EAC moots grand plans for Arusha

Arusha, TANZANIA – The East African Community (EAC) Secretariat intends to kick off an ambitious development plan on its 130-acre piece of land in Arusha. The land was allocated by the Tanzania government. 

Among the projects earmarked are a staff housing scheme, an international school, a health centre, recreation facilities, exhibition ground and banking as well as a shopping mall.

This was revealed last week during a visit to the site by senior EAC officials led by the deputy secretary general (Finance and Administration),  Jean-Claude Nsengiyumva. The land was allocated to the EAC in August 2005 for future expansion.

The visit was aimed at re-establishing the boundaries of the land with a view to starting the processing of its title deed. Once the title deed is processed, the Secretariat intends to initiate grand development projects on the land,” the Secretariat said in a statement.

In 2008 during one of the EAC Heads of State summits, the Arusha-based Secretariat was directed to put in place a housing policy geared towards acquiring and/or constructing houses for all key Community staff. 

The regional leaders requested the EAC to approach banks and financial institutions as well as social security funds “with a view to structuring mortgage lending for effecting the housing policy”.

Nsengiyumva is quoted in the press statement as saying; “EAC can effectively implement the directive as well as other grand development projects only after the Right of Occupancy to the said piece of land is granted.”

Accompanying the officials were surveyors; Yohana N. Nshumbi and Danielson P. Naiman from Josjujo Surveyors and Land Consult, both based in Arusha.

The 130 acre piece of land outside the CBD along the Dodoma Road was one of the areas earlier proposed for the construction of the permanent headquarters of the regional organisation.

However, EAC later opted to build its new complex near the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC) where its temporary headquarters were located from the 1990s until November 2012 when it shifted to its new office block.

“The Community may expand in the future with the setting up of new institutions, necessitating construction of additional buildings”, a senior official of the Secretariat said, adding that the land would Meanwhile, Nsengiyumva  last week  commended the interests and keenness shown by  students and the youth in general for the EAC integration process.

He was addressing 118 3third-year Political Science and Public Administration students from Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University in Lushoto, Tanga, who were on a study tour to the EAC Headquarters.

The Deputy Secretary said on average in a week the EAC Secretariat receives over 20 applications from Universities and schools requesting for study tours to share knowledge on the integration process. He said the students and the youth were the future of the Community and therefore engaging them in integration issues was in line with the Community’s outreach policy.

Nsengiyumva briefed the students on the key pillars of the integration process and the milestones so far put in place.