Entrepreneur enters political arena

05Aug 2020
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Entrepreneur enters political arena

AFTER excelling in entrepreneurship and business, Arusha based Isabella Mwampamba is now joining politics promising to use her skills and knowledge to turn Arusha Region into a land flowing milk and honey.

Isabella Mwampamba enters the political arena promising to turn Arusha into a land of plenty.

“Give me your vote and I will not let you down,” Mwampamba who owns a stream of businesses ranging from English medium schools to sports tourism facilities told ruling party members during campaign primaries to seek the party’s nomination for Arusha Urban constituency.

She said if elected she will use her knowledge and skills in business to ensure that Arusha becomes a powerhouse in conference, sports and cultural tourism. “Arusha is endowed with everything needed to turn it into a successful tourist city in East Africa,” Mwampamba who is widely known as the country’s first officially confirmed coronavirus patient, stated.

Her patriotic gesture to self isolate after arriving from Belgium in March this year, allowed Ministry of Health to swing into action and put her into quarantine for several days while awaiting results of samples sent to Chief Government Chemist in Dar es Salaam.

“We need to invest in three key forms of tourism, namely; conference, sports and cultural tourism,” she told CCM members who took part in the primary voting exercise. Mwampamba said Arusha needs at least receive a maximum of 1.5 million visitors in order to earn enough cash that will completely transform the region into a ‘Canaan.’

“We will sell rooms, food, transport, traditional Maasai attires to foreign tourists that will boost people’s incomes and government revenue,” she observed while promising ruling party Arusha Urban voters to expect a landslide in October general elections if endorsed as candidate. She promised to champion a campaign to roll out new tourism products for the Northern tourist enclave region which will include German remains located a stone’s throw from Arusha City Hall.

Other potential tourist hotspots in the region include the headquarters of East African Community, Arusha International Conference Centre which hosted International Tribunal for Rwanda, African Court on Human and People’s Rights and Nelson Mandela Africa Institutions of Science and Technology. Mwampamba said Arusha which was nick named, the ‘Geneva of Africa’ by former US President Bill Clinton, also boasts of having many other unique things including Tanzanite gemstone mined at Mirerani within the region.

Sports tourism

Mwampamba said unlike Safari tourism, conference, sports and cultural tourism remain unexploited in the ‘Geneva of Africa.’ The mother of two who also owns a sports academy in the outskirts of Arusha City also believes that sporting activities such as football, is big business globally.

“In 2019, England generated 7.6 billion pounds or an equivalent of 21.9trn/- in revenue from the game of football alone,” she stated adding that Arusha has potential to generate revenue from the game as well thanks to her links with European partners in Belgium. She promised to champion the refurbishment and expansion of Sheikh Amri Abeid Stadium in Arusha City so that it can meet global standards and attract football giants.

The director and founder of Upendo Friends which incorporates the English medium school and sports academy further noted that she is certain that with her skills and knowledge, Arusha will be completely changed in the next five years. A strong advocate of gender equality, Mwampamba dared fellow women to go for elective constituency positions other than opting for special seats slots. “It goes without saying that the plight to seek gender equality in elective political positions and other decision making institutions rests with us as women,” she underlined while promising to invest heavily in girls education and sports skills development to empower them in preparation for their futures.

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