ZAZNZIBAR ISLANDS

Location: Is located in the Indian Ocean about 35 km off the coast of mainland Tanzania at six degrees south of the equator. Zanzibar is made up of Two main islands (Unguja and Pemba) and about fifty-two small islets. The Island Unguja (sometimes called Zanzibar) is the largest island of Zanzibar whose capital city is locatedand. Currently, Zanzibar is one among the two countries that form United Republic of Tanzania as a result of the unification between Tanganyika and Zanzibar concluded in 26 April, 19964.

There is an agreement among historians that from 10th century, Zanzibar had already been playing the role of a Gateway for East, Central and some parts of Africa South of Sahara Desert. This has led to the creation of an English proverb “when we play a flute in Zanzibar, they Dance in Africa” people from all concerns of the world were impressed by the climatic condition, geographical location, and economic prosperity of the Island. In 1832 Zanzibar became the Capital of Oman where Seyyid Said Bin Said, the first Sultan made Zanzibar the official residence for their sultanate.

Zanzibar like many other islands is cosmopolitan. The Africans, Arabs, Persians, Indians, to mention only a few make the people of Zanzibar. The Persians came to Zanzibar in 10th Century, followed by Portuguese in 15th Century. The death of the Seyyid Said Bin Sultan in 1956 is what caused the separation of the Sultanate between Oman and Zanzibar in 1861.

Language & Religion: The main language is Kiswahili. English is widely spoken, Arabic is also spoken, other European language such as French and Italian are known by some local people, especially around the tourist areas. About 95 per cent of the local population is Muslim. The remaining are Christians, Hindus and some with traditional beliefs.

Climatic Condition: Zanzibar experiences ideal holiday weather for most of the year, with the exception of end March, April and May, which are seasonally subject to the long rains. Short rains can occur in November but are characterized by short showers, which do not last long. The heat of summer is seasonally often calmed by windy condition, resulting in pleasant sea breezes, particularly on the North and East coast. Being near the Equator, the Islands are warm all year round but officially summer and winter peak in December and June respectively. Zanzibar is blessed with an average of 7 – 8 hours of sunshine daily.

Politics: Currently Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous island within Tanzania with its own government. The government of Zanzibar is the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar whose head is the President of Zanzibar. There are some issues which are in accordance with the Articles of the Union, an agreement of the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar are union matters and others are non-union matters, the union matters include the Defense, International relations, political parties, Currency and so forth. The non-union matters include economy, finance, tourism, health, Primary and Secondary education and so forth.