Save the seas, wear a net

Zanzibar holiday sparks huge green business in Europe

During a three-week-visit to Zanzibar a German couple discovers his mission and starts turning old fishnets into „bracenets“. 

By now Madeleine von Hohenthal and Benjamin Wenke have sold more than 100,000 of the green accessories online. Together with international partner organisations they have recovered more than 700 tons of discarded nets in oceans worldwide. 

“It all began diving along the wonderful coast of Zanzibar in 2015”, recalls Benjamin Wenke, when I met him in Hamburg, Germany where the business is based.  “We discovered pieces of old fishing nets, drifting through the water, posing a great danger to the environment.” 

Zanzibari Fishermen were quick to point out, however, that most of the nets were not dumped locally but came from large fishing vessels – a “huge global problem” as the visiting couple realised. “We flew back to Germany both with a piece of net around our wrist”, the 37-year-old recounts and “kept fantasising what to do with it”. 

“Not much was known about the issue in 2015”, he says - and started to research.  His findings: Every year, up to a million tons of fishing nets are lost or dumped at sea. They lose their purpose, but not their function – and keep on fishing as they drift through the oceans. Millions of marine animals get caught in the so-called “ghost nets” and suffer a cruel death. The nets also form 40 per cent of the infamous Great Pacific garbage patch, one of five major plastic gyres in our oceans.

„It’s time to end this“, Benjamin and Madeleine thought, and – with a professional background of marketing and design - started to experiment with up-cycling the ocean funds into new products like dog leashes, key chains, rings and bags. Everything is handcrafted in a workshop in Hamburg. Their bestseller became the so-called bracenet (from bracelet and net) of which they now sell dozens of versions online with a certificate of origin – per piece at 25$. 

Has the couple, by now married and proud parents of two-year-old son Eden, returned to the source of their business idea, to Zanzibar? “Not yet”, they say, “but we plan to.”

Information and orders: bracenet.net

CPS wins the TRA awards

CPS company has become the first overall winner in the group of medium taxpayers in terms of local taxes from Unguja.


These achievements are the result of complying with the principles of tax payment effectively with the mission to fully contribute to building the Nation's economy. The award was received by the CEO CPS, Mr Sebastian Dietzold accompanied by the Chief Operating Officer CPS, Mrs Katrin Dietzold.


"We achieved a great milestone with this and personally want to dedicate this award to our fantastic finance team," Mrs Dietzold said.


She added, "this is just the beginning. Soon we will stand there with all our sister companies. Together we build the nation."


During the event the award was presented to CPS by the Director of ICT and representative of the Commissioner General for IRA, Emmanuel Nnko.

Fumba Town Celebrates a Major Milestone

1,000 units sold in Tanzania’s fastest selling residential development.

Fumba Town - the fastest selling residential development in Tanzania has marked the admirable milestone of 1,000 units sold. 

The iconic sea-side development that allows everyone, including foreigners, to own a home in Zanzibar is East Africa’s first eco-city that offers ultra-modern homes for any budget and style. 

“We are extremely proud of this incredible milestone achieved because of the distinctive vision and exceptional offering that makes Fumba town the only one of its kind. We are also grateful for the exceptional commitment by everyone that made this project a resounding success,” CPS Director, Sebastian Dietzold said.    

Fumba town’s delectable mix of residential and holiday homes offers an affordable, safe space for home owners and their families - allowing them to live, work and evolve in a multinational, multicultural and multi-generational environment.

Only recently have foreigners been allowed to buy homes in Zanzibar, and only in certain projects such as Fumba Town. Markedly, Fumba Town already hosts buyers from over 57 different countries – highlighting its extensive global appeal. 

“New incentives include residency visas, tax benefits and repatriation of profit”, explains the CPS Director. 

“While you pay, you see your house grow. Homes in Fumba Town are sold off-plan in five installments of around 20% each, the last due on occupation. The purchaser gets a 99-year lease with the right to inherit, mortgage, sell and rent out,” he added.

Launched in 2015, Fumba Town is located on the peninsula on the west coast of Zanzibar, just 15km from the airport and 18Km from Zanzibar city.

The project has been a big boom to the isle’s economy, pumping over $60m into the economy, offering building and service contracts to local companies and jobs to hundreds of residents. 

