It all started in 2007, when Guy Mullens started with a plan to build a cybercafé on the east coast of Zanzibar. As an extra incentive, Guy planned to give some free classes to the local youths, in order to share knowledge, as his background is IT/Internet related. After having written down some ideas, Guy went to the ministry of Education, to see if he could get any support or help with this. The Ministry of Education sent Guy to their sister ministry, the Ministry for Women, Children and Youth Development, for help. There, he met with the Director of Youth affairs and the Chief Secretary, who stated the urgent need for such projects, especially for youths.
Zanzibits has, in the past years, achieved the following:
- Organized trainers to come and train the teachers for the Zanzibits centre;
- Full written support from the local ministries of youth and education, as well as the Dutch embassy in Dar es Salaam;
- Created partnerships with the local youth organizations;
- Registration of a local Zanzibar NGO, (Zanzibits NGO);
- Registration of Dutch Stichting (Stichting Zanzibits);
- In the process of receiving grants from Dutch funds, companies and private people
- In the process of securing a building in a geographically accessible area (Stone Town);
- Has a secured pre-order of computers locally in Zanzibar;
- Negotiated a free setup of the internet connectivity with the local provider Zanzinet, and a discount for the connection rates
has been active in the IT/Web development field for over ten years, and he thought the time right to use his knowledge and financial background to initiate such a project. The main motivation of the Zanzibits project is to reduce the creative and technical gap between Zanzibar/Tanzania/East Africa and the rest of the world, while making sure that the cultural integrity of the local youths is not harmed.