Tanzania [Country Flag of Tanzania]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Tanzania]



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Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique

Geographic coordinates: 6 00 S, 35 00 E

Map references: Africa

total: 945,090 sq km
land: 886,040 sq km
water: 59,050 sq km
note: includes the islands of Mafia, Pemba, and Zanzibar

Area—comparative: slightly larger than twice the size of California

Land boundaries:
total: 3,402 km
border countries: Burundi 451 km, Kenya 769 km, Malawi 475 km, Mozambique 756 km, Rwanda 217 km, Uganda 396 km, Zambia 338 km

Coastline: 1,424 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: varies from tropical along coast to temperate in highlands

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

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Kilimanjaro 5,895 m

Natural resources: hydropower potential, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas, nickel

Land use:
arable land: 3%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 40%
forests and woodland: 38%
other: 18% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,500 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: the tsetse fly; flooding on the central plateau during the rainy season

Environment—current issues: soil degradation; deforestation; desertification; destruction of coral reefs threatens marine habitats; recent droughts affected marginal agriculture

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography—note: Kilimanjaro is highest point in Africa


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Population: 30,608,769 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 45% (male 6,804,194; female 6,844,815)
15-64 years: 53% (male 7,835,705; female 8,236,949)
65 years and over: 2% (male 408,827; female 478,279) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.14% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 40.75 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 16.71 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: -2.61 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 96.94 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 46.37 years
male: 44.22 years
female: 48.59 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 5.49 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Tanzanian(s)
adjective: Tanzanian

Ethnic groups: mainland—native African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other 1% (consisting of Asian, European, and Arab)
note: Zanzibar— Arab, native African, mixed Arab and native African

Religions: mainland—Christian 45%, Muslim 35%, indigenous beliefs 20%
note: Zanzibar—more than 99% Muslim

Languages: Kiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiunguju (name for Swahili in Zanzibar), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), many local languages
note: Kiswahili (Swahili) is the mother tongue of Bantu people living in Zanzibar and nearby coastal Tanzania; although Kiswahili is Bantu in structure and origin, its vocabulary draws on a variety of sources, including Arabic and English, and it has become the lingua franca of central and eastern Africa; the first language of most people is one of the local languages

definition: age 15 and over can read and write Kiswahili (Swahili), English, or Arabic
total population: 67.8%
male: 79.4%
female: 56.8% (1995 est.)


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Country name:
conventional long form: United Republic of Tanzania
conventional short form: Tanzania
former: United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar

Data code: TZ

Government type: republic

National capital: Dar es Salaam
note: some government offices have been transferred to Dodoma, which is planned as the new national capital by the end of the 1990s; the National Assembly now meets there on regular basis

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
note: although some recent maps have referred to Ziwa Magharibi as Kagera, the US Board on Geographic Names has not approved the change

Independence: 26 April 1964; Tanganyika became independent 9 December 1961 (from UK-administered UN trusteeship); Zanzibar became independent 19 December 1963 (from UK); Tanganyika united with Zanzibar 26 April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar; renamed United Republic of Tanzania 29 October 1964

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 Benjamin William MKAPA (since 23 November 1995); Vice President Omar Ali JUMA (since 23 November 1995); note the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Benjamin William MKAPA (since 23 November 1995); Vice President Omar Ali JUMA (since 23 November 1995); 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; Dr. Salmin AMOUR was elected to that office on 22 October 1995 in a popular election
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; election last held 29 October-19 November 1995 (next to be held NA October 2000); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: percent of vote—Benjamin William MKAPA 62%, MREMA 28%, LIPUMBA 6%, CHEYO 4%

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly or Bunge (274 seats—232 directly elected by universal adult suffrage, 37 allocated to women nominated by the president, five to members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives; members serve five-year terms); note—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)
elections: last held 29 October-19 November 1995 (next to be held NA October 2000)
election results: National Assembly: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—CCM 186, CUF 24, NCCR-Mageuzi 16, CHADEMA 3, UDP 3; Zanzibar House of Representatives: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—CCM 26, CUF 24

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal; High Court, judges appointed by the president

Political parties and leaders: Chama Cha Mapinduzi or CCM (Revolutionary Party) [Benjamin William MKAPA]; Civic United Front or CUF [Seif Sharif HAMAD]; National Convention for Construction and Reform or NCCR [Lyatonga (Augustine) MREMA]; Union for Multiparty Democracy or UMD [Abdullah FUNDIKIRA]; Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo or CHADEMA [Edwin I. M. MTEI, chairman]; Democratic Party (unregistered) [Reverend MTIKLA]; United Democratic Party or UDP [John CHEYO]

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, EADB, ECA, FAO, G- 6, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, MONUA, NAM, OAU, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Mustafa Salim NYANG'ANYI
chancery: 2139 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 939-6125
FAX: [1] (202) 797-7408