The iconic development is master-planned across 150 acres and offers state-of-the-art residential and holiday living in a sustainable environment with permaculture landscaping, 94% waste recycling, incredible service packages and 24/7 security.

Available services include a clinic, school, playground, kiosk and community market opened in 2019. Recent additions to the growing town include a pavilion mall, beach bar and restaurants, with a sports centre, sea pier, piazza hotel planned for next year. 

First private re-sales of property in Fumba have already come on the market, with high returns on investment - especially because Zanzibar has experienced a 15% rise in tourism numbers and registered a 6.8% economic growth.

Fumba Town is developed by CPS - a Tanzanian based real estate development company that is also behind Zanzibar’s first residential resort The Soul in Paje.

Let's play Rugby!

Women and sports sometimes still seem an un-easy equation, especially in Muslim countries. But this has not to be so at all, says Fatma El-kindiy who is promoting a rather unusual team sports for girls and women in Tanzania and Zanzibar – rugby.

Every time we have a rugby match, more people are coming out to watch. And it’s exciting how many of them then want to play. People who are active in the clubs are also helping to encourage more women to check out the sport which makes me hopeful that we will have many rugby teams and also women teams in the near future in Tanzania and Zanzibar.

The first question everybody has, of course: How do you play rugby? To simplify it, in this match you run forward and play backward. The aim is for a team to carry the ball over the opponents’ goal line and force it to the ground to score. 

Rugby is most popular in New Zealand, South Africa and Wales where it is not only the national sport but part of the culture. However, rugby union, as it is called, is by now played across every continent and boasts over two million registered players.

For a long time, rugby has been perceived as a man’s sport. People think of it as a violent game. Many girls and women are sceptical about it, but in my opinion that is only because they haven’t been exposed to the game.

Passion started

in Botswana

I became involved in rugby first as a player and then as a lady's representative for my club, the Gaborone Rugby Football Club in Botswana. That’s where I gained a passion for the sport. When I returned to Tanzania I joined the Tanzania Rugby Union, wanting to help develop the sport for women in my home country. 

Currently, at 36 years of age, I am working on the creation of Tanzania’s first national women’s team and am prioritising rugby outreach in schools and communities at large. We just had the Dar es Salaam Annual Touch Rugby Tournament. In Zanzibar rugby is played at Paje. The teams are Paje Pirates and Scorpion RFC. We are going to begin training young ladies in Zanzibar soon. I have done my Level One Fifteens coaching and, even as a woman, assist in coaching a club in Dar es Salam — the Dar Cubs, an all-male team.

No beginners in rugby!

My real profession is interior architect, but I have always been a sports enthusiast. The best thing about rugby is that there are no beginner classes. In rugby you can start playing with everyone else and learn along the way. But that’s part of the fun! Rugby is for everyone, it has no gender, religion, or colour and is played by all shapes and sizes. We want to ensure women feel safe, supported and know that they have a place in the sport. Solidarity is one of the core values of the sport and rugby players always look out for each other. No one gets left behind.

Tanzania has a long way to go to reach the heights of Kenya, Uganda or Burundi. But the involvement and determination is here now. We have numerous teams playing in tournaments across the country and many more teams in development. The teams include a mix of expats and citizens playing together, which has brought diversity of culture to the game. There are clubs established in Moshi, Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar and Tanga with wonderful camaraderie among them. I believe rugby can become just as popular as football in my country.

Fumba Town partners with Sauti za Busara

Fumba Town Zanzibar, 17, October 2022, Zanzibar's new eco-town development Fumba Town - a project by developer CPS - joins forces with Sauti za Busara and becomes the main sponsor for East Africa's most prominent international music festival in Zanzibar.

"Busara Promotions is delighted to announce its core operational expenses for the next three years will largely be covered by CPS, and by that, Fumba Town is becoming the main festival partner and sponsor." Yusuf Mahmoud, CEO and Festival Director of Sauti za Busara, announced yesterday.

