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United Republic of Tanzania

Coordinates: 6°18′25″S 34°51′14″E / 6.307°S 34.854°E / -6.307; 34.854

United Republic of Tanzania
Template:Native name
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: Template:Native phrase
"Freedom and Unity"
Anthem: Template:Native phrase
God Bless Africa
Largest city Dar es Salaam
Official languages
Demonym Tanzanian
Government Unitary presidential constitutional republic
 -  President Jakaya Kikwete
 -  Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda
Legislature National Assembly
Independence from the United Kingdom
 -  Tanganyika 9 December 1961 
 -  Zanzibar and Pemba 10 December 1963 
 -  Merger 26 April 1964 
 -  Current constitution 25 April 1977 
 -  Total 945,203 km2 (31)
364,898 sq mi
 -  Water (%) 6.2
 -  2012 census 44,928,923[1]
 -  Density 47.5/km2
123.1/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2012 estimate
 -  Total $73.859 billion[2] (81)
 -  Per capita $1,566[2]b
GDP (nominal) 2012 estimate
 -  Total $28.247 billion[2]
 -  Per capita $599[2]b
Gini (2007)37.6[3]
HDI (2012)Increase 0.476[4]
low · 152
Currency Tanzanian shilling (TZS)
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+3)
Drives on the left
Calling code +255c
ISO 3166 code TZ
Internet TLD .tz
a. In higher education and the higher courts.[5]
b. Based on a 2006 population estimate for 2012 of 47.1 million instead of the 2012 census result of 44.9 million.
c. +007 from Kenya and Uganda.
Population estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected.

Tanzania /ˌtænzəˈnə/, officially the United Republic of Tanzania (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania),[6] is a country in East Africa. It is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern border is formed by the Indian Ocean. Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in northeastern Tanzania.

The country is divided into 30 administrative regions: five on the semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar and 25 on the mainland in the former Tanganyika.[7] The head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, elected in 2005. Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where the National Assembly and some government offices are located.[8] Between independence and 1996, the main coastal city of Dar es Salaam served as the country's political capital. It remains Tanzania's principal commercial city and is the main location of most government institutions.[7][9] It is also the principal port of the country.[10]

The name "Tanzania" derives from the names of the two states, Tanganyika and Zanzibar, that united on 26 April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.[7] On 29 October 1964, the country was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.[7] The Articles of Union are the main foundation of Tanzania.


Main article: History of Tanzania

The indigenous populations of east Africa are thought to be the Hadza and Sandawe hunter-gatherers of Tanzania, who speak languages with clicks.[11]:page 17

The first wave of migration was by Southern Cushitic speakers, who are ancestral to the Iraqw, Gorowa, and Burunge and who moved south from Ethiopia into Tanzania.[11]:page 17 Based on linguistic evidence, there may also have been two movements into Tanzania of Eastern Cushitic people at about 4,000 and 2,000 years ago, originating from north of Lake Turkana.[11]:pages 17–18

Archaeological evidence supports the conclusion that Southern Nilotes, including the Datoog, moved south from the present-day Sudan/Ethiopia border region into central northern Tanzania between 2,900 and 2,400 years ago.[11]:page 18

These movements took place at approximately the same time as the settlement of the iron-making Mashariki Bantu in the Lake Victoria and Lake Tanganyika areas. They brought with them the west African planting tradition, the primary staple of which were yams. They subsequently migrated out of these regions across the rest of Tanzania between 2,300 and 1,700 years ago.[11]:page 18[12]

Eastern Nilotes peoples, including the Maasai, represent a more recent migration from present day South Sudan within the past 1,500 to 500 years.[11]:page 18[13]

The people of Tanzania have been associated with the production of steel. The Haya people on the western shores of Lake Victoria invented a type of high-heat blast furnace that allowed them to forge carbon steel at temperatures exceeding 1,820 °C (3,310 °F) more than 1,500 years ago.[14]

Travellers and merchants from the Persian Gulf and western India have visited the East African coast since early in the first millennium AD. Islam was practised on the Swahili Coast as early as the eighth or ninth century AD.[15][16]

