Dar es Salaam signs 2008 Olympic Torch Relay deal

Dar es Salaam on Wednesday became the first city in the world to have signed the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay pact on the date, itinerary and local participation of the relay.

Some 80 people will be the torch bearers in Dar es Salaam where the relay starts from the terminal station of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway which China assisted in its construction in the 1970s.

The relay will reach the city's Mnazi Mmoja Grounds (square) after meandering through the historical streets in downtown areas.

The Olympic Torch is scheduled to arrive in the city, the one and only on the African continent to host the 130-day relay, on April 13, 2008.

Signing the pact were Dar es Salaam Mayor Adam Kimbisa, Tanzanian National Olympic Committee Secretary-General Philbert Bayi and Zhang Ming, director of the Olympic Torch Relay Center from the Beijing Olympic Games Organizing Committee.

The Olympic Torch Relay producers from Beijing briefed the local organizers and media institutions about the theme of the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay: Light the Passion, Share the Dream.

Dar es Salaam Mayor Adam Kimbisa told the Beijing producers that his city will make the most of the opportunity to not only relay the long-standing friendship between Tanzania and China and between Dar es Salaam and Beijing, but to also relay the Olympic Spirit especially among the young.

"The Torch Relay in Dar es Salaam will be an eye-opener for the local youth who will have an opportunity to see for themselves what the Olympic Torch carries apart from sports," said the mayor who also promised the Beijing producers that his team would try to render the Dar es Salaam section of the relay the most memorable among all the cities the Olympic Torch is scheduled to pass through.

The Olympic Torch is scheduled to arrive in Dar es Salaam from Buenos Aires of Argentina in South America and will leave the Tanzanian coastal city for Muscat of Oman in Asia to continue the relay before ending up in Beijing on August 8, 2008, for the opening ceremony of the 16-day sporting gala.

The Olympic Torch is to relay through Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia again.

The Olympic Torch will relay through all provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in China.

Source: Xinhua

People's Daily Online --- http://english.people.com.cn/