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       Chapter IX: Economic Aspects of Capital City Development

Impact of the National Capital

This is a menu of the topics on this page (click on any): IMPACT OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL    General Impacts    Specific Impacts Impact on Dar es Salaam    Dodoma's Economic Advantages    Transportation    Food Production    Construction Materials    Industrial Development    Migration of People to the Capital    Manpower Training   .


The decision to relocate the National Capital from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, is entirely in conformity with the policy of equitable, regional distribution of economic development. Dar es Salaam in particular, and the coastal regions in general, have in the past received a disproportionate share of national investment and growth. Dodoma, on the other hand, is a region which now requires substantial development. The move also reflects TANU's and the Government's policy to emphasize agricultural growth, in the sense that Dodoma Region's development potentials are almost entirely based on agriculture.

General Impacts

The impact of the new Capital will have a number of components, for both the region and the nation. The city will be a growing market for the region's agricultural products. All types of construction materials will be required, some from local sources and others from elsewhere in the country. The city's construction and operation will generate significant direct and indirect wage employment opportunities for the region's underemployed labour force. The Capital will bring the headquarters of the Party and the Government in closer contact with Tanzania's rural people, making their leaders more closely aware of their problems, needs and potentials. It will bring better transportation and communications to Tanzania's heartland. And the city will provide the region with a standard of social, cultural and commercial services which they have hitherto not been able to enjoy.

At a different level, the development of the Capital City should serve as a model of urban lifestyles and urban-rural relationships, based on Tanzanian conditions. It should demonstrate how city residents can maintain a close attachment to the land. It should become an applied experiment in socially-acceptable urbanization, in a country with limited financial resources and a philosophy of self-help and cooperative action. The experiences gained in Dodoma should later be used in planning and building other towns and cities in Tanzania.

Above all, building the Capital City should prove the ability of Tanzanian people to successfully undertake an enormous national project. It will require the mobilization, training and hard work of countless people and the whole-hearted support from every citizen of the country.

The following sections outline the major impact components in somewhat greater detail.

Specific Impacts

Impact on Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam is expanding at a very rapid rate and its growth is threatening to render the provision of essential new services and facilities, including housing, quite uneconomical. The transfer of the Capital to Dodoma, which requires thousands of Government employees and their families to move away from Dar es Salaam, will substantially reduce the city's growth pressures.

Due to Dar es Salaam's increasingly important functions in East Africa's economy, the Capital's transfer will have the effect of making room for other growth, without prohibitive costs. The city's growing harbour and rail terminal facilities will generate new commercial and industrial jobs and development. And experience in many other world cities has proven that the removal of one component of a large city's economic base, may decrease its growth rate temporarily, but it does not normally reverse its expansionary trends.

Dodoma's Economic Advantages

Dodoma's climate is such that the need for costly air-conditioning of buildings, an important requirement in Dar es Salaam, is virtually eliminated. To accomplish this, however, it will be necessary to design and locate new buildings in such a manner, that maximum advantage can be taken of the cooling breezes.

The ample availability of land in the new city, makes construction at relatively low densities possible. This in turn will avoid, or at least significantly reduce the need for expensive high buildings with elevators.

The city's lower densities and an urban growth plan which is based on keeping the cost of underground services and roads to a minimum, also mean that more land can be devoted to shambas and to recreational open spaces, to ensure a healthy and pleasant urban environment.


The new city provides the opportunity to keep the capital and operating costs of urban transportation much lower than in older cities. Dodoma will have a highly economical and efficient public transportation system — the busway — which will make it unnecessary for people to acquire automobiles. By contrast, Dar es Salaam, as well as most other cities in the world, has developed in such a way that most of its residents must rely on cars or on long walks, because efficient and convenient public transportation, serving the whole city, cannot be economically introduced.

While the existing roads, railway and airport in the Dodoma area will need improvement, the region and the country will substantially benefit from such investment. The improvements will permit the central and western regions to become more effective parts of the national economy.

Food Production

Dodoma, with an estimated population of 350,000 by the end of this century, will become a very large market for the region's farmers. The growth of this market should stimulate substantial increases in the area's agricultural production, as well as improvements in its marketing, processing and transportation facilities.

The process of agricultural expansion will generate new development in the region's villages and towns, in terms of marketing, storage processing and transportation facilities. In addition, these facilities will require new people to operate them, resulting in a need for more housing, social and community facilities and commercial establishments.

Construction Materials

The construction materials needed for the new city can, to a large extent, be produced in the Dodoma region and in other parts of the country. The region can supply much of the required sand, stone, clay and timber. Plans are already underway for the establishment of local industries producing cement and clay products, timber products, roofing material, electrical and ceramic goods, and building hardware.

Other parts of the country will supply the Capital with cement, reinforcing steel and other metal products, electrical materials, paint and hardware.

Industrial Development

The processing and manufacture of agricultural products and construction material for the Capital provides the opportunity to establish a regional industrial base. Some of these industries can and should be established in the villages, in the form of small-scale, cooperative enterprises. Others, requiring more substantial investment and technological sophistication, will be the responsibility of parastatal organizations and other enterprises, which will generally be located in the city or the region's growth centres.

Migration of People to the Capital

The transfer of the Capital to Dodoma and the subsequent growth of the city will involve the migration of large numbers of Tanzanians. Some will come from cities such as Dar es Salaam, including the 12,000 Government workers and their families. Others will come from the country's towns, villages and rural areas.

This movement of people requires complex logistics, in terms of transportation, public expenditures and the timing of constructing new housing and facilities, as well as personal sacrifices. The programme needs to be planned and implemented with sensitivity to keep the hardship and disappointments involved to a minimum.

The experience which will be gained should prove to be extremely valuable in future programmes. For example when currently undeveloped parts of the country are opened up, similar relocation programmes will be required.

Manpower Training

Building the new Capital calls for the inputs of many different professions and skills. Many of the people who will be involved in the process are not yet trained and qualified for their tasks.

The opportunity and, indeed, the need exists to develop a programme to train Tanzanians in a wide range of skills required in planning, constructing and operating a city. This programme should, however, not only be designed to provide Tanzanians with new urban building skills, but also with the human resources to accomplish comprehensive rural development.

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Copyright: Project Planning Associates Limited, Toronto, Canada, directed by Mr. Macklin Hancock and recipient "The Government of Tanzania, Capital Development Authority under the auspices of Mr. George Kahama.".