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.