Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania is the Union between two countries Tanganyika and Zanzibar which formed The United Republic of Tanzania. It is located 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 border lies on the Indian Ocean. The official language is Kiswahili, however there are many different local languages. The country is divided into 26 regions. The head of state is President Jakaya Kikwete elected in 2005.
Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma. Between independence and 1996, the main coastal city of Dar es Salaam served as the country’s political capital. Today, Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania and the de facto seat of most government institutions. It is the major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbors.
ECONOMY AND AGRICULTURE: The economy is mostly based on agriculture, which accounts for more than half of the GDP, providing 75% (approximately) of exports, and employs approximately 75% of the workforce. However Topography and climate limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. Prolonged drought during the early years of the 21st century has severely reduced electricity generation capacity (some 60% of Tanzania’s electricity supplies are generated by hydro electric methods). During 2006, Tanzania suffered a crippling series of power-rationing episodes caused by a shortfall of generated power, largely because of insufficient hydro electric generation. Access to water has also been a challenge for farmers. Tanzania is part of the East Africa Community and a potential member of the planned East African Federation
TOURISM: The contribution of the tourism sector to the Tanzanian economy is steadily rising year after year and providing a new income source to many. Tanzania is the home of the world-famous Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. The country has dozens of beaches such as those found in Zanzibar and national parks like the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Other smaller parks such as Mikumi National parks which is located near Dar es Salaam also contribute to the economy of the country.
GEOGRAPHY: At 947,300 km², Tanzania is the world’s 31st-largest country. Tanzania is mountainous in the north east, where Kilimanjaro Africa’s highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of respectively Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika the continent’s deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish – and to the south west lies Lake Nyasa. Central Tanzania comprises a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the island of Zanzibar lying just offshore.
Tanzania contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks, including the famous Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park, in the north, and Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park in the south. Gombe National Park in the west is known as the site of Dr. Jane Goodall’s studies of chimpanzee behavior. 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. The Engaresero village on the Western shores of Lake Natron has been chosen by the government of Tanzania to exemplify the Maasai pastoral system given its singularity, integrity, high diversity of habitats and biodiversity. The site also has major additional significance, because of the presence of Lake Natron and the volcano, Ol Doinyo Lengai which have immense ecological, geological and cultural value. The community has demonstrated a strong resilience in facing threats to their systems, and has maintained associated social and cultural institutions, which ensure its sustainability under prevailing environmental conditions.
CLIMATE: 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 mountainous regions. 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. In the bi-modal regime the March–May rains are referred to as the long rains or Masika, whereas the October–December rains are generally known as short rains or Vuli. As this country lies near the equator, the climate is hot and humid. The easterly winds cause rainfall in the eastern coastal region.
BIODIVERSITY: Tanzania has considerable wildlife habitat, including much of the Serengeti plain, where the white-bearded wildebeest 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 International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red Lists of different countries. Tanzania has developed a Biodiversity Action Plan to address species conservation. A recently discovered species of elephant shrew called the 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.
DEMOGRAPHICS: Almost half of the population is under 15. As of 2010, the estimated population is 43,188,000. Population distribution is extremely uneven, with density varying from 1 person per square kilometer (3/mi²) in arid regions to 51 per square kilometer (133/mi²) in the well-watered mainland highlands, to 134 per square kilometer (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.
EDUCATION: 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 age 5–14 years were attending school. As of 2006, 87.2% of children who started primary school were likely to reach grade 5.
HEALTH – AIDS: The under-five mortality rate in 2010 is estimated to be 76 out of 1,000. Life expectancy at birth is estimated to be 52. The 15–60 year old adult mortality (the probability of dying between the ages 15–60) in 2009 was 456/1000 for men and 311/1000 for women. The leading cause of death in children who survive the neonatal period is malaria. Other leading causes of death in under 5’s is pneumonia and diarrhea. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a significant problem in Tanzania; in 2009, the prevalence was estimated to be 5.6% of the adult population. Anti retroviral treatment coverage for people with advanced HIV infection was 30% in 2011 – 7% below the average for the continent. 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. 2006 data show that 55% of the population had sustainable access to improved drinking water sources and 33% had sustainable access to improved sanitation.
STAPLE FOOD: 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. Could you support the village by donating?