Towards a more inclusive Zanzibar economy: Zanzibar poverty assessment 2022

This report assesses recent progress in poverty reduction in Zanzibar. It is based on Zanzibar’s last three household budget surveys and considers the period between 2009 and 2019, with a focus on the last four years of this decade: 2015–2019. Poverty — based on household consumption — fell by 9 percentage points over the decade before the COVID-19 pandemic: it dropped from 34.9 to 25.7 percent. However, the pace of poverty reduction was slow relative to population growth and as such, the number of poor dropped by only 27,000. The drop was fastest in urban areas and because poverty levels were already lower than in rural areas, the gap between rural and urban poverty widened, driven by differences between the islands of Unguja and Pemba. Simulations suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic increased urban poverty increased by 1.8 percentage points in 2020–21 while rural poverty dropped by 0.8 percentage points.