At least 400 Commonwealth Africa MPs set for Isles meet

23Aug 2019
Polycarp Machira
DODOMA
The Guardian
At least 400 Commonwealth Africa MPs set for Isles meet

TANZANIA is set to host another high-profile conference with the 50th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) - Africa Region which will bring together over 400 delegates scheduled for 31st August to 5th September.

Addressing journalists here yesterday, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Job Ndugai, said the convention will take place in Zanzibar and will be inaugurated by the President of Zanzibar, Dr Ali Mohammed Shein.

He said various dignitaries such as speakers of parliament from the member states, their deputies, MPs and ambassadors representing those countries in Tanzania have been invited.

Speakers of parliament in other regions have also been invited. "At least 20 national assembly speakers from member states and a number of MPs from those countries have confirmed their participation," he said.

The annual meeting takes place in rotation among the member states, with Gaborone, the Botswana capital last year hosting 400 delegates at the annual meeting.

Ndugai said that this year’s annual meeting is likely to have more delegates since many have shown interest in attending, “bearing in mind that it will be held in nation's tourist town as well as the peace and tranquility in Tanzania.”

He asserted that since there are many forms of tourism in the country, the meeting is likely bring into the nation substantial amount of foreign currencies injected into circulation.

Other benefits that would come with the meeting are income from service delivery like accommodation, food and restaurant services, vehicle hire and taxi services, and selling of other goods such as souvenirs, he stated.

Other benefits include advertising the vast national tourism attraction sites that Tanzania exhibits, he elaborated, noting further that the Tanzanian parliament is well recognized in Africa for its active participation, making it host many of CPA's small meetings.

"This is great honour to our parliament and we appreciate the acknowledgement by the member states in the Commonwealth association," the speaker declared.

Ndugai also noted that Tanzania as the host will use the occasion to request the CPA meeting to approve some of the money raised during the meeting to be spend on building a five star hotel in Dodoma.

The hotel, he clarified will be the property of CPA, built on a plot that the Dodoma city council authority had set aside for the continental parliamentary association.

Speaking at the briefing, the Clerk to the National Assembly, Stephen Kagaigai noted that preparations for the meeting have been completed. It will resemble the recently concluded Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) meeting in Dar es Salaam, he added.