Transforming Vision to Reality
It was the foresight of Africa Federation led by the Chairman Alhaj Shabir Najafi, the Office Bearers, Trustees and the Housing Development Board of Africa Federation that envisioned a future in which the Federation would have its own building for the Secretariat, that vision has become reality, by the blessings of Allah (S.W.T.)
On 11th March, 2022 (8th Shabaan 1443 A.H.), Africa Federation celebrated the Opening Ceremony of the AFED Tower in Dar es Salaam. The new building replaces a building received as a donation to the Africa Federation in 2005. The building belonged to Marhum Gulamhussein Haji Jooma (who was popularly known by the name of Babu Seth) and was referred to as Jooma’s Mansion.
The earlier building built in the early 1960s, consisted of four residential apartments on two floors, with four retail shops on the ground floor. In December 2019 the pre-existing structure was demolished and by December 2021, the project was completed in its entirety, a speed not common in the local construction industry, a milestone and a lofty achievement of Africa Federation Housing Development Board Chairman Alhaj Akil Hirji with the cooperation of the contractor Mohamedi Builders Ltd. The new ten-storey building has been designed and constructed to include commercial outlets, some residential flats, training centre and the head offices of the Africa Federation.
The momentous event was graced with the presence of Shabir Najafi – Chairman of the Africa Federation, Aunali Khalfan – Vice Chairman of the Africa Federation, Mohammedraza Dewji – President of Dar es Salaam Jamaat, Syed Adeel Reza – Resident Aalim of Dar es Salaam Jamaat, Sheikh Nuru Mohamed – Resident Aalim of Birmingham Jamaat, Akil Hirji – Chairman of the Africa Federation Housing Development Board, Anver Rajpar, past President of Pakistan Federation, Mehbob Vesi – AFED Trustee, Councilors, Board Chairmen, Board Members as well as invited Ulama-e-deen and members of the community.
The Honorable Guest at the opening was Roshan Abdulrasul Haji Jooma, brother of Late Gulamhussein Abdulrasul Haji Jooma. Roshan bhai traveled from the United Kingdom to attend this special occasion.
The Opening Ceremony commenced with recitation of the verses from the Holy Quran by Br. Ali Muntazir Sikiladha. Thereafter the opening was performed with ribbon cutting. It was followed with recitation of Hadith-e-Kisa by Sheikh Shab’an of Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania.
The AFED Vice Chairman, Alhaj Aunali Khalfan who was the Master of Ceremonies addressed the gathering stating that the inauguration was a happy occasion as AFED continues to celebrate the 75 years of its existence, also the ceremony was coinciding with the birth anniversaries in the month of Shabaan, of Imam Hussain (‘a), Hazrat Abbas (‘a), Imam Zainul Abideen (‘a) and Imam Al Hujjah Al Mahdi (a.t.f.s.)
He said that the opening of the building is a great achievement and a milestone in the 75 years’ history of the Africa Federation and first of its kind since its establishment in 1946 because the Africa Federation has now its own offices in the AFED Tower building.
He further pointed out that projects such as the AFED Tower, AFED Business Park, Amira Apartments, Al Asghary Residency and similar initiatives are designed to provide income to AFED and are a manifestation of the vision, progress and advancement of our community.
He also expressed appreciation to our forefathers, elders and donors whose founding vision and philanthropy through the creation of Trusts, Waqf and other channels of bequests and contributions has led to the success of our institution.
He thanked the Mohsin and Fauzia Jaffer Foundation of Florida, USA for donating US $ 150,000 for the AFED Training Centre on the 10th Floor where the opening ceremony took place. He conveyed gratitude to Batulbai Esmail, the daughter and Rizwan Esmail, the grandson of Marhum Gulamhussein Jooma for their co-operation and support given towards this project.
The Chairman of the Housing Development Board of Africa Federation, Alhaj Akil Hirji mentioned that this milestone was a unique one since Africa Federation after 75 years will have its own administrative offices in Dar es Salaam – one of the hubs of our communities in Africa. The administrative offices, boards will have better facilities with modern amenities in terms of also holding meetings and training.
He also spoke of the challenges faced during the construction of the building when many other construction projects were stopped during March, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with determination and commitment to deliver, the challenges were overcome resulting in almost all the projects completed with slight or no delays.
Akil bhai thanked the contractor, consultants and all the stakeholders for their support and also appreciated his team that worked hard to ensure the project was completed on time. A video presentation by the Housing Board was then played while qasida was recited by Br. Haani Hirji.
The President of Dar es Salaam Jamaat, Alhaj Mohamedraza Dewji congratulated the Africa Federation for the progress done in developing this amongst other properties. He praised the efforts put in by the AFED Housing Board and also thanked AFED for their support to the Dar es Salaam Jamaat.
In his address, The Chairman of the Africa Federation, Alhaj Shabir Najafi said the new building is a testimony on how land donated to institutions can be converted for the benefit of the community. He said the new building will, for the first time, enable the Secretariat and the Boards of the Africa Federation to operate from their own spacious offices.
He thanked Alhaj Akil Hirji and his team consisting of Shakera bai Dhanani the Vice Chairperson, Zakiya bai Khamisa the Legal Adviser, and Mohamed Moledina, Project Coordinator for putting in quality time and hard work to ensure the new building was completed on time.
Sheikh Nuru of Birmingham said that the Africa Federation is a purposeful Federation because it takes care of the intellectual needs of students along with the social and spiritual needs of community members.
Alhaj Anverali Rajpar was also invited to the podium where he made two announcements: firstly, that 300 people had so far been successfully treated at the Khoja Shia Ithna’asheri Charitable Eye Centre which opened in Temeke, Dar es Salaam on 20th June, 2021 and secondly, he announced a donation to Africa Federation of a building worth about US$200,000 in Nairobi belonging to his wife, Mrs. Munawer Sultana Anverali Rajpar. He said there were no conditions for this real estate donation and AFED was at liberty to decide on what they plan to do with the building.
The AFED Chairman and Vice Chairman thanked Anverali Rajpar for this donation which will help AFED in many ways.
A posthumous Appreciation Award was then presented to Marhum Gulamhussein Haji Jooma. This was received by Roshan Abdulrasul Haji Jooma. After receiving the award Roshan Abdulrasul appreciated the effort and commitment of the Africa Federation to fulfil his late elder brother’s wish.
He said he had nostalgic memories of the house on this plot that he previously lived in and commended the Housing Board under Akil Hirji for doing a magnificent job in ensuring the building was completed to required standards.
The proprietor of Mohammedi Builders, Taher bhai said he was pleased to work with the Africa Federation and its Jamaats and that he had completed five projects for the community. He thanked the AFED Chairman, Shabir Najafi and the Housing and Development Board Chairman, Akil Hirji for working passionately with his company in order to complete the project on time.
PRESENTATION OF AWARDS
Mohamedi Builders presented a Token of Appreciation to the AFED Chairman, Shabir Najafi and also to the Housing Development Board Chairman, Akil Hirji for their dedication and support for the AFED Tower project.
Presentations were also made to Mohammedi Builders, architects, consultants, quantity surveyors, electrical engineers and other stakeholders to appreciate their contributions towards the completion of AFED Tower, the milestone project.
In the closing, the Master of the Ceremony Alhaj Aunali Khalfan conveyed his appreciation and thanked each and every one who attended the program. This was followed by a dua by Sheikh Musabah Shaiban of Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania to formally close the occasion.