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Fishing and agriculture are the main economic activities of the local population. The capital Zanzibar City is the only city on the island where there is real economic activity. There are markets there, a Tourist Information Centre and many dive shops and restaurants.

Zanzibar is one of the largest producers of cloves, and for a long time the economy was almost entirely dependent on clove production. The dried cloves are bought at a guaranteed price by a cooperative from Zanzibar City, which then offers them on the world market. Zanzibar Island and Pemba are responsible for more than three-quarters of the world's clove production. In recent years, the export of seaweed has become increasingly important.

Although cloves are still very important for export, along with coconut products and other spices, tourism is becoming an increasingly important source of income.


Else, D. / Zanzibar

Finke, J. / Tanzania
Rough Guides

Fitzpatrick, M. / Tanzania
Lonely Planet

Heale, J. / Tanzania
Marshall Cavendish

Skinner, A. / Tanzania & Zanzibar

CIA - World Factbook

BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated May 2024
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