ZANZIBAR LAUNCHES NEW HERITAGE FOUNDATION CENTRE IN ANCIENT STONE TOWN
(Posted 14th October 2013)
The island’s government has launched a new project to promote Zanzibar’s long history when announcing the formation of a Heritage Foundation Centre in the old Stone Town, itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Minister for Information, Tourism, Culture and Sports Said Ali Mbarouk, during the launch ceremony, acknowledged the role tourism plays for the economy of Zanzibar, when he pegged the sector at 27 percent of GDP being generated through tourist arrivals, while more than three quarters of the islands foreign exchange earnings were generated by the tourism sector.
The project according to information received yesterday will be cosponsored and cofounded by the World Heritage Foundation, the Zanzibar Stone Town Heritage Society and other wellwishers who would like to see more of Zanzibar’s history and culture showcased for locals and visitors alike to see. Additional financial support came through grants by the European Union and the United States’ Agency for International Development USAID.
One of the main focus areas will be the days when Zanzibar was a major slave trading centre before slavery was abolished, but also the history of architecture and art, crafts and trade in spices and fabrics which makes the old Stone Town so unique, thwarting multiple attempts to create high rise buildings in the centre of the old town in the name of ‘development’.