The revolution on January 12, 1964 brought to an end centuries of Arab dominance on the Zanzibar Archipelago which was earlier regarded as an overseas territory of Oman. Three months after the revolution, Zanzibar united with the then Tanganyika to form the United Republic of Tanzania.
Since then, the Zanzibaris and their brethren on the mainland have lived in peace and harmony. Under the leadership of the Afro-Shiraz Party (ASP) and later Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), the people of Zanzibar have made many achievements in various sectors.
Since the revolution, Zanzibar is now under the 6th Phase Government led by Dr Ali Mohamed Shein. Earlier leaders were Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume, Sheikh Aboud Jumbe, Mzee Ali Hassan Mwinyi, Dr Samin Amour and Dr Amani Abeid Karume. Despite several challenges, Zanzibar has been enjoying stable economic growth over the past 48 years dominated by tourism, trade and agricultural sectors, especially the clove industry.
President Shein recently expressed satisfaction with the pace of economic development since he took office in November 2010, promising that his government would employ more than 2,000 people during the 2011/2012 financial year. The Isles leader, however, appealed for hard work, commitment, and honesty, saying these are important tools for development and that his government will have zero tolerance for lazy people.
Earlier this month, Dr Shein reiterated his government’s commitment to the improvement of education at all levels. Another milestone is construction of new roads and upgrading others to tarmac level. The head of road construction and maintenance in Zanzibar’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Communication, Mr Tahir Fatawi, said last week that the Isles government targets to have 90 per cent of all roads in Unguja and Pemba to be upgraded to tarmac level by 2014.
He said currently 70 per cent of all roads in Zanzibar, about 700 km of which are in Unguja and the remaining 440km in Pemba, have been upgraded. All these are the fruits of the Revolution of 1964. We must all celebrate.