He added that Sauti za Busara would not be possible without partners and sponsors such as CPS, the company developing Fumba Town. This new strong partnership will ensure that the internationally renowned Festival will carry on its journey and continue to attract thousands of visitors to Zanzibar. The Norwegian Embassy previously supported the Festival from 2009 until March 2022. When this and other sponsors withdrew earlier this year, the widely acclaimed African Festival was in danger of being discontinued.

This upcoming Festival will be Sauti za Busara's 20th-Anniversary edition. Except for 2016, the music event held at the historic Old Fort in UNESCO-protected Stone Town has never failed to be held, even during two years of the coronavirus crisis. It attracts up to 20,000 visitors over three to four days - a major booster for Zanzibar tourism for two decades. "The festival has been a vital part of Zanzibar's culture", said Tobias Dietzold, Chief Commercial Officer of CPS: "It brings together people from all walks of life, promoting strong, peaceful and resilient communities." Dietzold added: "This is what we stand for at Fumba Town and CPS, and therefore we are grateful to be able to contribute our part. The private sector must take responsibility to support initiatives like this." 

Among many colourful and diverse acts performing at Busara in recent years were Sampa The Great (Zambia), Nneka (Nigeria), BCUC (South Africa) and Blitz the Ambassador (Ghana/USA). Under the inspiring guidance of festival director and music lover Yusuf Mahmoud, the Festival has focussed on women entertainers as well as young and upcoming acts. The cosmopolitan island of Zanzibar has a strong cultural connection. There is a saying: "When the flute plays in Zanzibar, the whole of Africa dances."

Diverse cultural heritage

"We are committed to keeping the Sauti za Busara festival robust and dynamic for the next few years as we enjoy our rich and diverse cultural heritage through live music," CPS director Dietzold stressed. 

"Through this partnership, we want to ensure that, at the minimum, the next three Busara festivals and the culture surrounding them continue to thrive. In addition, we want to establish a long–term relationship with the organisers," he added. 

Tourism Minister: "Unforgettable experience."

On his part, the Minister for Tourism and Heritage for Zanzibar, Hon. Simai Mohammed Said lauded both Sauti za Busara and Fumba Town for coming together to support the growth of tourism in the isles. 

"The Festival has, over the last 20 years, become one of the major attractions for visitors in our annual events calendar. We urge all government agencies and leaders, businesses, private and corporate donors to follow CPS' positive example to invest in celebrations of our arts and cultural heritage, which offer unique and unforgettable experiences for visitors to the region," the Minister of Tourism noted. "

Sauti za Busara - Tanzania's most compelling music and cultural Festival, brings together thousands of enthusiasts and performers from across Africa and the world to celebrate the richness and diversity of African music and heritage. The Festival is staged during February each year and is organised by Busara Promotions, a non-governmental organisation (NGO). It ranks high among African music festivals, including the Festival in the Desert in Mali, which had to be discontinued because of political unrest, the MTN Bushfire Festival in eSwatini and the Cape Town International Jazz Festival in South Africa. 

The 20th-anniversary edition of Sauti za Busara will take place from 10th to 12th February 2023. With its theme being Tofauti Zetu, Utajiri Wetu (Diversity is Our Wealth), the Festival will reach out to a diverse crowd and feature live music performances from Zanzibar, Tanzania, DRC, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Mayotte and Reunion. It is usually embedded among training workshops, networking and cultural events throughout Stone Town. 

World’s tallest timber apartment tower to be built in Zanzibar

28-storey Burj Zanzibar would be Africa’s first sustainable high-rise 

Muscat/Zanzibar, 1 October 2022 – The Indian Ocean island Zanzibar is planning the highest green building in the world, a 28-storey apartment tower designed in hybrid timber technology. Named Burj Zanzibar - “burj” meaning tower in Arabic - the spectacular high-rise is designed to reach 96 metres in height. Dubbed “vertical green village”, it would represent an iconic landmark not only for the island but for the whole of Africa and a global environmental milestone, being the first timber structure worldwide of such proportions. The design of the mixed-use apartment and commercial building, in a playful beehive style with breathtaking ocean views, was unveiled to the public in Muscat, Oman on 1 October. Dutch-born architect Leander Moons, responsible for the concept, said: “Burj Zanzibar is not just an outstanding building but a new ecosystem for the future of living”.

