between donors and recipients countries. Killick T. et al (1998:91) argue that, 'when ownership is at its strongest, the government and wider public regard the reforms and associated timetable of actions, as in their own interests. Ownership is at its weakest when donor objectives dominate and important programme measures are not viewed as in the public interest...' On the other hand, the effect of tied and untied aid is on economic situation is one of area of interest for many researchers. In 'Tanzania and Zanzibar in particular, no baseline survey on percentage of untied and tied aid has yet been undertaken'. ( FINALD December 5 2006.doc.)

Actually, rhetoric of ownership and practice has geared to increasing a gap between development partners and recipients countries. As De Renzio (2008:1) argues that, there is still a serious gap between the rhetoric of ownership and practices on the ground. The problem of aid ownership in Zanzibar is significantly, in order to facilitate effective budget external resources that have been allocating through exchequer system, yet only 46% of development partners allocating their resources through exchequer system, the remaining is disbursing though direct project. Hence, it affects on accountability, monitoring and evaluation performance of aid effectiveness, and poverty reduction goals.

To the best of my knowledge, at present no empirical studies that examine practical ownership in Zanzibar. Therefore, the proposed study could provide a highlight regarding this issue. Furthermore, the study will analyse the practice of Paris declaration in developing countries by showing its effects in economic and developments programme in poverty reduction programmes particular in Zanzibar.

Research Objectives:

To assess the perspective of aid ownership and to show how aid ownership is in reality practices in Zanzibar

Research Questions:

  1. How does the concept of ownership defined in development literatures?
    • How concept of aid ownership defined globally?
    • How is it explained in Zanzibar?
  2. How do aid ownership practices in Zanzibar affect development process?
    • Who is involved in Aid Management
    • Who has ownership
    • How planning and Decision making processes on aid related projects
    • What are volume of tied and untied aid in Zanzibar
    • What are Challenges
  3. How does ownership become visible in practice of aid in Zanzibar (Case of Zanzibar as semi autonomous of Tanzania?)
  4. Sub questions

    • Are the DPs financing compatible with ZSGRP financing?
    • What proportion of ZSGRP funded by DPs
    • What proportion funds are fungible for the Government uses?
    • What proportion of ZSGRP fund channelled through the exchequer system?

Research Methodology:

Data Collection:

The proposed research methodology for this research will be used both secondary and primary data analysis. Secondary data from various related publication documentaries. Primary data will be collect by in depth interview with key stakeholders including government officials, developments Partners, non-Governmental organisations who are working in Zanzibar.

The research will be appointing a simple random sampling by select the key Ministries which crucial and major recipients of aid in Zanzibar. This including Ministry of Finance and economic affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and livestock and environments, Ministry of Communication and Transports and ministry of health and social welfare and Ministry of education and vocational training Zanzibar.

Secondary Data

The expected data will be obtain from different institutions, which shows relations on aid namely, documentary - written materials or non-written (media-based) materials including ZSGRP policy, documents from JAST, Aid coordination unit, Aid Management Platform (AMP) website and UNDP reports.

Multiple Source - area based (e.g. journal, country) or time series based

Survey - censuses, continuous & regular survey, or ad-hoc surveys

Primary Data

Interview will be a major instrument that will be used in order to get relevant information on ownership of aid whether rhetoric or reality in Zanzibar. Policy makers in central government and developments partners and NGOs will take part in the interview.

Tools to be uses for interviewing will be individual, face-to-face, interview or if it needs focus Group discussion and questioners, depending on availability of respondents.

Possible practical problems/limitations:

1.0. Data availability, through my own experience, some of respondents will possibly hide the important information due to the privacy outlook. This is due to the fact that, some of them may be fearful and even refusing to offer documents or information outside the company or institution because of their hierarchical and political positions in one side. On the other way round, financial documents or reports are really giving the impression of secrecy (confidentiality).

2.0. Scarce resource including financial support, this will be the possible challenge to take place during the data collection. Given that, the researcher needs to not only communicate with the respondents for getting information, but also visit the companies or public and private institution's offices in a Zanzibar municipality within the specific period.


Articles of Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar (1964), (Online) available:, (13March 010:13:15p.m).

Dassayanake Ranil (2009), Owning Up to ownership,' Aid thoughts,' (online available) http:// www. p=670, (04 march 2010:14:30p.m)

De Renzio Paolo, Whitfield Lindsay and Bergamaschi Isaline (2008:1-2) reforming Foreign Aid Practices: What country ownership is and what donors can do to support it.

Joint progress toward Enhanced Aid Effectiveness,' High Level Forum Paris, Paris Declaration Aid Effectiveness (February 28- March 2, 2005)

Killick Tony with Ramani Gunatilaka and Ana Marr (1998) Aid and the Political Economy of Policy Change. First published 1998 by Rout ledge 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P4EE,

Ronsholt F E (2004),' Final report on Capacity Needs Assessment and design an Aid Coordination Mechanism for Zanzibar. December 5 2006.doc (online available) Date 6 April 2010, 23:00pm.)

Socio - Economic Survey- 2008,' Statistical Report (Preliminary Results) - first draft (25, April 2009), Office of Chief Government Statistician Zanzibar, April 2009

Socio Economic Survey 2007,' Statistical Report, Office of chief Government Statistician Zanzibar, 2007


  • AMP Aid Management Platform
  • DP Development Partners.
  • JAST Joint Assistance Strategy Tanzania.
  • ZSGRP Zanzibar Strategy Growth Reduction Of poverty Zanzibar.