Definitions

Tanzania

Tanzania

[tan-zuh-nee-uh; Swahili. tahn-zah-nee-ah]
Tanzania, officially United Republic of Tanzania, republic (2005 est. pop. 36,766,000), 364,898 sq mi (945,087 sq km), E Africa, formed in 1964 by the union of the republics of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. For a description of the island of Zanzibar, and its history until 1964, see Zanzibar. Other islands include Pemba and Mafia as well as several smaller islands. Mainland Tanzania is bordered on the south by Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia; on the west by Congo (Kinshasa), Burundi, and Rwanda; on the north by Uganda and Kenya; and on the east by the Indian Ocean. Lake Nyasa forms part of the southern boundary, Lake Tanganyika part of the western boundary, and Lake Victoria part of the northern boundary. Dar-es-Salaam is the former capital and largest city of the republic. The Tanzanian legislature moved to the new capital of Dodoma in 1996, but many government offices still remain in Dar-es-Salaam.

Land and People

Mainland Tanzania falls into three major geographical zones—a narrow lowland coastal strip along the Indian Ocean; a vast interior plateau; and a number of scattered mountainous regions. The coastal zone (10-40 mi/16-60 km wide) receives considerable rainfall and has much fertile soil. The plateau (average elevation: 3,500-4,500 ft/1,070-1,370 m) extends over most of the interior and is cut in two places by branches of the Great Rift Valley. The western branch contains Lake Tanganyika and the eastern branch runs through central Tanzania about 500 ft (150 m) below the level of the plateau; the two branches merge just north of Lake Nyasa. The plateau receives little rainfall, but in most parts there is enough to support agriculture.

The Serengeti National Park, one of the country's several wildlife reserves, is east of Lake Victoria, and Lake Rukwa is in the southwest. The mountainous regions include Mt. Meru (14,979 ft/4,566 m) and Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft/5,895 m, the highest point in Africa) in the northeast; the Usambara, Nguru, and Uluguru mts. in the east; the Livingstone Mts. and the Kipengere Range near Lake Nyasa in the south; and the Ufipi Highlands in the southwest. Tanzania's few rivers include the Pangani, the Rufiji, and the Ruvuma (which forms part of the border with Mozambique), all of which flow into the Indian Ocean, and the Malagarasi River, which flows into Lake Tanganyika. In addition to Dar-es-Salaam and Dodoma, other important towns on the mainland include Arusha, Iringa, Kigoma, Morogoro, Mbeya, Moshi, Mtwara, Mwanza, Tabora, and Tanga.

The great majority of Tanzania's population is of African descent, and most of the peope speak Bantu languages. There are approximately 130 ethnic groups. Inhabitants of South Asian, European, and Arab descent constitute approximately 1% of the population. The Bantu-speaking peoples include the Sukuma (the republic's largest ethnic group), Bena, Chagga, Gogo, Ha, Haya, Hehe, Luguru, Makonde, Makua, Ngoni, Nyakyusa, Nyamwezi, and Nyaturu. In addition, the Masai speak a Nilotic language; the Sandawe speak a language akin to Khoikhoi; and the Iraqw speak a Cushitic language. The inhabitants of Zanzibar are mainly of Arab, African, or mixed Arab and African descent. Swahili and English are the republic's official languages; Arabic is also spoken, primarily on Zanzibar. About 30% of the mainland population is Christian, while 35% is Muslim, and another 35% follow traditional religious beliefs. The population of Zanzibar is almost completely Sunni Muslim.

Economy

The economy of Tanzania is overwhelmingly agricultural; plantations grow cash crops, including coffee, sisal, tea, cotton, pyrethrum, cashews, tobacco, sugarcane, and cloves (cultivated in Zanzibar and Pemba). Most of the population, however, is engaged in subsistence farming, growing corn, wheat, cassava, bananas, fruits, and vegetables. In addition, large numbers of cattle, sheep, and goats are raised. Timber is important and includes mahogany, teak, ebony, camphor wood, and mangrove. Manufactures include processed agricultural goods, beverages, wood products, and basic consumer items. Refined petroleum, fertilizer, aluminum goods, and construction materials are also produced. Diamonds, tanzanite, and other gemstones are mined; other minerals extracted in significant quantities include gold, salt, gypsum, phosphates, and kaolin. There are also tin mines in NW Tanzania and coal and iron ore deposits near Lake Nyasa. Natural gas from deposits around Songo Songo Island, off the S central coast, are used to produce electricity.

