The global travel restrictions are hitting Zanzibar’s tourism industry hard, but local businesses can still survive thanks to creative solutions.
Working on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ has been supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises in the region since 2017. One such company is Zanzibar Apparel. The textile company makes clothes that used to be bought by tourists. But now the company has switched to producing face masks with the help of GIZ, ‘Thanks to the GIZ network, we can make high-quality masks at a good price’, explains Managing Director Hussain Adnan Halai.
Zanzibar Apparel has now produced more than 30,000 reusable masks and sold them in local pharmacies. Switching production in this way has enabled the textile company to protect almost all its jobs. Employees have also been provided with hygiene training, board and lodging to help protect them from infections. The business is now planning to manufacture protective suits for hotel employees that meet World Health Organization standards. Zanzibar Apparel is also keen to further expand its clothing business. As well as planning online sales of clothes for the international market, the company also wants to design a collection tailored more to local tastes.
Although Zanzibar has responded flexibly to the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, people are still pinning their hopes on the tourists returning. So they can arrive safe and sound, GIZ is helping the East African Community (EAC) to develop a hygiene concept for air travel. Zanzibar’s airport was the first in the region whose staff were trained in how to deal with air passengers safely.
Source: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), 12 August 2020