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Country of Tanzania Flag

Capital: Dar es Salaam

Population: 58,005,463

Brief History of Tanzania:

People have lived in the area of Tanzania for thousands of years. Some of the oldest known remnants of humans have been found in Tanzania. The tribal peoples of the Bantu moved into the area around 2,000 years ago and organized city-states formed around 500 AD. In the 1700s the Arabs arrived and began to use Tanzania for the slave trade. The Sultan Seyyid Said claimed the coastal areas and made Zanzibar his capital city. Zanzibar soon became the main location for the Arab slave trade.

The first European to arrive was Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in 1498. Portugal claimed control of the coastland, but did not settle in the area. Portugal tried to maintain control of the ocean trade and to demand tribute from the local tribes. However, the Arab Omani soon forced Portugal from the area.

It was in Tanzania that Scottish missionary David Livingstone, who crusaded against the slave trade, was ?found? by American journalist Henry Stanley and Stanley made his famous statement ?Dr. Livingstone, I presume?? Stanley had been commissioned by the New York Herald to find David Livingstone.

Over the years the British became more involved in the area. In 1890 Zanzibar became a British Protectorate. At the same time Germany took control of other areas of Tanzania called Tanganyika. After World War II, the British took full control of both Zanzibar and Tanganyika until 1961 when Tanganyika became an independent country. In 1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to become Tanzania.

Country of Tanzania Map

The Geography of Tanzania

Total Size: 945,087 square km

Size Comparison: slightly larger than twice the size of California

Geographical Coordinates: 6 00 S, 35 00 E

World Region or Continent: Africa

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

Geographical Low Point: Indian Ocean 0 m

Geographical High Point: Kilimanjaro 5,895 m

Climate: varies from tropical along coast to temperate in highlands

Major cities: DAR ES SALAAM (capital) 3.207 million (2009), Mwanza, Zanzibar City

The People of Tanzania

Type of Government: republic

Languages Spoken: Kiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiunguja (name for Swahili in Zanzibar), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), many local languages

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 (Tanganyika and Zanzibar), 26 April (1964)

Nationality: Tanzanian(s)

Religions: mainland - Christian 30%, Muslim 35%, indigenous beliefs 35%; Zanzibar - more than 99% Muslim

National Symbol: Uhuru (Freedom) torch

National Anthem or Song: Mungu ibariki Afrika (God Bless Africa)

Economy of Tanzania

Major Industries: agricultural processing (sugar, beer, cigarettes, sisal twine); diamond, gold, and iron mining, salt, soda ash; cement, oil refining, shoes, apparel, wood products, fertilizer

Agricultural Products: coffee, sisal, tea, cotton, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), cashew nuts, tobacco, cloves, corn, wheat, cassava (tapioca), bananas, fruits, vegetables; cattle, sheep, goats

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

Major Exports: gold, coffee, cashew nuts, manufactures, cotton

Major Imports: consumer goods, machinery and transportation equipment, industrial raw materials, crude oil

Currency: Tanzanian shilling (TZS)

National GDP: $67,900,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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