Hereunder is what I had mentioned to you about 2 years ago when I returned from my workshop on Folktales during ZIFF festival of the Dhow Countries, the year ZIORI was born, and then put on paper which I circulated to a few for their input. I am glad Yussuf and you and the others are aiming at the same thing:
Transfer of Technology and Best Practices to Zanzibar by Zanzibaris in Diaspora
The President of Zanzibar recently mentioned to the Tanzanian ambassadors that they were in a good position to help the government reach its goals by sharing the experiences they see in foreign countries and teach Tanzanians the best practices for advancing agriculture. I propose to take it further. We need to cover as many areas as possible. The ambassadors may not be experts in the area concerned. Hence besides agriculture, we should consider tourism, small scale industries, canning, financing small businesses, education, retaining and promoting culture, delivery of medical services, insurance, power generation and others. We have Zanzibaris who have lived and worked abroad and are now retired. They return to their birthplace as tourists and for nostalgia. I am sure when asked, they will be more than happy to offer their expertise and experience to our beloved Islands. Hereunder, I have put together some of my thoughts:
Zanzibar is poised to take off in the 21st Century. Utilize local talent to achieve its goals. Identify areas of concern. Invite retired Zanzibaris from Diaspora to contribute towards its progress. Study the present status. Compare with past experience and present practices. Recommend best practices suited to Zanzibar. Conduct annual review. Once the areas to be tackled are identified, we identify Zanzibaris who have worked in the field abroad and are willing to offer their services. The mode of identification has to be charted out. I have a few names, especially those I had gone to school with in Zanzibar. When the right candidates are confirmed, they may be asked to come to Zanzibar at the same time. The participants may be offered airfare and accommodation. They may be given accommodation in Government Quarters. I do not think they will ask for remuneration. I am sure they will be honoured and excited to be asked to contribute their expertise and plough back into their country of birth.
Duration of study:
About 4 weeks preferably in July to coincide with the Dhow Festival. And the weather is amenable at that time.
Source of funding:
Donor countries and organizations such as CIDA interested in promoting self sufficiency and capacity building in the “Third World” countries could be approached. The contribution by Zanzibar will be accommodation and transportation locally.
Week 1: Acquaint with the Ministry concerned and know the key players.
Week 2: Study the activities of areas of concern.
Week 3: Float suggestions. Identify areas of improvement with the personnel in the Ministry.
Week 4: Implement some of the suggestions. Meeting and sharing observations amongst the retirees from abroad together with policy makers. Both parties maintain contact over a year and review achievement at the end of it.
I would love to be part of the project in whatever capacity needed especially in education and culture and facilitating the project as well.
Muhammad Yussuf: In my humble opinion, the Zanzibar Institute for Research on Public Policy – a non profit-making think-tank – shall be established with the objective of conducting research on major political, social and economic issues of Zanzibar as well as the economic and cooperative relationship between Zanzibar and the neighbouring states, particularly, the Mainland Tanzania.
Independent Nature of the Institute
The Institute shall not be affiliated with any political party or political organization, nor shall participate in political or electoral campaigns, nor shall nominate or endorse candidates for elections. No member of the Institute shall be allowed to run in any elections under the name of the Institute. Staff of the Institute shall not be allowed to take part in election campaigns or elections activities sponsored by political parties.
Zanzibar is an integral part of Tanzania and, therefore, the two should strive to work together for prosperity and development. The Institute may wish to uphold the principles of “One Country Two Systems”: High autonomy for Zanzibar; Zanzibari people ruling Zanzibar; Zanzibar should work incessantly for its own good; develop its own community and maintain close links with the international community; keep in mind the overall and long-term interests of Zanzibar; respect and defend the rights and interests of individual groups. The Institute shall recognize also that public policy should be laid down with due consideration of knowledge, research, open discussion and public participation. Respect public opinion: recognizes the importance of mass media in influencing public policy. Public policy research should be done independently, objectively and constructively in order to put forward proposals and suggestions on political, economic and social issues. Research findings should be open to public scrutiny when appropriate. The Institute shall participate in the making of the public policy, organize and take part in the discussions of public policy with open mind. The Institute shall strive to become a highly esteemed and respectable opinion think-tank in an open, pluralistic and knowledge-based society.
The Governing Board of the Institute shall be responsible for setting the basic policy of the Institute. The Executive Office shall be responsible for planning and execution of the Institute’s programme of work. The Institute shall also invite individuals of social standing to form an Advisory Council to provide opinion on its operation. Administrative responsibilities shall be taken up by a team of full-time salaried staff. Initially, its pool of research staff shall be recruited locally, including Zanzibari graduates from the Zanzibar and Mainland universities and/or other institutions of higher learning; and from Zanzibaris living overseas on a voluntary basis.
Other than research work, the Institute shall sponsor academic and professional research projects. Where appropriate, it shall collaborate with experts, academic institutions and professional organizations. Diverse opinion from experts of various fields and professions shall be solicited and received with due consideration in researches and making policy proposals. The Institute shall be working closely with academic institutions as well as commercial and industrial institutions in conducting studies related to economic development and government policies of Zanzibar. The Institute shall strive to maintain important links and working relationship with policy research institutes on the Mainland and shall regularly organize joint seminars, workshops and talks to foster, among local business, better understanding of both the Union and Zanzibar Government policies; as well as to promote social, economic, commercial and academic exchanges between Zanzibar and the Mainland. The Institute shall submit its research findings and recommendations to the Zanzibar Government and/or to other Governments and organizations interested in the results. Research findings involving public interest shall, for the most part, open to public scrutiny, where pertinent and constructive criticisms shall seriously be taken into account.
Areas of Work
The Institute shall primarily, though not exclusively, concentrate on the following five areas:
1. The Political, Economic and Social Development of Zanzibar;
2. The Theory and Implementation of the Concept of “One Country Two Systems”;
3. The Social, Economic and Political Relationship Between Zanzibar and Tanzania Mainland in Particular and the Neighbouring States of East African Community including Mauritius, Sychelles, the Comoros and Madagascar in general;
4. The Promotion of the Intellectual and Cultural Exchanges in the above-mentioned topics; and
5. The Promotion of the Research Findings of the Institute.
To assist in researches and encourage intellectual exchanges, the Institute shall hold seminars and conferences. Scholars and experts from the Mainland and abroad shall be invited to share their opinions, insights and research findings for the benefits of all. In addition, the Institute shall organize reciprocal visits and study tours for academics and for the business sectors between Zanzibar and the Mainland on regular basis with the view to cultivating deeper understanding of the political, social and economic conditions of both communities.
The Institute shall publish its own research findings for public circulation. It shall also seek to publish related studies by other experts and scholars.
The Institute shall maintain a library and a data bank that provides easy access to reference books, newspaper clippings, and other type of information. It shall strive to have a conference room with a capacity of at least 40-50 people for seminars and discussions. The Institute shall strive to assist and sponsor visiting scholars and experts from the Mainland and abroad for both long-term and short-term research work/studies at the Institute.