Dodoma — The Embassy of Germany yesterday opened its liaison office at 'Dodoma Plaza', becoming the first country to have its diplomatic office in the newly declared capital city.
The chief guest, Dr Augustine Mahiga, who is also the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said Germany also becomes the second diplomatic mission after the United Nations (UN), which opened its office here last December, the event which was graced by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa.
Speaking at the event, Dr Detlef Waechter, the Germany ambassador to Tanzania said: "The move is meant to facilitate cooperation and communication between the Embassy of Germany in Dar es Salaam and major German donor institutions in Tanzania with parliament, ministries and government institutions in Dodoma." Dr Mahiga commended the move saying it paved the way for Germany to open its fully-fledged Embassy in the near future. The decision, he said, was sending a positive signal to other embassies that it was possible for them to relocate to Dodoma regardless of challenges. "It is no small task to shift the capital city. The government is doing all it can to create conducive environments for all embassies," said Dr Mahiga.
"I am told by the Germany ambassador to Tanzania that Germany spent over three decades to shift its capital from Bonn to Berlin, so, really, we have a many things to learn from them."
To fast-track relocation to Dodoma, President John Magufuli, has already given free title deeds to all embassies and key international organisations for them to start building head offices.
Debating on the Dodoma Capital City Declaration Bill, 2018 last Tuesday, a section of legislators faulted the government on the grounds that it was unplanned, unprepared and not budgeted for.
However, Dodoma Region Commissioner Binilith Mahenge yesterday said the government was committed to improving infrastructure in Dodoma to match the capital city status. He said Sh77.8 billion was in a pipeline for the construction of infrastructure including, modern market and bus stand in Dodoma that would accommodate 600 vehicles.
Furthermore, its water production capacity stood at 61 million litres against the demand of 48 litres.
"Dodoma has all it takes to be a capital city. Mark my words, Dodoma will be one of the best cities in the next 20 years," said Dr Mahenge.
In another development, the government paid a total of Sh3.392 billion in compensation to residents who would be affected by the expansion of the Dodoma Airport.
The government plans to expand the airport by 150 metres to increase its efficiency.
Besides, in the current financial year, a total of Sh5 billion has been set aside for construction of more tarmacked roads in Dodoma.