I participated in a joyous celebration in Zanzibar today. More than 15,000 people gathered in Amani Stadium to mark the installation of the submarine cable that is bringing reliable electricity to Zanzibar. In 2010, there was a power outage that impacted tourism, investments and livelihoods. Through MCC's compact, electricity will be transmitted to Zanzibar from the mainland. And through effective coordination with other donors and partners, that transmission will reach households too.
"We can say goodbye to blackouts,” said Toufiq Turky from Turky's Group of Companies, who owns several hotels and investments in Zanzibar. “I invite you to come back in a couple of years to find a new Zanzibar."
President of Zanzibar Mohammed Shein summarized the day best with a Swahili saying, Hayawi; Hayawi; leo yamekuwa. This means, "It is not going to be; it is not going to be; today it has happened."
This captures the pride of reaching this compact milestone, a feat that seemed at times unachievable.
This was a wonderful day celebrated among beneficiaries, investors, donors—all partners in this project. Such cooperation signaled and reinforced the importance of partnerships and sustainability.