President of Zanzibar, Dr Hussein Mwinyi and Germany Ambassador, Regine Hess
Zanzibar and Germany have restored diplomatic relations disrupted after the outcome of the 2015 general elections.
Following the move, the two sides with historical relations have agreed to work together in various development sectors that will mostly benefit Zanzibar.
The construction of the 150 residential houses at Kikwajuni in the Zanzibar Municipality which was undertaken by the Democratic Republic of Germany immediately after the 1964 revolution is a reflection of the good relations which existed between the two countries.
This was affirmed by the President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, Dr. Hussein Mwinyi and German Ambassador to Tanzania, Regine Hess during a function to cement diplomatic relations and cooperation between their two countries.
“Germany is our longtime partner, they supported us with major projects after the 1964 Zanzibar revolution, including the construction of Kikwajuni and Bambi residential houses, clean and fresh water as well as sanitation facilities in the Zanzibar Stone Town,” Dr. Mwinyi noted.
He added Germany and Zanzibar have had longtime history of diplomatic relations noting that the first German Embassy in Africa was opened in Zanzibar in 1965.
The President said the restoration of fraternal diplomatic relations between the two sides will bring greater opportunities and benefits through various economic sectors.
“We are today announcing to the world that Zanzibar and Germany have restored our diplomatic and cooperation relation,” Dr. Mwinyi said during the event.
He said the German government has agreed to support Zanzibar in social services in the sectors of healthcare, water facilities and sports.
“I am very grateful to our German brothers who have stopped long-term development cooperation and have decided to return to work with us, so that Zanzibar can return to the new stage of development as expected,” said Dr. Mwinyi.
The President cited the experience of some nations that have benefited from development partners, saying that Zanzibar has to go extra mile due to the inability of its citizens to contribute to the cost of medical care.
“I am pleased to say that Germany is ready to assist us and our expectation is that by April Zanzibar will begin the gradual delivery of services to all groups,” he said.
The President said the German government has allocated funds to undertake a feasibility study on the problem of clean and fresh water in the urban and rural areas, adding that the country was also ready to collaborate with Zanzibar in the sports sector.
The German Ambassador to Tanzania, Regine Hess, highlighted the long history of the German-Zanzibar relations and noted that besides many German-sponsored development sectors, the cultural sector is at its core.
“Germany has also grown to support Zanzibar in the cultural sector including music through the Jahazi Festival and the tourism industry,” she said and commended President Mwinyi for his successful move to bring the Zanzibar people together through the formation of a Government of National Unity (GNU).
Meanwhile, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of State, President’s Office (Finance and Planning), Dr. Juma Malik Akili said the restoration of the Zanzibar-German relations was important for the Isles development.
Dr. Akili made the remarks during the opening of a joint dialogue between the government and the Federal Government of Germany to review the existing mutual cooperation between the two sides at the Tanzania Bank (BOT) conference hall at Kinazini.
He said the German government has allocated €10 million to support clean and fresh water projects and had also pledged €660,000 to boost sports activities.
He cited other areas that will benefit from the German support as healthcare, blue economy, marine environmental management, good governance and housing.
In February 2015 before the breakdown of the relations, Zanzibar was host to the former President of Germany, Joachim Wilhelm Gauck during his six days state visit in Tanzania.
The former President emphasized in his speech that he came to Zanzibar as a learner and not as a pioneer and urged for more investments commitment to civil rights and the creation of an EU-style East African Union.
Germany with its capital Berlin in Central Europe, borders Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The administrative structure of the Germany is a federation of the Republic with 16 states in it and each state has a degree of autonomy.
The nation is currently under the leadership of President Frank-Walter Steinmeier since he took office in 2017.