Claiming the coastal strip, Omani Sultan Seyyid Said moved his capital to Zanzibar City in 1840. During this time, Zanzibar became the centre for the Arab slave trade.[17] Between 65 and 90 percent of the population of Arab-Swahili Zanzibar was enslaved.[18] One of the most famous slave traders on the East African coast was Tippu Tip, who was himself the grandson of an enslaved African. The Nyamwezi slave traders operated under the leadership of Msiri and Mirambo.[19] According to Timothy Insoll, "Figures record the exporting of 718,000 slaves from the Swahili coast during the 19th century, and the retention of 769,000 on the coast."[20]

In the late 19th century, Imperial Germany conquered the regions that are now Tanzania (minus Zanzibar) and incorporated them into German East Africa. The post–World War I accords and the League of Nations charter designated the area a British Mandate, except for the Kionga Triangle, a small area in the southeast that was incorporated into Portuguese East Africa (later Mozambique).

British rule came to an end in 1961 after a relatively peaceful (compared with neighbouring Kenya, for instance) transition to independence. In 1954, Julius Nyerere transformed an organisation 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 independent in 1961. In 1967, Nyerere's first presidency took a turn to the left after the Arusha Declaration, which codified a commitment to socialism in Pan-African fashion. After the declaration, banks and many large industries were nationalised.

After the Zanzibar Revolution overthrew the Arab dynasty in neighbouring Zanzibar,[21] which had become independent in 1963, the archipelago merged with mainland Tanganyika on 26 April 1964.[22] 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.

From the late 1970s, Tanzania's economy took a turn for the worse. Tanzania was also aligned with China, which from 1970 to 1975 financed and helped build the 1,860-kilometre-long (1,160 mi) TAZARA Railway from Dar es Salaam to Zambia.[23] From the mid-1980s, the regime financed itself by borrowing from the International Monetary Fund and underwent some reforms. Since then, Tanzania's gross domestic product per capita has grown, and poverty has been reduced.[24]


Union and mainland government

The parliament of Tanzania consists of two parts: the president and the National Assembly.[25]:§ 62(1)

The president and the members of the National Assembly are elected concurrently by direct popular vote for five-year terms.[25]:§ 42(2) The vice-president is elected for a five-year term at the same time as the president and on the same ticket.[25]:§§ 47(2), 50(1)

Neither the president nor the vice-president may be a member of the National Assembly.[25]:§ 66(2) The president appoints a prime minister to serve as the government's leader in the assembly.[25]:§§ 51(1), 52(2) The president selects his or her cabinet from assembly members.[25]:§ 55

All legislative power relating to mainland Tanzania and union matters is vested in the National Assembly,[25]:§ 64(1) which is unicameral and has a maximum of 357 members.[26] These include members elected to represent constituencies, the attorney general, five members elected by the Zanzibar house of representatives from among its own members, the special women's seats that constitute at least 30 percent of the seats that any party has in the assembly, the speaker of the assembly (if not otherwise a member of the assembly), and the persons (not more than ten) appointed by the president.[25]:§ 66(1) The Tanzania Electoral Commission demarcates the mainland into constituencies in the number determined by the commission with the consent of the president.[25]:§ 75

Zanzibar government

The legislative authority in Zanzibar over all non-union matters is vested in the house of representatives (per the Tanzania constitution)[25]:§ 106(3) or the Legislative Council (per the Zanzibar constitution).[27]: §§ 63(1), 78(1)

The house of representatives (or Legislative Council) has two parts: the president of Zanzibar and the members serving in the house.[25]:§ 107(1)-(2)[27]:§ 63(1) The president is Zanzibar's head of government and the chairman of the Revolutionary Council, in which the executive authority of Zanzibar is invested.[27]:§§ 5A(2), 26(1) Zanzibar has two vice-presidents, with the first being from the main opposition party in the house.[28] The second is from the party in power and is the leader of government business in the house.[29]

The president and the members of the house of representatives have five-year terms.[27]:§ 28(2)

