PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete's 2005 election slogan - better life for all Tanzanians - is now being realized in deeds following the signing of an agreement to construct a multi-billion shilling project in Dar es Salaam. The long-awaited project to be executed at Mchikichini in Ilala District follows an agreement between the Ilala Municipal Council, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and a Malaysia-based Symmetric Link SBN BHD company. "For a long time, the Ilala Municipal Council authorities have been looking for an investor to put up a huge multi-use structure at Mchikichini but those efforts have been in vain," says the Ilala Municipal Council Mayor Abuu Jumaa. He adds: "But today we can breathe with a sigh of relief following the partnership between the NSSF and the Symmetric Link firm from Malaysia, the project is now on the cards and it will soon be realized." Under the project, which will make Mchikichini look like a development village, there will be housing for accommodating 400 residents at the project area, over 1,600 flats covering 50 floors and office structures covering 25 floors and international standard hotels covering another 50 floors. According to the project's implementation programme, there will also be medium level hotels in 10 floors, a modern shopping arcade covering three floors and elegant office for the Ilala municipal authorities covering 40 floors. Architectural designs and artistic impressions for the project has already been drawn out indicating that initial construction stages will involve building of two flats with 17 floors each, with a total number of 480 houses. The project, the first of its kind to be implemented in Tanzania, addresses the issue of affordable housing for majority poor Tanzanians and provision of special commercial services that were initially available in the central business district. "This huge investment which we have been looking for a long time will turn Ilala municipality into a beehive of business activities," says Mayor Jumaa wearing a broad smile. "The first beneficiaries of the project will be the 400 residents in the area," says the mayor, adding that some of the residents will be paid handsome amounts for compensation as they will be required to give way for the project. He says construction will be done in phases with the first phase involving construction of residential houses, to be followed by the second phase covering commercial structures such as offices and hotels. "Implementation of the project will take four to five years before completion," says the mayor, adding that all the hotels and offices to be constructed at the area will be sold or rented to Tanzanians. He adds: "Definitely this project is going to stimulate development not only for Ilala but for the entire country, as it will attract businesses from the country's four corners." The project will help to showcase the state-of-the-art houses, hotel structures and office accommodation in addition to creating employment to majority young Tanzanians and it will also act as a source of revenue for the government. "The entire project area will not look the same when implementation of the project is completed," says Mahamed Hussein, a representative of the Malaysian firm. The new project will improve Dar es Salaam's skyline with its new high-rise buildings making it the largest city in Tanzania and it is the country's important economic centre.