ZANZIBAR has unveiled its 2020/21 development plan, which seeks to spend about 610bn/-on the implementation of 24 development programmes and 53 projects.

Minister for Finance and Planning Mohamed Ramia Abdiwawa told the House of Representatives on Monday that the government envisioned investing 609.99bn/-in the next fiscal year, a 5.7 per cent increase from the current year’s 577.02bn/-.

Moving the 2020 Economic Outlook and Development Plan for the 2020/21 fiscal year, Mr Abdiwawa said the Revolutionary Government would cover 32.35 per cent of the development budget and development partners the remaining 67.65 per cent.

He said 197.33bn/-would come from the government’s own sources, while the development partners would inject 412.66bn/-(72.16bn/-and 340.5bn/-as grants and loans respectively).

The minister said Zanzibar’s economy grew by seven percent last year, far better than the global and East African economies’ rates of 2.9 and five percent, respectively, in 2019. He said the GDP grew to 3,078bn/-last year from 2,874bn/- in 2018.

The minister attributed the impressive economic growth to a 3.4 per cent increase in tourists from 520,809 in 2018 to 538,264 last year, reduced donor dependency from 7.3 percent in 2017/18 to 5.7 percent in the 2018/19 fiscal year and a 77.4 percent rise in rice production under irrigation programmes from 3,049 tonnes in 2018 to 5,409 tonnes last year.

Mr Abdiwawa further informed the House that more Zanzibaris were connected to the national grid electricity, adding that electrified households had increased by 15.6 per cent from 14,940 in 2018 to 17,275 last year.