About Tanzania




The United Republic of Tanzania (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania) is a result of the unification of two Sovereign States known as Tanganyika (the Tanzania mainland) and the Zanzibar (Tanzania island).

The name Tanzania is a portmanteau of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The countries officially united on 26th April 1964, forming the United Republic of Tanzania. Tanganyika became independent from the British on 9th December 1961 and Zanzibar became free from Sultanate atrocity through the revolution on 12th January 1964.

Recorded history came to the east coast of Africa with the arrival of the Portuguese in the late 15th century. Nevertheless, prior to that, trade had been in progress between the Arabian Peninsula and the east coast, and further between the Indian sub-continent and China, from the first millennium A.D. onwards.

United Republic of Tanzania is probably one of the oldest countries ever to be known continuously inhabited areas on Earth; fossil remains of humans and pre-human hominids have been found dating back over two million years.


Archeological discoveries in the late 1950s by British anthropologist Dr. L.S.B. Leaky unearthed in the Olduvai Gorge the fossilized remains of what was termed Homo habilis, an early hominid that lived some 1.75 million years ago in the region of the Great Rift Valley.  Also nearby  (30 kilometres from Olduvai Gorge) are the Laetoli Footprints formed by the earliest human ancestors thought to be over 3.6 million years old.

odvai gorge

The original human inhabitants of the region were hunter gather communities of the Cushitic and the Khoisan groups.    Bantu-speaking people from the west and northwest Africa began to arrive in a series of migrations about 2000 years ago and followed by Nilotic pastoralists from the north that arrived and continued to immigrate into the area throughout the 18th century. With the exception of remains hunter/gather populations (Khoisan and Cushitic), the majority of all 126 African tribes that make up most of the human population of Tanzania today are of Bantu origin.

Arabs & Portuguese

The arrival of the Portuguese mariner Vasco da Gama who became the first European to reach the East African coast, in 1498 en-route to India began a period where the Arab mercantile influence along the coast was challenged, an influence that had been steady for almost half a century. This influence is still evident in the language, religion and architecture of the region to this day. Both Arab and Portuguese traders exploited the interior for ivory, gold and slaves, which were principally exported east into the Indian Ocean trading axis. By 1525 the Portuguese had subdued the entire coast and its control lasted until the early 18th century, when Arabs from Oman established a foothold in the region.

In 1698 a resurgence of Arab influence was realized with the help of Omani Arabs who established a presence on the Island of Zanzibar. In 1840 the Omani Sultan Seyyid Said moved his capital to Zanzibar City and in 1841 Zanzibar became the official seat of the Sultan of Oman where it remained until the beginning of the liberation period.

Travellers and merchants from the Persian Gulf and Western India have visited the East African coast since the first millennium. From Zanzibar, trades originating from the interior was factored and controlled, including the lucrative Indian Ocean Slave Trade from which the economy of Zanzibar was largely built. The effect of this revitalization of trade along the east coast was the founding or regeneration of important commercial centers along the coast, including Kilwa, Tanga, Pangani, Kivinje, Lindi and Bagamoyo.


Zanzibar became the center for the Arab slave trade. Between 65 to 90 percent of the Zanzibar Arab-Swahili population was enslaved. Slaves were used to carry ivory to the coast but were also required for clove plantations in Zanzibar and in sugar plantations in Mauritius. Other slaves were exported to the Persian Gulf, Europe and Americas.

One of the most famous slave traders on the East African coast was Tippu Tip, who was himself the grandson of an enslaved African.


The port of Zanzibar was also visited by Dutch, English and French ships. The British East India Company had a representative in Zanzibar, who acted as an advisor to the Sultan. In 1873 a British fleet forced Sultan Barghash to declare the end of the slave trade. However, some illegal slave trade was still continuing along the coast, as well as on the islands of the Zanzibar, archipelago, and  Bagamoyo and Kilwa. Between the 13th and 15th centuries, in a period known as the Shirazi Era, these cities flourished, with trade in ivory, gold and other goods extending as far away as India and China.


The Colonial Period

Tanganyika was colonized first by Germans (1887s until 1919) then the British (1919 to 1961). The expansion of European imperial powers (scramble for Africa) into Africa In the late 19th century (1887) led to the occupation of the mainland by Germany despite resistance by leaders such as Abushiri of Pangani, Mkwawa of Iringa, and Kinjeketile of Rufiji etc. Through the  German Colonization Society the Imperial Germany conquered the regions that are now Tanzania (minus Zanzibar), Rwanda, and Burundi, and incorporated them into German East Africa.  


