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Tanzania (tănˌzənēˈə, –zănˈēə, Swahili tänzänēˈä), officially United Republic of Tanzania, republic (2015 est. pop. 51,046,000), 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 most government offices did not begin to move from Dar es Salaam until 2016.

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.


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.


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 357-seat National Assembly or Bunge; 239 members are popularly elected, 102 are women who are indirectly elected on a proportional basis, 10 appointed by the president, 5 are members of the Zanzibar's legislature (Zanzibar has its own president and House of Representatives, for dealing with matters internal to Zanzibar), and 1 is the attorney general. All legislators serve five-year terms. Administratively, Tanzania is divided into 26 regions.


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.


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 as alternating floods and droughts 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 the 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. The president was reelected in 2010 with more than 60% of the vote, while on Zanzibar the election was largely peaceful and the CCM candidate narrowly won the island's presidency. The CCM also won three quarters of the seats in parliament.

In the Oct., 2015, elections, the CCM candidate, John Magufuli, was elected president with 58% of the vote. The opposition had united for the first time around a single presidential candidate, former prime minister Lowassa, and the opposition called for a recount. The CCM also won a majority of the legislative seats, but it was smaller than in 2010. On Zanzibar, the election was annulled after the voting; the election commission there said there had been gross violations. The Zanzibari vote was nonetheless counted in the national presidential tally. The opposition accused the Zanzibari CCM of attempt to steal an election it had lost by rerunning it and boycotted the revote in 2016.

As president, Magufuli has campaigned to reduce wasteful government spending and corruption, but he also has banned opposition rallies and suppressed public and media criticism of his government. In the Nov., 2019, local elections, more than half the opposition candidates were disqualified from running and major opposition parties then boycotted the polls, which were won nearly exclusively by CCM candidates. The national elections in Oct., 2020, were again marked by outsized ruling party victories, with Magufuli winning 84% of the vote, the CCM candidate for Zanzibar's presidency winning 76%, and the CCM winning nearly all of the national legislative seats, including many in opposition strongholds. However, Magufuli's term was cut short by his death in March 2021, rumored to be from complications of COVID, but announced as heart failure. His vice president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, and became the country’s first female president; under Tanzania’s constitution, she will serve the rest of his five-year term.


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).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(United Republic of Tanzania), a state in East Africa. Member of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Tanzania consists of a mainland part, Tanganyika, and the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba. It borders on Uganda to the north, Kenya to the northeast, Mozambique to the south, Malawi and Zambia to the southwest, and Burundi and Rwanda to the northwest. Part of its border is formed by the Indian Ocean in the east, Lake Tanganyika in the west, Lake Nyasa (Malawi) in the southwest, and Lake Victoria in the north. Area, 945,100 sq km, of which 942,600 sq km is in Tanganyika (according to UN data). Population, 14.8 million (1974), of which 14.4 million live in Tanganyika. The city of Dar-es-Salaam is the capital. Administratively, Tanzania is divided into 25 regions.

Constitution and government. In accordance with the constitution adopted in 1977, Tanzania is a presidential republic. Legislative power is vested in the president and a parliament—the National Assembly. Parliament consists of 234 members, 106 of whom are elected by the population; the remainder occupy their seats either as representatives of national institutions or by virtue of their official posts; in addition, as many as 30 members are appointed by the president. The term of office is five years. The head of state and government is the president, who is elected for a five-year term.

In Zanzibar and Pemba, according to the islands’ constitution of 1979, the highest legislative body is elected for a five-year term. Executive power is vested in the Zanzibar Revolutionary Council, which is composed of 35 members elected for a term of five years. The constitution provides for the election of the president of the islands by direct suffrage.

Natural features. The shorelines of Tanzania are of the retrograding and retrograding-prograding types, with numerous small bays. The coasts consist mainly of uplifted coral structures.

TERRAIN. Tanzania is situated mainly on the East African Plateau, at an elevation of more than 1,000 m. The system of grabens of the Great Rift Valley extends along the country’s western and southwestern borders. The eastern edge of the plateau is characterized by dissected block and bench-block terrain. Mountain massifs here include Pare (with elevations to 2,464 m), Usambara (2,570 m), and Uluguru (2,653 m). The fracture zones are highly seismic, with manifestations of volcanism, such as the extinct volcano Kilimanjaro (5,895 m), the Crater Highlands, with Ngorongoro and other craters, and the active volcano Meru (4,567 m). The extinct volcano Rungwe (3,175 m) is located near the northern shore of Lake Nyasa (Malawi). The terrain on the sections of the plateau between the principal fault zones consists of gently rolling socle plains and inselbergs. Along the coast of the Indian Ocean is a lowland, formed mainly by marine terraces, and between the lowland and the foothills of the upland plains is a zone of low-lying plateaus, with elevations of 200–500 m.

