The capital city of Senegal, Dakar, looks to the visitor like one huge building site with the construction of 40 kilometers of new roads in the heart of the city, six new 5-star hotels with 1,000 rooms and other facilities, using generous funding provided by the oil-rich Islamic states. It has been chosen to host the 11th summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) Summit which will be attended by some 7,000 delegates from 57 countries in March 2008.
Tanzania is not a member of the OIC although in 1992 Zanzibar caused something of a stir when it joined unilaterally without apparently consulting the Union Government of Tanzania. However, its membership lasted only one year because the OIC, under its rules can only accept as members fully sovereign states. The Government of Tanzania had strong reservations about Zanzibar’s action as it believed that it was not in the best interests of the country to join an organisation representing only one of Tanzania’s religions.
This sensitive issue has been discussed from time to time over the last few years with Zanzibar apparently still keen to join.