SPEECH BY H.E. DR. ALI MOHAMED SHEIN, PRESIDENT OF ZANZIBAR AND CHAIRMAN OF THE REVOLUTIONARY COUNCIL ON THE OCCASION OF THE LAUNCHING OF THE ZANZIBAR JOINT PROGRAMME

SPEECH BY H.E. DR. ALI MOHAMED SHEIN, PRESIDENT OF

ZANZIBAR AND CHAIRMAN OF THE REVOLUTIONARY COUNCIL ON THE OCCASION OF THE LAUNCHING OF THE ZANZIBAR JOINT PROGRAMME (ZIP) - 28THAUGUST, 2018

 

 

Your Excellency, Ambassador Seif Ali Idd, Second Vice President of Zanzibar,

 

Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez, the United Nations Resident Coordinator to Tanzania;

 

Honourable Ministers;

 

Your Excellencies, Consul Generals in Zanzibar;

 

Head of UN Sub-Office Zanzibar;

 

Heads of UN Agencies in Zanzibar;

 

Distinguished Guests;

 

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

 

 

GOOD MORNING! And ASSALAMU ALEYKUM!

 

 

 

Your Excellencies,

 

It is with great pleasure and honor having this wonderful opportunity to stand, before you, on behalf of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar on the occasion of the official launching of the newly formulated and a much-awaited Zanzibar Joint Programme (ZIP). We highly thank Your Excellency, the United

 

Nations Resident Coordinator to Tanzania for inviting us to share with you this important and jubilant moment.

I would like to commend all partners who have worked with the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar officials and other stakeholders to design the programme which I believe, among other issues, will contribute towards meeting the goals set in the SDGs, the African Union Agenda 2063, Zanzibar’s Vision 2020, MKUZA III as well as other national strategic development plans.

Our special appreciation should also be accorded to Madam Aine Mushi, Non-Resident UN Agencies Coordination Specialist who coordinates the UN System in Zanzibar together with the entire UN team in Zanzibar for their great performance and commitment that are clearly evident in the close cooperation and flourishing relations between the United Nations and Zanzibar. It is our hope that this favourable climate of relationship and the mood of cooperation will continue to grow to new heights. We are also grateful to the UN Sub-Office in Zanzibar for playing a major role in supporting the Zanzibar development endeavours. May I request the entire United Nations System to accept our sincere appreciation and gratitude for the on-going support that has been beneficial to us for many years and in many ways.

 

Certainly, we have enjoyed the UN support several years back. However, due to time constraint, it will be hard to enumerate and elaborate all the UN development support projects and other initiatives that have been undertaken to improve the lives of the people of Zanzibar and the United Republic of Tanzania in general. In Kiswahili, we have a common adage that says: “MwenyeMacho haambiwi tazama”. It means, one who has eyes doesnot need to be told to look at things which are obvious to see and understand. Hence, in this case, it is suffice to mention that the UN has remained steadfast in its support of the Government plans to improve education, health, infrastructure, gender equality, good governance, environment; and many other sectors. We say thanks to all the UN agencies for the support they provide to us. Let me reiterate our commitment to work closely and productively with the UN agencies to ensure that, together, we achieve our mission and vision to improve the well- being of the people of Zanzibar and the United Republic of Tanzania in general.

 

 

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The establishment of UN Sub-Office in Zanzibar, spearheaded the implementation of the UN supported projects. The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and its people recognize the excellent work done by the United Nations Agencies in the Islands. As part

 

of the United Republic of Tanzania, Zanzibar is dedicated to implementing the UN reforms and International commitments. Similarly, it is encouraging to understand that the UN team in Zanzibar has been working jointly with the Government in a number of programmes areas and supports initiatives to ensure maximum delivery and results, as I mentioned earlier. The key collaborative areas include education, HIV and AIDS, support to the development of the Zanzibar Strategy for Poverty Reduction and Growth (MKUZA) and Joint Programmes for Capacity Building for Zanzibar.

