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The Tanzania Portal

Flag of Tanzania
Coat of Arms of Tanzania
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The United Republic of Tanzania (/ˌtænzəˈnə/; Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania) is a sovereign state in central 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 states eastern borders lie in the Indian Ocean.

The United Republic of Tanzania is a unitary republic composed of 26 mkoa (regions). The current head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, elected in 2005. Since 1996, the capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where government offices are located. Between independence and 1996 the major coastal city of Dar es Salaam had been the country's political capital. Today Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania, and is major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.

The name Tanzania is a portmanteau of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, the two states united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

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The Seven Sisters
Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Mikumi National Park, a national park in Mikumi, near Morogoro, Tanzania. The park was established in 1964, currently covers an area of 3230 km² and is the fourth largest in the country. The landscape of Mikumi is often compared to that of the Serengeti. The road that crosses the park divides it into two areas with partially distinct environments. The area north-west is characterized by the alluvial plain of the river basin Mkata. The vegetation of this area consists of savannah dotted with acacia, baobab, tamarinds, and some rare palm. In this area, at the furthest from the road, there are spectacular rock formations of the mountains Rubeho and Uluguru. The southeast part of the park is less rich in wildlife, and not very accessible.

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Map of invasion of Anjouan

The invasion of Anjouan (code-named Operation Democracy in Comoros), on March 25, 2008, was an amphibious assault led by the Comoros, backed by African Union (AU) forces, including troops from Sudan, Tanzania, Senegal, along with logistical support from Libya and France. The objective of the invasion was to topple Colonel Mohamed Bacar's leadership in Anjouan, an island part of the Union of Comoros, when he refused to step down after a disputed 2007 election, in defiance of the federal government and the AU. The Comoros archipelago in the Indian Ocean has had a fractious history since independence from France, experiencing more than 20 coups or attempted coups.

The invasion occurred on the early morning of March 25, 2008. The main towns were quickly overrun and the island was declared under the control of the invading forces the same day. Mohamed Bacar managed to escape to Mayotte on March 26 and requested political asylum. He was subsequently held in custody there by the French administration and brought to the island of Réunion. On May 15, France rejected Bacar's request for asylum but the French refugee office ruled that the ousted leader could not be extradited to the Comoros because of the risk of persecution.

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Children in Arusha
Credit: Fanny Schertzer

School children in Arusha, Tanzania. There are four schools in and around Arusha. One, the School of St Jude, provides free education to children from poor local families.

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Wildlife of Tanzania

Aldabra Giant Tortoise
Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

The Aldabra Giant Tortoise (Geochelone gigantea), from the islands of the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, is one of the largest tortoises in the world. This species is widely referred to as Geochelone gigantea but is now placed in the genus Dipsochelys (or sometimes in the invalid genus Aldabrachelys) as Dipsochelys dussumieri. A small isolated population of the species resides on the island of Zanzibar.



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Julius Nyerere

Julius Kambarage Nyerere (13 April 1922 – 14 October 1999) was a Tanzanian politician who served as the first President of Tanzania and previously Tanganyika, from the country's founding in 1961 until his retirement in 1985.

Born in Tanganyika to Nyerere Burito (1860–1942), Chief of the Zanaki, Nyerere was known by the Swahili name Mwalimu or 'teacher', his profession prior to politics. He was also referred to as Baba wa Taifa (Father of the Nation). Nyerere received his higher education at Makerere University in Kampala and the University of Edinburgh. On returning to Tanganyika he worked as a teacher. In 1954 he helped form the Tanganyika African National Union.

In 1961 Nyerere became the first Prime Minister of Tanganyika and following independence in 1962, the country's first President. In 1964, Tanganyika united with Zanzibar and was then renamed as Tanzania. In 1965, a one-party election returned Nyerere to power and two years later he issued the Arusha Declaration, outlining his socialist concept of Ujamaa, which came to dominate his policies.

Nyerere retired in 1985 and was succeeded by Ali Hassan Mwinyi but remained the chairman of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi. He died of leukaemia in London in 1999.

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