The residential tower with 266 residences is to be located in Fumba Town, East Africa’s pioneering eco-town developed by German-led engineering firm CPS. Categorised as a strategic investment and fully supported by the Zanzibar government, the growing city near the capital, where foreigners are allowed to buy, stretches along a 1.5-kilometre seashore on the southwest coast. “Burj Zanzibar will be the highlight and natural continuation of our efforts to provide sustainable housing in Africa, thereby empowering local employment and businesses”, elaborated CPS CEO Sebastian Dietzold in Muscat. 

With turquoise seas, white sandy beaches and a UNESCO-protected historic Stone Town, Zanzibar recorded 15% annual growth in tourism in recent years and 6.8% economic growth. Earlier this year, the semi-autonomous archipelago, 35 kilometres off the coast of Tanzania, stretched its wings also into another direction, launching an initiative to attract African tech companies with a total worth of six billion dollars.

Benefits of timber

Timber is the oldest building material in the world. As timber technology, it currently enjoys a renaissance because of its environmental benefits and longevity. New timber products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glulam are considered the building material of the future. One cubic metre of wood binds half a ton of carbon dioxide, whereas conventional concrete construction is responsible for 25% of CO2 emissions.

Once realised, Burj Zanzibar would be the highest timber building in the world and Africa’s first high-rise ever in this innovative technology. A few weeks ago the 86.6-metre Ascent Tower in Milwaukee, US, was certified as the world's tallest timber hybrid building by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).  Africa’s highest conventional skyscraper is a 385-metre office tower named “Iconic Tower” in Egypt, still under construction. 

Tanzania’s top skyscraper is the 157-metre Ports Authority building in Dar es Salaam. The world’s tallest conventional building is Burj Khalifa in Dubai with 828 metres. 

Consortium of specialists from New York to Switzerland

Burj Zanzibar is planned as a hybrid timber tower.  A steel-reinforced concrete core is designed to meet all required fire and life safety standards. The project is to be executed by a consortium of leading specialists from Switzerland, Austria, Germany, South Africa, Tanzania and the US. Green roof gardens and planted balconies further reduce the carbon footprint of the building. “Burj Zanzibar will be a widely visible new landmark for Zanzibar and beyond, not only because of its appearance but because of its construction method”, said architect Leander Moons during the launch event. 

Set to promote locally available wood as a building material, Tanzania and its vast land resources for agroforestry would also benefit from the ambitious green mega tower. A large forest development in central Tanzania near Iringa already covers twice the size of New York; “an enlarged forest industry could create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the East African country”, said CPS Director Dietzold.

Playful, elegant style fitting any culture

The playful architectural style – reminiscent of a beehive with honeycombs – combines modern urban trends with local culture. “Panorama windows, closed-in green loggias and a modular layout will enhance the green nature of the tower and allow for flexible apartment floor plans, tailor-made for any cultural preferences”, explained lead architect Moons. Residents can have their outdoor garden even on the top floor.

Representing a young, vibrant and most of all sustainable lifestyle, the building allocates a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments and deluxe penthouses. The elegant tower stands on a terraced podium with shared and private gardens , shops and a common pool. Sizes of units range from studios starting at $79,900 to a vast penthouse with a private pool on the 26th  floor at $950,880. “As a global architectural highlight the Burj Zanzibar will be setting a new benchmark of building in the 21st century”, CPS director Sebastian Dietzold concluded. 

"We Are Listening To Our Clients"

Rayah Iddi sets an example as the first woman construction project manager in Fumba. 

The Moyoni homes in Fumba Town stand out for several reasons. Entirely built in pre-fab timber technology, the fifty or so low-rise apartments around a communal pool (still in the making) are designed for young families - and their construction is supervised by the first female project manager in Fumba, 30 year old Rayah Iddi. Recently, the first 16 of the 1-3 bedroom apartments with a flexible floor plan were handed over to their respective buyers. “Everybody was very happy with the outstanding quality”, says the female engineer  - for a reason: Homeowners had a choice of tiles, kitchen appliances and many other details. “We are listening to our clients”, says Rayah. 

