Dar es Salaam's Old Boma to be restored

European Union providing funds to restore heritage centre

The Old Boma cultural and heritage centre in Dar es Salaam is currently being restored thanks to an agreement between the European Union and the Tanzanian government which saw the launch of the Dar es Salaam Centre for Architectural Heritage (DARCH) in February.

DARCH was established to oversee historical and heritage conservation activities in Dar es Salaam, particularly relating to architectural works, and is managed by the Architectural Association of Tanzania (AAT), the city's Ardhi University, and the Technical University in Berlin.

A €7 million EU grant will be used to upgrade the Old Boma which is scheduled to reopen in April. The new-look complex will host an exhibition hall on local history and architecture, a tourist desk, restaurant, internet café, shop and archive, as well as providing offices for the city council and DARCH.

Located in the centre of the city’s downtown district at the intersection betweeen Morogoro Road and Sokoine Drive, the Old Boma was built in 1866-67 by Majid bin Said, the sultan of Zanzibar. Under German colonial rule it was restored and enlarged. Distinctive features of the boma, which means stockade or fort, include the Zanzibari-style carved wooden door and coral stone walls.