East African Community Secretary General Dr. Richard Sezibera is expected to grace the opening of the forum for the Association of Local Authorities of Tanzania (ALAT) expected to be held before June, this year.
ALAT Chairman Dr Anatory Amani told journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the forum was earlier scheduled for May 4 and 5, this year, but it had been rescheduled due to unavoidable circumstances.
He said the forum would be held in Kagera region due to its geographical location in the East African Community.
Dr. Amani, who is also Bukoba mayor, said the region borders with Rwanda and Burundi to the west and south-west, and Uganda to the north and, in an imaginary way, with Kenya to the north-east. Hence, Kagera region was the 'true hub of the East African Community.'
He said more importantly, Kagera region is within the Lake Victoria Basin, which is East African Community's common resource shared by all the member states.
He said the ALAT Kagera branch has decided to make the theme of the forum as 'revolve around EAC – Common Market with its socio and economic benefits to the general public.'
The ALAT event will afford an opportunity for EAC to begin direct interaction with local government authorities in Kagera region, which will in essence be the beginning of bringing EAC objectives and activities much closer to the general public.
“We have satisfied ourselves that Kagera region holds a lot of potential, given its geographical position in the East African Community. Bukoba municipality and Kagera region as a whole hold great potential for Tanzania to participate in the EAC Common Market,” he said.
He mentioned some of the participants to the forum as including ministers, regional commissioners, permanent secretaries , district commissioners, EAC ambassadors in Tanzania and Tanzania's envoys in EAC countries.
He said the event was intended to be the first of its kind to kick-start the strategy of promoting Bukoba as an ideal conference destination, therefore attracting conference tourism.
"We have organized the 2012 ALAT Kagera forum and exhibition in partnership with our stakeholders," he said.