After World War I, Germany was forced to surrender mainland Tanzania to British rule. The post-World War I accords and the League of Nations charter designated the area a British Mandate, except for a small area in the northwest, which was given up to Belgium and later became Rwanda and Burundi. In 1960, The late Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere became a Prime Minister of British-administered Tanganyika. However, the British economic development of the territory went ahead largely along the same model as had been applied by the Germans. The advent of World War II and increasing number of black Tanganyikans taking up seats on the legislative council, in 1954, Mwalimu (Teacher) Julius Nyerere transformed a civic orientated “Tanganyika African Association – TAA” into the political oriented Organisation known as Tanganyika African National Union – TANU with main objective of achieving national sovereignty for Tanganyika (Tanzania Mainland). The Party easily won the General Elections of 1958-1960. The British rule came to an end in Tanganyika on 9th December 1961 and Mwalimu Julius Nyerere became the First Prime Minister of the Independent Tanganyika.


Zanzibar (the commercial centre of East Africa) was the last place to abolish the slave trade. It was separated from Oman in 1861, and effectively controlled by Britain after 1873 when the Royal Navy enforced the closure of the slave market, and enlarged its base in the harbour from which it operated patrols against slave traders.

In 1885 Germany claimed administrative responsibility over Zanzibar, presumably on the grounds that both the main islands, Zanzibar and Pemba, lay off the coast of German East Africa, parts of which had previously been included in the Sultan of Zanzibar's mainland territories.  Following the Berlin Treaty of signed on 1 July1890; Germany withdrew her claim over Zanzibar and Sultan's mainland territories occupied by Britain in exchange for Helgoland. Britain declared Zanzibar as a British protected state.


Under British protectorate, In 1957, two civic Organisations of Zanzibar known as African Association (lead by Late Abeid Aman Karume)  and Shirazy Association (led by Sheikh Thabit Kombo) merged to form a political party -  Afro Shirazy Party. Following the foul pronouncement of the British Rulers to authorize the defeated (in 1963 elections) Arabs Parties of Sultan descendents to form the Government of the Independent Zanzibar, the Late Sheikh Abeid Aman Karume under the  Afro Shirazy Party spearheaded the Zanzibar Revolution which overthrew the Oman Arab dynasty on 12th January 1964. The Independent Zanzibar merged with Independent Tanganyika (mainland) to form the new nation of the United Republic of Tanzania on 26 April 1964. On October 29 1965 Julius Nyerere became the first President of the United Republic of Tanzania and Abeid Mani Karume became  the Vice President.

On 5th  February 1977, the present Ruling Party in Tanzania, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) or “Party of Revolution” was born by merging of TANU (mainland) and Afro Shirazy Party (Zanzibar) with Nyerere as chairman. The CCM ruled unopposed until the first multiparty elections were held in 1995 when Benjamin William Mkapa was elected President following the reintroduction of a multi-party political system  in 1992.


The United Republic of Tanzania, the land of Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and Serengeti, is the largest country in East Africa with total area of 945,087 square kilometres whereby waters covers 62,000 sq km and 3,350 sq. km is forest and woodland. It lies on the east coast of Africa and is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; by Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west; by the Indian Ocean to the east; and by Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south.


The United Republic of Tanzanian is divided into several clearly geological areas: the coastal plains, which vary in width from 16 to 64km (10 to 39 miles), tropical vegetation; the Masai Steppe in the north, 213 to 1067m (698 to 3500ft) above sea level, plateau and highland such as Mount Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru; Lake Victoria, on the Kenya–Uganda–Tanzania border is the largest lake in Africa and is the source of the Nile River. A high plateau in the southern area towards Zambia and Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi). On the west is Lake Tanganyika which is the second oldest and second deepest lake in the world after Lake Baikal in Siberia. The central part of Tanzania where the political capital (Dodoma) is located is a large plateau, with grasslands and national parks to the south and north, and arable land in most parts. 
Savannah and bush cover over half the country, and semi-desert accounts for the remaining land area, with the exception of the coastal plains.  Over 53,000 sq km (20,463 sq miles) is inland water, mostly lakes formed in the Rift Valley.