Geological structure and mineral resources. Tanzania is situated in the eastern part of the African Platform, which consists mainly of Precambrian formations, overlain only in the coastal plain (in the east) by Upper Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic deposits. The Precambrian is represented primarily by gneisses in the east and southwest and in the central region, as well as by greenstones of the Lower Archaean period, which lie unconformably on the gneisses and are cut by granitic intrusions. The intrusions form the core of the Tanzanian Massif, in which kimberlite magmatism occurred during the Mesozoic period; on the northwest and east the massif is bordered by the Kibar and Mozambique belts of late Precambrian folding. The Cenozoic period was characterized by alkaline magmatism, which was confined to the rifts in the west.

Diamond deposits, such as the Mwadui pipe, are associated with kimberlites, and gold deposits, mainly in the regions of Lakes Victoria and Lupa, with early Precambrian granites. Tin and tungsten deposits (Korogwe) are associated with late Precambrian granites. Tanzania has significant deposits of titanomagnetite, niobium, and carbonatite rare-earth ores. The Ruhuhu-Songwe coal basin, located in the south, contains low-grade coals with reserves of 800 million tons (1974). There are also deposits of mica, optical quartz, precious stones, apatite, graphite, corundum, asbestos, talc, copper and complex metal ores, salts, and so on.

Climate. Tanzania has a hot, seasonally humid equatorial-monsoon climate. The average temperature on the interior plateau ranges from 20°-22°C to 25°-27°C during the hottest month (October or November) and from 12°-15°C to 20°-22°C during the coldest month (July or August). The mountains have climatic altitudinal zonation that extends to the snow line on Kilimanjaro. Annual precipitation ranges from 500–750 mm to 1,000–1,500 mm. The most precipitation (more than 1,500 mm) falls on the windward—southern and eastern—slopes of the high mountains and the western shores of Lake Victoria and on Zanzibar and Pemba; the least (250–500 mm) falls in the depressions of the northeast and in the central part of the country, which lie in the rain shadow of the mountain uplifts. The period of maximum precipitation lasts from October or November through April or May; the dry season lasts five to seven months.

RIVERS AND LAKES. Short rivers with rapids and sharp seasonal variations in flow predominate in Tanzania. The most important rivers, which empty into the Indian Ocean, are the Rufiji, the Ruvuma (on the border with Mozambique) and the Pangani; of these, only the lower Rufiji is navigable. The large, freshwater lakes Victoria, Tanganyika, and Nyasa (Malawi) are situated partially in Tanzania, and the stagnant, saltwater Lakes Rukwa, Eyasi, Natron, and Manyara are entirely within the country.

SOILS AND FLORA. The soils are primarily cinnamonic-red (ferralitic and alferritic); in the driest regions they are reddish brown and saline in places. Poorly drained lowland areas—for example, in the coastal zone and certain depressions—have dark, compact hydromorphic soils. Humic-ferralitic mountain soils are found at higher elevations. The most fertile soils are those on young volcanic rocks.

Tropical, dry deciduous thin forests, called miombo, with a predominance of Brachystegia and Isoberlinia, are widespread in the west and south. The maritime lowland has tropical woodlands with baobabs, and the arid central and northeastern regions have dry, low-grass savannas with acacias and thickets of thorny shrubs. On the slopes of the high mountains are humid evergreen mountain forests, which are partially replaced by secondary mountain savannas. Afro-subalpine and afro-alpine vegetation is found at higher elevations. Mangrove forests grow in places along the seacoast.

FAUNA. Tanzania has abundant and diverse fauna. There are numerous large herbivores, including the elephant, black rhinoceros, hippopotamus, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, and various antelopes. Among the predators are the lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena, and jackal. Baboons are the most typical among the monkeys. There is a great abundance of birds, including ostriches. Crocodiles and snakes are also encountered. Many regions are infested by the tsetse fly. Many preserves have been created to protect the natural wildlife. Among them are Gombe Stream, Meru, Mkomazi, Rungwa River, Selous, Kilimanjaro, and Katawi, the national parks of Serengeti, Lake Manyara, and Ngurdoto Crater, and the protected natural region of Ngorongoro Crater. (See alsoZANZIBAR.)

