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Flag of Tanzania
Map of Tanzania
Introduction Tanzania
Shortly after independence, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the nation of Tanzania in 1964. One-party rule came to an end in 1995 with the first democratic elections held in the country since the 1970s. Zanzibar's semi-autonomous status and popular opposition have led to two contentious elections since 1995, which the ruling party won despite international observers' claims of voting irregularities.
Geography Tanzania
Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique
Geographic coordinates:
6 00 S, 35 00 E
Map references:
total: 945,087 sq km
note: includes the islands of Mafia, Pemba, and Zanzibar
water: 59,050 sq km
land: 886,037 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly larger than twice the size of California
Land boundaries:
total: 3,861 km
border countries: Burundi 451 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 459 km, Kenya 769 km, Malawi 475 km, Mozambique 756 km, Rwanda 217 km, Uganda 396 km, Zambia 338 km
1,424 km
Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
territorial sea: 12 NM
varies from tropical along coast to temperate in highlands
plains along coast; central plateau; highlands in north, south
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Kilimanjaro 5,895 m
Natural resources:
hydropower, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas, nickel
Land use:
arable land: 4.24%
permanent crops: 1.02%
other: 94.74% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
1,550 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
flooding on the central plateau during the rainy season; drought
Environment - current issues:
soil degradation; deforestation; desertification; destruction of coral reefs threatens marine habitats; recent droughts affected marginal agriculture; wildlife threatened by illegal hunting and trade, especially for ivory
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Nuclear Test Ban
Geography - note:
Kilimanjaro is highest point in Africa; bordered by three of the largest lakes on the continent: Lake Victoria (the world's second-largest freshwater lake) in the north, Lake Tanganyika (the world's second deepest) in the west, and Lake Nyasa in the southwest
People Tanzania
note: 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 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 44.6% (male 8,338,764; female 8,247,789)
15-64 years: 52.5% (male 9,674,951; female 9,847,084)
65 years and over: 2.9% (male 483,760; female 595,591) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
2.6% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
39.12 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
13.02 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
-0.08 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.81 male(s)/female
total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
77.85 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 51.7 years
female: 52.67 years (2002 est.)
male: 50.76 years
Total fertility rate:
5.33 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
8.09% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
1.3 million (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
140,000 (1999 est.)
noun: Tanzanian(s)
adjective: Tanzanian
Ethnic groups:
mainland - native African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other 1% (consisting of Asian, European, and Arab); Zanzibar - Arab, native African, mixed Arab and native African
mainland - Christian 30%, Muslim 35%, indigenous beliefs 35%; Zanzibar - more than 99% Muslim
Kiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiunguju (name for Swahili in Zanzibar), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), many local languages
note: Kiswahili (Swahili) is the mother tongue of the Bantu people living in Zanzibar and nearby coastal Tanzania; although Kiswahili is Bantu in structure and origin, its vocabulary draws on a variety of sources, including Arabic and English, and it has become the lingua franca of central and eastern Africa; the first language of most people is one of the local languages
definition: age 15 and over can read and write Kiswahili (Swahili), English, or Arabic
total population: 67.8%
male: 79.4%
female: 56.8% (1995 est.)