The president selects ministers from members of the house of representatives,[27]:§ 42(2) with the ministers allocated according to the number of house seats won by political parties.[28] The Revolutionary Council consists of the president, both vice-presidents, all ministers, the attorney general of Zanzibar, and other house members deemed fit by the president.[28]

The house of representatives is composed of elected members, ten members appointed by the president, all the regional commissioners of Zanzibar, the attorney general, and appointed female members whose number must be equal to 30 percent of the elected members.[27]:§§ 55(3), 64, 67(1) The house determines the number of its elected members[27]:§ 120(2) with the Zanzibar Electoral Commission determining the boundaries of each election constituency.[27]:§ 120(1) In 2013, the house has a total of 81 members: fifty elected members, five regional commissioners, the attorney general, ten members appointed by the president, and fifteen appointed female members.[26]


Tanzania has a four-level judiciary. Appeal is from the Primary Courts (first level) to the District Courts (mainland), the Resident Magistrates' Courts (mainland), or the Magistrates' Courts (Zanzibar) (second level).[30] From there, appeal is to the High Court of Mainland Tanzania or Zanzibar (third level) and finally to the Court of Appeal of Tanzania (fourth level).[30] All cases tried in Zanzibari courts, except for those involving Zanzibari constitutional issues and Islamic law, can be appealed to the Court of Appeal.[27]:§ 99(1)[30] A commercial court was established in September 1999 as a division of the High Court.

Judges are appointed by the Chief Justice of Tanzania, except for those of the Court of Appeal and the High Court, who are appointed by the president of Tanzania.

Administrative subdivisions

In 1972, local government on the mainland was abolished and replaced with direct rule from the central government. Local government, however, was reintroduced in the beginning of the 1980s, when the rural councils and rural authorities were re-established. Local government elections took place in 1983, and functioning councils started in 1984. Two years after the first multi-party elections in 1995, there was a major public sector reform. These reforms included a Local Government Reform Programme (LGRP), setting "a comprehensive and ambitious agenda ... [covering] four areas: political decentralization, financial decentralization, administrative decentralization and changed central-local relations, with the mainland government having over-riding powers within the framework of the Constitution." The principal local government acts were amended by the National Assembly in 1999 as a part of the LGRP.[31]

Tanzania is divided into thirty regions (mkoa), twenty-five on the mainland and five in Zanzibar (three on Unguja, two on Pemba).[32][33] 169 districts (wilaya), also known as local government authorities, have been created. Of the 169 districts, 34 are urban units, which are further classified as three city councils (Arusha, Mbeya, and Mwanza), nineteen municipal councils, and twelve town councils.[1]

The urban units have an autonomous city, municipal, or town council and are subdivided into wards and mtaa. The non-urban units have an autonomous district council but are subdivided into village councils or township authorities (first level) and then into vitongoji.[31]

The city of Dar es Salaam is unique because it has a city council whose areal jurisdiction overlaps three municipal councils. The mayor of the city council is elected by that council. The twenty-member city council is composed of eleven persons elected by the municipal councils, seven members of the National Assembly, and "Nominated members of parliament under 'Special Seats' for women". Each municipal council also has a mayor. "The City Council performs a coordinating role and attends to issues cutting across the three municipalities", including security and emergency services.[34][35]

Tanzania's regions are: Arusha · Dar es Salaam · Dodoma · Geita · Iringa · Kagera · Kaskazini Pemba Region (Zanzibar) · Kaskazini Unguja Region (Zanzibar) · Katavi · Kigoma · Kilimanjaro · Kusini Pemba Region (Zanzibar) · Kusini Unguja Region (Zanzibar) · Lindi · Manyara · Mara · Mbeya · Mjini Magharibi Region (Zanzibar) · Morogoro · Mtwara · Mwanza · Njombe · Pwani · Rukwa · Ruvuma · Shinyanga · Simiyu · Singida · Tabora · Tanga ·


Main article: Politics of Tanzania

Tanzania is a one party dominant state with the Chama Cha Mapinduzi in power. Elections for president and all National Assembly seats were last held in October 2010. The Chama Cha Mapinduzi holds about 75 percent of the seats in the assembly.

