SYNOPSIS: A fishing dhow in the harbour of Old Zanzibar and the Arab-style houses which surround the bay give the impression that Zanzibar retains the romantic mystique of its past.
SYNOPSIS: A fishing dhow in the harbour of Old Zanzibar and the Arab-style houses which surround the bay give the impression that Zanzibar retains the romantic mystique of its past. But the face of this Indian Ocean island is changing.
Last weekend a party of journalists flew the forty miles from the mainland to see how the island is advancing under Tanzania's development programme.
They were met by government officials and some of the advisers from The People's Republic of China who are assisting in projects financed by Chinese aid. Its believed that there are about three hundred Chinese advisers in Tanzania.
Among the projects on zanzibar financed by The People's Republic of China is this tobacco-processing plant now under construction.
Chinese aid also helped set up a shoe factory where Zanzibari workers tan hides and process the leather through to the final product. The shoe factory is part of an effort too diversify industry on Zanzibar to lessen the island's almost total dependency on exports of cloves.
The journalists' visit to this shoe factory was part of a tour organised by the ruling Afro Shirazi Party whose vice-chairman, Mr. Toro Rehani, outlined the development programme on Zanzibar.
In one major project old buildings are being knocked down to make way for a new beach-front hotel being built at a cost approaching half a million pounds sterling.
Blocks of new flats are sprouting up under the governments plan to provide better homes the island's population of about three hundred and sixty thousand. These flats are in Mechanzani township and will be given to workers free of charge.
Another stop for the visiting journalists - a technical college built with the help of U.S. aid in which Chinese technicians now advise the students. Chinese aid to Tanzania began in 1964 with an initial grant of five million pounds and now most of the country's foreign assistance comes from The People's Republic of China.