Tanzania

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Overview

Flag
Tanzania
Anthem Mungu ibariki Afrika (God Bless Africa)
Watch on youtube (with lyrics in video description)
Capital Dodoma
Largest city Dar es Salaam
Official language(s)
  • Swahili (de facto)
  • English (Higher courts, higher education)
Demonym
 
Tanzanian
Government Republic
Area 945,203 km2, 364,898 sq mi
Population ~ 44 million
Currency Tanzanian shilling (TZS)
Internet TLD .tz
 

Geography

Tanzania
Tanzania is a country in central East Africa. It is 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.
 
Tanzania
Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where parliament and some government offices are located. Before that, the major coastal city of Dar es Salaam served as the country's political capital. Today, Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania. It is the major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.
 
 

Society and culture

Population

As of 2009, the estimated population was 43,739,000. More than 80 percent of the population is rural. The population consists of more than 120 ethnic groups: the Sukuma and Nyamwezi, the Hehe and Bena, the Gogo, the Haya, the Makonde, the Chagga and the Nyakyusa have more than 1 million members. Other groups include the Pare, Shambaa (or Shambala), and Ngoni. The population also includes people of Arab, Indian, and Pakistani origin, and small European and Chinese communities.

Languages

Tanzanian law no longer constitutes English as the official language. However, it can still be considered as an official language because it is still the language of higher courts. Tanzanians therefore see themselves as having two official languages: English and Swahili. Swahili is the unifying language of the country between different tribes who each have their own tribal language. English provides Tanzanians with the ability to participate in the global economy and culture.

Religion

The religious balance is seen as a sensitive topic in Tanzania. The population has been estimated to consist of Christians (30%), Muslims (30%) and followers of indigenous religious groups (30%). There are a few communities of other religious groups, such as Buddhists, Hindus, and Baha'is.
 

Government and politics

The United Republic of Tanzania is a unitary republic. It is a state in which one party is dominant: the Chama Cha Mapinduzi. The current head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, elected in 2005. The president selects his cabinet from among National Assembly members. Tanzania has a five-level judiciary combining the jurisdictions of tribal, Islamic, and British common law.
 

Economy

The economy is mostly based on agriculture. Agriculture provides around 85% of exports, and employs approximately 80% of the workforce. Topography and climate, though, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. The nation has many resources including gold and natural gas. Industry is mainly limited to processing agricultural products and light consumer goods.
 
 
 

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