The Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar has committed to achieve socio-economic transformation through political development, eradication of abject poverty and attainment of sustainable human development for the people of Zanzibar (Vision 2020). In year 2000 the Vision set a target of attaining a sustainable economic growth of 7% – 8% annually by the year 2010 and 9% – 10% by the year 2020.

Within the Vision, there is a clearly defined role of the government including: enhancing competence and providing leadership through public policy for stability, continuity and predictability of the environment in which socio-economic decisions are taking place. In addition, the Vision assigned the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar the role of widening the contribution of the private sector and capital investment portfolio of the country.

Between the year 2000 and 2015, three quarters down the road, the economy of Zanzibar has grown at an average annual rate of 3.96% (National Accounts Main Aggregates Database, 2017). Although progress has been made, growth has fallen short of the targets set by the Vision 2020, especially considering that population has grown at around 2.9% annually.

Various factors have contributed to the insufficient performance, some are internal but others are external to the Government. Three quarters down the road, a review of the Vision is a sensible thing to do; including an evaluation of the performance of the government in facilitating the achievement of the Vision. Has the government performed its role as pictured in the Vision? What factors have affected government performance during the last fifteen years? Are there changes, internal and external that call for a redefinition of the role of the government? Are there successful global practices that Zanzibar can borrow from and realistically implement?

Based on the aforementioned, UONGOZI Institute, in collaboration with the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar through the Ministry of Finance and Planning, will organise a high-level roundtable dialogue to deliberate on the performance of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar as a developmental state and how to best participate to fast-track achievement of the Vision 2020.

The dialogue will draw on regional and international expertise to share experiences and lessons. The forum participants will include senior public officials, business-men and -women, academicians and civil society leaders to ensure that discussions and debates are rich and well informed.

Objective

The objective of this roundtable dialogue is to garner a shared understanding of the requisites of a contemporary effective developmental state, using the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar as a case. In line with this, among others, the dialogue will cover the following issues:

  • The developmental role of the state in developing countries: lessons from other experiences
  • Capacities required for an effective developmental state
  • Opportunities and challenges for the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar

The one-day roundtable discussion will take place on 12th July, 2018 in Zanzibar.