Tanzania

 

Shortly after achieving independence from Britain in the early 1960s, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the nation of Tanzania in 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.

 

Geography:
Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique
Geographic coordinates: 6 00 S, 35 00 E
People:
Population: 46,912,768 (July 2012 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

Age structure: 0-14 years: 42% (male 9,003,152/female 8,949,061)

15-64 years: 55.1% (male 11,633,721/female 11,913,951)

65 years and over: 2.9% (male 538,290/female 708,445) (2011 est.)

Government:
Country name: conventional long form: United Republic of Tanzania

conventional short form: Tanzania

local long form: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania

local short form: Tanzania

former: United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar

Government type: republic
Communications:
Telephones – main lines in use: 174,500 (2010)
Telephones – mobile cellular:  20.984 million (2010)
Transportation:
Airports: 124 (2007)
Airports – with paved runways: total: 11

over 3,047 m: 3

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2012)

Military:
Military branches: Tanzanian People’s Defence Force (Jeshi la Wananchi la Tanzania, JWTZ): Army, Naval Wing (includes Coast Guard), Air Defence Command (includes Air Wing), National Service (2007)
Military service age and obligation: 18 years of age for voluntary military service (2007)

Economy:

Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. The economy depends heavily on agriculture, which accounts for more than 40% 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 IMF, and bilateral donors have provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania’s out-of-date economic infrastructure and to alleviate poverty. Long-term growth through 2005 featured a pickup in industrial production and a substantial increase in output of minerals led by gold. Recent banking reforms have helped increase private-sector growth and investment. Continued donor assistance and solid macroeconomic policies supported real GDP growth of nearly 7% in 2007.

Transnational Issues:

Tanzania still hosts more than a half-million refugees, more than any other African country, mainly from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, despite the international community’s efforts at repatriation; disputes with Malawi over the boundary in Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) and the meandering Songwe River remain dormant.