‘Tech crucial in improving conference centres’

Arusha: MINISTER for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Stergomena Tax has underscored the pivotal role of technological innovation in revolutionising conference centres in Tanzania.

Speaking here midweek, while on tour of the Arusha International Conference Centre(AICC) facilities, Dr Tax commended the impressive strides that have been achieved at the centre, which she said were bent on promoting the conference facility.

“AICC and JNICC significantly contribute to our country’s economy, propelling Tanzania onto the global stage,” she said.

Dr Tax further rooted for the adaptation of such centres to the ever-evolving technological landscape.

The minister highlighted that both, AICC and JNICC, play an integral role in projecting Tanzania to the world, thereby bolstering its competitive advantage.

She equally, insisted on the importance of strategic planning to maintain a dominant position in the competitive conference hosting market.

“There is  a need for a comprehensive evaluation that identifies accomplishments and hurdles while aligning with the evolving expectations of conference attendees,” the Minister explained.

In another development, Dr Tax voiced concern regarding certain government institutions and ministries being indebted to AICC and JNICC, a total outstanding sum of 7bn/-.

“It is very important for these institutions to settle their dues,” she insisted.

Dr Tax also hinted on the proposed Mt Kilimanjaro Convention Centre (MKCC), saying plans were still underway.

Once completed, the centre will feature a plenary hall surrounded by smaller exhibition spaces.

The hall will have a seating capacity of 2,500, but it will be possible to reconfigure it to contain up to 10,000 delegates.

The proposed convention centre will also feature multi-purpose exhibition halls, flexible and divisible spaces for exhibition, large scale pop concerts and banquets.

It is also likely to feature retail shops, a five star hotel and ample car park.

Currently, Arusha City which is the country’s tourism hub, banks on AICC for major conferences and exhibitions.

Built in the 1970s as the headquarters for the short-lived East African Community intergovernmental body before its conversion to its present use, the AICC once hosted the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) until it wound up its activities in November 2015.

The AICC and JNICC are owned by the government  under the purview of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East-African Cooperation.

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