(Heaven of Peace) with illustrious natural Harbours is a Commercial Capital. Nevertheless, most of Government Offices and official activities are taking place here.



is a semi-autonomous territory of the United Republic of Tanzania. It lies about 45km (28 miles) off the coast to the northeast of the country. The Islands which are archipelagos of two main islands (Unguja and Pemba) and 50 other smaller islets stretch out Just north-east of Dar-es-salaam.  Zanzibar (Spice Islands) is famous for its spices, pristine beaches and historical testaments including the Old Stone Town which is among the UNESCO’s World Heritage.


Geo-Political Division

Tanzania is divided into 30 regions; 25 on the mainland, 5 on Zanzibar (3 Unguja and 2 Pemba) -  1. Arusha, 2. Dar es Salaam, 3. Dodoma, 4. Iringa, 5. Kagera, 6. Kigoma, 7. Kilimanjaro, 8. Lindi,9. Manyara, 10. Mara, 11. Mbeya, 12. Morogoro, 13 Mtwara, 14. Mwanza, 15. Pemba North, 16. Pemba South, 17. Pwani, 18. Rukwa, 19. Ruvuma, 20. Shinyanga, 21. Singida, 22. Tabora, 23. Tanga, 24. Zanzibar South, 25. Zanzibar North, 26. Zanzibar Urban West, 27. Geita, 28. Katavi, 29. Njombe and 30. Simiyu.   Zanzibar retains its autonomy on all non-union matters with its own Cabinet (Revolutionary Government), Legislature (House of the Representatives) and Judiciary.


Tanzania has a tropical climate. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10˚C and 20˚C (50°F and 68°F) during cold and hot seasons respectively. The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling lower than 20˚C (68°F). The hottest period extends between November and February (25˚C - 31˚C, or 77°F - 88°F) while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15˚C - 20˚C, or 59°F - 68°F).

Tanzania has two major rainfall regions. One is Unimodal (December - April) and the other is bimodal (October -December and March - May). The former is experienced in southern, south-west, central and western parts of the country, and the latter is found to the north and northern coast.

In the bimodal regime the March - May rains are referred to as the long rains or Masika, whereas the October - December rains are generally known as short rains or Vuli.


Tanzania has an extremely strong history of cultural heritage with a multiracial and multicultural community. It is a society of many faiths and of different origins. The vibrant Tanzanian population is drawn from over 120 distinct ethnic groups. Each Group is the proud custodian of a culture that traces it's history to North, South and West Africa, the Asian sub-continent and the Arabian peninsula. Tanzania's ethnic diversity provides an insight into the history of a continent at a time before history was written down, a community perspective on the soul of a country.  Almost the entire population is of mixed races primarily of Arab and African decent and blended with local culture and this is why the country is described as one of the most diverse cultured countries in Africa.  

Out of more than 120 tribes in Tanzania, 95 percent are Bantu origin and small population of Nilotic such as the Maasai and the Luo.  The remaining one percent consisting of Asians, Europeans, and Arabs. Generally, Tanzania culture is a product of African, Arab, Persian, European and Indian influences.

This wonderful mixture of influences of over 120 ethnic groups ranging from the tall graceful Masai Warriors with their  ancient ways of living amongst the wildlife and volcanoes of the Ngorongoro Highlands, the Hadzabe Bushmen hunting with bows and arrows alongside the Rift Valley,  doctors of the Wameru tribe practicing  traditional medicine on remote hillsides, the the artistic talents of the Makonde to the Chaga farmers and traders made Tanzania  to be among  the most culturally diverse countries in the world.

The Nilotics such as Maasai have different culture based on pastoralism and proudly resist assimilation to foreign cultures. Traditional rulers are highly respected and their thrones are inherited on basis of male lineage except for few tribes where women could become rulers in absence of a male heir. Common titles for traditional rulers are Sultani, Jumbe, Chief, Mangi, Mwami, Mtemi, etc.

Swahili Culture

The (Swahili) word originates from an Arabic word meaning coastal, and so as the Swahili language and culture which draw their roots to the Indian Ocean coastline. Swahili culture like the language is influenced by Arabic culture and is the main way of life along the Coast, and in Zanzibar. Rulers of important "city-states" along the Coast were known as Sultans and their names from 900 A.D. can be traced in coins that were minted during this period. The sultans dressed in round hats (fez) made of colourful beads.


