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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 
Zanzibar grapples to fill population increase
and economic growth gap

ARUSHA, Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzania’s semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago is grappling to fill the existing gap between population increase rate and economic growth, a senior official said on Sunday.

Khalid Salum, Zanzibar Minister for Finance and Planning said the situation makes the war against poverty alleviation difficult as it requires the economy to grow by 10 percent to address the challenge.

He described the current population increase rate as the main challenge thwarting the economic growth of the archipelago, which has been home to humans for at least 20,000 years, which was the beginning of the Later Stone Age.

Comparing with population growth in Tanzania Mainland which is at 2.8 percent, the official said that the population growth in Zanzibar is at 3.1 percent.

“Based on these rates, population growth for Zanzibar is above our GDP,” the minister said when speaking at the meeting for government institutions involved in investments in the Indian Ocean islands.

“We’re struggling to bridge this gap. The growth of the economy is too slow compared with the population increase rate,” the minister said.

Figures show that economy was growing at 4.8 percent annually for Tanzania in general; official data indicates that in Zanzibar the economic growth slumped to 0.4 percent against a target of 5 percent.

           

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