Tanzania is probably one of the oldest known
inhabited areas on Earth; fossil remains of humans and pre-human
hominids have been found dating back over two million years. The
name Tanzania derives from the names of the two states Tanganyika
and Zanzibar that united in 1964 to form the United Republic of
Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the
United Republic of Tanzania.
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country
in East Africa 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
borders lie on the Indian Ocean.
Geography of Tanzania
Tanzania covers an area of 947,300 km²,
and the world's 31st-largest country. Compared to other African
countries, it is slightly smaller than Egypt and comparable in size
to Nigeria. It lies mostly between latitudes 1° and 12°S,
and longitudes 29° and 41°E.
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 / 77–87.8 °F while the coldest period occurs between
May and August (15–20 °C / 59–68 °F). Annual
temperature is 32 °C (89.6 °F). The climate is cool in high
Tanzania has two major rainfall regions. One
is uni-modal (December–April) and the other is bi-modal (October–December
and March–May). The former is experienced in southern, south-west,
central and western parts of the country, and the latter is found
to the north and northern coast.
The economy is mostly based on agriculture,
which accounts for more than half of the GDP, provides 75% (approximately)
of exports, and employs approximately 75% of the workforce. Topography
and climate, though, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land
The nation has many natural resources including minerals, natural
gas, and tourism. Extraction of natural gas began in the 2000s.
Gas is drawn into the commercial capital, Dar Es Salaam and exported
to various markets overseas. The mineral sector started to pick-up
slowly in the late 90s, major discoveries are announced regularly.
However, the mineral sector has yet to start contributing significantly
to the overall Tanzanian economy. On the other hand, the contribution
of the tourism sector to the Tanzanian economy is steadily rising
year after year.
Demographics Population in Tanzania
As of 2006, the estimated population is 38,329,000,
with an estimated growth rate of 2%. 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 mainland's well-watered highlands, to 134
per square kilometre (347/mi²) on Zanzibar. More than 80% of
the population is rural. Dar Es Salaam is the largest city and is
the commercial capital; Dodoma, located in the centre of Tanzania
is the new capital and houses the Union's Parliament. The African
population consists of more than 120 ethnic groups. The population
also includes people of Arab, Indian, and Pakistani origin, and
small European and Chinese communities.
Religion in Tanzania
Other or None: 3%
English is no longer a de jure official language
in Tanzania, which is one of the few African states in which a local
language has gained importance to the disadvantage of the ex-colonial
language. Since English is still the language of higher courts,
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 different tribes, who each have their own tribal language;
English serves the purpose of providing Tanzanians with the ability
to participate in the global economy and culture. The first language
typically learned by a Tanzanian is that of his or her tribe, with
Swahili and English learned thereafter.
The literacy rate in Tanzania is estimated
as 73%. Education is compulsory for seven years, until children
reach the age of 15 years, but most children do not attend school
until this age, and some do not attend at all. In 2000, 57% of children
ages 5–14 years were attending school. As of 2006, 87.2% of
children who started primary school were likely to reach grade 5.
Tanzania as other countries in Africa and
the world at large experiences the harshness of the HIV/AIDS ignorance
been the leading problem in eradicating this problem. HIV/AIDS has
been affecting mostly the population of 18-45 years of age group.
Apart from the adults, the
leading cause of death in children who survive the neonatal period
is malaria, pneumococcal disease (pneumonia) and rotavirus (diarrhoea).
2006 data show that 55% of the population had sustainable access
to improved drinking water sources and 33% had sustainable access
to improved sanitation.
Tanzania has diversity of culture depending
on the region you are at. The country has more that 120 tribes speaking
different mother tongue and in general having different ways of
life yet unified by Kiswahili language which is the national language.