The fastest of jets; it takes this particular aircraft only 45 minutes to reach Julius Kambarage Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam from Oliver Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa, a flight distance of 2,463 km, instead of the three hours by an ordinary aircraft.
After this works-prepared jetliner had taxied to a complete standstill at the airport and its entrance and exit door flung open, there standing (and expectedly waving at the top of the ladder) will be none other than Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States.
Immediately after him will be his wife, First Lady Michelle, daughters Malia and Sasha and other members of his entourage. This American President, with roots in Africa, neighbouring Kenya to be precise, will be completing the third and final lap of his African tour that also took him to Senegal and South Africa.
It is a great honour to Tanzania that President Obama has included the country in the list of three African countries to visit in his maiden tour of the continent. It is for that reason that no stone has been left unturned by authorities in making this tour a success. There is, of course, a good reason why he picked the three countries, the best bet being their proven adherence to the fundamentals of democracy and good governance.
The three countries have even gone a step forward by making zero-tolerance to corruption a policy. The fact that President Obama has chosen to visit Tanzania speaks volumes about achievements registered by the fourth phase government led by President Jakaya Kikwete in carrying the democracy and good governance banner aloft and ensuring economic empowerment of the people.
The government deserves a special mention and accolades for this great feat, which has confounded even the most discerning critics. Obama and Team will come and go. But when the dust has finally settled, the benefits to be accrued from the visit will far outweigh the costs.