Zanzibar has adopted and rolled out a digital budgeting system as it aims to boost transparency, consistency and promote accountability among planners, implementers and decision makers.

Known as the Planning, Budgeting and Reporting System (PlanRep), the initiative is a collaboration between the Zanzibar government and the US Agency for International Development (USAid).

Budget officer from the President’s Office of Financing and Planning in Zanzibar, Ms Khadija Alhaji Bakari, said that before the introduction of PlanRep, the Zanzibari government was using manual and non-responsive tools to prepare its plans and budgets.“The old way of doing things resulted in numerous errors and inconsistent data. It required extensive cross-checking due to the absence of automatic linkages, and reduced efficiency, leading to substantial costs. Manual systems also left limited opportunities for authorities to detect funding misuse,” Ms Bakari said.

The system, renamed Zanzibar Planning and Reporting System (ZanPBRS) has been integrated with the government’s expenditure management system.

Permanent Secretary in Zanzibar Finance and Planning ministry, Dr Juma Malik Akil said with ZanPBRS, government institutions and local authorities can now digitally submit plans and budgets for approval, reducing delays in executing public initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life for citizens.“Thanks to the system, once funds are allocated, government institutions and local authorities’ staff can track and report their spending in ZanPBRS for monitoring by officials. The increased transparency ensures that the budget the government allocates goes where it is supposed to and improves service delivery to the citizens in our communities,” he said.

Zanzibar e-Government Agency (eGAZ) managing director, Mr Said Seif Said, said the government has developed a five-year roadmap known as the “Digital Economy and Statistics Map”, which seeks to effectively utilise digital tools, enhance efficiency, and bolster capacity building through human capital development. © Copyright 2022 Nation Media Group. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (