Zanzibar's private sector primarily consists of micro, small & medium-sized enterprises, 88 percent of which are informal and unregistered. The private sector employs about 95 percent of the island’s labor force. However, there is little awareness among Zanzibar's private sector about the East African Community (EAC) Common Market and the potential benefits the island nation could reap from maximizing inter-regional trade through the provisions of the EAC Common Market Protocol.
In June, the Hub held a public private dialogue in Zanzibar to assess challenges to implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol and pave a way forward.
Watch a recap of the event here:
Challenges to export competitiveness include:
- Lack of recognition of the Zanzibar Bureau of Standards mark
- Non-conformity to technical trade regulations
- Significantly higher taxes and levies that make goods enterring Zanzibar more expensive
- Poor transport infrastructure to export markets
- Low export competitiveness, among others
The Hub is now seeking to pin-point key policy reform areas in connection with the Common Market Protocol and further collaborate with private and public sectors in Zanzibar to effect the necessary reforms thereby improving the export trade environment for the country and thus enhancing inter-regional trade.