The coastline towns of Tanzania (Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia, Kilwa Bagamoyo, Saadani, Pangani, Tanga and Dar es Salaam etc.) hosted various, explorers, merchants, traders, adventurers, settlers and even pirates from different parts of the World before they set off on their historical destinies.
The history establishes that the birth place of Kiswahili as well as Swahili culture is Zanzibar (Tanzania Island) where this language forged from different global dialects through interaction (Trade route). The splendid blending of African traditions and languages with, Persian and Arabic cultures shaped a distinctive civilization of modern Zanzibar (Swahili Culture).

Big population of Zanzibar originates from the mainland, although a small group calling themselves Shriazis claims an ancestry reaching back as far as the original Persian occupation of the island.

The Swahili influence was felt east to the islands of Comoros and Madagascar, as well as west into central Africa, the great lakes kingdoms, and Zimbabwe.

Kiswahili (Swahili) is the national language that is widely spoken while English is the official language of education, administration and business. 

Kiswahili (Swahili) has grown into an international language that is widely used across multiple boarders. Kiswahili is ranked among the top 10 international languages. Apart from Tanzania, it is now used in Kenya, Uganda, DRC Congo, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to name a few.  Kiswahili is also taught in universities around the world such as; Harvard, Oxford, Yale, Cambridge, Colombia, Georgetown, George Washington, Princeton and many more.

The magnificent legends of the past that gave rise to Swahili culture and tradition are vividly active in many parts of Tanzania, especially along the coast areas (Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia, Dar es Salaam, Tanga, Kilwa, Mtwara, etc).  The living evidences reflected in architects, transportation such as traditional sailing dhows, animal driven carts etc, art and crafts (pottery, weaving, painting etc) wood and doors carving, attire, music and dancing, cuisine etc.



The architecture of urban coastal centers reflects the long, rich history of Tanzania. Ruins of Arab mosques, cemeteries, and house structures can be found at sites such as Kaole, just south of Bagamoyo. Tombs embedded with Chinese ceramics dating to the twelfth century reflect the trade between distant civilizations. Nineteenth-century stone houses on narrow streets characterize Bagamoyo, which was one of the main endpoints of the East African slave trade.

Founded in the 1860s by Sultan Seyyid Majid of Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam, which most likely means "house of peace or salvation," is the main commercial center. Looking out over the Indian Ocean, the sails of dhow fishing vessels are dwarfed by transoceanic cargo ships gliding into the port. Dar es Salaam architectural styles reflect Arab, German and British influence and occupation.

Major buildings include elaborate mosques and churches, such as the German-style Lutheran Church. One of the largest public gathering locations in all Tanzanian cities and towns is the marketplace, where meat, produce, house wares, and a variety of miscellaneous items are sold.

One of the most visible monuments in the center of Dar es Salaam is the Askari , or "soldier," which was unveiled in 1927 and commemorates the loss of African troops during World War I. The most significant monument is the Uhuru , or "freedom," torch commemorating Tanganyika's independence from Great Britain in 1961.

askari monument

Suburban dwellings, most of which are built along a grid pattern, include the swahili house, a rectangular structure made of either stone with a corrugated roof or earth on a wooden frame with a thatch roof. This type of house is found all along the coast.

nyumba ya bati

Zanzibar architecture, particularly in the charming Stone Town, with narrow streets has  strong indications of Middle east, south and far east Asia connection . The buildings picturesque demonstrate kaleidoscope of human diversity. The reserved doctrine of Islam also dictates the simple Arabic style and structure of the Stone Town’s buildings. They have beauty, their plain arabesque facades and random windows and, overhanging balconies of fret worked stone and Islamic arch, unexpected recesses and terraces. Many houses have small courtyards with high limestone walls, shutting out as best they can the unequivocal rays of the equatorial sun. The barred lower windows of some houses recall the days of the lawless slaves and the wild “northern” Arabs, as well as providing security against more modern rogues.

