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Beer shortage sparks tensions

Publish date: 12 February 2024
Issue Number: 1063
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Zanzibar

The spice islands of Zanzibar are facing a shortage of alcohol which threatens the tourism sector of one of Africa's top travel destinations. Tourism generates about 90% of the Tanzanian archipelago's foreign revenue. BBC News reports that beer prices have shot up by almost 100% after the supply chain was disrupted by a sudden change of importers. The Tourism Minister resigned recently citing poor work conditions, but his resignation has been linked to the alcohol shortage. Hoteliers are warning that the problems over alcohol supply might make the island lose its tourism shine. The local manufacture of alcohol is banned in Zanzibar, whose population is largely Muslim. The initial shortage early this year began when the Zanzibar Liquor Control Board delayed renewed permits for the three established importers. The board last month granted licences to three new firms which are reportedly entangled in a lengthy vetting process amid claims that some foreigners are involved in the operations of the companies in contravention of the law. The situation has been complicated further after the three previous licence holders filed appeals, asking the government to renew their liquor import permits.

Full BBC News report

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