On Friday, 11th November 2016, Zanzibar President and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council, H.E. Dr Ali Mohammed Shein launched a Norwegian-funded pediatric ward at the Mnazi Mmoja National Hospital, Zanzibar. The pediatric ward has been financed by Norwegian taxpayers through the Royal Norwegian Embassy which provided Tshs 1.4 Billion, Zanzibar Ministry of Health which provided Tshs. 500 Million and a Norwegian philanthropist, Mr Trond Mohn who contributed Tshs 2.2 Billion.
Furthermore, Haukeland hospital in Bergen, Norway and Fredskorpset (Norwegian Peace Corps) have engaged in capacity building through staff exchange with the Mnazi Mmoja hospital for the past decade – This stands as an excellent example of mutual institutional cooperation between Norway and Zanzibar. With the already existing technical support, it is impressive to note that Mnazi Mmoja hospital records show that neo-natal mortality rate has now (2015/16) dropped down to 10% from 40% in 2011.
Building on existing technical cooperation, the Embassy believes the new pediatric ward will act as a catalyst towards reaching global Sustainable Development Goal of reducing neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortalities to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births by 2030.
On his part, the President of Zanzibar has praised the long standing historical cooperation between Zanzibar and Norway and expressed his gratitude to Norwegian government for the technical support in health and many other sectors it has been supporting for years.
It should be noted that the support extended by the Norwegian people to Zanzibaris has been spread widely to many other key development sub-sectors too, ranging from electricity where Norway has financed the deep water electricity cable that brings electricity to Pemba, in addition to the many roads we have rehabilitated worth Tshs 20 billion.
Norway has also continued to support Zanzibar electrification through ZECO where she has contributed Tshs 76 billion for capacity building, infrastructure maintenance and generation of reliable electricity to all Zanzibaris.
Given the importance of Zanzibar as a future oil state and the need to balance between development and preservation of nature, Norway supports the Oil for Development project with a particular focus on environment and enactment of oil and gas legislation (Petroleum Policy and Act). Through the Oil for Development program, Norway is sharing her experience in managing the resources of oil and gas in a safe, responsible and sustainable way, towards the right path to a brighter future.
Norwegian government has also supported sustainable forestry practices all over Pemba and Unguja through REDD projects. It has also provided scholarships at the Kizimbani Agricultural Training Institute, supported a Tshs 3.7 billion Public Financial Management programme, and celebrate our great cultures through support to Sauti za Busara World Music Festival.