Population Growth Alarming In Zanzibar

TOMRIC News Agency (Dar es Salaam), 12 July 2000

Dar Es Salaam—The rate of population growth is at alarming rate in Zanzibar as the current estimates indicate that the growth rate is at 3 percent as compared to 2.8 percent for Tanzania Mainland.

The Vice President Dr. Omari Juma admitted yesterday that the poverty would continue to prevail in Tanzania because of lack of basic needs for the increased population.

The rate of population growth is at an alarming 2.8 percent in Tanzania Mainland, he said, noting, Population growth in Zanzibar on the other hand is growing at 3.0 percent. Dr. Omari said this when addressing a public rally to mark the World Population Day celebrated every July 11, globally. Based on this rates, population growth for Zanzibar is above the Isles' GDP.

While the economy was growing at 4.8 percent annually for Tanzania in general, official data indicate that in Zanzibar the economic growth slumped to 0.4 percent in 1998 against a target of 5 percent. Zanzibar which is the Moslems dominated Isles, has a population of about 800,000 people.

Explaining further Dr. Omari said a census conducted in 1961 showed that Tanzania had 9,000,000 people, a number that increased to 12 million in 1967 and in 1978 the numbered reached at 17.5 million.

While in 1988 figures show that the population reached 23.1 million, the population is now pegged at 32 million, he said, noting, Statistics showed that every year in Tanzania between 200 and 400 women out 100,000 died during childbirth. The major causes were poverty, early marriage and poor family husbandry. Dr.

Omari said that although Tanzania was not yet overpopulated, the growth of the economy was too slow compared with the population increase rate. Although we still have a very big land which is not yet occupied, but this does not necessarily mean that we are under-populated.

Economic growth rate and its stability counts a lot in population, he underlined. While Zanzibar's economy is dependent on annual external, direct funding of 55 million US dollars and needs money transfer from the Mainland at equivalent to 1,200 dollars per capita, unemployment is also raising.

The capacity of Tanzania's labor market is to absorb only about 3 percent of job seekers. According to the Secretary General of Tanzania Federation of Trade Union (TFTU), Mr. Bruno Mpangala, studies indicate that even the informal sector is facing several hurdles to absorb the remaining number of job seekers.