I. N. OLEINIKOV and E. A. DOLGINOV (geologic structure and mineral resources)

Population. Approximately 98 percent of the population consists of African peoples, belonging primarily to the Eastern Bantu group. These include the Sukuma and Nyamwezi, Nyaturu, Irambi, and Irangi in the north, the Hehe, Bena, Pogoro, Zaramo, Luguru, and Gogo in the central regions, the Chagga and Shambala in the northwest, the Makonde and Mweri, Kinga, and Nyakusa in the south, and the Swahili along the coastal region of the Indian Ocean. Inhabiting the arid plains of northeastern Tanzania are the Masai, whose language belongs to the Nilotic family. Peoples speaking Cushitic languages (such as Iraqw) and Khoisan, or Click, languages (for example, the Sandawe and Hatsa peoples), also inhabit the central part.

Among the African peoples there is an ongoing, active process of consolidation into large ethnic communities; the dissemination of the Swahili language is playing a great role in this process. Indians, Pakistanis, and Arabs also live in Tanzania. More than half of the population adheres to local and traditional religious beliefs, whereas the remainder are primarily Muslims or Christians. The official state languages are Swahili and English. The Gregorian and Muslim (Hegira) calendars are used.

The average yearly population growth in Tanzania over the period 1970–73 was 2.7 percent. The economically active population is 6.3 million, or 44 percent of the total. About 85 percent of the economically active population is employed in agriculture (1972), and about 8 percent is made up of wage laborers. The average population density is 16 persons per sq km (1974; in Tanganyika it was 15 per sq km, and on Zanzibar, 165). The most densely populated regions are those of Lake Victoria, the slopes of Kilimanjaro and Meru, with as many as 500 persons per sq km, and the Rungwe Range. The least populated area is the interior upland plain. About 10 percent of the population is urban. The major cities are Dar-es-Salaam (population 517,000 in 1974), Zanzibar, Tanga, Mwanza, Arusha, Moshi, Morogoro, and Dodoma.

Historical survey. The area that is now Tanzania was settled in the distant past. The remains of people who lived more than 2 million years ago have been found there. The native population of Tanzania consisted of peoples akin to the Bushmen. At the beginning of the Common Era, the territory of Tanzania was occupied by Bantu hunters and land cultivators, along with Nilotic livestock raisers. The native population was exterminated or intermixed with the Bantus and Nilotes. In the seventh and eighth centuries Tanganyika—the mainland part of Tanzania—Zanzibar, and the nearby islands were settled by Arabs, who established trading posts. In the 16th century the Portuguese appeared in Tanzania, converting the island of Zanzibar into a staging area for the seizure of lands on the African continent. In the 18th century the Portuguese were expelled by the Arabs of the sultanate of Oman. Gold, ivory, and slaves were brought out of the regions of East Africa that are now part of Tanzania. The Swahili nationality took shape on the islands and in the coastal region of Tanzania; they adopted Islam and created their own culture. For centuries the Swahili trade and artisan settlements offered resistance to Arab and Portuguese expansion. During the 18th and 19th centuries the Shambala, Hehe, Haya, and Nyamwezi, who lived in the western and central regions of Tanzania, formed their own states.

By the beginning of the 19th century, the island of Zanzibar and the coastal areas were under the power of the sultans of Muscat. In 1856, after the death of one of the sultans, Muscat was divided among his heirs; this led to the formation of an independent sultanate of Zanzibar. From the 1860’s to 1880’s, Zanzibar was the most important trading center of East Africa. In 1884, Tanganyika was captured by Germany and became the principal colony of German East Africa. In 1890, Zanzibar was made a British protectorate. In Tanganyika the German colonialists deprived the indigenous people of their best lands, encumbered them with monetary taxes, and made extensive use of forced labor. The policy of the colonialists provoked active resistance, including the revolt headed by Abushiri in 1888–89, the war of the Hehe people and their leader, Mkwawa, against the German colonialists from 1891 to 1897, and the Maji Maji Revolt of 1905–07.

During World War I (1914–1918), military actions took place in Tanzania. After the war, Tanganyika was transferred to the administration of Great Britain as a mandate; after World War II (1939–45), it was made a UN trust territory. The British colonialists introduced a system of indirect rule, whereby the tribal aristocracy was widely used to discharge the functions of local administration. At the same time, the British colonial authorities continued their German predecessors’ policy of plundering land and using compulsory labor.

The emergence of a working class and an intelligentsia in Tanzania, which had begun after World War I, led to the rise of a national liberation movement. The Tanganyika African Association (TAA), which opposed racial discrimination and national oppression, was founded in 1929. After World War II, there was a new upswing in the liberation movement in East Africa. The Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), which advocated the political liberation of Tanganyika, was established in 1954 (the TAA had ceased its activity). In 1957–58 the first liberation organizations originated in Zanzibar. Among them was the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP), founded in 1957.

