The Real Winners are the People of Zanzibar
By Alfonso E. Lenhardt - November 2, 2010
The United States of America congratulates Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein on his election as President of Zanzibar. This historic election, reportedly the most peaceful and best administered in Zanzibar's history, will lead to the formation of the isles' first united government. The people of Zanzibar turned out in large numbers to express their will at the polls, secure in the knowledge that the new government would represent all Zanzibaris. Both Dr. Shein and Seif Sharif Hamad, who will now turn from being the leading opponent to a partner in governing, deserve our admiration for conducting campaigns to prepare their supporters for a new form of government. I am confident that Dr. Shein and Maalim Seif will be able to work together as partners and to stake out common ground in the interest of all Zanzibaris.
Now that the people have spoken, it is time to establish confidence in government institutions and build a new Zanzibar with a stronger foundation for prosperity and social progress. By constructing a new political culture, Zanzibar's leaders will be able to unleash the creativity of the Zanzibari people. The new government can respond to voters' trust by ensuring that the benefits of development and economic opportunities reach all of Zanzibar's regions.
The United States maintains a historic and deep friendship with Zanzibar. I am pleased to assure Zanzibaris that they can continue to count on America. We will maintain our robust levels of support in key areas that matter to everyone: education, health, energy and infrastructure. The 100 MW power line to Unguja is on track. The Pemba road project is on track. Our efforts on disease prevention and eradication will continue. We are furthering efforts, involving major players in the global technology arena, to bring computers to every primary school in Zanzibar. I look forward to working with Zanzibar's new leaders in all of these critical areas.
We should be realistic about the challenges that lie ahead. The unity government will have many difficult issues to resolve. Yet it is my fervent hope that this election represents a vital step on the path towards what could be Zanzibar's Golden Age.
Alfonso E. Lenhardt is the Ambassador of the United States of America to the United Republic of Tanzania