Tanzania, republic in southeastern Africa, bounded on the north by Kenya and Uganda; on the east by the Indian Ocean; on the south by Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia; and on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Burundi, and Rwanda. The country includes the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, and other offshore islands in the Indian Ocean. The total area of Tanzania is 945,100 sq km (364,900 sq mi). Dar es Salaam is the capital and largest city; the smaller city of Dodoma has been designated as the eventual capital of Tanzania.
Tanzania was formed by the federation of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964. The histories of the two areas are very different.
Palaces of Zanzibar Zanzibar was a major East African economic power in the 19th century. These 19th-century palaces on Zanzibar's waterfront reflect the island's past status.Liaison Agency/Saola
As early as the 8th century ad, Zanzibar and other islands off the coast of East Africa became bases for Arab merchants trading with the mainland, which they called the Land of Zanj (Arabic for "blacks"), or Azania. In the course of time some of these?including Zanzibar and Kilwa?became independent Muslim sultanates with mixed Arab and African populations. In the 16th and 17th centuries they were dominated by the Portuguese, and in the 18th century, Zanzibar and Pemba were subject to the sultans of Masqa? and Oman. In 1832 Sayyid Sa'?d ibn Sultan, the sultan of Oman, established his residence on Zanzibar, where he promoted the production of cloves and palm oil and carried on an active slave trade with the interior. His domain, which included parts of the mainland, was a commercial rather than a territorial empire. His successors did not have a legal claim to the lands they controlled commercially, and did not have the power to keep the Germans and British from annexing them when the European nations began dividing up Africa later in the century. Zanzibar was declared a British protectorate in 1890; the sultan was retained for ceremonial purposes, but most major decisions were made by the British resident. Sultan Khalifa ibn Harub used his influence to support British rule. At the time of his death, Britain was divesting itself of its African colonies, and Zanzibar, troubled by political factionalism, was granted independence in December 1963. A few weeks later its conservative government was overthrown in a bloody revolution and replaced by a leftist regime under Sheikh Abeid Amani Karume.
Tanganyika, populated by many Bantu groups, such as the Chagga, Hehe, Gogo, Yao, and Nyamwezi, and by the Masai and other Nilotic peoples, was defined by a series of treaties between European states in the decade after 1886. These ignored the claims of the sultan of Zanzibar, giving the Germans control over the vast reaches of Tanganyika and reserving Kenya and Uganda for Britain. After putting down African resistance to their rule, the Germans invested heavily in Tanganyika, hoping to convert the northern part into profitable coffee and tea plantations. The onset of World War I in 1914 ended these plans. German East Africa became a major theater of operations, in which General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck tied down about a quarter of a million British and colonial troops with a makeshift force of 12,000 Africans and 4,000 Germans before finally capitulating in 1918. Tanganyika then became a mandate of the League of Nations under British tutelage. The actions of the British governors in the 1920s kept European colonization to a minimum; thus, unlike neighboring Kenya, Tanganyika did not develop a race problem. The results of this enlightened attitude were evident in the transition period before independence. The major party, the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), led by Julius Nyerere, was a moderate organization; its appeal cut across ethnic and national lines. Nyerere became prime minister when Tanganyika was granted independence in December 1961; one year later the new nation adopted a republican constitution, with Nyerere as its president.
The population of Tanzania consists mostly of members of more than 120 black African groups, the majority of which speak a Bantu language. The largest ethnic groups are the Sukuma and the Nyamwezi. Other groups of significant size include the Haya, Ngonde, Chagga, Gogo, Ha, Hehe, Nyakyusa, Nyika, Ngoni, Yao, and Masai. The population also includes people of Indian, Pakistani, and Goan origin, and small Arab and European communities. People living in rural areas make up 66 percent of the population. About 45 percent of Tanzanians are Christians; Roman Catholicism is the largest denomination. Islam is the religion of about one-third of the people on the mainland and is dominant on Zanzibar. Less than one-fifth of the population follows traditional religions. Swahili and English are the official languages of Tanzania, but many people continue to use the language of their ethnic group.
The population of Tanzania (2004 estimate) is 36,588,225, giving the country an overall population density of 41 persons per sq km (107 per sq mi). Yet the population distribution is irregular, with high densities found near fertile soils around Kilimanjaro and the shores of Lake Malawi, and comparatively low density throughout much of the interior of the country. In the late 1960s and 1970s the Tanzanian government resettled most of the rural population in collective farming villages as part of its socialist agenda. The country's population growth rate is 1.95 percent (2004).
