OFFICIAL NAME: United Republic of Tanzania.
POPULATION: 38.4 million (UN 2005).
SITUATION: East Africa.
TIME: GMT + 3.
CAPITAL CITY: Dodoma.
CURRENCY: Tanzanian Shillings.
MAJOR LANGUAGES: English and Kiswahili.
BORDERS: Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia.
INTERNATIONAL CODE: +255.
MAJOR TOWNS: Dar es salaam, Arusha, Moshi, Mwanza, Tanga, Mbeya, Zanzibar.
Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a biggest 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 border lies on the Indian Ocean.
Tanzania is a state composed of more than 26 regions including those of the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar.
The head of state is President John Pombe Magufuli, elected in 2010 in his second selection. Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where Parliament and some government offices are located. 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.
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 people of Tanzania are associated with the production of steel. The Haya people of East Africa invented a type of high-heat blast furnace which allowed them to forge carbon steel at 1,802 °C (3,276 °F) nearly 2,000 years ago. The Shana clan in the Pare tribe also produced iron.
One of Tanzania’s most important archeological sites is Engaruka in the Great Rift Valley which includes an irrigation and cultivation system.
Travelers and merchants from the Persian Gulf and western India have visited the East African coast since early in the first millennium AD. Islam was practiced on the Swahili Coast as early as the eighth or ninth century AD.
Claiming the coastal strip, Omani Sultan Seyyid Said moved his capital to Zanzibar City in 1840. During this time, Zanzibar became the centre for the Arab slave trade. Between 65% to 90% of the population of Arab-Swahili Zanzibar was enslaved. One of the most famous slave traders on the East African coast was Tippu Tip, who was himself the grandson of an enslaved African. The Nyamwezi slave traders operated under the leadership of Misiri and Mirambo. According to Timothy Insoll, “Figures record the exporting of 718,000 slaves from the Swahili coast during the 19th century, and the retention of 769,000 on the coast.