AFTER a long delay in implementation of the construction of Pan African Postal Union (PAPU) headquarters building, final arrangements were cleared yesterday for the 17-storey building at Sekei ward in Arusha.
The Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, Engineer Isaac Kamwelwe, PAPU and Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) senior officials handed over the plot to the contractor, Beijing Engineering Construction Limited, who is scheduled to carry out the construction and complete the building in 30 months.
The minister who along with TCRA Director General, James Kilaba and PAPU Assistant Secretary General, Mr Aduloju Kolawole toured the site that is adjacent to the current building that houses PAPU headquarters, said the kick off day marked the end of a long wait for such construction since Tanzania, through the founding father of the nation, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere offered to host the PAPU headquarters.
"After all the delays, at last we are now clearing the site for the construction of the building that will house the PAPU headquarters.
The offer for land was given to PAPU by Mwalimu Nyerere, but it is in the fifth phase government under President John Magufuli that the handover of the plot and construction takes place," said Mr Kamwelwe.
Eng Kamwelwe said mobilisation of personnel and clearing of the site by the contractor was to start instantaneously, including laying of the foundation stone that is set to be laid later this month during a meeting of 45 PAPU member countries that will take place in Arusha to mark 40 years anniversary of the Union.
He said construction of the building in Tanzania is an opportunity for employment to Tanzanians during and after the construction, calling upon state organs to ensure the area is well protected and no trespass happens. The sky scrapping complex is bankrolled by PAPU and TCRA.
Engineer Kilaba called on the contractor to work diligently at the set standards, and if possible accomplish the task before the agreed date.
PAPU Assistant Secretary General Kolawole thanked the government for apportioning the land to PAPU and providing the necessary documents, adding that apart from housing the headquarters of the Union, the building will be their investment house, with conference facilities as well.
PAPU, a specialized institution of the African Union (AU) responsible for promotion and development of postal services on the continent, was found in 1980.
PAPU is also responsible for supporting African countries in developing strategies and policies to improve access to information and communication infrastructure and services on the continent.
Additionally, the Union represents the interests of its members at global decision-making conferences and delivers a valuable set of support services to its stakeholders.
On 22nd December last year, Minister Kamwelwe informed the nation of the upcoming celebration of the PAPU 40th Anniversary under the distinguished patronage of President John Magufuli.
The festivities will take place in Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) in Arusha from 17th to 19th this month under the theme 'The Post: A veritable Partner for Financial Inclusion and Regional Integration'.
He said the celebration will be an ideal opportunity for PAPU to take stock of its achievements so far and chart the way forward.
An activity-packed programme will be rolled out, highlighting issues of paramount interest to the postal industry, Africa in particular and the world at large.
The event will provide a platform for networking with a view to enhancing cooperation among leading African and global policy- makers, operators, partners and other key stakeholders of the postal sector, he emphasized.
The three days are expected to attract more than 500 guests from within and outside Africa, including finance ministers and other senior government and corporate officials.