Tanzania has limited road and rail networks. The main rail lines run from Dar-es-Salaam to Kigoma (on Lake Tanganyika) and to Tanga, Moshi, and Arusha in the NE. The Tazara Railway (also known as the Great Uhuru or Tanzam Railway), built in the 1970s by the Chinese, connects Dar-es-Salaam with central Zambia, affording landlocked Zambia an alternative route to the sea. The principal exports are gold, coffee, cashews, diamonds and other gemstones, manufactures, and cotton. The principal imports are consumer goods, machinery, transportation equipment, industrial raw materials, crude oil, and foodstuffs. The leading trade partners are China, India, South Africa, and Canada.

Government

Tanzania is governed under the constitution of 1977 as amended. The president, who is head of state and head of government, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term and is eligible for a second term. Political parties besides the ruling Party of the Revolution (CCM) were permitted starting in 1993, and the first multiparty elections were held in 1995. The unicameral legislature consists of the 274-seat National Assembly or Bunge; 232 members are popularly elected, 37 are women appointed by the president, and five are members of the Zanzibar's legislature (Zanzibar has its own president and House of Representatives, for dealing with matters internal to Zanzibar). All legislators serve five-year terms. Administratively, Tanzania is divided into 26 regions.

History

Early History

In 1959, Dr. L. S. B. Leakey, a British anthropologist, discovered at Olduvai Gorge in NE Tanzania the fossilized remains of what he called Homo habilis, who lived about 1.75 million years ago. Tanzania was later the site of Paleolithic cultures. By the beginning of the first millennium A.D. scattered parts of the country, including the coast, were thinly populated. At this time overseas trade seems to have been carried out between the coast and NE Africa, SW Asia, and India.

By about A.D. 900 traders from SW Asia and India had settled on the coast, exchanging cloth, beads, and metal goods for ivory. They also exported small numbers of Africans as slaves. By this time there were also commercial contacts with China, directly and via Sri Vijaya (see under Indonesia) and India. By about 1200, Kilwa Kisiwani (situated on an island) was a major trade center, handling gold exported from Sofala (on the coast of modern Mozambique) as well as goods (including ivory, beeswax, and animal skins) from the near interior of Tanzania. By about 1000 the migration of Bantu-speakers into the interior of Tanzania from the west and the south was well under way, and the population there had been greatly increased. The Bantu were organized in relatively small political units.

Foreign Contacts

In 1498, Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese explorer, became the first European to visit the Tanzanian coast; in 1502, on his second visit there, he made Kilwa tributary. In 1505, Kilwa was sacked by Francisco d'Almeida, another Portuguese explorer, and by 1506 Portugal controlled most of the coast of E Africa. The Portuguese did not cooperate with the local people, and their impact was mostly negative—trade was disrupted, towns declined, and people migrated from the region. However, Kilwa's trade seems to have grown as a result of contact with the Portuguese. Toward the end of the 16th cent., the Zimba, a group from SE Africa, moved rapidly up the coast, causing considerable damage; in 1587 they sacked Kilwa and killed about 3,000 persons (roughly 40% of its inhabitants).

In 1698 the Portuguese were expelled from the E African coast (except for a brief return in 1725) with the help of Arabs from Oman. In the early 18th cent., the Omanis showed some interest in the commerce of E Africa, and this increased after the Bu Said dynasty replaced the Yarubi rulers in 1741. Oman's commercial activity was centered on Zanzibar (and, to a lesser extent, at Mombasa), from which it controlled the overseas trade of E Africa. By the early 19th cent. numerous towns on the Tanzanian coast had been founded or revived; these included Tanga, Pangani, Bagamoyo, Kilwa Kivinje (situated on the mainland near Kilwa Kisiwani), Lindi, and Mikandani.

The Caravan Trade

Sayyid Said, the great Bu Saidi ruler, took a great interest in E Africa and in 1841 permanently moved his capital from Muscat, in Oman, to Zanzibar. He brought with him many Arabs, who settled in the mainland towns as well as on Zanzibar. About the same time, new caravan routes into the far interior were opened up; the three main lines went from Kilwa and Lindi to the Lake Nyasa region; from Bagamoyo and Mbwamaji (near present-day Dar-es-Salaam) to Tabora, where one branch continued west to Ujiji (and on into modern Congo) and another went north to the Victoria Nyanza region; and from Pangani and Tanga northwest into modern Kenya via Mt. Kilimanjaro.

