The forum was hosted by Busara Promotions and designed to bring together Busara Board, management, musicians and representatives from Zanzibar Government, tourism industry, cultural sector and business leaders in discussion of the sustainability of Zanzibar’s cultural festivals. 70 participants from private and public sectors attended the event, with over 20 representatives from media houses covering it.
It was a successful forum in highlighting the positive correlations between a thriving cultural life, economic development and increased business for Zanzibaris and generating commitment towards sustaining this. It also showed a unanimous will for Sauti za Busara to continue, and to be sustained through increased private and public support, to remain in and belong to Zanzibar.
Participants shared a variety of innovative and useful ideas on how to further maximize on cultural resources in Zanzibar, with Stone Town as its cultural capital, to be THE cultural destination of the region. As such it was recommended the island should look to ensure it is culturally interesting all year round with events throughout the year towards alleviating low seasons, as has been done in Mauritius or Morocco, for example. Also Zanzibar can look to further brand the island as a destination for festivals and sports events.
Pledges from government and businesses to financially support festivals were made, and many private stakeholders commended the government for starting to emphasize Zanzibar as a destination for cultural tourism.
This forum was the first meeting of its kind to be held in Zanzibar, a step forward towards building sustainability for arts and culture in Zanzibar.