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Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania
United Republic of Tanzania
Flag of Tanzania
Tanzania coat of arms
flag coat of arms
Motto : Uhuru na Umoja
Swahili for "Freedom and Unity"
Official language Swahili ( national language ),
English ( pro forma )
capital city Dodoma
Seat of government Dar es Salaam
State and form of government federal presidential republic
Head of state President Samia Suluhu Hassan
Head of government Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa
area 945,087 km²
population 55.9 million (2019 estimate)
Population density 64 inhabitants per km²
Population development + 3.0% (estimate for 2019)
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nom.)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
2019 (estimate)
  • $ 61 billion ( 79th )
  • $ 160 billion ( 75th )
  • 1,080 USD ( 166. )
  • 2,841 USD ( 167. )
Human Development Index 0.529 ( 163. ) (2019)
currency Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)
independence December 9, 1961
(from the UK )
National anthem Mungu ibariki Africa
Time zone UTC + 3
License Plate EAT
ISO 3166 TZ , TZA, 834
Internet TLD .tz
Phone code +255
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Tanzania ([ tanzaˈniːa ], also [ tanˈzaːni̯a ], officially United Republic of Tanzania , Swahili Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania ) is a state in East Africa . It lies on the Indian Ocean and borders Kenya and Uganda in the north, Rwanda , Burundi and the DR Congo in the west and Zambia , Malawi and Mozambique in the south. Tanzania has been a member of the Commonwealth of Nations since independence from the United Kingdom on December 9, 1961 .

With just under 56 million inhabitants, the country is the fifth largest country in Africa by population . The capital of the state is Dodoma , but the largest city is the coastal city of Dar es Salaam ; other big cities are Mwanza , Arusha , Mbeya , Morogoro and Tanga .

Tanganyika (the mainland area of the island of Mafia has been extensively) in 1961 by the Mandatory Power UK independent and allied himself in 1964 with Zanzibar (islands of Pemba and Unguja ) to Tanzania , the country's name from Tan ganjika, Sa and a description of nsibar Aza nia is composed. About 125 languages ​​are spoken in Tanzania, mostly Bantu languages , but also Nilotic and Cushitic languages , Arabic and Indian languages ; The lingua franca , on the other hand, are Swahili (Swahili) and English .


Kibo , the highest mountain in Africa

The Tanzanian mainland consists of a 16 to 64 kilometer wide coastal plain with tropical vegetation, the Maasai savannah in the north , which is between 200 and 1100 meters high, and a high plateau in the south (900–1200 meters) that extends to Lake Malawi . The Central African Rift touches Tanzania in the west, the East African Rift runs centrally through the country. The geological processes in this tectonic rupture zone are witnessed by huge craters and volcanoes such as Mount Rungwe (2960 m), Mount Meru (4562 m) and the highest mountain in Africa, the Kibo (5895 m). The national territory of Tanzania borders three of the largest lakes in Africa : Lake Victoria in the north , Lake Tanganyika in the west and Lake Malawi in the south. In the north-west of Tanzania lies the Serengeti ( Maasai language : “wide area”, “large plain”, “infinite land”), one of the most famous national parks in Africa .

Moist and dry savannas with umbrella acacias and baobab trees dominate a large part of Tanzania. Semi-deserts and coastal plains (partly with mangrove swamps ) make up the rest of the landscape.

In the northeast of the country, not far from the border with Kenya , rises the highest mountain massif in Africa, the Kilimanjaro massif , whose highest point - the Uhuru Peak - is on the mountain Kibo ( 5895  m ).


Climate zones in Tanzania

There is a tropical lowland climate along the flat coast , while the climate is moderate in the mountains in the north, south ( Mbeya Range , Poroto Mountains , Livingstone Mountains , Kipengere Mountains , Kitulo Plateau ) and west. From January to March and from June to October there is a dry season (± 27 ° C). In April and May as well as in November and December, the dry season is replaced by the rainy season (± 25-27 ° C).


