TANZANIA: A WORLD TO DISCOVER
The United Republic of Tanzania, is a country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region.
It is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south; and the Indian Ocean to the east.
At 947,303 square kilometres, Tanzania is the 31st largest in the world.
Tanzania's population of 44.9 million is highly diverse, composed of numerous ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. Tanzania is a presidential constitutional republic, and since 1996, its official capital has been Dodoma, where the President's Office, the National Assembly, and some government ministries are located. Dar es Salaam, the former capital, retains most government offices and is the country's largest city, principal port, and leading commercial center.
European colonialism began in mainland Tanzania during the late 19th century when Germany formed German East Africa, which gave way to British rule following World War I. The mainland was governed as Tanganyika, with the Zanzibar Archipelago remaining a separate colonial jurisdiction. Following their respective independence in 1961 and 1963, the two entities merged in April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania.
The indigenous populations of eastern Africa are thought to be the click speaking Hadza and Sandawe hunter-gatherers of Tanzania.
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. 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.
Archaeological evidence supports the conclusion that Southern Nilotes, including the Datoog, moved south from the present-day South Sudan / Ethiopia border region into central northern Tanzania between 2,900 and 2,400 years ago.
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. Eastern Nilotic peoples, including the Maasai, represent a more recent migration from present day South Sudan within the past 1,500 to 500 years.
In 1498, the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama visited the Tanzanian coast. Later, in 1506, the Portuguese succeeded in controlling most of the Southeast African littoral. In 1699, the Portuguese were ousted from Zanzibar by Omani Arabs.
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. Between 65% and 90% of the population of Arab-Swahili Zanzibar was enslaved. One of the most infamous 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. 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."
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 on 9 December 1961, but for the first year of independence, Tanganyika had a governor general who represented the British monarch. On 9 December 1962, Tanganyika became a democratic republic under an executive president.
The Tanzanian economy is heavily based on agriculture, which accounts for 24.5% of gross domestic product, provides 85% of exports, and accounts for half of the employed workforce; The agricultural sector grew 4.3% in 2012, less than half of the Millennium Development Goal target of 10.8%. 16.4% of the land is arable, with 2.4% of the land planted with permanent crops.
Industry and construction is a major and growing component of the Tanzanian economy, contributing 22.2% of GDP in 2013. This component includes mining and quarrying, manufacturing, electricity and natural gas, water supply, and construction.
The population distribution in Tanzania is extremely uneven. Most people live on the northern border or the eastern coast, with much of the remainder of the country being sparsely populated. Density varies from 12 per square kilometre (31/sq mi) in the Katavi Region to 3,133 per square kilometre (8,110/sq mi) in the Dar es Salaam Region. Approximately 70% of the population is rural, although this percentage has been declining since at least 1967.
The population consists of about 125 ethnic groups. The Sukuma, Nyamwezi, Chagga, and Haya peoples have more than 1 million members each. Approximately 99% of Tanzanians are of African descent, with small numbers of Arab, European, and Asian descent. The majority of Tanzanians, including the Sukuma and the Nyamwezi, are Bantu. The Nilotic peoples include the nomadic Maasai and Luo, both of which are found in greater numbers in neighbouring Kenya. The population also includes people of Arab, Indian, and Pakistani origin, and small European and Chinese communities. According to recent estimates 35% of the population is Muslim, 30% is Christian and 35% practice the Traditional African religion in the mainland while more than 99% in Zanzibar are Muslim.
Swahili and English are Tanzania's official languages.
As of 2012, life expectancy at birth was 61 years. The under-five mortality rate in 2012 was 54 per 1,000 live births. The maternal mortality rate in 2013 was estimated at 410 per 100,000 live births. Prematurity and malaria were tied in 2010 as the leading cause of death in children under 5 years old. The other leading causes of death for these children were, in decreasing order, malaria, diarrhoea, HIV, and measles.
Malaria in Tanzania causes death and disease and has a "huge economic impact".
In 2007–08, malaria prevalence among children aged 6 months to 5 years was highest in the Kagera Region (41.1%) on the western shore of Lake Victoria and lowest in the Arusha Region (0.1%).
The music of Tanzania includes traditional African music, string-based taarab, and a distinctive hip hop known as bongo flava. Famous taarab singers include Abbasi Mzee, Culture Musical Club, Shakila of Black Star Musical Group.
Internationally known traditional artists include Bi Kidude, Hukwe Zawose, and Tatu Nane. Tanzania also has its own distinct African rumba music, termed muziki wa dansi ("dance music"); important artists include Simba Wanyika, Remmy Ongala, and Orchestra Makassy.
Historically, there have been only limited opportunities for formal art training in Tanzania, and many aspiring Tanzanian artists have left the country to pursue their vocation.
Two Tanzanian art styles have achieved international recognition. The Tingatinga school of painting, founded by Edward Said Tingatinga, consists of brightly colored enamel paintings on canvas, generally depicting people, animals, or daily life.
Makonde is both a tribe in Tanzania and Mozambique and a sculptural style. It is known for the high Ujamaas (Trees of Life) made of the hard and dark ebony tree.