The caravans following the southern route obtained mainly slaves and ivory; along the more northerly routes ivory was the chief commodity purchased. As a result, the Swahili language (a blend of Bantu grammar and a considerable Arabic vocabulary) and culture gained new adherents. In the middle third of the 19th cent. several European missionaries and explorers visited various parts of Tanzania, notably Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tabora, Lake Victoria, and Lake Nyasa. From the 1860s to the early 1880s Mirambo, a Nyamwezi, headed a large state that controlled much of the caravan trade of central and N Tanzania. About the same time Tippu Tib, a Zanzibari, organized large caravans that passed through Tanzania to present-day Zambia and Congo, where ivory and slaves were obtained.

Colonialism

As the scramble for African territory among the European powers intensified in the 1880s, Carl Peters and other members of the Society for German Colonization signed treaties with Africans (1884-85) in the hinterland of the Tanzanian coast. By an agreement with Great Britain in 1886, Germany established a vague sphere of influence over mainland Tanzania, except for a narrow strip of land along the coast that remained under the suzerainty of the sultan of Zanzibar, who leased it to the Germans. The German East Africa Company (founded 1887) governed the territory, called German East Africa. The company's aggressive conduct resulted in a major resistance movement along the coast by Arabs, Swahili (whose main leaders were Abushiri and Bwana Heri), and other Africans that was only defeated with the help of the German government. A second Anglo-German agreement (1890) added Rwanda, Burundi, and other regions to German East Africa.

Because the company had proved to be an ineffective ruler, the German government in 1891 took over the country (which by then included the coast) and declared it a protectorate. However, it was not until 1898, with the death of the Hehe ruler, Mkwawa, who strongly opposed European rule, that the Germans succeeded in controlling the country. During the period 1905 to 1907 the Maji Maji revolt against German rule engulfed most of SE Tanzania; about 75,000 Africans lost their lives as a result of German military campaigns and lack of food. Under the Germans, several new crops (including sisal, cotton, and plantation-grown rubber) were introduced; the production and sale of other commodities (notably coffee, copra, sesame, and peanuts) was encouraged, and railroads were built to Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika and to Moshi. In addition, many new Christian missions, which included rudimentary schools for the Africans, were established.

During World War I, British and Belgian troops occupied (1916) most of German East Africa. In the postwar period the League of Nations made Tanganyika a British mandate, and Ruanda-Urundi (later Rwanda and Burundi), a Belgian mandate; the Portuguese gained control of some land in the southeast. The British, especially during the administration (1925-31) of Gov. Sir Donald Cameron, attempted to rule "indirectly" through existing African leaders. However, unlike N Nigeria, where the policy of indirect rule was first developed (see Frederick Lugard), Tanganyika had few indigenous large-scale political units. Therefore, African leaders had to be established in newly defined constituencies. The effect of British policy, as a result, was to alter considerably the patterns of African life in Tanganyika. After a slow start, the British developed the territory's economy largely along the lines established by the Germans. Increasing numbers of Africans worked for a wage on plantations, especially after 1945, when economic growth began to accelerate. Also after 1945 Africans gradually gained more seats on the territory's legislative council (which had been established in 1926).

Independence and Nyerere

In 1954, Julius Nyerere and Oscar Kambona transformed the Tanganyika African Association (founded in 1929) into the more politically oriented Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). TANU easily won the general elections of 1958-60, and when Tanganyika became independent on Dec. 9, 1961, Nyerere became its first prime minister. In Dec., 1962, Tanganyika became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations, and Nyerere was made president. On Apr. 26, 1964, shortly after a leftist revolution in newly independent Zanzibar, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged; Nyerere became the new country's first president. Abeid Amani Karume, the head of Zanzibar's government and leader of its dominant Afro-Shirazi party (ASP), became Tanzania's first vice president. Although formally united with the mainland, Zanzibar retained considerable independence in internal affairs.

In Feb., 1967, Nyerere issued the Arusha Declaration, a major policy statement that called for egalitarianism, socialism, and self-reliance. It promised a decentralized government and a program of rural development called ujamaa ("pulling together") that involved the creation of cooperative farm villages. Factories and plantations were nationalized, and major investments were made in primary schools and health care. While Nyerere put some of the declaration's principles into practice, it was not clear if power in Tanzania was, in fact, being decentralized.