The East African country has a diverse hydrology. Due to the sometimes very different climatic zones, the precipitation either remains in basins without drainage from which it evaporates again (about ¼ of the land area), or drains via the Congo (Lake Tanganyika) or the Nile (Lake Victoria) into oceans to the other side of the continent. However, almost half of the catchment area is accounted for by rivers that flow into the Indian Ocean. The largest catchment areas are that of the Rufiji (Indian Ocean), followed by that of the Malagarasi (Atlantic), which together drain almost 1/3 of the country.


Population pyramid 2016
Population increase (1960–2015)

Tanzania has an annual population growth of around 3%. The total fertility rate is 4.8 children per woman and is therefore slightly down. In 2019, 43.8 percent of people were under 15 years old, the median was an estimated 18 years. Life expectancy in 2019 was 65.5 years.

According to the UN mean population forecast, around 130 million people will live in Tanzania in 2050.

Ethnic classification

The population on the mainland consists of 99 percent African ethnic groups (including 95% Bantu ), who can be assigned to more than 130 different ethnic groups . The largest single ethnic group are the Sukuma (12% of the population); most of the others make up around 5% each. The next largest ethnic groups are the Nyamwezi , who like the Sukuma live in the particularly densely populated area around Lake Victoria (around 9%), the Hehe / Bena (8%), the Haya (around 7% of the total population), the Swahili on the coast ( 6%), the Chagga on Kilimanjaro (about 6%) and the Makonde in the south. The Maasai make up about 3% of the population.

For centuries, the population has also included people whose ancestors immigrated from Arab countries such as Oman and India . Most of the Indian migrants came from what was then under British rule in the second half of the 19th century . In 2017, around 60,000 of them lived in Tanzania. Few descendants of European settlers still live in the country. There are also foreigners, including 431,000 refugees from Burundi and 96,000 from the DR Congo.


A total of 125 different languages ​​are spoken in Tanzania. About 90 percent of the population speak Bantu languages ; In the northern part of the country, Nilotic languages , South Kushitic languages , the Khoisan languages Hadza and Sandawe, and especially Arabic in Zanzibar, are spoken. Thus, all four major language groups in Africa are represented in Tanzania . There is no de jure fixed official language ; Swahili is de facto the national language. It is used as a lingua franca and for official matters.

The German colonial administration significantly promoted the use of a "national language", Swahili. Swahili was declared a "national language" by the first President Julius Nyerere , without this ever being fixed by law; Government publications also call it "official language". The English that was used during the British rule to administer the mandated territory is nowadays not used more in the public service in the parliament or in the government and is therefore not an official language in the strict sense; Tanzania is one of the few African countries in which an indigenous language has gained in importance compared to the colonial language. However, English is still the court language of the higher courts.

According to Tanzania's official language policy, as promulgated in 1984, and the related legislation, Swahili is the language of the social and political spheres, primary education and adult education; English is intended by law to be used in higher education, universities, higher courts, and technology. Although the use of English in Tanzania has been promoted by the UK government by the millions , English has been pushed back from social life in recent decades. In the 1970s, for example, Tanzanian students usually spoke to one another in English; nowadays they talk to each other almost exclusively in Swahili. Even classes at secondary schools and universities, which should officially be in English only, are sometimes given in Swahili or a Swahili-English mix.

The use of languages ​​is not regulated by the constitution, but is clearly regulated by laws and is geared towards standardization. Local and regional indigenous languages ​​are not permitted as the language of instruction and are also not taught as a subject, even if for practical reasons they may be used unofficially in the first years of school. Television and radio programs in local languages ​​are not allowed, and a permit for a newspaper in a local language is almost impossible to get. The University of Dar es Salaam does not have a chair in local or regional African languages. In particular, however, the mandatory use of English as the language of instruction in secondary schools and universities - as it is practiced in almost all private schools and in other Anglophone countries in Africa from the first grade - is criticized as "unfair" to the students.


The north and the coastal area as well as the former caravan routes are largely to strongly Islamic in character. Between 30 and 40 percent of the population are Muslim (at least 98 percent in Zanzibar). BAKWATA (Baraza Kuu La Waislam Wa Tanzania), the “Supreme Council for Tanzanian Muslims” founded in 1968 and based in Dar es Salaam, acts as the umbrella organization for the Muslims of Tanzania.

Christianity has spread very much inland. Between 30 and 40 percent of the population are Christian, most of them Catholic . The Missionary Benedictines of St. Ottilien maintain six monasteries in the south of the country and have thus shaped the Roman Catholic Church in Tanzania . On the Protestant side, the German colonial past and related reflects missionary history in the strong position of the Lutherans of which are the largest Protestant denomination in the country, as well as Moravian ( Moravian Church ) resist. During the British colonial period, the Anglicans and the Africa Inland Church expanded from Kenya . The Protestant churches have been spiritually influenced to a greater or lesser extent by the Walokole movement ( East African Revival ), which in the recent past has also been a breeding ground for the growth of charismatic and Pentecostal groups. The Evangelistic Assemblies of God Tanzania is a free church. There are still followers of traditional religions everywhere, whose rites are often observed by Christians and Muslims.

Since the 1960s, the question of religious affiliation has been viewed as explosive and is no longer asked for in censuses . For a long time, the distribution continued to be given as one third Muslims, one third Christians and followers of traditional religions (as is still the case today with Britannica online), which was probably more political reason than statistically correct. In the literature, there is partly a balance between Christians and Muslims with a lower proportion of followers of traditional religions, partly a preponderance of either Christians or Muslims.

Many of Tanzania's Indians are Hindus . They live mainly in Zanzibar and the coastal cities of the mainland; there are also Hindu temples there .


The school system was heavily influenced by the British system during the colonial era. There is a seven-year elementary school (Primary School; Standard one to standard seven), which all pupils must attend according to the prevailing compulsory schooling . After that, a smaller number of students go to secondary school , which comprises a total of six school years (divided into four and two years). Successful completion of the course entitles you to attend a university.

Since 2002, school fees no longer have to be paid at state schools , which leads to large class sizes, especially in rural areas. The parents must, however, contribute to the costs of school tuition (officially for food, transport and school uniform). This money is mostly used for furniture, exercise books and chalk. In addition, the parents usually have to pay for the school books. As a result, many children, especially in rural areas, cannot go to school.

Especially in the metropolitan areas there are private or international schools, attending these schools is associated with high school fees. The international schools include the German-Tanzanian One World Secondary School Kilimanjaro near Mwanga and the International School Moshi with a branch in Arusha .

School attendance is compulsory up to the 15th birthday. The literacy rate for people aged 15 and over was estimated at 69.4% in 2015. In 2012, the rate for completing primary school was 80.8%. In Tanzania, the mean school attendance increased from 3.6 years in 1990 to 5.8 years in 2015.

There are several universities and other higher education institutions in Tanzania. The most famous university is the University of Dar es Salaam . Other important universities are the Sokoine University of Agriculture and the Hubert Kairuki Memorial University . The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania maintains Tumaini University , a university with three locations. The Roman Catholic Church maintains the university network of the St. Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT).

health care

Hallway of the hospital in Ikonda in the Southern Highlands ( Makete District). The private hospital served 250 to 300 patients per day in 2012.

The average life expectancy at birth is given as 65.5 years in 2019, making it one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa . The infant mortality rate is 53 per 1,000 live births, the maternal mortality 95 per 10,000 births. 43 percent of births can receive medical care. Modern contraceptives are available to 20 percent of women. In 2015, 32.3% of the population were malnourished.

Life expectancy development in Tanzania
year Life expectancy
in years
year Life expectancy
in years
1960 43.6 1990 50.0
1965 45.0 1995 48.7
1970 46.7 2000 50.5
1975 48.9 2005 55.6
1980 50.5 2010 61.6
1985 51.0 2015 65.5


Around 60,000 Tanzanians died from malaria every year in the early 2000s . Malaria was the leading cause of death in children. 75% of the population lived in areas that were considered to be at risk for more than six months a year. This included in particular the entire coastal region with the offshore islands and the area around Lake Victoria. The US government GW Bush selected Tanzania and two other countries to participate in the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) in June 2005 .

An estimated 4.7 percent of the adult population were infected with the HI virus in 2016 . Many girls in Tanzania have to leave school early; their chances of finding a qualified and well-paid job are very slim. Many of these young women living in poverty are mistreated or sexually abused and thus become infected with the HIV virus.

The first COVID-19 disease was registered in Tanzania on March 16, 2020 . President Magufuli denied Corona and allegedly died of it himself on March 17, 2021.

See also: COVID-19 pandemic in Tanzania


Historical map (around 1888)

The coastal region of East Africa has been part of a long-distance trading system since the beginning of our era, in which it was connected to the Red Sea by sailing ships. From around the 8th to 9th centuries, the Swahili culture spread along the coast, producing a chain of Islamic cities along the coast from trading bases. These settlements extended to Mozambique . From the 14th to the 16th century, Kilwa Kisiwani was the main town on Tanzanian territory . The penetration of the Portuguese from the south, who set up intermediate stations in East Africa on their route to India, brought about a considerable disruption of this trade. After the Portuguese were ousted from the Kenyan-Tanzanian coastal area, Oman became the dominant coastal power.

Since the 18th century, coastal civilization exercised considerable influence on the inland through the East African caravan trade and the associated slave trade .

In the 19th century, the Sultan of Oman relocated his capital to Zanzibar, thereby intensifying his influence on the coast and hinterland. From 1885 the Society for German Colonization acquired claims to parts of the inland and tried to establish a colony. Their rule collapsed in 1888 in the uprising of the East African coastal population , whereupon the German Empire with military forces conquered the areas that then became the colony of German East Africa , which, in addition to today's mainland Tanzania , also included Rwanda and Burundi . During the First World War , the German protection force led by Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck resisted the Allied troops until the end of the war . The colony was conquered by British and Belgian troops from 1916 and then divided among the victors.

The Tanzanian mainland came under British rule as Tanganyika Territory and was administered as a League of Nations mandate (after the Second World War as a trust territory of the UN ).

Julius Nyerere, chairman of the TANU and until 1990 also the CCM, first prime minister of the independent Tanganyika and until 1985 president of Tanzania (photo from 1976)

On December 9, 1961, Tanganyika gained independence from the United Kingdom . Shortly after Zanzibar's declaration of independence on December 10, 1963 , Tanganyika ( Tan ) and Zanzibar ( San ) merged on April 26, 1964, initially under the name of the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The republic was then renamed the United Republic of Tanzania around six months later on November 1, 1964 . The first president was Julius Kambarage Nyerere of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). At the suggestion of Nyerere, the TANU and the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) of Zanzibar merged in 1977 to form the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM for short, German: "Party of Revolution"). Nyerere and his supporters strove to build a socialist society in Tanzania, nationalized the banks, and carried out educational and land reforms.

Nyerere's goal was a specifically African socialism in contrast to the authoritarian models of socialism based on the example of the Soviet Union . Instead, the model for the socialist transformation of Tanzania should be the “ Ujamaa ”, the village community as a production and distribution collective. The expansion of the Ujamaa model to larger production units failed, however, and with the deterioration of the economic framework, so did the socialist vision of Nyerere. He resigned as president in 1985 and as party chairman in 1990. Nyerere died in 1999.

The one-party system ended in 1992, and in 1995 democratic parliamentary and presidential elections took place for the first time since the 1970s , in which, however, the previous ruling party, the CCM, was able to maintain its position. Became president Benjamin Mkapa , who no longer took unconstitutional after ten years in office to choice. After Jakaya Kikwete had prevailed within the CCM, he was elected president in 2005. On October 31, 2010, presidential and parliamentary elections were held again. For the CCM under Kikwete, losses were predicted in favor of the CHADEMA led by Wilbrod Slaa. Kikwete was re-elected with around 61 percent of the vote, Slaa received around 26 percent, and Ibrahim Lipumba from the CUF around 8 percent. After his two terms in office, he was not allowed to run again in the 2015 elections.


