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No business is an island and no business can operate sustainably as a lone entity. Having built a luxury hotel on an actual island, we can attest to this more than most. Reaching out, forging meaningful partnerships and building bridges is a recipe for incredible growth and innovation, regardless of the business sector.

I see business partnerships as two or more companies coming together, balancing each other’s skills and areas of expertise, and working towards a common for mutual advantage. I completely believe that only when working together does real innovation happen.

After stepping down as Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon famously said: “Broad partnerships are the key to solving broad challenges. When governments, the United Nations, businesses, philanthropies and civil society work hand-in-hand, we can achieve great things.”

Although Mr Ban was referring to collaboration within and around the United Nations, his statement is true for all sectors and businesses.

How? Let us tell you how Hotel Verde Zanzibar — Azam Luxury Resort & Spa came into being.

The Bakhresa Group, a Tanzanian industrial conglomerate with interests in agro-commodities and processing, food and beverages, packaging, marine transport, and petroleum, decided to branch out into hospitality. It accrued a property of a well-known hotel due for refurbishment and started work on a luxury resort set to become Hotel Verde Zanzibar — Azam Luxury Resort & Spa.

Not long after, Verde Hotels joined the table. Now, not only was Zanzibar’s most luxurious hotel being built, but also Zanzibar’s greenest hotel.

The aim of the partnership is to transcend conventional hotel and business standards by entering into a new era of environmental consciousness and responsible tourism. In this position we are able to work with an East African business leader, as well as shape the tourism industry in Zanzibar towards a greener, more sustainable approach. The Bakhresa Group, on the other hand, was set to open the first-of-its-kind hospitality experience in Zanzibar with an experienced hotel management firm at the helm.

“We are serious about being leaders of the green economy sector and therefore we approached Verde Hotels, the developer of Africa’s greenest hotel, to ensure that Hotel Verde Zanzibar will be the greenest hotel in East Africa.'' – Mr Said Salim Awadh Bakhresa, chairperson of the Bakhresa Group.

We worked with the Bakhresa Group from the construction phase and will continue to grow with it in maintaining and managing the hotel. Through this partnership, we are able maximise core focuses of each business, leading to efficient operations, reduced impacts, conserving natural resources, cost savings and, of course, profit, in ways we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.

From here we will continue to build bridges with other tourism, travel, transport, produce and recruitment partners. We will also forge strong and meaningful relationships with local businesses and micro-enterprises. Only by working together, across all sectors, can we shape Hotel Verde Zanzibar into a sustainable and profitable for business owners, partners and the local community.