The struggle by the peoples of Tanganyika and Zanzibar led to the expulsion of the colonialists. On Dec. 9, 1961, the independence of Tanganyika was proclaimed, and exactly one year later the country was proclaimed a republic; its president was J. Nyerere, president of the TANU. Zanzibar was declared independent on Dec. 10, 1963. On Jan. 12, 1964, it was the scene of an antifeudal revolt, as a result of which the sultan was expelled from the country. On Apr. 26, 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar formed the United Republic of Tanzania. (The date of Tanzania’s entry into the UN, however, is considered to be Dec. 14, 1961—the date on which Tanganyika became a member.) The interim constitution of Tanzania, adopted in 1965, established complete equality in the status of the two parts of the country and recognized the leading role of the TANU and ASP.

The Tanzanian government proceeded to implement a policy directed at the achievement of economic independence and profound social change. The Arusha Declaration, adopted in 1967 by the National Conference of the TANU, became the government’s program of action. The declaration provided for the country’s development along a noncapitalist path. Tanzania nationalized foreign banks, industrial and commercial enterprises, and plantations. In rural localities the peasants’ cooperation was secured through the creation of “socialist villages” (ujamaa vijijini); in 1978, Tanzania had 7,373 villages of this type with a total population of 13.5 million. Important changes were promulgated in education (the network of schools has been broadened), health care, and culture. Nonalignment, antimilitarism, and anti-colonialism were proclaimed as the principles of Tanzania’s foreign policy. In February 1977, the TANU and ASP united to form Chama Cha Mapinduzi—the Revolutionary Party of Tanzania. The party’s charter set guidelines for the further development of Tanzania along a socialist path. The new constitution, adopted in 1977, confirmed a one-party government structure and Zanzibar’s autonomy. Diplomatic relations with the USSR were established in 1961. Tanzania and the USSR have concluded and carried out agreements on economic and technical cooperation, as well as trade and cultural agreements.

Political parties, trade unions, and other social organizations. Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM; the Revolutionary Party of Tanzania) was formed in 1977 as the result of the merging of the TANU and the ASP.

The trade union organizations of Tanzania are affiliated with the Tanzania’s Workers’ Organization (TWO), formed in 1978 to replace the National Union of Tanganyika Workers (NUTA).

Economic geography. Tanzania is an underdeveloped agrarian country. Its agriculture is characterized by diversity. Tanzania has various types of farms, including small-scale peasant farms, which predominate, and capitalist farms, primarily plantations growing export crops. There is also communal ownership and use of land.

Agrarian reforms were instituted after the adoption of the Arusha Declaration of 1967. Land was declared the property of the state and was distributed among the peasants; the cooperative movement has been developing (as of 1975 there were 6,700 socialist villages), and state farms have been established, primarily for the cultivation of sisal, tea, and sugarcane. Plantations and industrial enterprises, foreign banks, and leading commercial companies have been nationalized or placed under state control (with compensation), mixed (quasigovernmental) companies have been created, and other measures have been carried out. The state controls most industrial production, foreign and wholesale domestic trade, transportation, communications, and power engineering. State planning has been introduced; the third plan for development of the economy covered the period 1976–79. In the 1974 gross national product the proportion of agriculture was 38 percent, industry 12 percent (including electric power), construction 5 percent, trade 12 percent, transportation 11 percent, and other branches 22 percent. The 1973 national per capita income was US$120.

AGRICULTURE. The main branch of agriculture is the growing of plants. Agricultural lands occupy 60 percent of the country’s area; of this, 17 percent is used for the growing of plants and 43 percent is under meadows and pastures. The main agricultural crops are sisal and cloves (in the export of which Tanzania ranks first in the world), cotton, coffee, tea, cashews, and coconut palm. Sisal is grown in the areas of Tanga and Korogwe, Dar-es-Salaam, and Kilosa, cloves are grown on the island of Pemba and on the western coast of Zanzibar, and cotton is grown on the southern shore of Lake Victoria. Coffee comes from the regions of Arusha-Moshi, Bukoba, and the Rungwa Mountains and tea from the slopes of Kilimanjaro. Cashews are grown on the sea-coast (Lindi region), tobacco and pyrethrum in the region of Iringa, and coconut palms in Zanzibar. Among the crops cultivated for domestic consumption are maize, millet, sorghum, cassava, sweet potato, legumes, and oil crops, mainly in the interior regions, and fruit crops, in the moist regions. (For the areas and harvest yields of the principal farm crops, see Table 1.)

