26 January 2013

Tanzania: In Focus

Arusha City in Tanzania is popular despite the fact that it lacks basic services in many parts of the city. Why?

Arusha is a lush green city. The weather in the city is pleasant if you think about. Otherwise, it easy to take it for granted.

Residents may choose to stay at locations where the weather is chill on the foot of Mount Meru or they can stay at Moshono where the weather is relatively warm.

The weather is perfect for workouts in the mornings or in the evenings along the streets where there are no stray dogs. The weather is perfect because the air in the City is fresh since there are virtually no factories that pollute air in Arusha city. Environmentalists may worry only of the factory which manufactures mosquito nets. They probably worry also about the two brewing factories that are located in the City. It is normal for environmentalists to worry about things like that. You might think.

The city is popular because it has been the center whereby leaders of the ruling party charted the original political road map of the country. In particular, the leaders met in Arusha to sign the Arusha Declaration of 1967. The declaration was actually a Policy on Socialism and Self Reliance (1967).

The Zanzibar Resolution has long sidelined the Arusha Declaration in 1991. The resolution guides the process to achieve the country's Vision 2025.

Political analysts inform that the main objectives of Vision 2025 are similar to the objectives of Arusha Declaration. It suggests that colonialism is still the benchmark for future development in this country, unnecessarily.

On a lighter note, Arusha City is a famous political battle ground whereby politicians contest fiercely during elections since the city is also a political constituency. Councilors or Members of Parliament in the city may win seats at the ballots; they sometimes lose those seats after elections at party meetings or at the courts. They may win their seats again when they appeal. Such is the dynamics of politics in Arusha.

Arusha is popular because it is home to the UNICTR, the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and also of the Africa Court of Human and Peoples' Rights.

Speaking of international appeal, Arusha City is the headquarters of the trading bloc called East African Community (EAC). Member states failed to relocate the headquarters of the community to other cities in the region after intense discussions about the matter. Offices for the community have already been built in Arusha.

The City is popular because it is the gateway to some of the Tanzania's magnificent tourist attraction landscapes that include Ngorongoro and National Parks such as Serengeti, Tarangire, Manyara, Arusha and Kilimanjaro. Nairobi is 230 kilometers away.

Arusha is a popular trade center. It is said that the City generates substantial revenues for the government. Arusha is second only to Dar es Salaam in that regard.

In addition, Arusha is a popular trading center for the rare mineral called Tanzanite. Tanzanite is only found in Tanzania on the foot of Kilimanjaro Mountain.

Arusha is the home of meat eating communities. There are restaurants which sell boiled hooves, goat as well as cow heads. Residents in the city order soups made of intestines while waiting for meats of their choice to be roasted. There are popular annual meat- roasting competitions that provide lucrative awards to winners. But that is nothing compared to meat eating festivals that are organized by the Maasai people at outskirts of the city.

It is for some of such reasons that Arusha is one of the fastest growing cities in Tanzania.

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