Human rights

Main article: Human rights in Tanzania

According to a March 2013 news report, there has been an increase in attacks on people with albinism. Four attacks occurred in 2013 between 31 January and 15 February.[36] Their body parts, which can sell for a total of US$75,000, are used in witchcraft.[37]



The Bank of Tanzania is the central bank of Tanzania and is primarily responsible for maintaining price stability, with a subsidiary responsibility for issuing Tanzanian shilling notes and coins.[38] The notes in circulation come in 10,000; 5,000; 2,000; 1,000; and 500 shilling denominations.[39]

At the end of 2011, the total assets of the Tanzanian banking industry was US$11.3 billion, a 17 percent increase over 2010.[40] FBME Bank Ltd. was the largest bank in Tanzania, with US$2.3 billion in assets.[40] CRDB Bank Plc. was the second largest, with US$1.7 billion in assets.[40] The remainder of the ten largest banks were, in decreasing order of size, the National Microfinance Bank Ltd. Plc., the National Bank of Commerce Ltd., Standard Chartered Bank Ltd., Exim Bank Ltd., Stanbic Bank Ltd., Citibank Ltd., Barclays Bank Ltd., and Diamond Trust Bank Ltd..[40]


The economy is heavily based on agriculture, which accounts for more than 25 percent of gross domestic product, provides 85 percent of exports, and employs 80 percent of the workforce.[7] 12.25 percent of the land is arable, but only 1.79 percent of the land is planted with permanent crops.[7] According to the 2002 National Irrigation Master Plan, 29.4 million hectares in Tanzania are suitable for irrigation farming; however, only 310,745 hectares in June 2011 were actually being irrigated.[41]

Mineral extraction

Tanzania has vast amounts of minerals including gold, diamonds, coal, iron, uranium, nickel, chromium, tin, platinum, coltan, niobium, natural gas, and others.

Commercial production of natural gas from the Songo Songo island in the Indian Ocean off the Rufiji Delta commenced in 2004,[42] with the gas being transported by pipeline to Dar es Salaam. The bulk of the gas is converted to electricity by both public utility and private operators. A new gas field is being brought on stream in Mnazi Bay.

It was announced in February 2012 that the collapsed volcano Mount Ngualla, approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) north of Mbeya, contained one of the largest rare earths oxide deposits in the world.[43]

In 2011, Tanzania was the fifteenth-largest producer of gold in the world and the third-largest in Africa after South Africa and Ghana and just ahead of Mali.[44] The value of the gold produced in Tanzania in 2011 was over US$2.5 billion, representing 10.5 percent of the country's gross domestic product.[44]

The country is also known for Tanzanite, a type of precious gemstone that is found only in Tanzania.

Electricity generation

Prolonged drought during the early years of the 21st century has severely reduced electricity generation capacity (some 60 percent of Tanzania's electricity supplies are generated by hydro-electric methods).[45] During 2006, Tanzania suffered a crippling series of "load-shedding" or power-rationing episodes caused by a shortfall of generated power, largely because of insufficient hydro-electric generation.

Plans to increase gas- and coal-fuelled generation capacity are likely to take some years to implement, and growth is forecast to be increased to 7 percent or more per year.[46]


There are two major airlines in Tanzania: the Air Tanzania Corporation and Precision Air; both provide local flights to Arusha, Kigoma, Mtwara, Mwanza, Musoma, Shinyanga, Zanzibar and regional flights to Kigali, Nairobi and Mombasa. There are also several charter firms and smaller airlines, such as Bold Aviation Ltd., Tropical Air and Coastal Aviation Ltd.


There are two railway companies: TAZARA provides 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.


Several modern hydrofoil boats provide transportation across the Indian Ocean between Dar-es-Salaam and Zanzibar.

Membership in regional organisations

Tanzania is part of the East African Community and a potential member of the planned East African Federation.

