Zanzibar is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, composed of small islands and two large ones, with the capital located in Zanzibar City on Unguja Island. Zanzibar has a rich history of trade, with evidence of connections dating back to ancient Assyrians. Traders from the Arabian Peninsula, the Persian Gulf, and West India likely visited Zanzibar as early as the 1st century, utilizing the monsoon winds for sailing. In 1964, Zanzibar was joined with Tanganyika to form Tanzania.

The nation is renowned for its spice production, including cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and black pepper, earning it the nickname "Spice Islands." Tourism has also grown significantly, with visitor numbers increasing from 19,000 in 1985 to 376,000 in 2016. The archipelago is accessible through multiple ports and an international airport that can accommodate up to 1.5 million passengers annually. The marine ecosystem of Zanzibar plays a vital role in the fishing industry and algaculture, acting as a fish nursery for Indian Ocean populations.  

Besides spices, Zanzibar exports seaweed, fine raffia, and engages in fishing and dugout canoe production. Tourism remains a crucial source of foreign currency. The government has implemented measures to stimulate economic growth, such as establishing foreign exchange bureaux, a free port area, and export-producing zones. Efforts have also been made to explore the potential for oil production, which could further boost the economy, although disagreements between mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar over oil revenue sharing persist.

Following becoming a British protectorate in 1890, the Zanzibar Government issued Zanzibar rupee paper bills, featuring a uniface design from 1908 to 1928. The bills depicted an Arab dhow boat and workers gathering cloves, representing the significance of sea trade and agriculture. Zanzibar was once the top clove producer and exporter in the world. The Zanzibar rupee replaced the Zanzibar ryal and remained on par with the Indian rupee until 1936.

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