Destination news: Tourism not campaigned in Tanzania political elections


TANZANIA, Africa (eTN) – Tanzania, a fast-growing tourist destination, held its traditional five-year general election on Sunday, October 31, 2010 to elect a new president, members of parliament, and civic leaders.

Over 19 million eligible Tanzanians were expected to vote, where the current president, Mr. Jakaya Kikwete, was looking for his second and final five-year term to lead this East African nation.

eTN Chatroom: Discuss with readers from around the world:

Looking to spearhead economic and investment development in Tanzania, defending president Mr. Kikwete said his final government to be established this month would stimulate more economic and investment opportunities so as to create more jobs and raise the current economic situation.

Tourism and air transport sectors were not much mentioned during presidential political rallies, but parliamentary candidates echoed their voices aimed at boosting tourism in their respective areas.

Tanzania’s just-ended election has been the toughest one, bringing together defending president Mr. Kikwete from the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party – Revolutionary Party – and the outspoken opposition and former Roman Catholic priest, Dr. Willibrod Slaa, from the opposition Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) party – Party for Democracy and Development.

Opposition candidates are likely to win key areas, mostly in Tanzania’s northern tourist hub of Arusha and Kilimanjaro area – home of Africa’s highest peak.

During his five-year term in office, Mr. Kikwete campaigned for Tanzania’s tourism development and participated in a number of tourism discussions and conferences in Tanzania, America, and several other parts of the world.

Other than tourism conferences and dialogues, Mr. Kikwete had invited a number of tourist investments through hotels and lodges. With higher chances to win the second term, Mr. Kikwete had promised to foster Tanzania’s economic development and strengthen anti-corruption campaigns.

With almost 45 million people, Tanzania is one among the poorest nations in Africa despite its rich resources made up of abundant wildlife for tourism, vast land for agricultural development, and tourist attractive scenery.

Poor economic performance led Tanzanians living under the poverty line with less than a single dollar per day, but Mr. Kikwete has pledged to improve the economy and cut down on poverty in Tanzania.