Livestock are raised in regions that are free of the tsetse fly. Development of livestock raising has been retarded by insufficient

Table 1. Sown area and yield of main agricultural crops
 Sown area (hectares)Yield (tons)
1Yearly average
Sisal ...............211,000220,000210,000137,000218,000157,000
Coffee ...............40,00098,000110,00014,00042,00055,000
Tea ...............4,0008,00015,0001,0005,00013,000
Cotton (cotton fiber) ...............74,000347,000400,00010,00047,00083,000
Maize ...............260,000836,000471,000340,000556,000566,000
Millet and sorghum ...............1,100,000347,000235,000550,000261,000191,000
Rice ...............50,00089,00099,00062,000120,000154,000
Cassava ...............260,000321,000800,000800,0001,749,0003,500,000
Sweet potato ...............50,00031,00044,000240,000218,000300,000
Cashews ...............63,000150,000

water supply on a considerable part of the pastureland. About 75 percent of the animals are concentrated in the region along Lake Victoria, in the northeast, and in the central regions. As of 1974 there were 12.1 million head of cattle, 4.5 million goats, 2.9 million sheep, and 22.1 million fowl.

INDUSTRY. Industry in Tanzania is poorly developed. In 1974 electric power production was 536 million kilowatt-hours. The main branch of extractive industry is the mining of diamonds (498,000 carats in 1973) in the region of Shinyanga (Mwadui). Tin is mined in the northwest (119 tons of concentrate), and common salt is extracted in the regions of Uvinza and Dar-es-Salaam (about 40,000 tons annually). Other products of the mining industry include mica, building materials, coal, magnesite, and graphite. Branches of industry established since independence include petroleum refining (780,000 tons of petroleum products in 1973) and cement (296,000 tons in 1974) in Dar-es-Salaam, tobacco (3.7 billion cigarettes in 1974), textile production (86 million m), with its main centers at Dar-es-Salaam and Mwanza, and the production of goods made of sisal. The food-processing industry (in Dar-es-Salaam, Arusha, Zanzibar, Ifakara, and other cities) and woodworking industry (in the northeast and southeast) are well developed. Commodity production in 1974 was as follows (in tons): meat, 188,000; milk, 664,000; eggs, 16,000; leather and hides, 28,000; fish, 162,000; raw sugar, 124,000. Korogwe and Tanga have conversion metallurgical enterprises, and Dar-es-Salaam has a metalworking industry.

TRANSPORTATION. In 1975, Tanzania had 3,500 km of railroads, more than 4,000 km of hard-surfaced motor-vehicle roads, and 16,000 km of improved dirt roads. Railroads rank first with regard to freight turnover, whereas motor-vehicle transportation ranks first in number of hauls. In 1973 there were about 80,000 motor vehicles in the country. The most important freight lines run from the interior regions to the seaports. In April 1974 the railroad line from Dar-es-Salaam to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia was put into operation. There is a petroleum pipeline from Dar-es-Salaam to the Zambian border. Freight is also shipped on Lake Victoria, whose main port is Mwanza. In 1974 the total cargo turnover of the seaports was 4.3 million tons, of which about 90 percent was accounted for by Dar-es-Salaam (3.7 million tons in 1974), Tanga (400,000 tons), and Mtwara (200,000 tons). Dar-es-Salaam has an international airport, located 15 km from the city.

FOREIGN TRADE. In 1974 the value of exports was 2,552 million Tanzanian shillings, and imports were valued at 4,957 million Tanzanian shillings, not counting trade with Kenya and Uganda. The principal export items (figures in parentheses are percentages of total value) were coffee (15), cotton (18), cloves (13), cashews (8), sisal (18), and diamonds (5), and the main imports were machinery and equipment (26), industrial goods (26), raw materials and foodstuffs (25), petroleum and fuel (13), and chemical goods and fertilizers (11). Tanzania’s principal trading partners are (1972) Great Britain (16 percent of the value of exports, 18 percent of the value of imports), the People’s Republic of China (6 and 20), the Federal Republic of Germany (6 and 8), the USA (7 and 5), Japan (4 and 6), Italy (2 and 8), India (8 and 2), Indonesia (11 percent of exports), and Iran (6 percent of imports).

Trade with the USSR and other socialist countries is growing. The USSR purchases sisal, coffee, and cloves from Tanzania and sells industrial equipment, medicines, and other goods.

The monetary unit is the Tanzanian shilling; 8.16 Tanzanian shillings equal US$1.00 (November 1975).


Armed forces. Tanzania’s armed forces consist of the army, air force, and navy, with a total strength of about 15,000 (1975). The president is the commander in chief, and the minister of defense exercises direct leadership of the armed forces. Troops are recruited through voluntary enlistment. Ground troops number about 13,000. The air force has about 600 men and 20 combat aircraft, and the navy has about 1,000 men and six patrol boats.