The largest city and seat of government, Dar es Salaam, has a population (1999 estimate) of 2,545,000. Other major cities are Mwanza (population, 1988; 233,013), a port on Lake Victoria, and Tanga (187,634), an industrial center and seaport. Zanzibar (157,634) is the largest city on the island. Dodoma (189,000) has been designated as the eventual capital of Tanzania.
Land and resources
Kilimanjaro, Tanzania Northeastern Tanzania features the tallest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro, which lies near the border of Kenya. The mountain has two volcanic peaks, spaced 11 km (7 mi) apart, with the higher of the two rising 5,895 m (19,341 ft). Farmers cultivate coffee beans and plantains on Kilimanjaro's lower slopes.Photo Researchers, Inc./Renee Lynn
The landscape of mainland Tanzania is generally flat and low along the coast, but a plateau at an average altitude of about 1,200 m (about 4,000 ft) constitutes the greater part of the country. Isolated mountain groups rise in the northeast and southwest. The volcanic Kilimanjaro (5,895 m/19,341 ft), the highest mountain in Africa, is located near the northeastern border. Three of the great lakes of Africa lie on the borders of the country and partially within it. Lake Tanganyika is located on the western border, Lake Victoria on the northwest, and Lake Malawi on the southwest. Lakes Malawi and Tanganyika lie in the Great Rift Valley, a tremendous geological fault system extending from the Middle East to Mozambique.
Elevation and distance from the sea control the climate of Tanzania. On the mainland coastal strip along the Indian Ocean, the climate is warm and tropical, with temperatures averaging 27°C (80°F) and rainfall varying from 750 to 1,400 mm (30 to 55 in). The inland plateau is hot and dry, with annual rainfall averaging as little as 500 mm (20 in). The semitemperate highlands in the southwest are better watered.
The climate on the islands is generally tropical, but the heat is tempered by a sea breeze throughout the year. The annual mean temperature for the city of Zanzibar is 35°C (95°F) maximum, and 16°C (61°F) minimum; for Wete in Pemba, 34°C (93°F) maximum and 17°C (63°F) minimum. Most rain falls from December through May. Tanzania also can experience substantial fluctuations in rain amounts from one year to the next.
Plant and animal life
The mainland plateau is savanna land, with light vegetation varying from grass and thorny shrubs to open woodland. Evergreen forests cover some mountain areas and rain forests are found near Lake Victoria. Mangrove forests line the coastal river mouths. The vegetation of the islands is characterized by brush and savanna, with rain forests in the most humid areas.
Tanzania has an abundant wildlife except on the central plateau, parts of which are infested with the tsetse fly, which transmits sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in animals. The savanna uplands are inhabited by several species of antelope, as well as lions, leopards, zebras, elephants, and giraffes. Monkeys are plentiful; apes include chimpanzees and gorillas. Hippopotamuses and the crocodiles live along the rivers. The most numerous birds are swimmers and waders, though ostriches are occasionally seen in the uplands. Poisonous snakes include black mambas and puff adders.
Tanzanian culture is a product of African, Arab, European, and Indian influences. Traditional African values are being consciously adapted to modern life.
Popular Taarab Music of Zanzibar With its distinct stylistic connections to Indian film music and Egyptian and Lebanese art music, taarab music was long considered the music of the Arabic upper class in Zanzibar. After the 1964 revolution, taarab music clubs received Swahili names, and through the years the orchestral taarab style has absorbed more East African and, in many cases, Latin influences. These are primarily heard in the complex rhythmic backbeat and centuries-old song texts
Currency and foreign Trade
The currency unit is the Tanzanian shilling (966.58 Tanzanian shillings equal U.S.$1; 2002 average). Tanzania nationalized most banks in 1967, but the state-owned Bank of Tanzania (1966) began allowing privately owned banks to operate in the mid-1990s.
In 2001 the imports of Tanzania were valued at $1.7 billion, and exports totaled $763 million. Gold, cashews, coffee, cotton, tobacco, cloves, tea, and sisal made up the bulk of exports. Main imports were petroleum, machinery, transportation equipment, iron and steel and other metals, and food and live animals. Principal trading partners for exports are the United Kingdom, India, Germany, The Netherlands and Kenya; chief partners for imports are South Africa, Japan, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Kenya. Considerable foreign exchange is also derived from tourists, some 550,000 of whom visited Tanzania in 2002. Most come to see Kilimanjaro and Serengeti National Park.