Tell a Friend
Tanzania Map

Tanazia, Africa
Chimala, Tanzania


Tanganyika became independent from the United Kingdom and administered UN trusteeship in December, 1961. Zanzibar became independent from the United Kingdom in December, 1963. Shortly after independence, in April, 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. It was later renamed United Republic of Tanzania in October, 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.


Legislative capital city - Dodoma (pop. 85,000)

De facto capital city - Dar es Salaam (pop. 3,000,000 million 2010 Census)
2,456,100 million 2005 Census

Mbeya city – pop. 291,649 2010 Census
pop. 280,000 2005 census

Geographic coordinates: 6 00 S, 35 00 E


total: 945,087 sq km (note: includes the islands of Mafia, Pemba, and Zanzibar )

water: 59,050 sq km

land: 886,037 sq km

Comparative area: Slightly larger than twice the size of California

Border Countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia

Climate: Varies from tropical along coast to temperate in highlands

Terrain: plains along coast; central plateau; highlands in north, south

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: (1998 est.)

Arable land: 5%

Permanent crops: 1%

Meadows and pastures: 40%

Forest and woodland: 47%

Other: 7%


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

Lake Nyasa in the southwest


Administrative divisions (25 regions): Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Iringa, 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, Ziwa Magharibi

National holiday: Union Day, 26 April (1964)

Constitution: 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

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

Chief of State: President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (elected in 2005) Note - the president is both chief of state and 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

Elections: president and vice president elected on the same ballot by popular vote for five-year terms; (next to be held October 2010)


Unicameral, National Assembly or Bunge

295 seats - 232 elected by popular vote – 50 seats from Zanzibar House of Representatives

48 allocated to women nominated by the president

5 to members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives

Members serve five-year terms

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.


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)


Primary Courts (limited jurisdiction and appeals can be made to the higher courts)

Diplomatic representation in US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Ombeni Y. Sefue
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 Alfonso E. Lenhardt
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

Economic overview: Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. The economy depends heavily 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 traditionally featured the processing of agricultural products and light consumer goods. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and bilateral donors have provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania's out-of-date economic infrastructure and to alleviate poverty. Growth in 1991-2002 featured a pickup in industrial production and a substantial increase in output of minerals, led by gold. Oil and gas exploration and development played an important role in this growth. Recent banking reforms have helped increase private sector growth and investment. Continued donor support and solid macroeconomic policies should support continued real GDP growth of 5% in 2003.

GDP composition by sector:
Agriculture: 80%
Industry: 8%
Services: 12%

Population below the poverty line: 36% (2002 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4.8% (2002 est.)

Labor force by occupation: agriculture 80%, industry and services 20% (2002 est.)

Agriculture Products: coffee, sisal, tea, cotton, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), cashew nuts, tobacco, cloves, corn, wheat, cassava (tapioca), bananas, fruits, vegetables; cattle, sheep, goats

Currency: Tanzanian shilling (TZS)

Exchange rates: Tanzanian shillings per US dollar

NA (2002)

876.41 (2001)

800.41 (2000)

744.76 (1999)

664.67 (1998)


Railways: total: 3,690 km
narrow gauge: 2,721 km 1.000-m gauge; 969 km 1.067-m gauge (2002)


Total: 88,200 km

Paved: 3,704 km

Unpaved: 84,496 km (1999 est.)

Waterways: note: Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, and Lake Nyasa are principal avenues of commerce between Tanzania and its neighbors on those lakes

Pipelines: gas 5 km; oil 866 km (2003)

Airports: 123 (2002)

Total with paved runways: 11

With paved runways over 3,047 m: 2


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

International: satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 12, FM 11, shortwave 2 (1998)

Television broadcast stations: 3 (1999)

Internet country code: .tz

Internet service providers (ISPs): 6 (2000)

Internet users: 300,000 (2002)