Shortly after he was elected chairman of Chama Cha Mapinduzi, the ruling party, President Magufuli announced that the government would be moved to Dodoma and that the process would be […]
Shortly after he was elected chairman of Chama Cha Mapinduzi, the ruling party, President Magufuli announced that the government would be moved to Dodoma and that the process would be completed before the end of his presidential term, in 2020.
Dodoma has been, for decades, the official capital city of the country, since founding President Julius Nyerere announced, in 1973, the government’s decision to shift from Dar es Salaam to better serve the needs of Tanzanians. However, the move could not be implemented due to economic constraints and poor infrastructure. In August 2016, the government revealed that housing and other social amenities were complete and that the new capital was ready to receive 70% of its offices and 75% of its workers. The economic impact triggered by this move will be seen in different sectors of Tanzania’s economy. TBY has interviewed some interested parties to understand how the country is preparing for this much-anticipated transition.
Prof. Makame Mbarawa, Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, explained the importance of state-of-art infrastructure for any country to achieve long-term development, noting how the government is focusing on developing crucial projects in the city of Dodoma to connect the country’s capital. “Infrastructure is an important asset for any country. There is no development or economic progress without the proper infrastructure to support it. … Our mission at the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication is to build this state-of-the-art infrastructure for town roads, ports, and aviation. To this end, in 2016 the government allocated TZS2.496 trillion to transport projects in the country. Some of this will go toward the building of a standard gauge railway from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, Tabora, Isaka, and on to Mwanza, around 1,219km of track,“ he said, adding: “We just completed the construction of a new airport in Dodoma as the government is shifting there and we need to prepare the city to be our new capital.“
Nehemiah Kyando Mchechu, Director General of the National Housing Corporation (NHC), explained how the largest real estate company in East and Central Africa has adjusted its strategy and goals to the government’s medium-term vision. “With the new government, there are exciting opportunities that are coming up. For example, the new government is moving the capital to Dodoma, which is a huge opportunity for real estate. There will be a huge demand for development in Dodoma both in residential and office blocks. This government is also pushing for industrialization and this along with the construction of satellite cities and the relocation of the capital to Dodoma will boost the building materials sector. It is an exciting time. We have launched many projects and our main focus for 2016-2017 is on completing those and also embarking on developing Dodoma. The government is keen to start moving there in 2016. We will also continue developing the satellite cities we have started.“
Waziri W. Kindamba, the new CEO of Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited (TTCL), talked about how the state-owned telecoms corporation will turn Dodoma into the country’s telecommunication hub: “We are responsible for implementing the national ICT backbone, connecting the capital city of Dodoma to the rest of the country. We are the first utility company that has connected the Prime Minister’s offices and residence and we are prepared to continue moving quickly. We will work on internet connectivity as well as improving the availability of the voice platform. These works are being done in cooperation with our national and international stakeholders.“
Additionally, TTCL is expanding its operations to Dodoma, as it will soon become one of the busiest cities in East Africa: “At the moment, TTCL’s 4G LTE network coverage is limited to Dar es Salaam; therefore, our plan is that by the end of this year we should be able to cover another three regions: Dodoma, Mwanza, and Arusha. Dodoma is the capital city, Mwanza is a business hub, and Arusha is a tourist destination.“