Statement by Mr. Muhammad Yussuf, the Acting Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Zanzibar Institute for Research and Public Policy on the occasion of the Handing-over Ceremony of Certificate of Registration held at Tembo Hotel on Thursday 2 April 2009 at 11.00 AM
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
First of all let me take this opportunity to express, on behalf of ZIRPP, our sincere thanks and gratitude to you all for having accepted our invitation to attend this important and historic gathering. I would also like to extend special thanks to the Registrar of Societies, Mr. Abdulla Waziri, for being here, despite his heavy schedule, for the purpose of handing-over the certificate of registration of our institute. I must say that by doing this, the Registrar has no doubt exhibited a gesture of tremendous goodwill on his part by which we are highly appreciative and increasingly touched.
Having said so, let me now quickly turn to examining the reason that compelled all of us to be here this morning. As you are all aware, Zanzibar has, over the years, been able to produce a good number of highly educated individuals who are residing both in and outside of Zanzibar. Recognizing that Zanzibar’s greatest asset is in these Zanzibaris’ intellectual capabilities and specific skills that they collectively possess in various fields of knowledge and specializations; and that they are fully equipped with a broad analytical background in the major fields of international affairs; along with an international focus that include Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East; it is therefore, incumbent upon all of us to bear in mind that such an important and huge pool of human resources capability can be put to good use by providing exposure of research evidence to policy-makers, the public in general, with the aim of assisting the government of Zanzibar in the area of public policy.
It is therefore, within the context of these ends that a small group of dedicated Zanzibaris has resolved to combine their collective efforts to accomplish these objectives for the well-being of the people of Zanzibar in particular and Tanzania in general.
Accordingly, we have duly exhibited our collective resolve and agreed to the spirit and the letter of the present Charter and do hereby establish a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) to be known as ZANZIBAR INSTITUTE FOR RESEARCH AND PUBLIC POLICY (ZIRPP) that will function as a think-tank, consultancy and research-to-policy-based Institute.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
There is no doubt that the establishment of such an institution must have concrete aims and objectives for which it has been established in the first place. The Institute shall, therefore, mobilize un-tapped human resources of Zanzibaris from within Zanzibar and in the Diaspora through the transfer of technology and best practices and by means of sharing of experiences in advancing and promoting the following program areas, aims and objectives:
1. The Institute shall seek to bring together the scattered Zanzibari human resources with the objective of building a sustainable environment for research-to-policy activities and make a direct contribution to the overall development of Zanzibar.
2. The Institute shall explore and explicitly seek insight into the core challenges facing Zanzibaris in particular and Tanzanians in general in matters pertaining to unemployment, drug abuse, infant mortality; as well as to facilitate and create awareness on the dangers and prevention of HIV/AIDS pandemic; environmental degradation; public health, deteriorating educational standards, haphazard urban development, as well as creating awareness on the above-mentioned challenges and help to facilitate knowledge-based strategies aimed at effecting the proper planning of education.
3. As an important conduit and a main bridge between Zanzibaris in Zanzibar, in the Diaspora, and the Zanzibar Government, the Institute shall facilitate national policy setting agenda in all public policy areas or activities. In doing so, the Institute shall strive to create exposure of research results evidence to policy-makers and the public at large by providing support to the government, the civil society and the private sector in setting a research-based national policy agenda. The Institute shall strive to brand Zanzibar as a regional leader and an international conference hub for research-to-policy studies as well as publish and disseminate research results to create awareness among the public and promote international understanding of Zanzibar’s public policy perspectives.
More importantly, the Institute shall also strive to accomplish the following specific research-to-policy based short and long-term objectives:
a) Hold conferences as well as creating a Website that will respectively bring together and connect Zanzibari human resources from Zanzibar and from the Diaspora.
b) Create a ZIRPP Archive On-Line for policy-makers and researchers with gateways to major links such as the Zanzibar Human Resources Database of Zanzibari scholars and intellectuals in Zanzibar, Tanzania Mainland and the Diaspora.
c) Create a forum and a program of activities in Zanzibar where policy-makers and researchers can meet and exchange ideas and understanding; as well as conducting, publishing research and encouraging the development of expertise and capacity-building on issues and topics relevant or related to Zanzibar’s public policy choices with the view to identifying problems and finding solutions through an informed decision-making process.
d) Prepare policy inputs on public policy issues to Government, as requested by Government, subject to funding and which are sensitive to the ethics of research and ownership of research results.
e) Prepare, through training, the Zanzibari Members of Parliament and House of Representatives respectively and create a library for the legislators for the purpose of promoting policy-to-research awareness.
f) Train researchers on how to write research-to-policy proposals and to apply for research-to-policy grants and funding organizations; as well as branding the Institute as a research-to-policy center of excellence for students of higher education, government officials and/or anyone who wishes to be enrolled from his/her place of learning and/or work.
g) Coordinate and facilitate policy-related post-graduate research and studies and/or any other studies for Zanzibar’s development within Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa and the world over; as well as serving as an international center of excellence upon which both local and international researchers, media, government institutions and corporate sector can rely for expertise on the complexities and dynamics of socio-economic and political development of Zanzibar, Tanzania, East and Central Africa, Africa and the world in general.
h) Conduct specific seminars and workshops designed or aimed at improving management styles of Zanzibari executives in particular and bureaucrats in general with the view to attaining greater co-ordination between various institutions of the Zanzibar Government.
i) Identify and ensure that competent Zanzibaris who have lived and worked abroad, and who have retired and are willing to offer their expertise, experiences and services, do return to their birthplace for the purpose of contributing towards the progress and economic development of Zanzibar in the above-mentioned program areas.
