The Africa Federation Hon. Secretary, Alhaj Aunali Khalfan and the Hon. Treasurer, Alhaj Mohamed Hemani visited Arusha Jamaat from Thursday, 13th to Friday 14th February 2014. The AFED delegation held a meeting with the Arusha Jamaat Managing Committee on Thursday night in the Jamaat office, met with community members and also visited several project sites in Arusha during the visit.
Arusha city in the northern Tanzania is positioned at the centre of Africa between Cairo and Cape Town on the Great North Road; it is one of Tanzania’s most attractive cities with elevation of 1540 meters above sea level. The town sits in lush, green countryside at the foot of Mt. Meru (4556 meters) and enjoys a temperate climate throughout the year. Arusha is a global tourist destination and the gateway to the world famous game reserves and sanctuaries of Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Serengeti, Ngorongoro and close to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa and highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895 meters above sea level.
Arusha Jamaat is a vibrant and progressive Jamaat; and its membership is on the rise as is reflecting in the Census exercise carried out recently. The commercial opportunities in Arusha is vast and attractive, to this end, many foreigners are taking advantage of the huge demand of services industry like, travel and tours, car hire, restaurants, interior design and decoration, maintenance work, workshops and garages for vehicle repair etc. Our community members from other parts of the country should seriously think about the wide scope of business opportunities available in Arusha. Certainly, as time go by, cost and challenges to establish a business in Arusha will increase. We would encourage particularly the youth from our community to venture into the service industry segment that will provide better prospects for the future advancement.
The Arusha Jamaat leadership consists of energetic and dedicated young and some experienced people who are making concerted efforts for advancement in several key areas, including the housing sector, they are also venturing in a commercial project to make the Jamaat self sustaining through income generating Schemes like the development Al Mahdi Commercial and Residential Complex on plot 13 belonging to the Jamaat which is located in a prime spot in the city centre. Africa Federation recently provided a bridging loan to the Arusha Jamaat for the development of Al Mahdi project. During the site visit, it was quite pleasing to witness the project is progressing well within the time-line agreed with the contractor.
The Complex consists of a basement for the parking facilities etc. ground floor and first floor (Mezzanine) will be allocated for commercial purpose in order to generate income for the Jamaat, the remaining ten floors will be residential apartments, and shall be offered to the members of our community on a “House-to-Own” scheme. Jamaat is intending to produce brochures providing detailed information to attract more members to come forward. Housing accommodation in Arusha is becoming increasing scarce and expensive, especially in the city centre; this situation is identical to the current housing problems in Dar es Salaam.
Arusha Jamaat is currently developing a modern Nursery School at a new location in Arusha, with a plan to shift from the old Nursery School from the present location. The new Nursery School project being developed is on the Jamaat’s property with the assistance of a member of Arusha Jamaat. The construction of the School is in the advance stage and will be completed very soon, it will be equipped with modern learning facilities and play grounds to about 200 children, all looking forward to the new facilities.
A visit was also made to the Jaffery Academy – Education Institution of the Jamaat which has been leased out to a group of our community members who are running the Academy maintaining good standards of education. The Academy provides primary and secondary education up to ‘A’ Levels. A new building block is being constructed to facilitate three modern Laboratories on the ground floor for science education with a big hall on the upper floor which will provide facilities for the indoor games and assembly for the students. It was encouraging to observe the management was working on strategic goals to transform the amenities at the Academy to meet up with the new emerging challenges in academic field. Above is the new Laboratory block under construction.
In the health sector and related services, the Arusha Jamaat is operating a Charitable Hospital for In-Patient services and Charitable Dispensary for Out-Patient health services in the city centre for the past several years. Last year, Africa Federation contributed United States Dollars One Hundred Fifty Thousand (US$150,000) to Arusha Jamaat for the acquisition of the In-Patient Hospital building. The building is presently in need of major renovations and upgrading to bring it to a reasonable standard. This Hospital serves our community members as well as the general public.
The AFED delegation met with Br. Mahmood Somji, Chairman of AFED Sports Council who lives in Arusha explained on the keen interest of the Jamaat in support of recreation, social and sports activities, involving old and young in sports and physical fitness exercises. Similarly, Sportsmen and Sportswomen from Arusha Jamaat take keen interest in sports and participates fully in the festivals and tournaments organized by the Sports Council of Africa Federation. The Kilimeru Sports Club – the youth wing of the Jamaat are actively involved in organizing sporting activities in Arusha.
The meeting between AFED Office Bearers and the Jamaat covered several topics including Tableegh, which is one of the top priorities of the Africa Federation. The AFED delegation emphasized on the importance of Madressah in our Jamaats, both for boys and girls – the future foundation of the spiritual well-being of our community and families. Two delegates from Arusha Jamaat attended The World Federation Madressah Centre of Excellence (MCE) Curriculum Development Framework Workshop in Dar es Salaam on 9th February 2014 which was organized in collaboration with the Africa Federation Tabligh Board (AFTAB). Several renowned religious Scholars and Academicians in the field of Curriculum Development facilitated the Session which was attended by heads of Tableegh and Madressahs, Madressah teachers and invitees from East Africa, Madagascar and Reunion Jamaats. AFED is determined to see to it that all Jamaats are aligned towards the strategy and the vision of MCE which will also provide performance measurement tools to assess the Madressahs.
The AFED delegation accompanied by some officials of the Jamaat, Members of the Al Qaeem Housing Development Committee visited Al Qa’eem building which is at the finishing stage; Mr. Jayesh, the Director of M/s. Super Construction Company of Dar es Salaam who is the main contractor was also at the site. The elevators are yet to arrive into the country, including some other materials from Dar es Salaam, this unfortunately may cause some delay to the project which was earmarked for completion in April 2014.
The 75th Supreme Council Session of the Africa Federation will Insha’allah take place in Arusha, from 2nd to 3rd May, 2015 being hosted by Arusha Jamaat. The AFED delegation accompanied by Jamaat officials visited several venues to look at the facilities for the meeting and also for accommodation of the councillors and invitees for the Supreme Council Session, once this is finalized, details will be circulated to all the Jamaats.
We wish to thank the Arusha Jamaat President, Office Bearers, Managing Committee Members, Trustees for the wonderful reception and for the warm hospitality accorded to the AFED delegation during the visit.
The AFED Secretariat is thankful to Arusha Jamaat members and volunteers for their support and cooperation.