Tanzania Profile

The country known as Tanzania today was formed by a merger in 1964 of the former British colonies of Tanganyika which gained independence in 1961 and the island of Zanzibar which gained its independence in 1963. With a population approaching 44 million according to recent estimates, Tanzania is recorded as being one of the oldest populated areas on Earth with hominid fossils discovered there dating back some two million years. Julius Nyerere was Tanzania's first president and he took Tanzania down the route of nationalising many industries including the banking sector. By the late 1970s with its economy ailing, Tanzania turned to China for assistance which was duly provided at the cost of using imported Chinese labour.

Tanzania Profile

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At this time Tanzania's economy was further weakened by a costly military intervention to oust President Idi Amin from neighbouring Uganda. Nyerere retired in 1985 to be replaced by Zanzibar President Ali Mwinyi. A new constitution was introduced in 1992 with multi party elections in 1995 making Benjamin Mkapa president; a presidency that promoted a free market economy attracting much needed inward investment.

Whilst today Tanzania enjoys relative political stability, it still faces many challenges not least its high levels of poverty with many of its citizens living under the poverty line. Tanzania is in 152nd place out of 186 countries and territories in 2013 when ranked in terms of life expectancy, literacy, access to knowledge and the

living standards of a country. The average age in the country is just 18 years old and life expectancy is around 53 years. One in every six children die before their fifth birthday and over three million children do not attend school, with two million children orphaned through AIDS/HIV. As with many countries in the region, Tanzania is facing up to the challenges of climate change with the World Bank reporting "More than 80% of the population of Tanzania relies directly on agriculture for their livelihoods; a 10% reduction in rainfall would in effect make most of Tanzania unsuitable for Maize." That was written in 2002 and since 2008 droughts have been affecting the northern region in particular where farmers have lost hundreds of thousands of livestock.


Tanzania Profile

Tanzania Profile

Tanzania Profile

Tanzania Profile


Volunteer Tanzania

Volunteer Work Tanzania

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Tanzania Profile

Human Development Index Tanzania

Ironically, in other parts of the country where trees and vegetation have been cleared to make room for homes for Tanzania's rapidly increasing population, flooding is becoming a major issue with no where for the rainfall to run off. Such recent flooding has left dozens dead and tens of thousands homeless. For more about Tanzania check out our information articles above.


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