The government of Tanzania has said it will put up an ultra-modern building in Nairobi, dubbed Umoja House, to rival Kenya’s new Harambee Plaza in Dar es Salaam.
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has said Harambee Plaza – scheduled to house the Kenyan High Commission – is “a challenge to the government of Tanzania to build its mission in Kenya as soon as possible.”
President Kikwete said the proposed Tanzania High Commission will be of the same quality as the Kenyan one in Dar es Salaam. Umoja House will be situated at the upmarket Upper Hill area, just a few minutes drive from the Nairobi central business district.
Harambee Plaza, located in the low density Osterbay area – 4km from the Dar es Salaam central business district- was opened recently by Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki. The building that will also house the high commissioner’s residence is one of the most impressive in Dar es Salaam – overshadowing even the American embassy.
Speaking during the opening ceremony in Dar es Salaam, President Kibaki challenged the business community in Tanzania to use the available opportunities in Kenya to balance the trade between the two countries.
The construction of the Ksh420 million complex started in 2006. Construction tender was awarded to Tanzanian contractors and all the materials used to put up the building were sourced from Tanzania.