Buildings are constructed from mangrove poles, the lengths of which dictate the heights of the walls. The poles, impervious to termites, are still used throughout East Africa, and their export by dhow to the Gulf and elsewhere is one of the oldest, if declining, forms of trade in the area. Houses were built by stone and had wooden doors whose middle pieces were decorated by distinct style of woodcarving. These traditional doors pegged with big iron or brass spikes with mountings and chains or sometimes engraved with verses from the Koran are still being made in Zanzibar today and known as “Zanzibar doors”.

zanzibar door

Indian, Persian and Chinese influences upon Zanzibar’s architectural heritage are widespread, many inspired by tradesmen, while various places of worship enrich the cosmopolitan architecture of the Island.

About 90 percent of Tanzania's people live in rural settings. Each ethnic group has a unique traditional house structure. Each ethnic group's traditional house structure has a corresponding cultural logic that determines the use of space.

Ranging from the round, beehive-shaped house of the Haya, who live on the western shore of Lake Victoria in which a house is surrounded by a banana plantation and an area in front of the house used for relaxation and food drying. The long, rectangular houses made of wood and thatch of the Gogo people in central Tanzania where the interior of the house is divided into separate uses such as  reserved for men, for women, children, and cooking, for honoring ancestors etc.

haya house

There are also European style houses made from a variety of materials, including brick, wood, earth, and thatch whereby the cooking areas are set outside.

nyumba ya matofali

The Simpler houses are round or rectangular and are built in poles and mud with dry grass or palm leaves on their roofs. The size of the house normally reflects the social status of its owner.



The music of Tanzania stretches from traditional African music to the string-based taarab to a distinctive hip hop known as bongo flava.

Taarab is a local music show very popular in Zanzibar and other coastal Towns. Traditional taarab is an evening show involving a singer who performs backed by 40 piece orchestra, drums, horns and strings. Taarab is theatrical in that women dressed in dazzling evening wear slowly approach the singer, dancing as they ascend, to give money to the singer. This is an expression of compliments to the instrumentalist and singer. Taarab is a mixture of Indian, Arabian and African music. Famous taarab singers names are Siti Binti Saad, Abbasi Mzee, Bakari Abeid, Seif Salum, Shakila Fatma Bint Baraka or Bi Kidude.


Tanzania has its own distinct African rumba music where names of artists/groups like Tabora Jazz, Western Jazz Band, Morogoro Jazz, Volcano Jazz, Simba Wanyika,Remmy Ongala, Marijani Shaabani, Ndala Kasheba, NUTA JAZZ, ATOMIC JAZZ, DDC Mlimani Park, Afro 70 & Patrick Balisidya, Sunburst, Tatu Nane and Orchestra Makassy must be mentioned in the history of Tanzanian music.

rumba music


Tanzania has many writers. The list of writers' names includes well-known writers such as Godfrey Mwakikagile, Mohamed Said Abdallah or Bw. Msa, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Prof. Julius Nyang'oro, Prof. Clement Ndulute, Prof. Frank Chiteji, Prof. Joseph Mbele, Juma Volter Mwapachu, Prof. Issa Shivji, Jenerali Twaha Ulimwengu, Prof. Penina Mlama, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Adam Shafi, Dr. Malima M.P Bundala and Shaaban Robert etc.



Tanzania has remarkable position in art. Two styles became world known: Tingatinga paintings and Makonde carvings. Tingatinga are the popular African paintings painted with enamel paints on canvas. Usually the themes are animals and flowers in colourful and repetitive design. The style was started by Mr. Edward Saidi Tingatinga from the "makua" tribe of southern Tanzania.  Later he moved to Dar Es Salaam. Since his death in 1972 the Tingatinga style expanded both in Tanzania and worldwide. Makonde is both a tribe in southern Tanzania (and Mozambique) and a modern sculpture style. Their carvings usually reflect nature, objects, animals, human beings, traditional solidarity etc. The carving is done by traditional iron tools and the type of wood is usually ebony (black hard wood). The style of representation range from the naturalistic to the abstract. It is known for the high Ujamaas (Trees of Life) made of the hard and dark ebony tree. Tanzania is also a birthplace of one of the most famous African artists – George Lilanga.



Dance and Instruments

Dancing is an expression of emotion. The emotion could be happiness or sadness or that which marks a sacred occasion  such as harvest time, weddings, circumcision, and initiation event.

There are many types of traditional dances and traditional musical instruments. A traditional guitar was a big fiddle with a resonator made from a coconut shell and this was common along the Coast. The "marimba" is a common musical instrument among many tribes especially around Dodoma. The small wooden box is the resonator for an array of metal springs of different lengths which are touched by the thumb to produce music. Traditional trumpet “Zumari” and drums are also important African musical instruments. There are various types, shapes and sizes. Drums were also used in traditional days to announce arrival or departure of traditional leaders or to keep a rhythm or morale to farming societies etc.