TANU was the mainland's sole legal political party and it was tightly controlled by Nyerere. In the early 1970s there was tension (and occasional border clashes) between Tanzania and Uganda, caused mainly by Nyerere's continued support of Uganda's ousted president, A. Milton Obote. However, in 1973, Nyerere and Gen. Idi Amin, Uganda's new head of state, signed an agreement to end hostilities. Tanzania supported various movements against white-minority rule in S Africa, and several of these organizations had offices in Dar-es-Salaam. In 1977, TANU and Zanzibar's ASP merged to form the Party of the Revolution (CCM). A new constitution was adopted the same year.

Hostilities with Uganda resumed in 1978 when Ugandan military forces occupied about 700 sq mi (1800 sq km) of N Tanzania and left only after having caused substantial damage. One month later, Tanzanian forces and Ugandan rebels staged a counterinvasion. Tanzania captured the Ugandan capital of Kampala in 1979 and drove Idi Amin from power. This campaign further depleted the country's already scarce economic resources. Tanzania maintained troops in Uganda after its victory and drew criticism from other African nations for its actions. In 1983, negotiations between Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda led to the reopening of the Kenyan border, which had been closed since 1977 after the collapse of the East African Community.

Tanzania after Nyerere

By the 1980s, it was clear that the economic policies set out by the Arusha Declaration had failed. The economy continued to deteriorate with cycles of alternating floods and droughts, which reduced agricultural production and exports. After Nyerere resigned as promised in 1985, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, president of Zanzibar, became head of the one-party government. He began an economic recovery program involving cuts in government spending, decontrol of prices, and encouragement of foreign investment; modest growth resumed. In 1992 the constitution was amended to allow opposition parties.

The 1995 multiparty elections, which were regarded by international observers as seriously flawed, were won by Benjamin William Mkapa, candidate of the ruling CCM. In the 1990s Tanzania was overwhelmed by refugees from the war in neighboring Burundi; by the end of the decade some 300,000 were in Tanzania, and the number subsequently grew. Tanzania began repatriating the refugees in 2002, and closed the last camp in 2009. More than 200,000 Burundian refugees who fled to Tanzania in 1972 also remained prior to 2009; many of these accepted an offer of Tanzania citizenship.

Mkapa, who continued to pursue economic reforms, was reelected in 2000, but there were blatant irregularities in the vote in Zanzibar, where the opposition party, which favors greater independence for the island, had been expected to do well. In 2005 the CCM candidate for president, Jakaya Kikwete won the election with 80% of the vote and CCM won more than 90% of the seats in parliament, but the voting in Zanzibar was again marred by violence and irregularities. A corruption investigation implicated the prime minister, Edward Lowassa, and two other cabinet members in 2008, leading them to resign in February; Kikwete subsequently re-formed the cabinet.

Bibliography

See R. A. Austen, Northwest Tanzania under German and British Rule (1968); I. N. Kinambo and A. J. Temu, ed., A History of Tanzania (1969); J. C. Hatch, Tanzania (1972); C. R. Ingle, From Village to State in Tanzania (1972); I. N. Resnick, The Long Transition: Building Socialism in Tanzania (1981); J. Iliffe, A Modern History of Tanganyika (1981); M. Hood, ed., Tanzania and Nyerere (1988); D. Berg-Schlosser and R. Siegler, Political Stability and Development: A Comparative Analysis of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda (1990); J. Bresen et al., ed., Tanzania (1990).

officially United Republic of Tanzania

Crater rim of Kilimanjaro at dawn.

Crater rim of Kilimanjaro at dawn.

Crater rim of Kilimanjaro at dawn.

