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Mwanza City shows the way forward in EAC.....

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by bagamoyo, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. b

    bagamoyo JF-Expert Member

    Feb 28, 2012
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    By Charles Onyango-Obbo
    February 2012

    A few days ago we were in Mwanza, Tanzania's second largest town. What a surprise!

    This lakeside town must be one of East Africa's best-kept secrets. Mwanza, apparently, has been quietly plotting to become the "Great Lakes hub", a commercial clearing house for mid-level traders from Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

    It has also done something that only big banks, not towns, do. It appointed a "chief economist." Then it set about to achieve Kigali-style, unAfrican urban cleanliness and order. It went closer home to Moshi, another promising Tanzanian town, not Rwanda, to learn how to do that.

    With a little more money, Mwanza would shame Kampala, Dar es Salaam, and even Nairobi, and breathe down Kigali's neck.
    Mwanza though has a distinction you will hardly find anywhere else in the world. Surrounded by lush expanses, Lake Victoria water, and lots of rocky hills, it is the only city I know of where the poor build on the hill, and the rich in the valley.
    In most cities, the rich and powerful build their palatial homes on the heights to breathe the nice air, flushing their toilets down in the valley where the masses live. In Mwanza, it is the reverse.

    The club scene is quite lively there too, and Rock Bottom must be the best custom-built dance club anywhere in East Africa. Perhaps it was meant to be the Great Lakes pleasure den.

    Mwanza, however, represents something bigger. There is a group of cities and towns in East Africa that have avoided the decay and chaos that marks most big urban areas in the region, and are modernising.

    Kigali is in a class of its own among the regional capitals. In Kenya, perhaps Nakuru best fits the bill. Kisumu has an expanded airport runway, and an impressive new terminal building. If it gets smart and cleans up its filth, its location as Mwanza's cousin across the lake, along with its links to Uganda, will stand it in good stead. In Uganda, Entebbe, and in second place Soroti, are better kept than filthy and potholed Kampala.

    Towns like Mwanza probably watch the crowded, corrupt, traffic-choked cities that are quickly running out of water, and figure that if they modernise, they are the future.

    With a daytime population of nearly two million and two decent universities that provide a mass of educated young people, it's not inconceivable that one day Mwanza will find greatness.

    Unusually too, in the 2005 election, it became the first big town outside any East African capital to totally kick out the MPs and councillors of the long-ruling and entrenched Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM, the Party of Revolution).

    Two things could happen. CCM could decide to punish it by starving it of resources. However, thuggish though it might sometimes be, CCM does not have that kind of petty vindictiveness. Apart from everything, the Mwanza region is the most populous in Tanzania, and a future total rejection of a CCM presidential candidate there could spell disaster for the party in future.

    It is therefore likely CCM could try and bribe Mwanza back into the party's fold. You can trust it to turn the "unholy" money into gold.

    Charles Onyango-Obbo is Nation Media Group's executive editor for Africa & Digital Media. E-mail: Twitter: @cobbo3

    Source: Mwanza shows the way forward for small EA towns *- Comment*|


    Mwanza City images from source + more pictures: Mwanza| Tanzania | City Gallery - SkyscraperCity
  2. Bantugbro

    Bantugbro JF-Expert Member

    Feb 28, 2012
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    Pumbaf Obbo sasa anakuja kuchungulia kule Skyscrapercity....haha haha haaaa:A S-coffee: