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World Mission

Tanzania

Basic info

  • Area: 947,300 sq km
  • Population: 53,950,935
  • Infant mortality: 39.9 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Life expectancy: 62.6 years
  • Urbanisation: 33.8% of total population
  • Literacy: 77.9%

History

Shortly after achieving independence from Britain in the early 1960s, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964. In 1995, the country held its first democratic elections since the 1970s. Zanzibar maintains semi-autonomy and participates in national elections; popular political opposition on the isles led to four contentious elections since 1995, in which the ruling party claimed victory despite international observers' claims of voting irregularities.

Environment

The climate varies from tropical along the coast to temperate in the highlands.

The terrain consists of plains along the coast with central plateau and highlands in the north and south.

Economy

Tanzania has achieved high growth rates based on its vast natural resource wealth and tourism with GDP growth in 2009-17 averaging 6%-7% per year. Dar es Salaam used fiscal stimulus measures and easier monetary policies to lessen the impact of the global recession and in general, benefited from low oil prices. Tanzania has largely completed its transition to a market economy, though the government retains a presence in sectors such as telecommunications, banking, energy, and mining.

The economy depends on agriculture, which accounts for slightly less than one-quarter of GDP and employs about 65% of the work force, although gold production in recent years has increased to about 35% of exports. All land in Tanzania is owned by the government, which can lease land for up to 99 years. Proposed reforms to allow for land ownership, particularly foreign land ownership, remain unpopular. The financial sector in Tanzania has expanded in recent years and foreign-owned banks account for about 48% of the banking industry's total assets. Competition among foreign commercial banks has resulted in significant improvements in the efficiency and quality of financial services, though interest rates are still relatively high, reflecting high fraud risk. Banking reforms have helped increase private-sector growth and investment. The World Bank, the IMF, and bilateral donors have provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania's aging infrastructure, including rail and port, which provide important trade links for inland countries. In 2013, Tanzania completed the world's largest Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) grant, worth $698 million, but in late 2015, the MCC Board of Directors deferred a decision to renew Tanzania’s eligibility because of irregularities in voting in Zanzibar and concerns over the government's use of a controversial cybercrime bill. The new government elected in 2015 has developed an ambitious development agenda focused on creating a better business environment through improved infrastructure, access to financing, and education progress, but implementing budgets remains challenging for the government. Recent policy moves by President MAGUFULI are aimed at protecting domestic industry and have caused concern among foreign investors.

Ethnic groups

Ethnic Groups(%)

mainland - African (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes)

99

mixed Arab and African.

1

Religion

Religion(%)

Christian

61.4

Muslim

35.2

folk religion

1.8

Other

0.2

Languages

  • 10%

    Swahili as a first language

  • 90%

    Swahili as a second language