FAIR IS THIS LAND!

Oman 2015 | DIPLOMACY | FOCUS: ZANZIBAR

Zanzibar remains a testament to Oman's glorious past, despite today being a part of the United Republic of Tanzania.

Relations between Oman and Zanzibar officially started in 1698. Zanzibar, one of the main slave markets of the east African coast, became an important part of the Omani empire, so important that Sa'id ibn Sultan made Zanzibar his main place of residence, from 1837.

Following the Sultan's death, in 1856, the link with Oman was broken: the rivalry between his two heirs was resolved thanks to the intervention of forceful British diplomacy, when one of them succeeded to Zanzibar and to the many regions claimed by the family on the east African coast. The second one, Thuwaini bin Said al-Said inherited, Muscat and Oman.

Today, Zanzibar remains a testament to Oman's glorious past, despite today being a part of the United Republic of Tanzania. A significant part of the people of Omani ancestry are still based and living in East Africa, especially in Zanzibar.

Today, the boundaries between the two entities are still evident: high-level diplomatic visits characterize the good relations between them.

Zanzibar Airport has already been extended for international flights with Oman's main air carrier, Oman Air.

Another hint of the influence that Oman has been exercising on Zanzibar for centuries is evident in the cultural and artistic heritage of the island. The largest mosque in the island, currently under construction, will be architectonically characterized by typical Omanis patterns and style.

The Oman Academic Fellowship (OAF), allows qualified Zanzibari students to be enrolled in Oman's MA and PHD programs; skilled manpower is also employed and recruited in Oman.

The economic boundaries are remarkable: Zanzibar exports mainly agricultural products and fruits (other exports includes cloves, spices, coconuts, and wooden materials): not only Zanzibar but also Tanzania, represent an appealing platform for Oman to secure its Food Security Program.

On the other side, Oman exports to Zanzibar building materials such as cement, marble, and power cables.

Proof of Omani investment in the island is represented by the recent opening of Oman Oil's first representative overseas office in Dar es Salaam as part of its broad investment program in key growth markets.

The company is to work alongside its majority-owned Oman Trading International partner, dealing in petroleum products, crude oil, petrochemicals, carbon emissions, and trading.

“Commencing operations in Tanzania is an important milestone as we expand our presence throughout the African continent.

The representative office will act as a focal point to explore and develop investments in Tanzania's petroleum and energy sectors," According to HE Nasser Bin Khamis Al Jashmi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance, and chairman of Oman Oil, “With accelerated agricultural growth in Tanzania, OOC is considering potential investments in the fertilizer sector, as well as the supply and marketing of petroleum products. In addition, the development of energy infrastructure and coal mining are other opportunities being considered as part of our investment roadmap in that country."