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Free Economic Zones (FEZs) are geographical areas that have more enticing incentivized economic regulations than the rest of the country. Free Economic Zones were created specifically to attract investment, particularly foreign direct investment (FDI), in labor-intensive projects to increase exports. Companies that locate their operations in these designated areas of Zanzibar generally benefit from simplified customs and other administrative procedures.
As the custodian of the Free Economic Zones, Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (ZIPA) readily offers potential investors land, office space, and warehouse space for lease in the zones. The Zanzibar Revolutionary Government is welcoming the private sector in infrastructure development in the Free Economic Zones through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements. Zanzibar currently has five Free Economic Zones:
In 1992, Fumba Zone was designated as an Export Processing Zone (EPZ). It is located on the southwest coast of Unguja Island, about 24 kilometers from Malindi seaport and 10 kilometers from Zanzibar’s main airport, Abeid Amani Karume International Airport (AAKIA). The declared zone encompasses approximately 3,000ha of land, which is divided into residential and light industrial areas.
Fumba zone is an excellent location for real estate development, customer-tailored construction of industrial sheds or warehouses, and light engineering projects that make the best use of locally available raw materials. The Fumba Master Plan is in place, and the projects are expected to be developed in phases due to the size of the area.
Micheweni Free Economic Zone, with an area of 808.8ha, is located in the Northeastern tip of Pemba, approximately 75 kilometers from the Mkoani seaport and 45 kilometers from Chake Chake Airport. The zone provides uninhabited and ready land for a variety of investments. Micheweni borders the sea and is ideal for fishing, fish processing, and related products. The Micheweni Free Economic Zone Master Plan is in place, and it divides the zone into industrial (547.4ha) and residential (261.4ha) areas.
The Amaan Industrial Park was designated as a zone in 1993. It is only 3 kilometers from Malindi’s seaport and 2 kilometers from Amani Abeid Karume International Airport. Amaan Industrial Park has been developed and is now operational on a 12.5ha plot of land. This zone is home to the manufacturing and processing industries. The existing infrastructure consists of industrial sheds/warehouses, office spaces, all necessary utilities such as electricity, water, and telecommunication, and on-site customs inspection.
The Maruhubi Zone is about 5 kilometers from Zanzibar’s main port (Malindi Seaport, which handles about 99.8 percent of total imports) and has all basic facilities such as cargo handling equipment, 24-hour security, utility services (electricity and water), and telecommunications services
The zone has so far attracted 24 projects mainly transit trade business. Maruhubi Zone is ideal for goods to be trans-shipped or warehoused to have minimal administrative and operational efficiency and security to meet the market needs of today’s international trade.
Transit trade and storage facilities
Export-oriented airport and seaport based activities