Some of Tanzania traditional Dancing and folklore are Gobogobo (Sukuma), Kilua (Manyema), Mdundiko (Zaramo), Mask Dancing (Makonde), Msewe (Pemba) etc.


Traditional Celebrations

Mwakakogwa Festival in Zanzibar - Is a celebration of the onset of the New Year also is popular in Zanzibar. This is a four-day celebration held on the third week of July and has its roots in the Zoroastrian religion.

mwaka kogwa

Dhow Countries Festival in Zanzibar - ZIFF is a two weeks, East Africa’s largest film, music and arts festival, bringing new talents together from all over the world.  Zanzibar Festival Classics  of Sauti za Busara is the world-renowned music festival held every February in Stone Town, Zanzibar in promoting the wealth and variety of music from the Swahili-speaking world.


The Bujora in Mwanza, gives approximately weekly performances of traditional dances of the Wasukuma tribe, including the Bugobobobo (Sukuma Snake Dance)

snake dance


Mats weaving are widely used especially along coastal Tanzania for sleeping, sitting, for spreading out food items to dry and as carpets in praying places. Mats are made of palm leaves, bamboo leaves and different types of grass. The same raw materials are used to make hand-woven baskets, trays and decorative objects, imbedded with beautiful colour patterns.  Pottery also traced its history for more than 1000 years ago.  People of Tanzania made and used pots made of clay for cooking and as water containers. The durability, fineness, etc. of a piece of pottery depends on the type of clay and the method of firing. Good pottery is made out of clay from Kilimanjaro Mountain slopes and nearby Pare Mountains. Although only traditional methods of making pots is common, some potters usually elderly women turn out magnificent pots.




The multi-culturalisim of Tanzania is perhaps best reflected in the varied cuisine of the country. The Arab/Indian influence has tended to lend coastal foods, and in particular seafood, a richly spiced flavor. Zanzibar and the coastal cities offer a variety of Indian and pan-African restaurants, with street food in Zanzibar being a long and august tradition. Some of famous cuisine in Tanzania are, ugali, pilau, biriyani, mtori, chapatti, Ndizi, muhogo, makande, nyamachoma, maandazi etc.



Filbert Bayi and Suleiman Nyambui have won medals at the Olympic Games, both in the 1980 Summer Olympics. Tanzania competes in the Commonwealth Games as well as in the African Championships in Athletics.

Football is widely played all over the country with fans divided between two major clubs, Young African Sports Club (Yanga) and Simba sports club (Simba)


Basketball is also played but mainly in the army and schools. Tanzania is proud of having one NBA player (Hashim Thabit) who plays for the Memphis Grizzlies. He is the first Tanzanian to play in the NBA. Rugby union in Tanzania is a minor but growing.


Generally, the Tanzania economy has been performing quite well since the mid-1990s. The GDP growth in 2011 was over 6 per cent.

The main sectors of the economy cover: Agriculture, Mining, Tourism, Manufacturing, Utilities (water, electricity), Construction, Trade, Transport and Communication, Financial and Business Services, Public Administration, Economic and Social Services: Education, Health and Other activities.

Most important commodities include cotton, fish and shrimp, coffee, cashew nuts, cloves (grown in Zanzibar islands), tea, beans, precious stones, timber, sisal, sugar, pyrethrum, coconuts, and peanuts, textiles, clothing, shoes, batteries, paper, and cement.

Agriculture (Kilimo Kwanza) employs around 80 per cent of the working population. Cash crops, including cotton, coffee, tea, sisal, tobacco and cashew nuts, are the country's main export earners



Natural resources

Hydropower potential, gold, diamonds, gemstones, nickel, natural gas, Uranium, Base Metals and Platinum Group Minerals like Nickel, Cobalt, Chromium, Platinum e.t.c, Ferrous Metals like iron ore, Titanium, lead  e.t.c, Coal, phosphates, tin-tungsten, Carbonates, Industrial Mineral like Limestone, Dolomite, Bentonite, mica, salt, pyrochlore, kaolin, Soda Ash,  Graphite, Phosphates and magnesite, Gemstones like Tanzanite, sapphire, ruby e.t.c.


