Chris Grad - May 31, 2023
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To make the resort island of Zanzibar more accessible to tourists, the government is investing in constructing Africa's longest bridge.

Zanzibar is a popular tourist destination that can only be reached by plane or boat. But that is about to change. The government is investing billions of euros to build a bridge linking the African mainland with Zanzibar. However, the new project has yet to be approved.

Construction of Africa's longest bridge

In recent years, Zanzibar has become an emerging tourist destination in Africa. To further boost tourism, a 50-kilometer bridge links the coastal city of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania with Zanzibar.

This would make it the longest bridge in Africa. Tanzania is currently negotiating with Chinese investors to finance the project. The government estimates the cost at more than €2.5 billion.

The idea is not new

The idea of building a bridge was first mooted several years ago. With around 80 percent of Zanzibar's income coming from tourism, a link to the mainland would make it easier for travelers to reach the island. In the future, the journey across the bridge will take less than an hour.

Currently, Zanzibar can only be reached by plane or ferry, with the ferry crossing taking around four hours. A bridge from the mainland to Sanisbar would, therefore, significantly shorten the journey. The construction of this bridge would not only benefit tourists but also as a transport route for economic goods.

Questionable Sustainability

Plans to connect Zanzibar to the African mainland with a bridge have been in the works since 2020. However, the Tanzanian government has yet to give a concrete date for when construction could begin. Negotiations on funding for the project are also ongoing. The government hopes the short crossing will boost tourism. However, some experts need clarification on whether constructing such a large bridge is necessary, especially regarding sustainability.

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