j) Negotiate directly with the Government of Zanzibar on the terms and conditions of service for the Zanzibari experts, i.e., their schedule, timing and duration of their stay and the possible provision of local accommodation and transportation; as well as ensuring that, in the course of their stay in Zanzibar, the experts are duly acquainted with the officials from the Ministries concerned in order to identifying activities for improvement; as well as meeting and sharing observations and suggestions with policymakers.
k) Ensure that Zanzibari experts and the relevant personnel in the Ministries concerned maintain close contact over a year and review the progress and achievements at the end of each year.
l) Negotiate directly with the donor countries and organizations interested in promoting self-sufficiency and capacity-building in the Third World countries for funding with the view to offering airfare and provide accommodation to the selected participants.
m) For the purpose of assisting the Government of Zanzibar in minimizing the shortage of qualified experts in its various institutions, the Institute shall make official requests to foreign governments and/or International and Non-Governmental Organizations for funding in order to facilitate the possible recruitment or secondment and/or temporary borrowing of the services of individual experts of Zanzibari heritage living in the Diaspora who possess the necessary know-how and relevant expertise.
n) Through its numerous reports, articles, reviews, and newsletters, the Institute may propose reforms or make concrete recommendations it deems necessary to the competent organs of the Government.
o) The Institute shall discharge its duties in full independence and in the sole interest of satisfying itself that the policies that are being implemented by the Government are carried out not only in the best interest of members of the public, but also in the most efficient manner and that the optimum use is made of resources available in carrying out such policies and activities.
COLLABORATION WITH RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING
Any research institution or a think-tank cannot work in isolation and expect to be effective and efficient in its operations. Consequently, the Institute shall strive to link or twin with the universities and other institutions of higher learning in Zanzibar; such as the State University of Zanzibar (SUZA), Zanzibar University (ZU), Zanzibar Indian Ocean Research Institute (ZIORI); as well as universities in Tanzania Mainland, Kenya, Uganda, the Seychelles, Mauritius and in other parts of the world.
In the event where a ZIRPP-sponsored conference, seminar and/or workshop is held in Zanzibar, the Institute shall further strive to make maximum use of the conference rooms and teaching facilities available at SUZA, the University of Zanzibar, ZIORI and at any other institutions of higher learning for common ventures.
The Institute shall also strive to maintain close cooperation with other research-oriented think-tanks in Africa, America, Europe, South East Asia and the Middle East. Indeed, the Institute shall forge links with similar institutions throughout Tanzania and the world in general and maintain important links with research-to-policy institutes and individual researchers in East Africa and with organizations or Institutes that train students the know-how and the science of doing business with the objective of practically translating economic and educational policies to economic practices. The Institute shall also strive to establish a research Chair in Zanzibar universities in such program areas which the Institute deems capable of making the most/best contributions research-to-policy interface. The Institute shall aspire to forge partnerships and create active Memorandum of Understandings (MOUs) and exchange programs with research-to-policy organizations within the United Nations system and within the International Foundations throughout the world.
This Institute is a membership organization. Any individual who meets the following conditions and/or criteria may apply for membership to the Institute by duly filling in specially designed application forms to be provided by the Executive Office on demand and after paying a modest admission fee to be determined by the Governing Council for that particular purpose:
a) He/she must be a Zanzibari or of Zanzibari heritage;
b) He/she must be at least 18 years of age;
c) He/she must be of sound mind and submit an updated CV;
d) He/she must agree to the aims and objectives of the Institute;
Membership is also open to any non-Zanzibari individual who has conducted and/or undertaken the following work:
a) A specified amount of prior consultancy work on public policy matters on Zanzibar;
b) A specified amount of publications on public policy issues on Zanzibar;
c) A specified amount of any other research work related to public policy issues.
SOURCE OF FUNDS FOR THE INSTITUTE
Many of you may wish to know how the Institute will be financed and who are its main sources of funding. Firstly, the Institute’s expenses shall be borne by its members as apportioned by the General Assembly on a chapter basis. The Head of each chapter shall collect annual membership fees and other funds from all members of the Institute falling within his/her geographical jurisdiction and deposit such fees and funds directly to the Institute’s account(s) accordingly.
Secondly, on the recommendation of the Executive Director, the Governing Council shall consider and approve any financial arrangements with NGOs, Organizations of the United Nations system, donor countries and/or agencies without compromising the integrity and independence of the Institute.
Thirdly, the Institute shall also depend on the following sources of funding:
a) Consultancy fees;
b) Grants, endowments, contracts, and
c) Voluntary contributions from individual non-members of the Institute.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Let me conclude my statement by sharing with you some thought from my dear friend and colleague that I find it to be increasingly relevant to this occasion. In her article entitled: “The Difference between Rich and Poor Countries”, she wrote:
“Executives from rich countries who communicate with their counterparts in poor countries show that there is no significant intellectual difference. Race or skin color is also not important. Immigrants labeled as lazy in their countries of origin are the productive power in rich European countries. What is the difference then? The difference is the attitude of the people, framed along the years by the education and the culture. On analyzing the behavior of the people in rich and developed countries, we find that the great majority follow the following principles in their lives:
1. Ethics, as a basic principle.
4. Respect for the laws and rules.
5. Respect for the rights of other citizens.
6. Hard Working.
7. Strive for saving and investment.
8. Will of super action.
Unfortunately, in poor countries, only a minority follow these basic principles in their daily lives. Consequently, we are not poor because we lack natural resources or because nature was cruel to us. We are poor because we lack attitude. We lack the will to comply with and teach these functional principles of rich and developed societies to our youth of today”.
Perhaps, among other important undertakings, the Institute should also strive to do just that.
Thank you for your attention.