Country, eastern Africa. It is mostly on the African mainland but also includes the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia in the Indian Ocean. Population (2008 est.): 40,213,000. Capital: Dar es Salaam; Dodoma, designated. There are more than 120 identifiable ethnic groups; the largest, the Sukuma, are about one-tenth of the population. Languages: Swahili, English (both official). Religions: Christianity (Protestant, Roman Catholic), Islam (mainly Sunni), traditional beliefs. Currency: Tanzanian shilling. Although most of Tanzania consists of plains and plateaus, it has some spectacular relief features, including Kilimanjaro and Ol Doinyo Lengai, an active volcano. All or portions of Lakes Nyasa, Tanganyika, Victoria, and Rukwa lie within Tanzania, as do the headwaters of the Nile, Congo, and Zambezi rivers. Serengeti National Park is the most famous of its extensive game reserves. Important mineral deposits include gold, diamonds, gemstones, coal, and natural gas. The economy is based largely on agriculture; major crops include cotton, coffee, corn, rice, cloves, sisal, cashews, and tobacco. Industries include food processing, textiles, cement, and brewing. Tanzania is a republic with one legislative house; its head of state and government is the president. Inhabited from the 1st millennium BCE, it was occupied by Arab and Indian traders and Bantu-speaking peoples by the 10th century CE. The Portuguese gained control of the coastline in the late 15th century, but they were driven out by the Arabs of Oman and Zanzibar in the late 18th century. German colonists entered the area in the 1880s, and in 1891 the Germans declared the region a protectorate as part of German East Africa. During World War I, Britain captured the German holdings, which became a British mandate (1920) under the name Tanganyika. Britain retained control of the region after World War II when it became a UN trust territory. Tanganyika gained independence in 1961 and became a republic in 1962. In 1964 it united with Zanzibar, later taking the name Tanzania, and was led by Pres. Julius Nyerere until 1985. The country subsequently experienced both political and economic struggles; it held its first multiparty elections in 1995.

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Tanzania , officially the United Republic of Tanzania (Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda on the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique on the south. To the east it borders the Indian Ocean.

The country's name is a portmanteau of Tanganyika, which is the large mainland territory, and Zanzibar, the offshore archipelago. The two former British colonies united in 1964, forming the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

In 1996 government offices were transferred from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, making Dodoma the country's political capital. Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city.

History

Tanzania as it exists today consists of the union of what was once Tanganyika and the islands of Zanzibar. Formerly a German colony from the 1880s through 1919, the post-World War 1 accords and the League of Nations charter designated the area a British Mandate (except for a small area in the northwest, which was ceded to Belgium and later became Rwanda and Burundi).

British rule came to an end in 1961 after a relatively peaceful (compared with neighbouring Kenya, for instance) transition to independence. At the forefront of the transition was Julius Nyerere, a former schoolteacher and intellectual who entered politics in the early 1950s. In 1953 he was elected president of Tanganyika African Association (TAA), a civic organization dominated by civil servants, that he had helped found while a student at Makerere University. In 1954 he transformed TAA into the politically oriented Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). TANU's main objective was to achieve national sovereignty for Tanganyika. A campaign to register new members was launched, and within a year TANU had become the leading political organisation in the country. Nyerere became Minister of British-administered Tanganyika in 1960 and continued as Prime Minister when Tanganyika became officially independent in 1961.

Soon after independence, Nyerere's first presidency took a turn to the Left after the Arusha Declaration, which codified a commitment to Pan-African Socialism, social solidarity, collective sacrifice and "ujamaa" (familyhood). After the Declaration, banks were nationalised as were many large industries.

After the leftist Zanzibar Revolution overthrowing the Sultan in neighboring Zanzibar, which had become independent in 1963, the island merged with mainland Tanganyika to form the nation of Tanzania on April 26, 1964. The union of the two, hitherto separate, regions was controversial among many Zanzibaris (even those sympathetic to the revolution) but was accepted by both the Nyerere government and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar owing to shared political values and goals.

After the fall of commodity prices and the sharp spike of oil prices in the late 1970s, Tanzania's economy took a turn for the worse. The 1980s left the country in disarray as economic turmoil shook the commitments to social justice and it began to appear as if the project of socialism was a lost cause. Although it was a deeply unpopular decision, the Tanzanian government agreed to accept conditional loans from the International Monetary Fund in the mid 1980s and undergo "Structural Adjustment", which amounted in concrete terms to a large-scale liquidation of the public sector (rather large by African standards), deregulation of financial and agricultural markets. Educational as well as health services, however modest they may have been under the previous model of development, were not spared from cuts required by IMF conditionalities.

From the mid 1980s through the early 1990s Tanzania's GDP grew modestly, although Human Development Indexes fell and poverty indicators increased.

Today, Tanazania's prospects for development look increasingly promising, as its natural resources provide an excellent foundation for future investment and economic growth.

Politics

Tanzania's president and National Assembly members are elected concurrently by direct popular vote for five-year terms. The president appoints a prime minister who serves as the government's leader in the National Assembly. The president selects his cabinet from among National Assembly members. The Constitution also empowers him to nominate ten non-elected members of Parliament, who also are eligible to become cabinet members. Elections for president and all National Assembly seats were held in December 2005.

