The Arusha International Conference Center is finally getting a new Managing Director who now officially takes over the post from the late and legendary Elishilia Kaaya.
Kaaya, the former MD, passed away in July 2021 after serving the post for more than 15 years.
President Samia Suluhu Hassan has appointed Ephraim Mafuru to lead the country’s international conferences organizing and hosting entity, headquartered in the Northern City of Arusha.
The AICC, a corporation operating under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs runs the Arusha International Conference Center complex and the Julius Nyerere International Convention Center (JNICC) in Dar-es-salaam.
The state-owned AICC is also a major real estate developer in Arusha City where the entity owns several residential houses, flats, sports venues and commercial buildings.
Some of the residential properties include the Soweto Estates, Playgrounds and AICC Club of Kaloleni, Arusha. The Kijenge residential flats and the adjacent AICC Sports Center.
The entity also owns residential flats in Corridor Area Street of Uzunguni as well as residential houses and plots of land in Njiro area.
Before Mafuru’s appointment one of the Arusha International Conference Center officials, Savo Mung’ong’o, an accountant by profession and Kaaya’s college mate, was acting as the Managing Director for the AICC.
On the other hand the new AICC Managing Director, Ephraim Mafuru holds an MBA (Master of Business Administration) from the University of Dar-es-Salaam.
Mafuru, who previously worked as the Head of Corporate Affairs at Kilombero Sugar and led the marketing Departments at Vodacom Tanzania as well as Serengeti Breweries, boasts more than 20 years’ experience in marketing.
The former AICC Managing Director, Elishilia Kaaya was an accountant by profession; he was also an award winning poet, writer, a philanthropist, a journalist of some sort as well as a charismatic politician.
Elishilia Kaaya took over the post from Ambassador Patrick Tsere, former Tanzanian envoy to Zambia.
Kaaya used to write a column of poems in The Arusha Times newspaper and one of his works won him an international literary award.
Others who have served as the Managing Directors of the AICC include, the former Prime Minister, Edward Lowassa, who once contested for the Presidential post.
There was also Herman Lupogo who was later appointed to head the Tanzania Commission for Aids (TACAIDS).
The Arusha International Conference Center was formed in 1978 shortly after the breakup of the maiden East African Community (1967-1977), then made up of three countries, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The three-winged giant complex constructed to serve as the headquarters of the EAC were placed under the newly formed AICC to manage them as office blocks as well as conference center.
The AICC used to host the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UN-ICTR).