Medicine and public health. In 1969, according to World Health Organization data, the birthrate in Tanzania was 47 per 1,000 population, total mortality was 22, infant mortality was 162 per 1,000 live births (as compared with 225 per 1,000 in 1961), and the average life span was 41 years (as compared with 37 in 1961).

Infectious and parasitic diseases predominate. Malaria is endemic throughout most of the country, although it has been eliminated on Zanzibar and Pemba. Widespread diseases include dysentery, infectious hepatitis, leprosy, venereal diseases, children’s infectious diseases, tuberculosis, and trachoma. Trypanosomiasis is endemic in many regions. The southernmost focus of onchocerciasis in East Africa is in the mountains of Morogoro Region. The greatest number of cases have been recorded in the Rufiji River Basin, with an infection rate of up to 87 percent. Urinary schistosomiasis is most endemic in the plains adjoining Lake Victoria and along the seacoast. Manson’s schistosomiasis has been recorded in all parts of the country; its main foci are along the shores of Lake Victoria and in areas with irrigation systems.

In 1969, Tanganyika had 112 general hospitals, three specialized hospitals (for tuberculosis patients and the mentally ill), and ten leprosariums, with a total of 18,000 beds, or 1.4 beds per 1,000 inhabitants. Of this total, 9,500 were in state medical institutions. Zanzibar has four general state hospitals, one hospital for the mentally ill, and two leprosariums, with a total of 875 beds, or 2.4 beds per 1,000 inhabitants (1967). Outpatient services are provided in clinics attached to hospitals and in 69 health-care centers and 1,300 dispensaries. In 1973, Tanganyika had 494 physicians (one physician per 28,300 inhabitants), 485 physicians’ assistants, 33 dentists, 34 pharmacists, 396 midwives (1971), 925 nurses, and about 2,500 other medical personnel. In 1967, Zanzibar had 43 physicians (one physician per 8,200 inhabitants), two dentists, three pharmacists, 25 midwives, 192 nurses, and more than 700 other medical personnel.

Medical personnel are trained at the medical faculty of the university in Dar-es-Salaam, at the Makerere Medical Institute in Uganda, and at 20 centers and schools for training midlevel medical personnel. In 1972–73, allocations for health care were 170 million Tanzanian shillings, or 4.9 percent of the state budget. A group of Soviet physicians has been working in Tanzania.


Veterinary services. Pastoral livestock raising in a tropical climate on a continent with a large number of wild animals, combined with the presence of a large number of bloodsucking vectors of infectious diseases, has led to the widespread dissemination of piroplasmidoses, including anaplasmosis (75 foci; here and below, figures are for 1974), theileriasis (102), and babesiasis (42). Malignant anthrax (21 foci), blackleg (125), and foot-and-mouth disease (31) are frequently recorded. The spread of rabies (32 foci) is associated with wild animals, especially jackals; rabies is observed more often in the northern part of the country than in other regions. Also encountered are Bang’s disease, tuberculosis, and hemorrhagic septicemia of cattle, paratuberculosis (chronic enteritis of cattle), and nodular dermatitis. Poultry farming suffers losses from Newcastle disease, avian pox, avian typhoid, pullorum disease, and respiratory mycoplasmosis. Trypanosomiasis, whose vector is the tsetse fly, is the most widespread disease (213 foci) and impedes the development of livestock raising. Helminthiases sharply reduce the productivity of farm animals. A program for combating particularly dangerous animal diseases is being implemented in Tanzania. In 1974 the country had 78 veterinarians. Tanzania has a veterinary school attached to the university in Dar-es-Salaam and veterinary research centers in Arusha, Dar-es-Salaam, and other cities.


Education. In the early 1970’s more than 75 percent of the population of Tanzania was illiterate. The state spends more than 20 percent of its budget on education. During the 1973–74 academic year, more than 2.75 million persons were enrolled in courses for the elimination of illiteracy. In 1973, Tanzania received the N. K. Krupskaia International Prize for work on the elimination of illiteracy among the adult population. Children are accepted into the seven-year primary school at the age of 7; instruction is conducted in Swahili, although English is also studied. During the 1973–74 academic year, more than 1.192 million pupils, or 40–42 percent of children of primary school age, were enrolled in primary schools. The term of study in secondary schools is six years, with four-year and two-year stages; instruction is in English, but a number of schools teach in Swahili. During the 1971–72 academic year, secondary schools had an enrollment of more than 43,300.