The unicameral National Assembly elected in 2000 has 295 members. These 295 members include the Attorney General, five members elected from the Zanzibar House of Representatives to participate in the Parliament, the special women's seats which are made up of 20% of the seats that a given party has in the House, 181 constituent seats of members of Parliament from the mainland, and 50 seats from Zanzibar. Also in the list are forty-eight appointed for women and the seats for the 10 nominated members of Parliament. At present, the ruling CCM holds about 93% of the seats in the Assembly. Laws passed by the National Assembly are valid for Zanzibar only in specifically designated union matters.

Zanzibar's House of Representatives has jurisdiction over all non-union matters. There are currently seventy-six members in the House of Representatives in Zanzibar, including fifty elected by the people, ten appointed by the president of Zanzibar, five ex officio members, and an attorney general appointed by the president. In May 2002, the government increased the number of special seats allocated to women from ten to fifteen, which will increase the number of House of Representatives members to eighty-one. Ostensibly, Zanzibar's House of Representatives can make laws for Zanzibar without the approval of the union government as long as it does not involve union-designated matters. The terms of office for Zanzibar's president and House of Representatives also are five years. The semiautonomous relationship between Zanzibar and the union is a relatively unusual system of government.

Tanzania has a five-level judiciary combining the jurisdictions of tribal, Islamic, and British common law. Appeal is from the primary courts through the district courts, resident magistrate courts, to the high courts, and Court of Appeals. Judges are appointed by the Chief Justice, except those for the Court of Appeals and the High Court who are appointed by the president. The Zanzibari court system parallels the legal system of the union, and all cases tried in Zanzibari courts, except for those involving constitutional issues and Islamic law, can be appealed to the Court of Appeals of the union. A commercial court was established in September 1999 as a division of the High Court.

Regions and districts

Tanzania is divided into 26 regions (mkoa), twenty-one on the mainland and five in Zanzibar (three on Unguja, two on Pemba). Ninety-eight districts (wilaya), each with at least one council, have been created to further increase local authority; the councils are also known as local government authorities. Currently there are 114 councils operating in 99 districts; 22 are urban and 92 are rural. The 22 urban units are further classified as city councils (Dar es Salaam and Mwanza), municipal councils (Arusha, Dodoma, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Morogoro, Shinyanga, Tabora, and Tanga) or town councils (the remaining eleven communities).

Tanzania's regions are: Arusha Dar es Salaam Dodoma Iringa Kagera Kigoma Kilimanjaro Lindi Manyara Mara Mbeya Morogoro Mtwara Mwanza Pemba North Pemba South Pwani Rukwa Ruvuma Shinyanga Singida Tabora Tanga Zanzibar Central/South Zanzibar North Zanzibar Urban/West

For regions ranked by total area, land area and water area, see List of Tanzanian regions by area.

Geography

At 364,875 mi² (945,087 km²), Tanzania is the world's 31st-largest country (it comes after Egypt). It is comparable in size to Nigeria.

Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of Lake Victoria (Africa's largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (Africa's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish). Central Tanzania comprises a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the island of Zanzibar lying just offshore.

Tanzania contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks, including the famous Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park in the north, and Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park in the south. Gombe National Park in the west is known as the site of Dr. Jane Goodall's studies of chimpanzee behavior.

The government of Tanzania through its department of tourism has embarked on a campaign to promote the Kalambo water falls in southwest Tanzania's region of Rukwa as one of Tanzania's many tourist destinations. The Kalambo Falls are the second highest in Africa and are located near the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika.

Environment

Tanzania has considerable wildlife habitat, including much of the Serengeti plain, where the white-bearded wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi) and other bovids participate in a large-scale annual migration. Up to 250,000 wildebeest perish each year in the long and arduous movement to find forage in the dry season. Tanzania is also home to 130 amphibian and over 275 reptile species, many of them strictly endemic and included in the IUCN Red Lists of different countries. Tanzania has developed a Biodiversity Action Plan to address species conservation.

