This study on the media legal framework in Zanzibar comes at an opportune moment when the 8th phase government in Zanzibar has expressed a solid intention to modernize and liberalize the media sector in Zanzibar. Media and the right to information are important cornerstones for the vision tabled by the administration for a robust (Blue) economy and a proactive fight against corruption. The latter will not be realized if citizens are not empowered thoroughly to play their rightful oversight role over public officials and resources. It is only by empowering citizens with the right to information and allowing independent media to flourish that collective action against corruption can be catalyzed. The legislature in Zanzibar therefore bears a critical role in ensuring that Zanzibar is ready to materialize its potential through open and inclusive public debate on economic growth and public accountability.

This study is divided into seven parts excluding annexures. The first part sets out the context in Zanzibar as far as media freedom and right to information are concerned including the constitutional architecture. The second part draws on the global and regional standards on media freedom and the right to information as part three addresses the legal framework including the union legal framework and its relevance to Zanzibar.

In part four, the political economy of media regulation in Zanzibar is discussed highlighting the various actors, the enabling laws and the relative powers of the actors.

Part five of the study discussed in relative detail the relevant laws in Zanzibar touching on media freedom and right to information highlighting the key gaps in the said laws. On the other hand, part six discusses the proposed media services bill and provides a critical analysis of it as well as recommendations for improving it. Part seven, provides a list of recommendations to be considered in order for the legal framework to improve in line with regional and global standards