NMB Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Stone Town Conservation and Development Authority geared towards maintaining and sustainable management of Forodhani Park in Zanzibar.
Speaking during the MoU signing ceremony held at Forodhani Park, the NMB Bank Head of Retail Banking Filbert Mponzi said the bank’s efforts compliments Zanzibar Government’s Blue Economy Policy that among other things seeks to boost the country’s tourism potential.
Mponzi revealed that as part of the MoU, the bank will be responsible for maintaining the park which will enhance tourists experience whist contributing to revitalization of the tourism industry.
“This MoU reiterates our bank’s commitment to continue supporting the sustainable development of Zanzibar. Forodhani Park is strategically located that is why it attracts thousands of tourists. As a development partner, we feel duty bound to maintain this park to enable Zanzibar to remain the preferred tourists’ gateway,” Mponzi said.
Mponzi said that apart from maintaining the park, the bank will also ensure provision of financial services to small scale entrepreneurs operating at Forodhani to work easily as well as to potential tourists.
He said that during the launch of our Go na NMB product in Zanzibar last year , the bank apart from providing material support to small-scale entrepreneurs in terms of sets of aprons, T-shirts and loans in terms of motorcycles and tri-cycles popularly known as bajaji, the bank also provided financial literacy.
“We have seen a positive mindset change as a result of the financial literacy we provided to entrepreneurs in Zanzibar since they have begun to embrace our digital payment options like Lipa Mkononi and QR code that has reduced the stress of looking for change since they now enjoy our stress-free services,” Mponzi said.
He added, “We have also come up with tailor-made options like Mshiko Fasta that allows anyone with an account with NMB Mkononi to borrow to a tune of 500,000/- without necessarily going to the bank’s branches”.
Earlier, the Forodhani Park Manager Amir Hamza during the event said the MoU aligns with the 8th Phase Government’s vision that seeks to increase partnerships between the public and the private sector.
“I commend NMB bank for its decision to partner with us in this project and I believe our transformation efforts will go a long way in beautifying the park to make it more attractive,” He said.
On his part the Simai Mohamed Said the Zanzibar Minister for Tourism and Heritage during the event said Zanzibar has got 21 recreation parks but Forodhani Park is unique in its kind not only in Tanzania but East Africa as a whole.
“Very many people across the EAC region have come to learn how its run. As Government, we have no option but to protect and maintain it,” he added.
He during the event urged authorities in Stone Town to beef up security so as to restore confidence in the Island adding that the Government will not tolerate any one who indulges in acts that undermine security.