Dar es Salaam – Zanzibar announced plans on Tuesday to build sub-Saharan Africa’s tallest skyscraper, with the $1.3-billion bill exceeding the archipelago’s annual budget by more than 60%.
The 70-storey Zanzibar Domino Commercial Tower will be developed on the west coast, 15km from the Unesco World Heritage site of Stone Town, and involve the creation of a man-made island along with a marina for yachts and cruise ships.
At more than three trillion Tanzanian shillings, the total outlay will surpass the 2021/22 budget of the semi-autonomous archipelago by more than 60%.
Mudrik Ramadhan Soraga, Zanzibar’s minister of state for labour, economy and investment, told reporters the project would bolster “the government’s efforts in inviting more local and foreign investors to the isles”.
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The finished project will house 560 apartments, luxury hotels, resorts, a golf course and a wedding chapel, according to a statement by the New York and Dubai-based design firm xCassia, Tanzania’s AICL Group and Scotland’s Crowland Management Ltd.
“First sketched in Paris in 2009 after my late father, two sons and I played a round of dominos, I dreamed of building this project for over a decade,” Jean-Paul Cassia, founder of the eponymous firm, said in the statement.
“It had all the bearings of an icon anyone could remember… All it lacked was the right visionary investor and site to make it come true,” he added.
Once finished, the skyscraper will be Africa’s second highest building, after Egypt’s 80-storey Iconic Tower which is due to be completed next year.
The continent’s tallest building in use is the 55-storey Leonardo in Sandton, Johannesburg.
Famed for its turquoise waters and spice plantations, Zanzibar relies heavily on tourism, and has suffered a huge hit during the coronavirus pandemic.
Picture: Getty Images