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Charge d'Affaires John LANGE
embassy: 36 Laibon Road (off Bagamoyo Road), Dar es Salaam
mailing address: P. O. Box 9123, Dar es Salaam
telephone: [255] (51) 666010 through 666015
FAX: [255] (51) 666701

Flag description: divided diagonally by a yellow-edged black band from the lower hoist-side corner; the upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower triangle is blue


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Economy—overview: Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. The economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, which accounts for 57% of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs 90% of the work force. Topography and climatic conditions, however, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. Industry accounts for 17% of GDP and is mainly limited to processing agricultural products and light consumer goods. The economic recovery program announced in mid-1986 has generated notable increases in agricultural production and financial support for the program by bilateral donors. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and bilateral donors have provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania's deteriorated economic infrastructure. Growth in 1991-97 has featured a pickup in industrial production and a substantial increase in output of minerals, led by gold. Natural gas exploration in the Rufiji Delta looks promising and production could start by 2002. Recent banking reforms have helped increase private sector growth and investment.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$21.1 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: 4.3% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$700 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: 57%
industry: 17%
services: 26% (1995 est.)

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 15% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 13.495 million
by occupation: agriculture 90%, industry and commerce 10% (1995 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

revenues: $959 million
expenditures: $1.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $214 million (FY96/97 est.)

Industries: primarily agricultural processing (sugar, beer, cigarettes, sisal twine), diamond and gold mining, oil refining, shoes, cement, textiles, wood products, fertilizer, salt

Industrial production growth rate: 0.4% (1995 est.)

Electricity—capacity: 439,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 895 million kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 31 kWh (1995)

Agriculture—products: coffee, sisal, tea, cotton, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), cashews, tobacco, cloves (Zanzibar), corn, wheat, cassava (tapioca), bananas, fruits, vegetables; cattle, sheep, goats

total value: $760 million (f.o.b., 1996)
commodities: coffee, manufactured goods, cotton, cashew nuts, minerals, tobacco, sisal (1995)
partners: EU, Japan, India, US (1995)

total value: $1.4 billion (c.i.f., 1996)
commodities: consumer goods, machinery and transportation equipment, crude oil
partners: EU, Kenya, Japan, China, India (1995)

Debt—external: $7.9 billion (1997 est.)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 Tanzanian shilling (TSh) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Tanzanian shillings (TSh) per US$1—631.61 (January 1998), 612.12 (1997), 579.98 (1996), 574.76 (1995), 509.63 (1994), 405.27 (1993)

Fiscal year: 1 July—30 June


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Telephones: 137,000 (1989 est.)

Telephone system: fair system operating below capacity
domestic: open wire, microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter
international: satellite earth stations—2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean and 1 Atlantic Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 12, FM 4, shortwave 0

Radios: 720,000 (1993 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 3 (1995 est.); note—all on Zanzibar

Televisions: 55,000 (1993 est.)


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total: 3,569 km (1995)
narrow gauge: 2,600 km 1.000-m gauge; 969 km 1.067-m gauge
note: the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), which operates 1,860 km of 1.067-m narrow gauge track between Dar es Salaam and New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia (of which 969 km are in Tanzania and 891 km are in Zambia) is not a part of Tanzania Railways Corporation; because of the difference in gauge, this system does not connect to Tanzania Railways

total: 88,200 km
paved: 3,704 km
unpaved: 84,496 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, Lake Nyasa

Pipelines: crude oil 982 km

Ports and harbors: Bukoba, Dar es Salaam, Kigoma, Kilwa Masoko, Lindi, Mtwara, Mwanza, Pangani, Tanga, Wete, Zanzibar

Merchant marine:
total: 8 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 30,371 GRT/41,269 DWT
ships by type: cargo 3, oil tanker 2, passenger-cargo 2, roll-on/roll-off cargo 1 (1997 est.)

Airports: 123 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 11
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with unpaved runways:
total: 112
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 60
under 914 m: 35 (1997 est.)


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Military branches: Tanzanian People's Defense Force or TPDF (includes Army, Navy, and Air Force), paramilitary Police Field Force Unit, Militia

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 6,935,184 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 4,014,130 (1998 est.)

Military expenditures—dollar figure: $69 million (FY94/95)

Military expenditures—percent of GDP: NA%

Transnational Issues

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Disputes—international: dispute with Malawi over the boundary in Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi); Democratic Republic of the Congo-Tanzania-Zambia tripoint in Lake Tanganyika may no longer be indefinite since it has been informally reported that the indefinite section of the Democratic Republic of the Congo-Zambia boundary has been settled

Illicit drugs: growing role in transshipment of Southwest and Southeast Asian heroin and South American cocaine destined for European and US markets and of South Asian methaqualone bound for Southern Africa