Is Dodoma stealing international thunder from Arusha?

With the inauguration of the new and larger State House in Dodoma, it is now likely that both Arusha and Dar-es-salaam cities may lose relevance.

Experts predict that of the two cities, it is Arusha which stands to suffer most, because this Northern Zone’s urban precinct has been hosting almost all international events being held in Tanzania

But President Samia Suluhu Hassan who recently graced the occasion to inaugurate the new Chamwino State House in Dodoma revealed that more diplomatic wings and facilities will soon be included on the vast landscape surrounding the new presidential residence in Central Tanzania.

The new Ikulu at Chamwino occupies 8473 hectares of real estate in Dodoma (Tanzania Times)

The soon to be completed East African Community (EAC) wing and lounge to handle regional affairs.

There will be again a special building to host the Southern African Development Community (SADC) activities at the Dodoma State House grounds.

These are some of future developments that are signalling red light to Arusha, Tanzania’s smallest city but which is more preferred among international visitors and delegates.

“It is only the beginning, once the Msalato International Airport is completed, all international delegations will be landing in Dodoma,” said President Samia.

An auxiliary office of the President of Zanzibar is also included in the new Dodoma State House at Chamwino.

Which means Dar-es-salaam, the congested city of over 5 million residents will remain just a commercial port city.

With all modern facilities targeting international delegates moving to Dodoma, what will Arusha’s role be in future?

“Arusha continues to play the role of tourism portal for Tanzania,” says a travel agent who preferred to remain anonymous.

But some of the country’s top tourist destinations can also be easily accessed from Dodoma.

For instance the country’s two largest National Parks, Ruaha and Nyerere, as well as other Southern Game Reserves will now be near the new capital than Arusha.

Even Tarangire National Park, the home of largest Elephants in East Africa, can easily be accessed from Dodoma, now that the Tanzania National Parks management has opened another entry gate at Magugu Ward in Babati District of Manyara, just a three-hour drive from Dodoma.

Plus, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism is soon going to key into its new premises in Dodoma, moving away from Mpingo House in Dar-es-salaam.