Government Tanzania
Country name:
conventional long form: United Republic of Tanzania
conventional short form: Tanzania
former: United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar
Government type:
Dar es Salaam; note - legislative offices have been transferred to Dodoma, which is planned as the new national capital; the National Assembly now meets there on regular basis
Administrative divisions:
25 regions; Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Iringa, Kagera, Kigoma, Kilimanjaro, Lindi, Mara, Mbeya, Morogoro, Mtwara, Mwanza, Pemba North, Pemba South, Pwani, Rukwa, Ruvuma, Shinyanga, Singida, Tabora, Tanga, Zanzibar Central/South, Zanzibar North, Zanzibar Urban/West
26 April 1964; Tanganyika became independent 9 December 1961 (from UK-administered UN trusteeship); Zanzibar became independent 19 December 1963 (from UK); Tanganyika united with Zanzibar 26 April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar; renamed United Republic of Tanzania 29 October 1964
National holiday:
Union Day (Tanganyika and Zanzibar), 26 April (1964)
25 April 1977; major revisions October 1984
Legal system:
based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts limited to matters of interpretation; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Benjamin William MKAPA (since 23 November 1995); Vice President Dr. Ali Mohammed SHEIN (since 5 July 2001); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government; Prime Minister Frederick SUMAYE (since NA) does not function as the head of government
head of government: President Benjamin William MKAPA (since 23 November 1995); Vice President Dr. Ali Mohammed SHEIN (since 5 July 2001); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government; Prime Minister Frederick SUMAYE (since NA) does not function as the head of government
note: Zanzibar elects a president who is head of government for matters internal to Zanzibar; Amani Abeid KARUME was elected to that office on 29 October 2000
cabinet: Cabinet ministers, including the prime minister, are appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly
election results: Benjamin William MKAPA reelected president; percent of vote - Benjamin William MKAPA 71.7%, Ibrahim Haruna LIPUMBA 16.3%, Augustine Lyatonga MREME 7.8%, John Momose CHEYO 4.2%
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ballot by popular vote for five-year terms; election last held 29 October 2000 (next to be held NA October 2005); prime minister appointed by the president
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Assembly or Bunge (274 seats - 232 elected by popular vote, 37 allocated to women nominated by the president, five to members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives; members serve five-year terms); note - in addition to enacting laws that apply to the entire United Republic of Tanzania, the Assembly enacts laws that apply only to the mainland; Zanzibar has its own House of Representatives to make laws especially for Zanzibar (the Zanzibar House of Representatives has 50 seats, directly elected by universal suffrage to serve five-year terms)
election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CCM 244, CUF 16, CHADEMA 4, TLP 3, UDP 2, Zanzibar representatives 5; Zanzibar House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CCM 34, CUF 16
elections: last held 29 October 2000 (next to be held NA October 2005)
Judicial branch:
Permanent Commission of Enquiry (official ombudsman); Court of Appeal (consists of a chief justice and four judges); High Court (consists of a Jaji Kiongozi and 29 judges appointed by the president; holds regular sessions in all regions); District Courts; Primary Courts (limited jurisdiction and appeals can be made to the higher courts)
Political parties and leaders:
Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo or CHADEMA [Bob MAKANI, chairman]; Chama Cha Mapinduzi or CCM (Revolutionary Party) [Benjamin William MKAPA, chairman]; Civic United Front or CUF [Ibrahim LIPUMBA, chaiman]; Democratic Party (unregistered) [Reverend Christopher MTIKLA]; National Convention for Construction and Reform or NCCR [James MBATIA, secretary general]; Tanzania Labor Party or TLP [Augustine Lyatonga MREMA, chairman]; Union for Multiparty Democracy or UMD [leader NA]; United Democratic Party or UDP [John CHEYO]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Andrew Mhando DARAJA
chancery: 2139 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
FAX: [1] (202) 797-7408
telephone: [1] (202) 939-6125
Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Robert V. ROYALL
embassy: 140 Msese Road, Kinondoni District, Dar es Salaam
mailing address: P. O. Box 9123, Dar es Salaam
telephone: [255] (22) 2666-010 through 2666-015
FAX: [255] (22) 2666-701, 2668-501
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
Economy Tanzania
Economy - overview:
Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. The economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, which accounts for half of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs 80% of the work force. Topography and climatic conditions, however, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. Industry is mainly limited to processing agricultural products and light consumer goods. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and bilateral donors have provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania's deteriorated economic infrastructure. Growth in 1991-2001 featured a pickup in industrial production and a substantial increase in output of minerals, led by gold. Natural gas exploration in the Rufiji Delta looks promising and production could start by 2002. Recent banking reforms have helped increase private sector growth and investment. Continued donor support and solid macroeconomic policies should support steady real GDP growth of 5% in 2002 and 2003.
purchasing power parity - $22.1 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
5% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $610 (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 48%
industry: 17%
services: 35% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
51% (1991 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 30% (1993)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
38 (1993)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
5% (2001 est.)
