ZANZIBAR – Zanzibar’s State University (SUZA) has established the Institute of Maritime Studies and Fisheries (IMSF) in a bit to enhance its blue economy agenda.

Dr. Yahya Hamad Sheikh, a SUZA Lecturer and Acting Director of IMSF, announced the news, outlining the initial steps in the institute’s creation.

The preparatory phase includes gathering input from stakeholders and initiating the construction of buildings.

Dr. Sheikh emphasized that the establishment of IMSF is part of the Youth Skills Development Employability in the Blue Economy Project (SEBEP), which is funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB).

He revealed that the institute aims to provide comprehensive training in marine resources, covering aspects such as fishing, processing, and transportation.

Captain Hamad Bakari Hamad from the Presidential Delivery Bureau (PDB) presented a paper on ‘blue economy and seafaring,’ highlighting that IMSF would operate differently from the current Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS) in Zanzibar, which is under the University of Dar es Salaam.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ workshop held at the SUZA-tourism college in Maruhubi, Zanzibar House of Representatives Chairperson, Mr Abdalla Hussein Kombo, emphasized the timeliness of the project and stressed the importance of implementing workable laws for efficiency.

He underscored the significance of the institute in meeting government expectations and goals, providing employment opportunities for young people in the marine transport sector and fishing.

“The idea for Zanzibar to have its institute to produce people to work in sea vessels and marine resources is good, considering the nature of the islands being surrounded by the sea, as well as the blue economy implementation strategy,” he said.

SUZA Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mohammed Makame Haji, assured stakeholders that construction preparations for IMSF buildings have commenced, with an allocation in the Nkrumah-Beit el Ras area.

He emphasized the commitment to consider input from stakeholders regarding the curriculum and other institute-related matters.

“The government’s aim through IMSF is to promote various professions related to maritime fields, including fishing and seafaring, being the best use of marine resources and helping to solve existing social and economic challenges.”

Mr. Salum Mkubwa Abdalla, SEBEP manager, highlighted that the construction of IMSF is one of the projects managed by the Zanzibar Ministry of Education and Vocational Training.

The institute is poised to play a pivotal role in developing skilled professionals to contribute to Zanzibar’s blue economy and address socio-economic challenges.

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