Much of it seems her merit. Fully equipped kitchens by German company “Sachsenkuechen” in beige cross-laminated timber provide an airy look. Drawers and doors close automatically in gentle perfection. Low windows lend light to the ground and first floor units, designed by Dutch architect Leander Moons. “And look here”, points out Raya, taking visitors around, “we managed to carve out a TV niche hiding all unwanted cable salad.” 

Bathroom tiles are extra-high; bedrooms have pre-installed, elegant black reading lights, “one thing less to worry about for clients. We wanted class and quality”, Rayah explains. No doubt, Moyoni, although among the lower-cost units in Fumba, displays a thoughtful woman’s touch thanks to her. “By beginning of next year all units will be ready”, the engineer promises. 

After completing her bachelor in construction management at Dar es Salaam university, Rayah was trained and employed by Volks.house, the German led timber construction company in Fumba. She started out as a construction engineer with normal stone buildings before switching to timber and became “a total timber fan”, as she puts it. “I learnt a lot with Volkshouse” she says. Directing an all-male team of builders “is not difficult”, she claims. “On the site I don’t feel neither as a woman nor a man”, the Muslim single mum elaborates with a smile. “It’s simply a working atmosphere.”

From an early age onward her father encouraged her and three sibblings: “You can do it.” Later, it became Volks.house owner and mentor Thomas Just to support her: “Rayah, you can do it.”  - “All that gave me a lot of confidence”, the young engineer, mother of 2 ½ year old Ibrahim, says and has a one word of advice for fellow women: “Don’t be scared in life.”

3 Fumba Kitchen Bestseller Recipes

Some like it hot, some African traditional, others with a touch of Asia. These three recipes are the bestsellers in Fumba Town’s first kiosk restaurant which has been serving the community since 2018.

Paulina Mayala, 28, born and raised in Zanzibar, is executive chef of the popular Kwetu Kwenu – Swahili for “my place is your place” -  in Fumba Town (meanwhile, read more about the new Kwetu Kwenu Chill on the following page). She started her journey in Fumba three and a half years ago with a lot of enthusiasm and passion for cooking – and without any culinary studies.  “The owners of Kwetu Kwenu, Franko and Bernadette, helped me a lot”, Paulina says. “They have a beautiful way to empower people and to see potential and talent, and give people a chance to take their lives to another level.” Paulina’s best selling dishes at Kwetu Kwenu are Thai cashew chicken, Juicy Lucy beef burger and the famous Kwetu Kwenu brownies – cosmopolitan country kitchen made in Fumba.

Thai Cashew chicken

Chicken breast, onions, garlic, ginger, carrot, red and yellow pepper, zucchini (or any other fresh veggies)

What makes this recipe outstanding, is the way Paulina prepares the chicken, tossing the pieces of chicken breast in some flour and baking powder. Then she deep-fries the pieces of chicken in hot oil. The same procedure of deep-frying applies to the cashew pieces, until they become golden brown. Saute the veggies, starting with some onion, garlic and ginger, and add pieces of carrot, red and yellow pepper and zucchini, until they become golden brown. Then Paulina adds some special homemade Thai sauce to mix with all the ingredients to give the special Asian flavour.

Juicy Lucy beef burger

1kg of minced meat, 6 egg yolk, margarine 200g (frozen), bread crumbs 300g, Onions 2 (chopped), Carrot 1 (chopped), salt and pepper, garlic, 6 burger buns from Eat Zanzibar

Depending how “meaty” you want your burger, add more carrots, says Paulina. Some chefs use the whole egg, but she prefers to add only the yolk. Mix all well, form “flatties'' or more rounded burgers and keep in the fridge for at least half an hour before frying. Simple but cosmopolitan: Island treats by Kwetu Kwenu

Kwetu Kwetu Brownies

Sugar 300g, flour 75g, Cocoa 75, butter 225g, dark chocolate 225g, Egg 4 pcs fully

Stir and knead everything for 3 minutes, fill in forms and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees. Tastes fumbalicious for breakfast, afternoon tea or at parties, success guaranteed.

All roads leading to Fumba

Fumba Town is getting two top-notch public roads and public water access, all to be completed this year.

Finally, two brand new tarmac roads will connect Fumba Town to the rest of the world. The roadwork is in the making and expected to be completed within weeks latest by November according to the contractor. The government has contracted Turkish company IRIS ASER in a joint venture to develop a network of feeder roads all over the island with a total of about 275 kilometres.