Political indices
Name of the index Index value Worldwide rank Interpretation aid year
Fragile States Index 78.1 out of 120 61 of 178 Stability of the country: increased warning
0 = very sustainable / 120 = very alarming
Democracy index   5.10 from 10   93 of 167 Hybrid regime
0 = authoritarian regime / 10 = complete democracy
Freedom in the World 40 out of 100 --- Freedom status: partially free
0 = not free / 100 = free
Freedom of the press ranking   40.69 out of 100   124 of 180 Difficult situation for freedom of the press
0 = good situation / 100 = very serious situation
Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)   38 out of 100   94 of 180 0 = very corrupt / 100 = very clean 2020

Political system

Tanzania is a presidential republic : The president , who is elected in general elections every five years, determines politics. He appoints the prime minister and cabinet ministers. At the side of the president is the vice-president, officially his deputy, but entrusted with more representative tasks, and the prime minister.

In the 2015 elections, the previous Labor Minister John Magufuli from the former CCM unified party prevailed against Edward Lowassa with around 58 percent . In the next election in October 2020, he received 84.5 percent. The elections were accompanied by massive election fraud and irregularities. These include threats of violence against opposition activists , including opposition candidate Tundu Lissu , the use of force by police against participants in opposition rallies, and blocking of social media. International election observers were not allowed. The opposition did not recognize the result and organized protests. Opposition leader Lissu had to flee to Belgium. Until his death on March 17, 2021, John Magufuli was the fifth President of Tanzania. His successor was Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan .

The legislature consists of a one-chamber parliament: the National Assembly (Bunge) with 393 seats. It is elected every five years at the same time as the President. Despite the multi-party system guaranteed by the constitution since 1992, the opposition parties on the mainland are of little importance. Since the first multi-party parliamentary elections in 1995, the Party of the Revolution (CCM) has always won a majority of the seats in the National Assembly. Unlike the former socialist unity party CCM, which is well organized nationwide, the opposition parties are fragmented and have hardly any structures worth mentioning outside of their few strongholds (the liberal -oriented Civic United Front (CUF) in Zanzibar and the Islamic-dominated areas on the coast, Tanzania Labor Party (TLP) and Party for Democracy and Progress (CHADEMA) in Kilimanjaro and UDP in Central Tanzania). After the last elections in 2015, numerous opposition members applied for asylum in other countries.

Federalism and the Autonomous Region of Zanzibar

Tanzania is divided into 31 regions (26 on the mainland, 5 on Zanzibar), which in turn are divided into 150 districts. Regions and districts are headed by regional or district commissioners appointed by the president. In the course of a policy of decentralization, the municipalities are given increasing autonomy. The constitutional reform process personally initiated by former President Kikwete ended in October 2014 with a constitution that was only approved by the CCM majority due to the blockade of an opposition closed on this issue. The necessary confirmation by a referendum is still pending.

The Zanzibar region has a certain degree of autonomy within the Union, including its own parliament, its own government and its own president. The elections in Zanzibar will take place at the same time as the national elections. From 2000 to 2010 Amani Abeid Karume (CCM) was Zanzibari President. Since the elections were held in a multi-party system, there have been conflicts in the semi-autonomous Republic of Zanzibar on the occasion of the elections. The opposition CUF speaks of massive election fraud. After the 2000 elections, around 30 CUF supporters died in clashes with the security forces - an escalation of violence unprecedented in Tanzania. After long negotiations, the CUF and CCM agreed on a reconciliation agreement (Muafaka), which was partially implemented. In contrast to the mainland, where the CCM dominated undisputedly, the electorate in the 2005 elections was split into two roughly equally strong camps, the supporters of the CCM and the CUF. Its general secretary Seif Sharif Hamad , a former CCM Prime Minister of Zanzibar, challenged Karume, but lost the election by a narrow margin (3,471 votes ahead) and was controversial. After a phase of political reconciliation since 2009, Ali Mohammed Shein was elected President of the CCM in the election on October 31, 2010 . The 2015 elections were canceled due to irregularities. The CCM called for new elections for Zanzibar, the CUF has announced that it will boycott them, so that the CCM candidate Shein won the new elections on March 20, 2016 with 91.4 percent.

