President John Magufuli yesterday elevated Dodoma, the administrative capital of Tanzania to a city status.
The president announced Dodoma’s new status as he was addressing the masses at the Union Day celebrations held in the newly-elevated city.
Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar marks 54 years since the two countries merged in 1964 to form Tanzania.
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“By the power conferred on me by the Constitution of the country, I declare that Dodoma is now the city,” The president said.
The celebrations were also attended by the President of Zanzibar, Ali Mohamed Shein and various national leaders and diplomats.
This was the second time in a row for the Union Day to be nationally celebrated in Dodoma. Last year President Magufuli announced that the event would no longer be held at Uhuru Stadium in Dar-es-salaam which had been a long-time venue for national events.
Dodoma has been known as Tanzania’s capital and where the legislature meets, but most government offices and activities have been held in Dar-es-salaam, including presidential residence.
Since assuming power in 2015, Magufuli pledged to relocate all government offices to Dodoma from the commercial hub, and all ministries already reported to have moved.
Mwalimu Nyerere initiated the plan to move the government headquarters to the central region, and Magufuli has vowed to fulfil that dream before 2020.
Here are some of the iconic things that Dodoma is famous for:
- It is home to grapes
According to data compiled by the Dodoma regional agricultural office, in the 2014/15 season, there were about 4,810 acres (1,924 ha) under grape production in the region. The total annual production was about 10,800 tons (2015), equal to an average yield of 2.25 tons per acre.
- Wine production
Have you ever heard of Dodoma wine? Probably not, but be sure to grab yourself a glass of cool locally produced wine of your favourite colour choice.
- Tembe huts
Tembe house type is common in central Tanzania especially among Gogo and Rangi people who are native to Dodoma. The structure is usually in rectangular shape; roofs are made of sticks and then covered with soil on the top. This traditional architecture gives Dodoma such a unique view.
- Tanzania’s Parliament is hosted there
The University of Dodoma is a 6,000-hectare institution located 8kms east of downtown. It is the biggest university in east and central Africa in terms of landmass and students accommodation capacity. Dala dalas (public buses) are needed to travel between faculties, accommodation and administration buildings. When fully completed, it will be able to enrol 50,000 students.
- Nyerere Square
The place was created in the memory of Mwl. Julius K. Nyerere, first president of the Republic of Tanzania. Nice place to take a break and have a selfie with a statue of one of the most respected Pan-Africanists and liberationists.
- Gaddafi Mosque
It is the largest mosque in Tanzania and the second largest in East Africa after the Gaddafi National Mosque in Uganda. It is located in the Tanzanian capital of Dodoma. It was named after the former Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi who bankrolled its construction via the World Islamic Call Society. The mosque was inaugurated by President Jakaya Kikwete in 2010 and has a capacity for at least 3,000 worshippers.