Mining Sector

There is an expanding mining sector: diamonds and tanzanite are mined commercially, as are other gemstones and gold, Coal, phosphates, gypsum, tin and other ores are also extracted. More reserves of uranium, nickel, silver and natural gas have been located. There is a lot of opportunities in this sector such as establishment of large scale mines to produce Gold, Silver, Base metals uranium, coal, iron ore, platinum, development of  Industrial Minerals mines to produce soda ash, kaolin, gypsum, marble, etc.    Also Value added activities such as Gold refinery, Gemstone cutting and polishing (lapidary) Jewelry manufacturing utilising locally produced gold and gemstones.



Also there is opportunity extractive mining like coal, iron ore etc.


Energy Sector

The Government granted oil and gas exploration in the mid-1990s, and some small projects are under way, such as natural gas from the Rufiji delta under the supervision of the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC).  The Sector avails an abundant investment opportunity.


Renewable energy resources, which are friendly to the environment, like wind. There is an adequate wind energy resource in Tanzania.

The industrial sector

Industry traditionally featured the processing of agricultural products and light consumer goods. Long-term growth through 2005 featured a pickup in industrial production and a substantial increase in output of minerals led by gold is concentrated in agricultural processing and light consumer goods: sugar processing, brewing, textiles, manufacture of cigarettes etc. Other industrial activities include oil refining, and the manufacture of cement, gunnysacks, fertilizer, paper, glass, ceramics, and agricultural implements.

The government had pinned much of its efforts on development of its infrastructures industries, especially  transport and other indispensable infrastructure such as road, railways, sea ports, airports


Trade and Investment

Following the liberalisation of trade and the regulation of financial system including the recent banking reforms which put in place a Stable and Predictable Fiscal Investment have helped increase private-sector growth and investment while solid macroeconomic policies supported a positive economic growth rate, despite the world recession. The Government has been implementing far reaching pro-market economic reforms geared towards poverty eradication through higher rates of economic growth coupled with social equality.


Various constructive measures have been put in place to enhance favourable environment for business and investment which also guarantee the country’s superiority as an Africa's leading investment and business hopeful destination.


Among those measures are the allocation of resources in the annual budget which focus sectors priorities, Various Legislations have been promulgated for promotion and protection of private property and investments as well as implementation of a multi-sector program (Business Environment Strengthening for Tanzania - BEST) aimed at reducing administrative and regulatory burden of doing business in Tanzania and to improve Government and Judicial services to the private sector.
The Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC)has been established as the Agency to promote and facilitate private investments on the mainland while the Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority (ZIPA) has been established to promote and facilitate investments in Zanzibar. The Tanzania Trade Development Authority, (formerly Board of External Trade -BET) has been established to promote Tanzania exports and trade operations. The Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) and the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism (ZCT) are responsible for promoting tourism. The Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA) has been established to facilitate registration and licensing business while the Tanzania Revenue Authority  (TRA) has been established to enhance Government revenue collection.

Other practical  Regulations in place are the Banking and Financial Institutions Regulations (1997), the Management Risk Assets Regulations (2001), the Capital Adequacy Regulations (2001), the Liquid Assets Ratio Regulations (2000), the Publication of Financial Statements Regulations (2000), the Independent Auditors Regulations (2001) and the Credit Concentration and Other Exposure Limits Regulations (2001). There is a Stock Market - Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange where a number of Companies are listed and trading takes place every day.



Currency is the Tanzania shilling which is issued in bank note and coins and is convertible within the country. Banking and financial institutions are regulated under the Banking and Financial Institutions Act (1999), Bank of Tanzania Act (1995) and Foreign Exchange Act (1995)

For details please contact the following:
Bank of Tanzania (BOT)
Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange
Ministry of Finance
Business Registration and Licensing Agency (BRELA)
Capital Markets and Securities Authority (CMSA)
Zanzibar's Department of Archives website


The Education System of Tanzania comprises

  • » Pre-Education  
  • » Primary Education    
  • » Secondary Education    
  • » Post-Secondary Education    
  • » University and higher learning Education  
  • » Adult Education    
  • » Special Education  
  • » Private Education

University of Dodoma

For more information follow the links below:

Ministry of Education and Vocational training

Ministry of Science Communication and Technology

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