Feature: Rooted in deep friendship, China bolsters change in Zanzibar-Xinhua

Feature: Rooted in deep friendship, China bolsters change in Zanzibar

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-01-25 11:40:30

by Xinhua writers Hua Hongli, Lucas Liganga

ZANZIBAR, Tanzania, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Khalfan Juma, a young shop owner in the Kiembe Samaki area of the Zanzibar archipelago, said that the construction of a Chinese-built road has helped him support his entire family.

Juma sells movie discs, drinks and local snacks at his around 5-square-meter shop.

"My shop was alongside a muddy road that was always messy during the five-month-long rainy season, making it impossible for the customers to access," said the young man, adding that business is improving after the road's reconstruction.

The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation is restoring a 6.5-km road in front of Juma's shop in Zanzibar. This is part of a larger project to rehabilitate and improve 100 km of roads.

"Zanzibar is a tourist destination, and it's very important for the road infrastructure to be in good condition," said Lisa Peter, who relocated to Zanzibar from Tanzania's mainland 14 years ago.

"There were ditches and gaping potholes everywhere," she said, adding that the original infrastructure is in bad condition, which won't help businesses. She noted that Chinese companies are ubiquitous in Zanzibar and Tanzania, contributing to projects in several fields.

The Abeid Amani Karume International Airport is the only airport in Zanzibar. Beijing Construction Engineering Group, another Chinese company, left an indelible mark after constructing the airport's state-of-the-art third terminal.

The 25,000-square-meter terminal comprises 27 international airline counters and immigration counters, passenger boarding bridges, baggage handling systems, and security checkpoints, playing a crucial role in attracting overseas tourists.

China Railway Jianchang Engineering Company (CRJE) (East Africa) Limited in Zanzibar is among the main contributors to helping stimulate the archipelago's development.

In October 2023, CRJE marked the 20th anniversary of its operations in Zanzibar. Over the past decade, CRJE has completed 35 projects, including hotels, schools, hospitals, office buildings, and other infrastructure projects.

It has also undertaken several hospital construction projects. The Mbuzini hospital, whose construction began in December 2021, has been put into operation, serving patients in various regions of Zanzibar with little access to health care.

To fulfill its social responsibilities, the company created jobs for residents and trained engineers and technicians.

Zanzibar's Minister for Health, Nassor Ahmed Mazrui, said that the local government has been trying to attract more investment in the Zanzibar archipelago after the success of the CRJE's work.

Zhang Zhisheng, the Chinese consul general to Zanzibar, said the CRJE has carried out many projects in China and around the world, including the Tanzanian mainland and Zanzibar.

Chinese projects help stimulate economic growth, boost tourism and improve the welfare of Zanzibaris, said Zanzibar President Hussein Ali Mwinyi.