In the 2020 elections, the candidate of the CCM, Hussein Mwinyi , won, according to the election commission, with 76.3 percent against Seif Sharif Hamad, who entered the race for the sixth time as a candidate of the Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT-Wazalendo) and 19, Received 9 percent of the vote.

There are politicians in both the CCM and the CUF who want to maintain Tanzania's unity, but both parties also have secessionist wings.

Regional elections

Elections have been held at a sub-national level since the decentralization initiative of 1982. These local authorities are composed of 118 rural and 42 urban councils. There are three types of town councils (City, Municipal and Town Council) and two types of rural councils (District and Village Council). Local governments are enshrined in the constitution, and council members are democratically elected every five years.

The last election in 2019 was boycotted by the main opposition parties, with President Magufuli's party winning 99 percent of the seats.

Human rights

According to the German Foreign Office, there are no systematic, state-controlled human rights violations in Tanzania (as of 2012). However, there are strong regional differences in the implementation of effective human rights protection. In rural areas, where 70 percent of the population live, both the human rights awareness of the population and that of the authorities are least developed.

According to Amnesty International, in 2009 people were murdered in some parts of the country who were affected by albinism, i.e. metabolic diseases that lead to a pigmentation disorder. The reports indicate that more than 20 people with albinism were murdered in 2009, a total of more than 50 people in two years. Violence against women and girls was widespread. Most of the perpetrators have not been held accountable. People infected with HIV are often mistreated by police officers.

Women's and children's rights

The UN Human Rights Committee expressed concern about the ongoing and widespread violence against women, particularly the extent of domestic violence and the lack of concrete, effective measures to combat genital mutilation . According to UNFPA , this affects around 10% of women nationwide, although some areas in the north of the country are particularly affected.

Tanzania granted women suffrage even before independence, in gradual steps: Before independence in 1961, Tanganyika was under British administration, which introduced active and passive women suffrage in 1959 . The first general elections were held in 1958 and 1959; In order to gain the right to vote, certain economic conditions had to be met, but a certain education was also necessary. This meant that all Europeans, most Asians, and a small number of blacks could vote. In the 1960 elections, there was a significantly expanded right to vote. This included the participation of women as voters and elected. Universal suffrage for adults was achieved for Tanganyika upon independence in 1961.

On Zanzibar, which has enjoyed self-government within the Commonwealth since 1955 , a working group was set up in 1959 to deal with the introduction of women's suffrage. A limited right to vote for women was introduced in 1961: All unmarried and married women of Zanzibar over 21 were given the right to vote, even if they were one of several women of a registered voter, but not if they were (economically) still dependent on their families or with someone who was not entitled to vote Husband, a foreigner, were married. General women's suffrage was only achieved in Zanzibar when it was united with Tanganyika in 1964.

Many children have lost their parents to HIV disease. They have to work or take care of younger siblings. According to the UNICEF children's aid organization , around 36% of all children up to 14 years of age have to do work. In rural areas, 12 to 14 year olds sometimes have to work 14 to 17 hours a day, six days a week on plantations. For this they only receive half the wages of an adult. Maids also work 16 to 18 hours a day. Child prostitution is a big problem.


Sexual acts between people of the same sex carry sentences of up to 14 years in prison. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people are persecuted, abused and humiliated. Gay and lesbian political activists who campaign for more equality and rights have been arrested. Detaining people based solely on their actual or suspected sexuality violates the principles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (IPbpR), the Convention against Torture, and the Convention on the Elimination of Everyone Form of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), all signed by Tanzania.

