How CCM-NEC gatherings transformed Dodoma into an interim commercial hub

This central Tanzania’s city now undergoing massive and faster transformation in the country’s capital city, recently turned into a temporary commercial hub following an exponential growth in demand for varied goods and services.
This enabled members of varied business communities to cash in lucrative proceeds, thanks to the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) National Executive Committee (CCM-NEC) congress that picked National Party Chairman John Magufuli as the sole Union presidential candidate in the general election in October.
The party’s big show at the weekend, which attracted thousands of people – from delegates and visitors from different fraternities, was marked by a significant uptick in the business sector, ranging from accommodation, food and drinks, recreation halls, transportation, stationary and energy (fuel) to mention but a few.
The traders within the fast-growing semi-arid city did whatever was in their capacity and creativity to fully exploit the cropped-up ‘temporary fortunes’ by bravely hiking prices of key services and goods after the situation, which saw them generate reasonable profits.
“It was just an impromptu high business season to traders in the capital city and the whole region. We experienced customers surpassing our delivering capacity, but thanks God because the ‘good trend’ benefited us a lot,” narrated Emmanuel Jackson, a lodge owner at the city centre.
He further commented that most hotels, lodges and guest houses within the city and those in the city’s fringe areas were fully booked a week before and at more profitable prices than normal days.
Apart from hotels, Dodoma city has more than 640 lodges and guest houses and all were fully occupied over the weekend, to the extent most visitors were competing to seek shelter from their friends and relatives.
Mary Kafumu, a food vendor, happily expressed to have received countless customers at her pavilion located at the heart of the city, added: “Due to mushrooming of the customers I had to improve quality of my services but also I found it necessary to increased prices in order to fetch reasonable profit.”
The Regional Executive Director of Tanzania Chamber for Commerce, Industrial and Agriculture (TCCIA), Idd Senge, informed reporters that the visit has had a major positive impact on traders within the city, ranging from giant traders to small scale entrepreneurs.
“The major visit also gave the traders crucial lessons over how it was important for them to improve quality of their delivering — as well as stands ready to cater for any number of customers that may appear anytime,” he observed.
Since Dodoma is currently the country’s capitals, he added, it was high time members of the business community within the region improved their capital and service delivery to comply with the city’s new status.
“It’s time traders stopped the business-as-usual attitude as the city is currently visited by varied high-profile figures and is home also to public officials and dignitaries,” he insisted.
In his speech here when hosting more than 6000 party’s members and other political figures from within and outside the country to a special luncheon at Chamwino State House, President Magufuli reaffirmed his commitment to transform Dodoma into the continent’s first ever modern city.
He said this would be made possible basically by investing largely into the key economic sectors of aviation, tarmac roads (ring roads surrounding the city) as well as ensuring for professional development of structures within the city.