Child labour

Child labour is common in Tanzania with millions working.[47]:page 593 It is more common with girls rather than boys.[48] Girls are commonly employed as domestic servants, sometimes by force.[47]:page 594 Poor children in particular are trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation.[47]:page 594

Tanzania ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991[49] and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child in 2003.[50] Tanzania then enacted the Law of the Child Act, 2009.[51] To help implement that Act and provide a mechanism for the reporting of children's rights violations, a free-of-charge helpline is available throughout the country.[52]


Main article: Geography of Tanzania
Main article: Tourism in Tanzania

At 947,300 square kilometres (365,800 sq mi), Tanzania is the world's 31st-largest country and the 13th largest in Africa.[53] Compared to other African countries, it is slightly smaller than Egypt and slightly larger than Nigeria.[53] Tanzania lies mostly between latitudes and 12°S and longitudes 30° and 40°E.[54]

Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, is situated. Three of Africa's Great Lakes are partly within Tanzania. To the north and west lie Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, and Lake Tanganyika, the continent's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish. To the southwest lies Lake Nyasa. Central Tanzania is a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the Zanzibar Archipelago just offshore.

Tanzania contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks and reserves,[55] including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, and the Serengeti National Park[56] in the north and the Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park, and Mikumi National Park in the south. Gombe Stream National Park in the west is known as the site of Dr. Jane Goodall's studies of chimpanzee behaviour.[57]

The government of Tanzania through its department of tourism has embarked on a campaign to promote the Kalambo water falls in the southwestern region of Rukwa as one of Tanzania's main tourist destinations. The Kalambo Falls are the second highest in Africa and are located near the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika. The Menai Bay Conservation Area is Zanzibar's largest marine protected area.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the government of Tanzania has chosen the Engaresero village on the western shores of Lake Natron to "exemplify the Maasai pastoral system given its singularity, integrity, high diversity of habitats and biodiversity."[58]


Main article: Climate of Tanzania

Tanzania has a tropical climate. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10 and 20 °C (50 and 68 °F) during cold and hot seasons respectively. The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling lower than 20 °C (68 °F). The hottest period extends between November and February (25–31 °C or 77.0–87.8 °F) while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15–20 °C or 59–68 °F). Annual temperature is 32 °C (89.6 °F). The climate is cool in high mountainous regions.

Tanzania has two major rainfall regimes. One is uni-modal (October–April) and the other is bi-modal (October–December and March–May). The former is experienced in southern, central, and western parts of the country, and the latter is found in the north from Lake Victoria extending east to the coast. The bi-modal regime is caused by the seasonal migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone.[59] In the bi-modal areas, the October–December rains are generally known as the short rains or Vuli in Kiswahili. The March–May rains are referred to as the long rains or Masika. In the uni-modal areas, the rainy season is usually referred to as Musumi.[60]


Main articles: Wildlife of Tanzania and Wildlife of Zanzibar

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.[61]

Tanzania has developed a Biodiversity Action Plan to address species conservation. A recently discovered species of elephant shrew called Grey-faced Sengi was filmed for the first time in 2005, and it was known to live in just two forests in the Udzungwa Mountains. In 2008, it was listed as "vulnerable" on the 2008 Red List of Threatened Species. Lake Natron in northern Tanzania is the largest breeding site for the threatened Lesser Flamingo, a huge community of which nest in the salt marshes of the lake. Areas of East African mangroves on the coast are also important habitats.


According to the 2012 census, the total population was 44,928,923.[1] The under 15 age group represented 44.1 percent of the population.[62]

Population distribution is extremely uneven, with density varying from 1 person per square kilometre (3 mi2) in arid regions to 51 per square kilometre (133 mi2) in the well-watered mainland highlands, to 134 per square kilometre (347 mi2) in Zanzibar. More than 80 percent of the population is rural. Dar es Salaam is the largest city and commercial capital. Dodoma, located in the centre of Tanzania, is the capital of the country and hosts the National Assembly.

