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State

Capital

Tanzania

Dodoma/ Dar es Salaam

(Tanganyika and Zanzibar)

Currency unit

Tanzanian shilling

Connections

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EAC

East Africa

Empire

Germans

Nile
 Zanzibar

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History

Tanzania is a union of two formerly British administered territories.

1) Zanzibar (see separate article)

2) The coast of Tanganyika was part of the Swahili cultural area. The city of Kilwa was an important power, compared by the first Portuguese explorers to Venice, and there were other states along the coast. Kilwa controlled the gold trade with Sofala (near Beira in Mozambique) and traded with India and Arabia. It was weakened by the Portuguese who tried to control the trade but failed. The coastal zone, or at least the main cities, was occupied by the Portuguese during the 16th century. Final destruction of the cities occurred in 1587 when a mysterious people called the Zimba invaded, possibly from Sena in Mozambique, killing everyone: Swahili, Arabs and Portuguese alike. (Were these an earlier example of the later Zulu Mfecane? No-one knows.)

By the first half of the 19th century much of Tanganyika was claimed by the Sultan of Zanzibar (who was also Sultan of Muscat in Oman) though his control was very tenuous and was exercised through slave merchants in the interior. Representatives of the German Empire traveled in the area and caused chiefs to sign "treaties" of protection, contrary to the protests of the Sultan of Zanzibar. However, it became a German colony from about 1883 - including Rwanda and Burundi. In the area which had felt the distant effect of the Mfecane there was some resistance to German control (the Maji Maji rebellion).

The northwestern area, near Lake Victoria is culturally part of the Interlacustrine region.

The area came under British control as a League of Nations mandate in 1920 after conquest during the first world war. During the British period it was ruled as part of the East African area with Uganda and Kenya. There was a High Commission to coordinate the actions of the governors of the three territories. Following independence there was an East African Common Services Organisation which controlled: Currency, Railways, Airline, Income Tax, University, and other territory wide functions. It gradually dissolved after the independence leaders failed to agree a Federation. (See E.A.Comm.) Tanzania's nationalization of the Banks and the setting up of a separate currency were the main factors in its break up.

Union of the two territories followed a revolt in 1964 shortly after independence in 1963 of the African majority of Zanzibar against the Arab rulers.

The united territory was ruled by Julius Nyerere as head of a one-party state until 1988 when he retired. He followed a policy of state owned and controlled industry and agriculture following the 1966 Arusha Declaration on socialism. Since 1990 this is being modified towards a freer market system as a result of economic failure and the changes in eastern Europe. Zanzibar has retained a considerable amount of autonomy with its own government.

Nyerere has since (1990) spoken in favor of a multi party system.

Tanzania is one of the few African countries to have made an African language the language of government, helped by the fact that Nyerere wrote in Swahili and promoted it for education. (He translated Shakespear's "Julius Caesar" )

Tanzania has a considerable tourist industry of visitors to the some of the world's most famous wildlife parks and reserves - including Serengeti and Ngorongoro.

The HIV virus is believed to be infecting many people in the country.

Is the country likely to remain united? The separation of Zanzibar, which has had a long history of its own should not be ruled out.

Languages

Kiswahili

English

Numerous Bantu languages
 David Olusoga-The Kaiser's Holocaust

Why does Amazon US not stock this title?
Kaiser's Holocaust


The Kaiser's Holocaust: Germany's Forgotten Genocide and the Colonial Roots of Nazism

Was the German colonising behavior even worse than that of other European colonisers? How far did the activities of the colonial government feed the later Nazi philiosophy?
Review by Piers Brendon

 History

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Politics

Tanzania had one of the first one-party states in Africa. The party, Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) was founded during the colonial period to press for independence. The leader and president until 1988 was Julius Nyerere. In 1966 at a meeting at Arusha the party adopted a socialist program (the Arusha Declaration) based partly on Maoist China and partly on Soviet Russia, though without the compulsion, secret police and concentration camps and with a determined attempt to Africanize the ideas under the name Ujamaa (familyhood). The party changed its name to Chama cha Mapinduzi (Revolution Party). Banks and most businesses were nationalized. At elections for parliament there was a requirement for two candidates. However both had to be approved by the party. This could be described as somewhat more democratic than the Soviet Union where only one candidate was allowed.

The long term effect of this program was a degree of egalitarianism but a failure of economic growth.

By 1990 the second president, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, was beginning to dismantle the state run economy and Nyerere himself by then in retirement said it was time for a multi-party system. October 1995 elections were disorganised and possibly corrupt resulted in a new president Benjamin Mkapa and some opposition members of parliament.

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Economics

In the colonial period there was a plantation industry of coffee and tea on the area round Mount Kilimanjaro, and sisal in the lower lands. Most of the country continued with subsistence agriculture.

Groundnut scheme
The south of the country, centered on Mtwara and Masasi was the site of a notorious British failure in 1948 when the British government invested large sums in promoting groundnuts. This was an attempt to solve Britain's food problems (of near famine). However, after the bush had been cleared, a railway built and also a modern port, it was discovered that the land was unsuitable.

The building of a railway by the Chinese through the southern highlands to Zambia has opened up coal mining and upland farming.

IMF advice on privatization has a similar effect to the problems of eastern Europe. Lack of pricing policy (and the end of the World Coffee Agreement) is causing a collapse of the coffee industry. The 1992 drought affected food supply. There are all the signs of lack of investment and maintenance of public services, such as the railway, the only means of transport in large areas of the country.

The Chinese are showing interest in repairing the railway they built to Zambia (after the Rhodesia crisis of the late 1960s) in order to get access to Central Africa's minerals. Thus this area may have replaced British influence for Chinese. They have now taken control from the former state-owned Tanzania-Zambia-Railway-Authority.

 History

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 Climate

Green/Ecology

The relatively low population density means that environmental problems are not as severe as in some of the neighboring countries. However the 1992 El Nino drought caused serious failure of crops.

HIV infection is very widespread in urban centers.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Climate

Human Rights

Cases of police lack of accountability. Multi party system has reduced political prisoners.

Climate effects
The author has worked and travelled extensively in East Africa

Last revised 21/07/11

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