Vocational-technical training is carried out over a period of one to five years, based on primary schooling plus two years of incomplete secondary school. During the 1970–71 academic year there were more than 1,500 students enrolled in the system of vocational-technical training. Secondary technical education is provided by the Dar-es-Salaam Technical College, founded in 1956, which accepts graduates from incomplete secondary school, as well as from other educational institutions. Teachers for the primary schools are trained at two-year teachers colleges, which accept graduates of the incomplete secondary school (during the 1971–72 academic year, such colleges had an enrollment of 4,200).

There is a university in Dar-es-Salaam; founded in 1961, it attained the status of a university in 1970. During the 1978–79 academic year, its six faculties—law; arts and social science; science; medicine; agriculture, forestry, and veterinary science; and engineering—had an enrollment of approximately 2,700. The largest libraries are the National Central Library in Dar-es-Salaam, which has branches in a number of cities throughout the country with total holdings of more than 900,000, and the University Library (founded 1961, with total holdings of 120,000). The National Museum of Tanzania (founded 1937) is located in Dar-es-Salaam and the Zanzibar Government Museum is located in the city of Zanzibar.


Scientific and scholarly institutions. Since 1972, scientific and scholarly work has been coordinated by the Tanzania National Scientific Research Council, which includes sections on natural resources, medicine, and industrial research, and also the National Documentation Center and the National Standard Institution. Attached to the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives are the Natural Resources Committee, which includes sections on timber utilization, fishing, and the biology of wild animals (founded 1920), a branch devoted to agricultural research, with subdivisions on livestock raising and agronomy of tropical crops (sisal and others), a central laboratory of veterinary science, and an irrigation service. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has a government chemistry laboratory, and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has a section on mineral resources (established 1925).

Scholarly work is conducted by the Institute of Swahili Research and other subdivisions of the University of Dar-es-Salaam, as well as museums and other institutions. Among the regional research institutes of the East Africa Community located in Tanzania are the East African Institute for Medical Research (founded 1949, in Mwanza), the East African Institute of Malaria and Vector-borne Diseases (1949, Tanga), the East African Marine Fisheries Research Organization (1950, Zanzibar), and the Tropical Pesticides Research Institute (1962, Arusha).


Press, radio, and television. In 1978 more than 20 newspapers and magazines were published in Tanzania. The most important newspapers, all of which are published in Dar-es-Salaam, are the Swahili-language daily Uhuru (since 1961; circulation, 60,000; organ of the CCM—Revolutionary Party of Tanzania; Sunday edition entitled Mzalendo), the English-language Daily News (since 1972; circulation 28,000; official organ of the government; Sunday edition entitled Sunday News), the Swahili-language trade union weekly Mfanya Kazi (since 1964; circulation, 10,000), and the monthly Swahili-language government magazine Nchi Jetu (since 1964; circulation, 35,000). The government Shihata News Agency (Shirika la habari la Tanzania), founded in 1976, is located in Dar-es-Salaam.

Radio broadcasting began in 1956. Radio Tanzania, the government service, transmits in Swahili, English, Portuguese, and local languages; Radio Tanzania Zanzibar, also a government service, transmits in Swahili. In 1973, a government television studio was opened on Zanzibar.

Literature. Tanzanian literature is developing in Swahili and English. The history of literature in Swahili dates from the early 18th century. The earliest surviving text is the Herekali (between 1711 and 1728). The classical literature, from the 18th to the early 20th century, developed mainly along the lines of poetry that was strongly influenced by Islam. Its principal genres were historical, didactic, and philosophical narrative poems, as well as lyrical love poetry and political poetry. Among the canonical poetic forms that developed were the utendi (poems with an ethical and didactic content), maghazi (stories about the deeds of the prophet Muhammad and his followers), and mashairi (love or political poems).

The most important writer in modern literature was Shaaban Robert (1909–62), author of philosophical, social, and literary essays and studies, journalistic works, and the autobiography My Life (1949). Books on popular science and practical subjects are published in Swahili. Translations from world literature—for example, works by Shakespeare and L. N. Tolstoy—played a major role in the emergence of Tanzanian literature.

English-language Tanzanian literature, which has existed since the early 1960’s, is characterized by the treatment of pressing social problems, as in the novel Dying in the Sun (1968) by P. Palangyo (born 1939) and the novella Dare to Die (1973) by G. Kalimugogo (born 1947). The principal genres are the short story and the novel.


Architecture and art. Rock paintings have been discovered in grottoes in the regions of Kondoa, Kisesi, Tanbala, and Mwanza. The lower layers of the paintings, with primitive depictions of fantastic animals, date from the Upper Paleolithic period, and the upper layers, with naively realistic scenes of hunting, battles, and so on, date from the Neolithic. Numerous palaces, mosques, and dwellings made of coral limestone, such as the Great Mosque in Kilwa Kisiwani, have been preserved in the cities that arose during the period of Arab domination in the seventh and eighth centuries and Muslim influence in the ninth to 15th centuries. In the late 19th century, with the transformation of Tanzania into a European colony, large port cities such as Dar-es-Salaam developed, as did trading centers (for example, Moshi and Dodoma), which were built from the plans of European architects.