The population consists of more than 120 ethnic groups, of which the Sukuma, Nyamwezi, Chagga, Nyakyusa, Haya, Hehe, Bena, Gogo, and the Makonde have more than 1 million members. Other Bantu peoples include the Pare, Zigua, Shambaa, and Ngoni. The majority of Tanzanians, including the Sukuma and the Nyamwezi, are Bantu. Cushitic peoples include the half million Iraqw. Nilotic peoples include the nomadic Maasai and Luo, both of which are found in greater numbers in neighbouring Kenya. The Sandawe speak a language that may be related to the Khoe languages of Botswana and Namibia, while the language of the Hadza, although it has similar click consonants, is a language isolate.

The population also includes people of Arab, Indian, and Pakistani origin, and small European and Chinese communities.[63] Many also identify as Shirazis. As of 1994, the Asian community numbered 50,000 on the mainland and 4,000 on Zanzibar. An estimated 70,000 Arabs and 10,000 Europeans resided in Tanzania.

The total fertility rate in Tanzania is 5.01 children born per woman (2013 estimate), the eighteenth highest in the world.[7]

Largest cities

Template:Largest cities of Tanzania


Main article: Religion in Tanzania

Template:Pie chart

According to recent estimates 37% of the population is Muslim, 38.1% Christian, 19.6% practices Animism, while 5.4% of the population is unaffiliated or follows other religions.[64][65] Of Muslims, 16% are Ahmadiyya, 20% are non-denominational Muslims, 40% are Sunni, 20% are Shia and 4% are Sufi.[66]

Zanzibar is about 97 percent Muslim. On the mainland, Muslim communities are concentrated in coastal areas, with some large Muslim majorities also in inland urban areas especially and along the former caravan routes. A large majority of the Muslim population is Sunni. The Islamic population of Dar es Salaam, the largest and richest city in Tanzania, is composed of mainly Sunni Muslim.

The Christian population is mostly composed of Roman Catholics. Among Protestants, the large number of Lutherans and Moravians point to the German past of the country while the number of Anglicans point to the British history of Tanganyika. All of them have had some influence in varying degrees from the Walokole movement (East African Revival), which has also been fertile ground for the spread of charismatic and Pentecostal groups.

There are also active communities of other religious groups, primarily on the mainland, such as Buddhists, Hindus, and Bahá'ís.[67]


Main article: Languages of Tanzania

Swahili and English are the official languages; however the former is the national language.[68] English is still the language of higher courts,[5] it can however be considered a de facto official language. Tanzanians see themselves as having two "official" languages, English and Swahili. Swahili is seen as the unifying language of the country between people of different ethnic groups, who each have their own language; English serves the purpose of providing Tanzanians with the ability to participate in the global economy and culture. Over 100 different (tribal) languages are spoken in Tanzania, including Maasai, Sukuma and Makonde.[69] The first language typically learned by a Tanzanian is that of his or her ethnic group, with Swahili and English learned thereafter.

According to the official linguistic policy of Tanzania, as announced 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.[5] Though the British government financially supports the use of English in Tanzania,[5] 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 (spoken by Indians and Mozambicans, respectively) and to a lesser extent French (from neighbouring Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of the Congo). Historically German was widely spoken during that colonial period, but this practice is already forgotten.


Main article: Education in Tanzania

The literacy rate in Tanzania is estimated to be 73 percent.[70] Education is compulsory for seven years, until children reach age 15, but most children do not attend school this long, and some do not attend at all. In 2000, 57 percent of children age 5–14 years were attending school. As of 2006, 87.2 percent of children who started primary school were likely to reach grade 5.[71]


Life expectancy at birth was estimated in 2013 to be 60.76 years.[7]

Depending on the source, the under-five mortality rate in 2010 was estimated to be either 76[72] or 81[73] out of 1,000. The leading cause of death in children under 5 years old in 2010 was pneumonia.[74] The other leading causes of death for these children were malaria, diarrhoea, and prematurity.[74]

The probability of dying between the ages of 15 and 60 was estimated in 2011 to be 363 in 1,000 men and 322 in 1,000 women.[74]