Economy

The economy is mostly based on agriculture, which accounts for more than half of GDP, provides 85% (approximately) of exports, and employs 80% (approximately) of the workforce. Topography and climatic conditions, however, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. The nation has many natural resources including gold and natural gas. Recent headway has been made in the extraction of natural gas has taken place recently in this decade as gas is drawn into the commercial capital, Dar Es Salaam and exported to various markets overseas. Lack of overall development however has hampered the extraction of these various resources, and even up to the present there has been action on their part to develop the natural resource sector but no major quantifiable results. Industry is mainly limited to processing agricultural products and light consumer goods. Tanzania has vast amounts of natural resources including gold deposits and diamonds. Tanzania is also known for the Tanzanite gemstones. Tanzania has dozens of beautiful national parks like the world famous Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, that generate income with a large tourism sector that plays a vital part in the economy. Growth from 1991 to 1999 featured a pickup in industrial production and a substantial increase in output of minerals, led by gold. Commercial production of natural gas from the Songo Songo island in the Indian Ocean off the Rufiji Delta commenced 2004, with natural gas being pumped in a pipeline to the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, with the bulk of it being converted to electricity by the public utility and private operators. A new gas field is being brought on stream in Mnazi Bay.

Recent public sector and banking reforms, and revamped and new legislative frameworks have all helped increase private-sector growth and investment. Short-term economic progress also depends on curbing corruption and cutting back on unnecessary public spending.

Prolonged drought during the early years of the 21st century has severely reduced electricity generation capacity (some 60% of Tanzania's electricity supplies are generated by hydro-electric schemes). During 2006 Tanzania suffered a crippling series of "load-shedding" or power rationing because of the shortfall of generated power, largely because of insufficient hydro-electric generation. Plans to increase gas- and coal-fueled generation capacity are likely to take some years to implement, and growth is forecast to be increased to seven per cent per year, and perhaps eight or more.

There are 3 major airlines in Tanzania, the Air Tanzania Corporation, PrecisionAir which do local flights -Arusha, Kigoma, Mtwara, Mwanza, Musoma, Shinyanga, Zanzibar) and regional flights to Kigali,Nairobi, Mombasa routes and a third one that does local flights only. There are also several charter aeroplane firms. There are two railway companies: TAZARA caters for service between Dar-es-Salaam and Kapiri-Mposhi, a district of the Central Province in Zambia. The other one is the Tanzania Railways Corporation, which provides services between Dar-es-Salaam and Kigoma, a town on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and between Dar-es-Salaam and Mwanza, a city on the shores of lake Victoria. There is also a service across the Indian Ocean between Dar-es-Salaam and Zanzibar by several modern hydrofoil boats.

Demographics

As of 2006, the estimated population is 38,329,000, with an estimated growth rate of 2.3%. The population of Tanzania is expected to reach 88.2 million by 2050, a growth of 150%. Population distribution is extremely uneven, with density varying from 1 person per square kilometer (3/mi²) in arid regions to 51 per square kilometer (133/mi²) in the mainland's well-watered highlands, to 134 per square kilometer (347/mi²) on Zanzibar. More than 80% of the population is rural. Tanzania still has a very high unemployment rate, which is about 67%. Dar es Salaam is the largest city and is the commercial capital; Dodoma, located in the center of Tanzania is the new capital and houses the Union's Parliament. Zanzibar Town houses the Zanzibar Parliament.

The African population consists of more than 126 ethnic groups, of which the Sukuma and Nyamwezi, the Hehe and Bena, the Gogo, the Haya, the Makonde, the Chagga and the Nyakyusa have more than 1 million members. Other groups include the Pare, Sambaa or Shambala and Ngoni. The majority of Tanzanians, including such large ethnic groups as the Sukuma and the Nyamwezi, have Bantu origins. Groups of Nilotic or related origin include the nomadic Masai and the Luo, both of which are found in greater numbers in neighboring Kenya. Two small groups speak languages of the Khoisan family peculiar to the people of the Kalahari in southern Africa. Cushitic-speaking peoples, originally from the Ethiopian highlands, reside in a few areas of Tanzania. Other Bantu groups were refugees and immigrants from nearby countries.

Although much of Zanzibar's African population came from the mainland, one group known as Afro-Shirazis claims its origins to be the island's early Persian settlers. Non-Africans residing on the mainland and Zanzibar account for 1% of the total population. In the 1960s and 1970s thousands of Asians emigrated, frequently under duress. Often they attempted to emigrate to the United Kingdom, and now the UK is home to 100,000 Tanzanians making the Tanzanian British community the world's largest overseas Tanzanian community. Their community, including Hindus, Sunni Muslims, Sikhs, Parsis and Goans, has increased in the past decade to 260,000. An estimated 70,000 Arabs and 20,000 Europeans still reside in Tanzania.