 

 

 

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

In 2016, I had a discussion with the United Nations Resident Coordinator and the Heads of the United Nations Agencies in the United Republic of Tanzania when they paid a courtesy call on me at the State House. We discussed the UN's Joint Programme 5 (JP5) which was implemented during the Delivering as One Project in its pilot phase. Indeed, the JP5 improved the capacities in service delivery of Government institutions in Zanzibar. We

 

also discussed the key challenges that are still hampering development efforts in Zanzibar. I have had the same discussion with the visiting Executive Directors from FAO, UNIDO and

 

UNAIDS to mention a few. I note with appreciation that the Zanzibar Joint Programme is the fruit of such discussions.

 

 

The significance of the Zanzibar Joint Programme lies in the fact that it’s formulation is based on the lesson learnt from the JP5, United Nations Development Assistance Plan Phase One and Phase Two ((UNDAP I and UNDAP II) as well as from the intensive consultations with key Government ministries, departments and agencies.

 

 

I understand that the current Zanzibar Joint Programme is focusing on Maternal and New Born Health (MNH); Ending Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC); Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE); and Enhancing Institutional capacities for SDG and MKUZA III coordination, monitoring and reporting. From what has been said earlier by the preceding speakers, it is clear that this newly launched programme is not a replication of the (Joint Programme 5 (JP5), rather it is a four year programme (2018-2021) responding to the current development challenges and pertinent needs of the people of Zanzibar, thus building on the UNDAP1 which ended in 2016. It is indeed aligned to MKUZA III and Zanzibar Vision 2020.

 

The choice of interventions in Zanzibar through the Joint Programme which is being launched now, is well thought of in relation to MKUZA III, the SDGS and the Vision 2020, in the sense that all the areas pose pressing problems to the Government, and hence require urgent joint efforts to resolve them. For instance, continuing affirmative actions have to be employed to ensure that equal and unimpeded access is being offered to women and girls to enjoy their educational, health care and resource utilization rights; as well as socio-political and economic freedom like men and boys. I, therefore, would like to take this opportunity to commend your initiatives in giving a new impetus on joint efforts that would ultimately change the lives of Women, Men, Youth and Children in Zanzibar.

 

 

You’re Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Whenever I get a chance to address the Zanzibar Civil Servants, I have been reiterating the strong need to change our mindsets and think out of the box, thus moving away from the stereo-type attitude of doing business as usual. With the advancement of science and technology that cuts across most of our domains of work, there is ample room to re-adjust ourselves by using our talents and strengths to ignite creativity. Our Development partners are always there to give a helping hand where it is

 

relevant and appropriate to their areas of interest as per their strategic plans. However, we should not wait for them to tell us what to do, but instead we request their assistance out of our own needs and demands that we have meticulously thought of and planned. It needs an open-minded management in our institutions in order to initiate creative culture in our work places. Apart from all the development initiatives that the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar in collaboration with our UN agencies partners have introduced through the corresponding ministry, we still have to adequately empower (through sensitization and promotion) our people, particularly the youth and women to run entrepreneurship activities efficiently and enthusiastically. So let us together, grasp this opportunity effectively to produce amazing results for the benefit of our people.

 

 

It is obvious that Zanzibar is faced with myriad of challenges in many areas that include poverty reduction, sustainable energy, disaster risk reduction, Gender mainstreaming, food security, water and sanitation, to mention a few. Yet, we are all bound by a desire to make our Zanzibar Islands, a friendly and a wholesome place to live, in harmony with nature. Hence, this launching of the UN-Zanzibar Joint Programmed is a unique opportunity for the UN

 

System and Zanzibar to discuss and propose solutions for addressing such challenges.

 

 

Importantly, I also acknowledge that the Zanzibar Joint Programmed is going to be implemented not only by the Government institutions but also the Civil Society Organizations, Private sector and other non-state actors. The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar is looking forward to this partnership which is also echoed in the implementation of the SDGs and the Africa Union Agenda 2063. We will work together to strengthen systems that will facilitate the realization of these important goals towards the attainment of long-lasting positive outcomes for our people. If well implemented, the programmed will substantially reduce the high poverty levels in Zanzibar; curb violence against women and children; reduce gender disparities in socio-economic opportunities; reduce levels of maternal and new-born deaths in Zanzibar; as well as enhance institutional and human resource capacities in formulating informed policies and decisions.