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a significant problem in Tanzania; in 2009, the prevalence was estimated to be 5.6 percent of the adult population.[7] Anti-retroviral treatment coverage for people with advanced HIV infection was 30 percent in 2011 – 7 percent below the average for the continent.[75] According to the 2011 UNAIDS Report, HIV prevalence has declined among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics, young people (ages 15–24 years) and men in the general population.[76]

2006 data shows that 55 percent of the population had sustainable access to improved drinking water sources and 33 percent had sustainable access to improved sanitation.[75]


The music of Tanzania includes traditional African music, string-based taarab, and a distinctive hip hop known as bongo flava. Famous taarab singers 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, termed muziki wa dansi ("dance music") where names of artists/groups like Tabora Jazz, Western Jazz Band, Morogoro Jazz, Volcano Jazz, Simba Wanyika, Remmy Ongala, Marijani Rajabu, Ndala Kasheba,[77] NUTA JAZZ, ATOMIC JAZZ, DDC Mlimani Park, Afro 70 & Patrick Balisidya,[78][79][80] Sunburst, Tatu Nane[81] 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, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Prof. Julius Nyang'oro, Prof. Clement Ndulute, Prof. Frank Chiteji, Prof. Joseph Mbele,[82] Juma Volter Mwapachu, Prof. Issa Shivji, Jenerali Twaha Ulimwengu, Prof. Penina Mlama,[83] Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Adam Shafi, Dr. Malima M.P Bundala and Shaaban Robert.

Tanzania has remarkable position in art. Two styles became world known: Tingatinga and Makonde. Tingatinga are the popular African paintings painted with enamel paints on canvas. Usually the motifs are animals and flowers in colourful and repetitive design. The style was started by Mr. Edward Saidi Tingatinga born in South Tanzania. Later he moved to Dar Es Salaam. Since his death in 1972 the Tingatinga style expanded both in Tanzania and worldwide. Makonde is both a tribe in Tanzania (and Mozambique) and a modern sculpture style. It is known for the high Ujamaas (Trees of Life) made of the hard and dark ebony tree. Tanzania is also a birthplace of one of the most famous African artists – George Lilanga.


One of Tanzania's, and other parts of eastern Africa's, most common cultural dishes is Ugali. It is mainly composed of corn and is similar to the consistency of porridge, giving it its second name of corn meal porridge.


Filbert Bayi and Suleiman Nyambui both won track and field medals in the 1980 Summer Olympics. Tanzania competes in the Commonwealth Games as well as in the African Championships in Athletics.

Football is widely played all over the country with fans divided between two major clubs, Young African Sports Club (Yanga) and Simba Sports Club (Simba). Football is the most popular sport in Tanzania, despite the little success that has been achieved by the national team. To date, they have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup and have made just one appearance in the African Cup of Nations, back in 1980, where they finished last in their group with just 1 draw and 2 losses.

Basketball is also played but mainly in the army and schools. Hasheem Thabeet is a Tanzanian-born NBA player with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is the first Tanzanian to play in the NBA. Cricket is a rapidly growing sport in Tanzania after hosting the ICC Cricket League division 4 in 2008, Tanzania finished with one win for the tournament, and Tanzania also has its own national team. Rugby is a minor sport in Tanzania. Tanzania now has a national team, which used to be part of the East Africa team, but was separated. The city of Arusha is home to Tanzanian rugby, and the city was host to the 2007 Castel Beer Trophy competition.

See also

Geography portal
Africa portal
Tanzania portal


External links

  • Chief of State and Cabinet Members
  • National government website
  • The World Factbook
  • DMOZ
  • Atlas of Tanzania
  • Tanzania Maps
  • Tanzania from UCB Libraries GovPubs
  • The Citizen from The Citizen – Tanzania most preferred independent English Newspaper
  • Mwananchi from Mwananchi – Tanzania's most circulated daily Newspaper (Swahili)
  • Mwanaspoti from Mwanaspoti – Tanzania most circulated biweekly sports and entertainment Newspaper
  • BBC News
  • International Futures
  • – art from Tanzania
  • Tinga Tinga Cooperative
  • Tingatinga Book (ISBN 978-87-992635-2-3
  • Tanzania National Parks
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