As you walk through the Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, accompanied by chirping birds and humid tropical air, Alice Rukazibwa is there planning what would be her life’s work. Alice is a Tanzanian who currently lives in Zanzibar. She is creating spice farm tours that are accompanied by education centres, where guides and residents can study languages as well as the intricacies of spices. Her journey is one she passionately explains with unbridled excitement while basking in the nature around her. “This is an interesting place, because we have Jozani Forest, we have spice, we have a turtle and butterfly centre all in one area. It could be a big touristic area.”
Alice believes everything is about connection and interconnectedness.
She is eager to share this life with the world. She marvels at the depth of the communal culture that sings to the seeds before they are planted to become spices. Zanzibar, often known as Spice Island, grows nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, and other spices. The production of spices is a significant economic driver on the island on top of a budding tourism industry.
To build locally is to strengthen communities.
“It all has to be local.” Alice is adamant that locally established small and medium-sized businesses are vital to Africa’s economic fabric.
According to the World Bank, more than half of all businesses and jobs are owned and operated by micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). And through her entrepreneurial initiative, Alice is well on her way to addressing the demand for education and employment development in her community.
Alice’s teammate, Riziki Hassan Galu shares with a smile, ” … I will be able to help myself so I can be a tour guide just right here at home in Zanzibar”, knowing there is much they would like to say once they have the tools.
Alice emphasises, however, that there is a large gap between the promise of what is possible and what is being accomplished, as she has ambitious aspirations. The absence of internet connectivity has made it difficult for her to move at the pace she prefers: “Where we are, we don’t have any mobile connection at all.”
Today, Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park, the only national park on the island, is connected to the internet through World Mobile AirNodes, enabling people to access the web and all the opportunities it brings. This connection now enables many individuals, such as Alice, to accelerate their ideas. The internet offers the opportunity to connect with markets, promote ideas, and serve as a learning resource.
World Mobile is a change-making movement built on the power of connectivity and a vision of a world that can serve everyone. The hybrid network and sharing economy drives a model of interconnectedness, as AirNode Owners and Operators earn by connecting others. The rollout of World Mobile technology in Zanzibar is the initial step toward connecting the world’s 2.9 billion unconnected people. Along the way, we encounter individuals like Alice, who generate employment, build local economies, radiate creativity, and provide a wealth of knowledge to the world wide web.
Watch Alice explain the power of connection in Zanzibar in the video below.