According to the World Refugee Survey 2008, published by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Tanzania hosted a population of refugees and asylum seekers numbering 432,500 in 2007. The majority of this population was from Burundi (331,900 persons) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (99,100 persons). Between May 2006 and May 2007, the Tanzanian government expelled approximately 15,000 Rwandans and several thousand Burundians. Refugees in Tanzania are required to live in camps, and face fines and arrest if they leave the designated camps or seek employment without official permission.

Current statistics on religion in Tanzania are unavailable because religious surveys were eliminated from government census reports after 1967. Religious leaders and sociologists estimate that the Christian and Muslim communities are equal, each accounting for 30 to 40 percent of the population, with the remainder consisting of practitioners of other faiths, indigenous religions, and atheists.

The HIV rate in Tanzania was 6.5% among adults aged 15-49 as of 2006.

Languages

Tanzania has more than 126 ethnic groups and each ethnic group has its own language. No language is de jure official, but Swahili is the de facto official national language, used for inter-ethnic communication and for official matters. After gaining independence, English, the language of colonial administration during the era of British rule, was still used for some official issues, and was thus considered de facto official alongside Swahili. Nowadays English is no longer used in the administration, in the parliament or in the government, so it is no longer a de facto official language in the narrow sense. Hence Tanzania is one of the few African states in which a local language has gained importance to the disadvantage of the ex-colonial language. Since English is still the language of higher courts, it can however be considered a de facto official language in the larger sense.

According to the official linguistic policy of Tanzania, as anounced in 1984, Swahili is the language of the social and political sphere as well as primary and adult education, whereas English is the language of secondary education, universities, technology and higher courts. Though the British government financially supports the use of English in Tanzania, its usage in the Tanzanian society has diminished over the past decades: In the seventies Tanzanian university students used to speak English with each other, whereas now they almost exclusively use Swahili outside the classroom. Even in secondary school and university classes, where officially only English should be used, it is now quite common to use a mix of Swahili and English.

Other spoken languages are Indian languages, especially Gujarati, and Portuguese (both spoken by Mozambican blacks and Goans). Historically German was widely spoken during that colonial period, but few remain alive who remember that period.

Culture

The music of Tanzania stretches from traditional African music to the string-based taarab to a distinctive hip hop known as bongo flava. Famous taarab singers names are Abbasi Mzee, Culture Musical Club, Shakila of Black Star Musical Group.

Internationally known traditional artists are Bi Kidude, Hukwe Zawose and Tatu Nane.

Tanzania has its own distinct African rumba music where names of artists/groups like Tabora Jazz, Western Jazz Band, Morogoro Jazz, Volcano Jazz, Simba Wanyika,Remmy Ongala, Ndala Kasheba, NUTA JAZZ, ATOMIC JAZZ, DDC Mlimani Park, Afro 70 & Patrick Balisidya, Sunburst, Tatu Nane and Orchestra Makassy must be mentioned in the history of Tanzanian music.

Tanzania has many writers. The list of writers' names includes well known writers such as Godfrey Mwakikagile, Mohamed Said, Prof. Joseph Mbele, Juma Volter Mwapachu, Prof. Issa Shivji, Jenerali Twaha Ulimwengu, Prof. Penina Mlama, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Adam Shafi, Dr. Malima M.P Bundala and Shaaban Robert.

Media

The Daily News is the oldest newspaper and is state-run, as are the public broadcasting service television TVT and radio networks of Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam RTD. Since 2007 the state owned Television station popularly referred in Swahili as Televisheni Ya Taifa TVT and Radio Tanzania Dar-es-Salaam RTD are now both under the umbrella of Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation. Tanzania also has many privately run media outlets, for example more than 11 daily newspapers, more than 6 television stations and more than 6 FM radio stations like Radio Free Africa RFA whose transmission reaches the Great lakes Region Congo DRC, Rwanda and Burundi. Some of the private radio stations and newspapers are owned by political parties like the Uhuru newspaper and the Radio Uhuru FM.

International shortwave radio broadcasts from the BBC Radio, Voice of America and Deutsche Welle can be received.

Tanzanians are also active bloggers and there is a blog site launched by Muhidin Issa Michuzi*, that has been visited by more than 3 million bloggers since 2007. Internet in Tanzania has became a de facto source of news used both by Tanzanian citizens and other institutions to access information ignored by owners and editors of well established newspapers, television and radio stations.

See also

References

External links

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