Labor force:
13.495 million
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture 80%, industry and services 20% (2000 est.)
Unemployment rate:
revenues: $1.01 billion
expenditures: $1.38 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY00/01 est. )
primarily agricultural processing (sugar, beer, cigarettes, sisal twine), diamond and gold mining, oil refining, shoes, cement, textiles, wood products, fertilizer, salt
Industrial production growth rate:
8.4% (1999 est.)
Electricity - production:
2.765 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 18%
hydro: 82%
other: 0% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
2.616 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
45 million kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
coffee, sisal, tea, cotton, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), cashew nuts, tobacco, cloves (Zanzibar), corn, wheat, cassava (tapioca), bananas, fruits, vegetables; cattle, sheep, goats
$827 million f.o.b. (2001)
Exports - commodities:
gold, coffee, cashew nuts, manufactures, cotton (2000)
Exports - partners:
UK 22.0%, India 14.8%, Germany 9.9%, Netherlands 6.9% (2000)
$1.55 billion f.o.b. (2001)
Imports - commodities:
consumer goods, machinery and transportation equipment, industrial raw materials, crude oil
Imports - partners:
South Africa 11.5%, Japan 9.3%, UK 7.0%, Australia 6.2% (2000)
Debt - external:
$6.8 billion (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
$963 million (1997) (1997)
Tanzanian shilling (TZS)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
Tanzanian shillings per US dollar - 924.70 (January 2002), 876.41 (2001), 800.41 (2000), 744.76 (1999), 664.67 (1998), 612.12 (1997)
Fiscal year:
1 July - 30 June
Communications Tanzania
Telephones - main lines in use:
127,000 (1998)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
30,000 (1999)
Telephone system:
general assessment: fair system operating below capacity and being modernized for better service; VSAT (very small aperture terminal) system under construction
domestic: trunk service provided by open wire, microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, and fiber-optic cable; some links being made digital
international: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 12, FM 11, shortwave 2 (1998)
8.8 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
3 (1999)
103,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
6 (2000)
Internet users:
300,000 (2002)
Transportation Tanzania
total: 3,569 km
narrow gauge: 2,600 km 1.000-m gauge; 969 km 1.067-m gauge
note: the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), which operates 1,860 km of 1.067-m narrow gauge track between Dar es Salaam and Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia (of which 969 km are in Tanzania and 891 km are in Zambia) is not a part of Tanzania Railways Corporation; because of the difference in gauge, this system does not connect to Tanzania Railways (2001)
total: 85,000 km
paved: 4,250 km
unpaved: 80,750 km (2001)
note: Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, and Lake Nyasa are principal avenues of commerce between Tanzania and its neighbors on those lakes
crude oil 982 km
Ports and harbors:
Bukoba, Dar es Salaam, Kigoma, Kilwa Masoko, Lindi, Mtwara, Mwanza, Pangani, Tanga, Wete, Zanzibar
Merchant marine:
total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 21,987 GRT/27,121 DWT
ships by type: cargo 2, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 2, roll on/roll off 1, short-sea passenger 1 (2002 est.)
125 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 11
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 112
1,524 to 2,437 m: 18
914 to 1,523 m: 60
under 914 m: 34 (2002)
Military Tanzania
Military branches:
Tanzanian People's Defense Force (including Army, Navy, and Air Force), paramilitary Police Field Force Unit (including Police Marine Unit and Police Air Wing), territorial militia
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 8,636,817 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 4,997,257 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$19 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
0.2% (FY01)
Transnational Issues Tanzania
Disputes - international:
Tanzania and Malawi maintain a largely dormant dispute over the boundary in Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) and current location of historical boundary in the meandering Songwe River
Illicit drugs:
growing role in transshipment of Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin and South American cocaine destined for South African, European, and US markets and of South Asian methaqualone bound for Southern Africa; money laundering remains a problem

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003