ZIORI is a research-oriented independent institution. It will endeavour to encourage, facilitate, and co-ordinate research on all aspects of the Indian Ocean by local as well as foreign scholars, with particular emphasis on the social sciences of Zanzibar, the Swahili coast, and the Indian Ocean.
It will encourage inter-disciplinary research, especially to take advantage of the facilities of the Institute of Marine Sciences in Zanzibar. In particular it seeks to develop the research capacity among young scholars in Zanzibar and the Indian Ocean region in general. It will organise training on research methodology for young scholars, and to offer advice to help them develop their research capacity. It will try to involve them in research projects to get first-hand experience.
ZIORI will work in close coordination with the existing governmental and non-governmental institutions, including the State University of Zanzibar, the Zanzibar University, and the University College of Education – Zanzibar, and other tertiary institutions in the Indian Ocean region.
The Institute will organise workshops and conferences on relevant themes, establish a network of scholars and researchers to facilitate consultation and research; present periodic lectures by local and visiting scholars on subjects of their specialisation; and arrange lectures and study tours for visiting student and other groups to make their introduction to Zanzibar and the Indian Ocean region informative and memorable.
It is felt that an autonomous institution, unrestrained by narrow disciplinary preoccupations and a complex bureaucracy, is better placed to provide an intellectual open space for creative research, and to lobby for and advocate untrammelled intellectual inquiry.