Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority has evolved between times; it was first initiated in 1986 as a department under the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs up to 1992 when it was converted to government Agency (Zanzibar Investment Promotion Agency) with some form of Autonomy.
For some reasons the Government thought investment activities under the Agency were not being executed comprehensively and hence established a second institution known as Zanzibar Free Economic Zones Authority (ZAFREZA: 1992) with semi-autonomous powers operating under the Ministry of State (Planning). Even after this move there appeared to be gaps in operating investment activities and hence a third institution was formed namely Zanzibar Free Port Authority (by an Act of House of Representatives: 1998) operating under the Ministry of Finance. Questions continued to be asked from the general public as well as investors as to why the need for separate organizations. No immediate answers were available until 2003 when an Investment Policy was endorsed by the Government which advised on the merger of all the three investment related institutions into a single Authority with autonomous status.
Hence a new legal framework was proposed and finally assented by the President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council and became law in 2004. This was the starting point of the new ZIPA (Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority). The Authority operated under The Zanzibar Investment Promotion and Protection Act until 2018 when the need to widen up the Authority's mandate to include Investment promotion and Economic Development raised. Currently, ZIPA is operating under the Zanzibar Investment Promotion and Protection Authority Act no 14 of 2018. The Authority is responsible for investment promotion, facilitation and aftercare services through "One Stop Centre" mechanism. The Authority regulates and administer investment activities in Zanzibar including Free Economic Zones with due regard to the principles of openness, competitiveness and transparency.