Zanzibar

  1. BreakingZanzibar elects new president

    Hussein Mwinyi pictured in CCM party colours in August 2020.
    Image caption: Hussein Mwinyi is the son of a former president from the same political party

    The ruling CCM party's presidential candidate in Zanzibar, Hussein Mwinyi, has been declared the winner with 76% of the vote.

    His rival Maalim Seif Sharif was arrested while trying to vote on Tuesday before being released hours later.

    Mr Mwinyi is the son of a former president from the same party.

    Zanzibar has a history of contested polls, including in 2015 when they were annulled for not being free and fair. The opposition boycotted the re-run and the CCM party's candidate was declared the winner.

    Ali Mohammed Shein is now stepping down after serving two five-year terms in office.

  2. Video content

    Video caption: How Zanzibar's boat men are surviving the pandemic

    Hajib Mwalimu and other boat men in Zanzibar have been severely affected by the pandemic.

  3. Zanzibar confirms first coronavirus case

    Sammy Awami

    BBC News, Dar es Salaam

    A beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania
    Image caption: At least 80% of Zanzibar’s annual foreign income comes from tourism

    Tanzania's semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar has confirmed its first case of coronavirus, the East African nation's Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa says.

    Another new case of the virus had been recorded on the mainland, in the main city of Dar es Salaam, bringing the country's overall total to three, he said.

    Nearly 500,000 tourists usually travel to Zanzibar each year to enjoy its beaches and rich historical culture.

    But the archipelago's economy has already been hard hit by cancellations caused by tourists' fears about the pandemic.

    At least 80% of Zanzibar’s annual foreign income comes from tourism.

    More on coronavirus:

    Video content

    Video caption: Coronavirus: Watch how germs spread
  4. Zanzibar tourism hit by coronavirus fears

    Sammy Awami

    BBC News, Zanzibar

    Tourists sunbath on deckchair at an hotel on Nungwi Beach, on the island of Zanzibar
    Image caption: At least 80% of Zanzibar’s annual foreign income comes from tourism

    Tanzania's semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar has not had any confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

    Yet its economy has been hard hit by tourists' fears about the pandemic, with reports of hotel cancellations after the government suspended direct flights from Italy.

    At least 80% of Zanzibar’s annual foreign income comes from tourism but the government is looking at boosting investment in other sectors, such as fishing and agriculture, to mitigate the economic blow.

    Zanzibar’s scenery and rich historical culture bring close to 500,000 tourists to the island every year.

    But there have been some changes recently - which are quite noticeable in certain parts of the capital, Stone Town.

    The sidewalks that are usually bustling with tourists have become much quieter in the last few days. Many here fear this could be part of a slowing down in tourism that this island expects.

    Several hotels in Zanzibar have already received cancellations, especially from group bookings. Abdulaziz Yusuf, manager at the Tembo Hotel, says:

    Quote Message: It’s going to affect us a lot because we really rely on tourism. The Italian market is a big market but in general tourism is the backbone of Zanzibar, so we are going to lose a lot."

    Financing for at least 60% of the island’s budget comes from the tourism sector.

    "We have to improve our agriculture system now using beautiful rains that we have, we have to improve our fishing industry, so that we don’t depend on tourism anymore because of this risk which may happen anytime again," Zanzibar’s Health Minister Hamad Rashid says.

    The ministry has put in place measures to help prevent a coronavirus outbreak.

    Mr Rashid adds:

    Quote Message: We have 192 primary health centres [with staff] trained to look for symptoms. We do screen and talk to business people who travel to China. It’s a small area, so it’s very easy to control."
  5. Why seaweed farming in Zanzibar is important

    Video content

    Video caption: Seaweed farming in Zanzibar

    Here's an interesting video about seaweed.

    Yes, seaweed - it is increasingly becoming Zanzibar's big export.

    Seaweed export earnings rose from $3.7m in March 2018, to $3.9m in March 2019, according to the Bank of Tanzania.

    About 90% of seaweed farmers are women and demand for seaweed is largely being driven by the global skincare market, which is projected to reach $180bn by 2024.

  6. Video content

    Video caption: Seaweed farming in Zanzibar

    Seaweed farming is on the rise in Zanzibar due to exploding demand from the global skincare market.

  7. Anti-malaria drones to spray silicon film over Zanzibar fields

    Rice field in Zanzibar
    Image caption: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water that sits on rice fields

    Scientists plan to use drones to spray silicon film over rice fields in Zanzibar to see if it stops the spread of malaria.

    The rice fields collect stagnant water, which is where malaria-carrying mosquitoes lay their eggs.

    The researchers from Radboud University in The Netherlands will monitor whether the film will prevent anopheles mosquitoes' eggs from hatching by blocking the larvae from attaching to the surface of the water.

    The researchers told Reuters news agency that they chose Tanzania's semi-autonomous archipelago to test the idea because of their progressive drone regulations.

    The tests are at an early stage. After the trial, the researchers aim to publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals before testing it again across the continent.

  8. Video content

    Video caption: Maryam Hamdani: 'I taught myself to play taarab music online'

    Maryam Mohammed Hamdani says she is the first woman to play taarab in public in Zanzibar.

  9. A contemporary take on traditional Tarab music

    Video content

    Video caption: Siti, Rahma and Gore are in high demand in Zanzibar

    Siti, Rahma and Gore are in high demand in Zanzibar

  10. Tanzania's opposition unite against 'The Bulldozer'

    Tanzanian opposition leaders in Zanzibar
    Image caption: The opposition leaders said their meeting was historic

    Tanzania's six main political parties have agreed to work together to fight rising "authoritarianism" in the country.

    After a two-day meeting on the island of Zanzibar, leaders and top officials of the parties issued a joint statement criticising President John Magufuli for overseeing what they said was a repressive government that branded critics as "unpatriotic traitors".

    Mr Magufuli, nicknamed "The Bulldozer", came to power in 2015 and was initially praised for his anti-corruption stance, but critics have since accused him of growing intolerance.

    His government has banned some media organisations for what it deems as their anti-government coverage and harassed opposition leaders and activists.

    The opposition statement, issued on Tuesday, said:

    Quote Message: The historic meeting here in Zanzibar is a reflection of the extent to which the democratic and human rights situation in our country has changed, thereby leading to unprecedented actions on our side in response."

    It also highlighted the banning of parliament proceedings coverage and the curbing of opposition activities:

    Quote Message: "The situation is no longer tolerable. Enough is enough!"

    The opposition leaders said two of their colleagues, one in jail and another in hospital after an assassination attempt, supported their statement.

    Next year would be a time to reclaim "our democracy and taking back our powers and rights as enshrined in the constitution", the statement added.

    To do this the leaders said they planned to hold public rallies across Tanzania and said the government should take them to court if it thought their activities were unlawful.

  11. Video content

    Video caption: Zanzibar teenager on playing taarab music on the violin

    Zanzibari teenager Neema Florence Surrie explains why she loves to play traditional taarab music.

  12. Video content

    Video caption: Bohemian Rhapsody singer Freddie Mercury's roots on Zanzibar

    As the rock legend gets the Hollywood treatment, his childhood in Zanzibar is a chapter unknown to many.