 

 

You’re Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Despite the huge successes attained in MDG’s targets worldwide, progress has been uneven across regions and countries, including Zanzibar and the United Republic of Tanzania in general. Gender

 

inequality still persists, big gaps exist between the poorest and richest households, and between rural and urban areas, climate change and environmental degradation undermine progress achieved, and poor people suffer the most. On the other hand, conflicts remain the biggest threat to human development and millions of poor people still live in poverty and hunger, without access to basic services. It is true that MDG’s goals made poverty history for hundreds of millions of people. UN should be poised to continue the job while reaching higher, broader and deeper as the new SDG’s framework does not just add goals. It weaves the goals together, with human rights, the rule of law and women’s empowerment as crucial parts of an integrated whole.

 

 

You’re Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The 70thSession of the General Assembly has ended with remarkable achievements; such as the adoption of 2030 Agenda that include the 17 inspiring Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) with clear objectives, vision and mission; an end to extreme poverty by 2030; a life of peace and dignity for all. However, the document (2030 Agenda), needs translation of those promises contained on the paper into real changes on the ground.

 

We are here to launch the Zanzibar Joint Programmed. I would like to commit my Government, the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar, for maximum engagement and support to make this programmed work effectively to achieve sustainable results and to grasp the many social and economic opportunities that will contribute to the wellbeing of all the people of Zanzibar. We will also work together, where appropriate, to mobilize resources required for its implementation.

 

I would like to emphasize that, the implementation of this joint programmed is not going to be business as usual. I would like to see less of workshops but more on actions that will eventually enhance national capacities and provide sustained results. We should bear in mind that money alone cannot accomplish our well-planned and highly determined development activities, if we would not take seriously the interplay of other crucial factors. I am expecting high level of accountability, transparency and commitment from all implementing partners and stakeholders. I would like to commit myself to fast-track its implementation, and expect to receive annual reports on progress made towards results. Particularly, I would like to see strong institutions with the commitment and capacity to implement, coordinate and report on national and global development agenda. If there are

 

challenges let us solve them together. Let us be focused and work together, I believe it can be done if we all play our part.

 

 

It is of equal importance to note that our country, the United Republic of Tanzania, has volunteered to report on the implementation of the SDGs at the relevant international forums. This Joint Programmed is therefore going to empower our two Governments to effectively handle international as well as national reporting. We cannot do without reporting because it is the channel that makes all the players in the project aware of the successes reached the stumbling blocks and how to remove them out of the way.

 

 

Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

On behalf of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar and the people of Zanzibar, I would like to reiterate that Zanzibar is very grateful to the development cooperation that has existed for many decades between the two sides. In view of this, I would like to briefly recall and acknowledge the remarkable UN work that was accomplished several decades ago and later recently in the case of malaria in Zanzibar. The history of malaria infection in Zanzibar during the period of the early 1960s was terrible. However, through the support of UNICEF and WHO in 1963,

 

Zanzibar almost managed to eradicate malaria coming to a prevalence rate of less than one percent.

 

 

Later, in 1980s, the situation unfortunately, reverted and malaria infection cases evolved at a higher rate reaching to over 30 percent of the hospitalized victims from the Out Patient Department (OPD). That was disastrous. Today the story is different. According to the Ministry of Health Authorities, the prevalence rate is nearing zero percent.

 

 

Regarding this tremendous improvement, therefore, I would like to once again express my immense gratitude to all the UN Agencies, some of whose representatives are here today, as well as other institutions like the Clinton Foundation for assisting us in successfully fighting malaria, thus making its eradication possible. We are now in a better position as far as the major problem of malaria endemic is concerned.

 

 

We would also like to acknowledge the UN Agencies’ support in training a number of scholars in Zanzibar as a means of building our professional working capacities. Our compliments in this regard go to the WHO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNDP and other UN Agencies. The UNFPA in particular, has also supported us in

 

Family Planning Initiatives at the time I was a Deputy Minister for Health and a great deal of work was done.

 

 

I would like once again to express our special appreciation to Mr. Alvaro Rodriguez, United Nations Resident Coordinator to Tanzania and your entire team for your commitment to strengthening cooperation and growing relations between the United Nations System and Zanzibar.

 

 

With these few words, I declare that the UN-Zanzibar Joint Programme is officially launched.

 

 

Thank You for Your Attention.

 

Ahsanteni sana.