After 1964, construction of public buildings and dwellings developed, a plan was drawn up for the city of Zanzibar, and settlements were planned with one-story and two-story standardized houses. Low circular huts (among the Masai), huts in the shape of large baskets with galleries around the exterior (among the Makonde), and conical huts (among the Chagga) are often found in rural localities, along with the common types of dwellings, which are rectangular, with conical or flat roofs.

Outstanding among the numerous works of wood sculpture are the columnar figures associated with ancestor worship among the Sukuma and Hehe, the expressive figures of dancing women among the Makonde, the grotesque human figures among the Zaramo, with movable extremities attached by hinges, and depictions of animals among the Chagga. There are characteristic monochrome or colored anthropomorphic masks, abundantly decorated with representations of tattoos. Clay sculpture, consisting of stylized depictions of individual animals and people or of entire groups, is widespread.

After 1964 a national school of painting took shape whose themes were linked with the life, labor, and mores of the peoples of Tanzania. There are outstanding portraits and scenes from village life by S. I. Ntiro, still lifes by W. Macha, and genre paintings by K. F. Mzanga and T. F. Abdullah.

Most widespread among the artistic handicrafts are wood carvings that decorate the thrones of chiefs, numerous objects from everyday life, woven goods, and pottery.

Theater. During the years of colonial domination in the area that is now Tanzania there were amateur English companies with permanent areas in which to perform—the Little Theaters in Dar-es-Salaam, Morogoro, and Arusha. After independence, African groups were formed that staged shows on local themes in English and Swahili. In 1967 a theater division organized by Bob Leshoai and Godwin Kaduma was opened at the University of Dar-es-Salaam. Among Leshoai and Kaduma’s productions were Leshoai’s The Prodigal Son (1969) and Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, as translated by J. Nyerere (in Swahili, 1971). In 1968, a traveling troupe was formed under the National Youth Service.


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Official name: United Republic of Tanzania

Capital city: Dar es Salaam

Internet country code: .tz

Flag description: Divided diagonally by a yellow-edged black band from the lower hoist-side corner; the upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower triangle is blue

National anthem: “Wimbo Wa Taifa” (God Bless Africa)

National motto: “Uhuru na Umoja” (Freedom and Unity)

National symbol: Uhuru Torch

Geographical description: Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique

Total area: 378,000 sq. mi. (945,000 sq. km.)

Climate: Varies from tropical along coast to temperate in highlands

Nationality: noun: Tanzanian(s), Zanzibari(s); adjective: Tan­zanian, Zanzibari

Population: 39,384,223 (July 2007 CIA est.)

Ethnic groups: mainland - African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other 1% (con­sisting of Asian, European, and Arab); Zanzibar - Arab, African, mixed Arab and African

Languages spoken: Kiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiungu­ja (name for Swahili in Zanzibar), English (official, pri­mary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), many local languages

Religions: mainland - Christian 30%, Muslim 35%, indige­nous religions 35%; Zanzibar - more than 99% Muslim

Legal Holidays:

Boxing DayDec 26
Christmas DayDec 25
Easter MondayApr 25, 2011; Apr 9, 2012; Apr 1, 2013; Apr 21, 2014; Apr 6, 2015; Mar 28, 2016; Apr 17, 2017; Apr 2, 2018; Apr 22, 2019; Apr 13, 2020; Apr 5, 2021; Apr 18, 2022; Apr 10, 2023
Farmers' DayAug 8
Good FridayApr 22, 2011; Apr 6, 2012; Mar 29, 2013; Apr 18, 2014; Apr 3, 2015; Mar 25, 2016; Apr 14, 2017; Mar 30, 2018; Apr 19, 2019; Apr 10, 2020; Apr 2, 2021; Apr 15, 2022; Apr 7, 2023
Independence DayDec 9
Labor DayMay 1
New Year's DayJan 1
Nyerere DayOct 14
Saba Saba DayJul 7
Union DayApr 26
Zanzibar Revolution DayJan 12
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.


a republic in E Africa, on the Indian Ocean: formed by the union of the independent states of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964; a member of the Commonwealth. Exports include coffee, tea, sisal, and cotton. Official languages: Swahili and English. Religions: Christian, Muslim, and animist. Currency: Tanzanian shilling. Capital: Dodoma. Pop.: 37 671 000 (2004 est.). Area: 945 203 sq. km (364 943 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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