Business and Investment Climate
Zanzibar fosters a very stable and predictable fiscal regime, which recognizes the importance of business companies to recover investment cost prior to the payment of corporate tax. It also offers lucrative incentive packages to strategic investors.
Investments in Zanzibar are constitutionally protected, as well as through international conventions, of which Zanzibar being a constituting part of the United Republic of Tanzania is a member of Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank. Also, Tanzania is a signatory to the Convention of Recognition and Enforcement Arbitration Award, and a member of International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Contractual rights are guaranteed by the law of contract whereby mechanism for settlement of disputes through arbitration and judicial process are clearly stipulated.
There is ample hardworking, energetic and dynamic work force to serve investment projects. While investors are encouraged to set their own competitive compensation packages, labour laws and regulations are in place.
Acquisition of Land
Land in Zanzibar is owned by the Government. It can be acquired by lease of up to 99 years for investment projects depending on type and value of investment. Acquisition of Land outside Free Economic Zones is undertaken by the Commission for Land (COLA) through the Department of Lands and Registration. However, the signing of a lease agreement with COLA is subjected to approval of investment project by ZIPA. The indicative land rates in US$ per hectare click here
Acquisition of Land in the Free Economic zones
Acquisition of Land at Free Zone Area is undertaken by ZIPA. The authority as a custodian of Free Zones readily offers lease plots in the zones to potential investors. The indicative land rates in USD per square metre per year click here
Zanzibar (Unguja) is connected to the national (Mainland Tanzania) power grid through underwater submarine cables with a capacity of 150MW. It has also standby generators with capacity of 25MW. Likewise, her sister island of Pemba is connected through submarine cable from Tanga (Mainland Tanzania) with a capacity of 20MW and has standby diesel oil –run generators with a capacity of 5MW. The applicable current is 220V, which conforms to British standards. The cost of electricity in United States dollars (US$) per KWH click here
Zanzibar has adequate water reserves for industrial and household use. Minimum infrastructure is still needed to ensure water supply reaches every part of the Islands. The commercial rate is US$ 1 per cubic meter.
Telecommunication system in Zanzibar is excellent, both for local and international calls. Mobile phone technology is available and most advanced. The country is well served by the main 6 telecommunication companies operating not only in United Republic of Tanzania but also in the East African Region and beyond. These are TTCL, ZANTEL, HALOTEL, TIGO, VODACOM and AIRTEL. The rates are reasonable. Internet services are also available at very competitive rates.
Zanzibar has about 1,600 kilometers of roads, of which 85 percent are tarmacked or semi-tarmacked. Most of investment areas are covered by tarmac roads. The remaining (15%) are earth roads, which are rehabilitated annually to make them passable throughout the year.
Zanzibar has two major airports, one in Unguja (International Airport) and the other one in Pemba. The International airport has been handling large passenger planes since 2012 as a result an increase in passenger and cargo inflows and outflows has been experienced. With the new passenger terminal, the airport is expected to serve about 1.5 million passengers per year from early 2018. Pemba airport is for domestic and light weight flights from neighboring countries.
There are five sea ports in Zanzibar, all operated and managed by the Zanzibar Ports corporation. The main port at Malindi handles 90 percent of Zanzibar's trade, followed by Mkoani port at Pemba. The other ports are Wete, Mkokotoni and Wesha. Plans are under way to establish a hub port at Mpigaduri area in Zanzibar. This new initiative is expected to expand opportunities in re-export business.
Local, regional and international financial institutions offer a wide range of services in Zanzibar. The People’s Bank of Zanzibar, Barclays Bank, Tanzania Postal Bank, Bank of Africa, Diamond Trust, Equity Bank, and Exim Bank are among the reputable banks that have set businesses in Zanzibar. In addition, there are various insurance companies and a number of bureau de change outlets that offer service to interested customers.