Dar es Salaam. Zanzibar has made huge progress in socioeconomic development during the 55 years since the overthrow of the sultan’s rule, President Ali Mohamed Shein said.
He was speaking at Gombani grounds in Pemba during the climaxing of Revolution celebrations.
The ceremony was attended by Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa and other government leaders.
President John Magufuli was unable to attend because he had other national commitments, said Dr Shein.
The televised event was full of pomp and pageantry. Dr Shein said education and health sectors had hugely improved and revenue collections increased.
“Malaria prevalence stands at only 0.4 per cent, HIV prevalence at 0.4 per cent and maternal deaths have declined. Revenue collection has also improved. Sh688 billion was collected in 2017/18.” Zanzibar had targeted to collect Sh675.8 billion from the internal sources in 2017/18.
He spoke about the introduction of a free education policy for primary and secondary schools in 2016 and 2018 respectively.
Other achievements include the construction of roads, extension and rehabilitation of ports and the issuance of loans to students of higher learning institutions.
He said 3,477 students graduated from various higher learning institutions last year.
“They are all beneficiaries of the students’ loans programme. Sh13.1 billion will be issued to other 3,100 students this year.”
He reiterated the government’s commitment to continue addressing challenges facing Zanzibar.
However, he said challenges such as the shortage of desks had emerged. “Eleven primary and secondary schools have been built in Pemba and Unguja.”