The road from Dimani market to the Fumba Town gate (1.3 km) and further up to the waterfront (500 metres) is part of the package, as well as a road from Nyamanzi to Kombeni (1 km), explained Taner Baskiran of the Turklsh contractor.


Residents of both villages and Fumba Town dwellers are eagerly following progress.Meanwhile, the Zanzibar Minister of Water, Energy and Minerals, Shaib H. Kaduara, visited Fumba Town alongside an on-going water extension on the Fumba peninsula. Public water pipes are currently being installed. So far, the new suburb Fumba Town has been relying entirely on its own wells and water supply. Fresh water is expected to become less costly once the public system is installed. Tobias Dietzold, chief of product of Fumba Town developer CPS, hosted the Minister and took him around the new town. “We had a fruitful discussion about the connectivity”, said Dietzold. Minister Kaduara ensured a “reliable infrastructure”. Fumba Town is one of the most significant inv

Going Nuts About Cashews

Fahad Awadh succeeds with first modern cashew factory in Zanzibar

By staff writer

Ever wondered why Tanzania is among the biggest cashews growers in the world but rarely exports the finished product? Here comes the answer – and the change.

First we get lost looking for mighty Fahad Awadh and his new cashew factory near Amaan stadium. It’s situated in an ageing Industrial Park of the same name, opened in 1976, just minutes from the stadium but the fact that there is no signboard and not really a highway to reach it, already says it all. Business attitudes yet have a long way to go on the tropical island of Zanzibar.

Not with Fahad Awadh, though. Having grown up as an especially talented kid in Toronto, Canada, to where his Zanzibari parents migrated when he was young, he returned to his home island ten years ago with a clear focus: “To work as an entrepreneur, to develop an industry.” Now 36 years old, he masterminded, built up and opened a top-notch modern cashew factory in the Amaan business park, being one of the first entrepreneurs to revive the hub which had been lying idle for the best of two decades. Other are following, like a glass-fibre boat company, and Awadh just opened a neat staff canteen, too, open-air and surrounded by colourful cashew graffiti. 

Why Zanzibar? Why cashews? Sitting in his minimalist office, dressed all in black, Awadh answers with a big smile and a deep baritone voice: “We produce a lot of things in Africa, cotton, tobacco, coffee, but rarely we add value.” So, the man who won several ‘talent kid” competitions in Canada and was admitted early to a special school program for whizz kids, started his research looking for the best possible Tanzanian product to market – and landed with the cashews. He chose Zanzibar because of its port, cargo ferry and welcome government incentives such as three-year free rent and duty-free import. With such assistance the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (ZIPA) aims to revive Amaan park.

“94 percent of Tanzania’s cashews are exported in a raw state to countries such as Vietnam and India, where they are processed, roasted and shipped onward to Europe and the US”, Awadh explains a ludicrous process, “so there is huge potential for exporting the finished product directly from here to the consuming country.” He sources his cashews from small-scale farmers in the Mtwara region, considered some of the best in the country. The farmers do the shelling, earning more with that. Drying, peeling, roasting and flavouring is carried out in the state-of-the art block-chain factory with aluminium machinery and gadgets, all fully automated. “The hardest part was getting the finance to buy the machinery”, says Awadh, whose father partners with him in the business. 

Cashew nuts, we learn, aren’t actually nuts at all, but the seed of the cashew apple, resembling a yellow pepper. veggie. They are rich in protein and essential minerals. Shipping them around the world unprocessed, however, is an environmental nuisance because they are bulky; a seed-to-shop model much more sustainable. 

By hand, not-so-perfect nuts are eliminated from the crop and moisture checks undertaken. Already, Awadh is employing more than 35 skilled workers, men and women. The factory began processing in 2019. By now, the production stands at 100-120 tons of cashews per year, packaged in 150gr bags, at a wholesale price of TZS 5,000 (about two dollars). A special QR code on the vacuum bag tells the consumer which farm the cashew is coming from  – a transparency highly appreciated in the West. Other products such as cashew butter are being added. And there is room for expansion: ”We now produce three to four times a week”, Awadh says, “we could even go 24/7”.