Tanzanian president becomes tough on tourism


DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (eTN) – In his address to mark the new year of 2009, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete expressed with disappointments, the failure by authorities to make the Tanzania’s capital city of Dar es Salaam a tourist friendly site.

Embarrassed by laxity and poor performance of the Dar es Salaam City Council, the Tanzanian president lashed with harsh words the city fathers for failing to beautify Tanzania’s commercial and political capital into a tourist attractive site.

Mr. Kikwete said authorities have failed to draw up plans that would make Tanzania’s capital a tourist friendly as were the other African cities including Durban and Cape Town in South Africa, Abidjan in Cote D’Ivore or other Tanzanian tourist towns of Arusha, Zanzibar and Moshi (Kilimanjaro).

The Tanzanian president who has been on forefront in promoting Tanzania’s tourism through his speeches and statements delivered in various countries including the United States said he was disappointed to see Tanzania’s capital city unclean to discourage foreign tourists.

Soon after elected the fourth president of Tanzania three years ago, Mr. Kikwete has developed a strong interest on tourism development and visited all the key and famous tourist attractive sites in Tanzania including the world’s best-known Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania.

He said Dar es Salaam city whose population is about four million was in total muddle of untidiness making it less tourist attractive other than a transit point to foreign tourists.

Established in 1856 by Omani Sultan, the historical city of Dar es Salaam has remained poorly developed to attract tourists despite of rich history and pristine sea beaches.

Now, Dar es Salaam whose name means “Haven of Peace” is ranked among dirty and unplanned cities in Africa, matching with Mogadishu in Somalia and Khartoum in Sudan, while other African cities like Gaborone, Johannesburg and Cairo have well planned strategies to ensure cleanliness with good plans.

On global financial crisis, the Tanzanian president said it has affected the Tanzania’s tourism industry due to the decreased number of tourists, which has led to decline in revenue of between seven and 18 percent.

He said the time has come for Tanzania to develop domestic tourism and look for new tourist sources from the rising tourist markets of the Middle East and the Far Eastern states.

President Kikwete has been campaigning for Tanzania’s tourism development in most countries he had visited, and has managed to attract global tourist organizations to pay their attention to Tanzania.