A NEW jewel is slowly but surely glittering Arusha’s skyline.
Once completed, the would-be Pan African Postal Union (PAPU) headquarters, the massive 17-storey building will definitely dwarf the rest of buildings at the country’s northern tourism circuit, ahead of the Ngorongoro Tourism Centre and the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI).
Sitting on 22,421-square-meters of land at the city’s Phillips area, the project has seen the achievement of milestones like the completion of the basement and the superstructure of the building from ground to the 17th floor, an undertaking which got completed on December 23, 2021.
“The ongoing works relate to finishing which are still being undertaken and are set to be concluded in the next few months,” disclosed the African’s Union (AU)specialised agency Secretary General Sifundo Chief Moyo, in an interview with the ‘Daily News’.
According to the Secretary General, AU remains grateful to the government of Tanzania for graciously offering to host the prestigious continental body, with Arusha being the headquarters of PAPU since its formation in 1980.
“Tanzania offered to host the seat of the Pan African Postal Union and offered land for the building of the PAPU headquarters in Arusha. As with any new organisation, PAPU commenced its activities from rented premises until the first building that currently houses the PAPU Headquarters was completed in 2003,” explained Mr Moyo.
Twenty years on, PAPU is at a point of unveiling the new Headquarters building.
The state-of-the-art facility is expected to take care of the immediate expanded Human Resources needs associated with the increased activities of the Union.
The PAPU Secretary General describes the transition from rented premises, to the current offices and finally to the new PAPU House as a plausible progression of the Union’s activities which indicates focus, commitment and progress towards attainment of the Union’s mandate and Vision.
“In the new premises the Union can effectively coordinate its activities in pursuit of the African Union Vision ‘Agenda 2063’ of creating the Africa we want.”
As it strives to continue coordinating postal development in Africa, Mr Moyo is of the belief that the new building affords the Union the scope to accommodate a workforce that will adequately serve the needs of the Member States in areas like technical backup, Research and Development.
The new facilities will also include ICT training facilities for capacity building for the postal sector in Africa.
The Conference facilities will ensure that the Union meetings of any kind have a default venue from where they can be held.
“It is from the efficient delivery of its mandate that the General Secretariat can extend valuable service to Members that will help to propel the postal sector to the next level,” he revealed.
Among many facilities, the new facility also comprises a basement, ground floor, first floor to sixteenth floor and a 16th mezzanine floor with a semi accessed rooftop.
The building is designed to accommodate commercial activities like a bank, shops and post office on the ground floor.
PAPU will be accommodated on three floors while the Regional Office for Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), the Joint Venture Partner will be accommodated on one floor.
The building will also accommodate two commercial restaurants one on the second floor and the other on the 16th floor.
It will also house a main conference auditorium, conference rooms and facilities of different sizes that are also part of the building.
“Considerable work has been done to see the project close off in the coming few months. From a Project Management perspective, the project is on course considering its magnitude, the state of facilities that are being sourced from various places in the world and the negative effect on global supply chains caused by Covid-19-induced national lockdowns at source markets which slowed the turnaround of some procurement processes,” added Mr Moyo.
The 29th Ordinary Session of Council of Ministers of the OAU passed Resolution CM/Res.586 (XXIX) on the establishment of PAPU in June 1977 in Libreville, Gabon.
The 14th Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the OAU approved the formation of PAPU.
The establishment of PAPU was done at the Constitutive Plenipotentiary Conference held by Member States of the OAU on January 18, 1980 in Arusha.
The Resolution CM/Res.810 (XXXV) on the establishment of the Pan African Postal Union was adopted during the 35th Ordinary Session of the OAU Council of Ministers held from June 18 to June 28, 1980 in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and recognising PAPU as the Specialised Agency of the OAU in charge of the postal sector, adopting its Constitutive Acts and calling on all Member States of the Organisation to ratify the PAPU Convention.