According to the human rights organization Human Rights Watch , the Tanzanian government has been cracking down on homosexuality since 2016 . In Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar in particular, allegedly gay and lesbian people are arrested again and again.

Religious freedom

According to the Foreign Office (as of 2012), there is no religious or ethnic persecution in Tanzania. Religious freedom is guaranteed in the constitution. According to the Federal Foreign Office's country information from December 2015, relations between the religious groups in Zanzibar are tense. In 2013 and 2014 there were several attacks and arson attacks in the city of Zanzibar , in particular against Christian institutions and dignitaries; since 2012 there have been demonstrations and clashes with the police.

Freedom of the press and expression

Freedom of the press and expression were restricted by various laws (Cybercrimes Act, Statistics Act, Media Service Act and Access to Information Act) under the Magufuli government. The editor-in-chief of the Jamii forum had to appear repeatedly in court because he did not want to reveal the names of the forum participants who express their free opinion in the forum.

The Access to Information Act restricted the disclosure of unofficial data (released by government agencies) and made violations of it a criminal offense. A regulation issued by the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) further restricted freedom of the press shortly before the 2020 elections. According to this, Tanzanian media need government approval if they want to broadcast foreign programs and foreign journalists are only allowed to research and report if they are accompanied by officials.

The UN human rights office has accused Tanzania of abusing the judiciary to suppress those who think differently. Democratic and civic freedom have practically completely disappeared.

Many also Tanzanian organizations were excluded from election observation in the 2020 elections. Only the African Union, the East African Community and the South African Institute for Sustainable Democracy (EISA) were allowed to provide election observers. While the former found no deficiencies, the EISA has documented restrictions on freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly.

In the 2017 press freedom ranking published by Reporters Without Borders , Tanzania was 83rd out of 180 countries. In 2020 Tanzania slipped to 124th place.

constitutional state

According to the Federal Foreign Office (as of 2012), the independence of the judiciary is guaranteed in principle. Length of proceedings and corruption in the courts is a persistent problem. The prisons are overcrowded and poorly equipped. The judiciary and the penal system are a major weak point in protecting human rights. The death penalty is still mandatory for offenses such as murder, but has not been carried out since 1995.

Prisons in mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar Island were in harsh conditions and Amnesty International received reports of torture and other ill-treatment.

Foreign policy

States with diplomatic missions in Tanzania

At the time of the socialist President Julius Nyerere, the country was heavily oriented towards the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China . After the end of his presidency in 1985, there was rapprochement with the West.

Tanzania's foreign policy is shaped by the good and pragmatic cooperation with the states in the region as well as the major donor countries and institutions. The country, a founding member of the G77, seeks an active role in the East African Community (EAC), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations. Tanzania has noticeably stepped up its efforts to diversify its foreign policy partners. Relationships with the countries bordering the Indian Ocean, in the Gulf region and in Asia have intensified significantly since then.

Relations with the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund as well as with its important international partner countries are of particular importance for Tanzania. In addition to the USA, China and India, these are the partner countries of the European Union. In particular, there are good, historically grown relationships with Germany and the Nordic countries. The excellent relations with the People's Republic of China go back to the time when the republic was founded, when China provided President Nyerere with generous development cooperation (TAZARA railway).

Tanzania is calling for the United Nations to give greater consideration to the interests of developing countries in Africa. Accordingly, it supports the expansion of the Security Council and also advocates a reform of the body in order to ensure "equality in geographical representation". Tanzania rejects the veto right of the permanent members of the Security Council. The African Union is seen by Tanzania as a suitable institution to make Africa a voice internationally and to contribute to the resolution of intra-African conflicts.

Border conflicts

There are border disputes between Malawi and Tanzania. Malawi was awarded the entire Lake Malawi when the colonial borders were drawn in 1890 ( Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty ). Tanzania claims the areas that, under current international law, lie on its half of the lake. The conflict intensified when, in 2012, oil and gas were discovered on the Tanzanian side that Malawi wants to use economically.

State budget

The state budget in 2016 comprised expenditure of the equivalent of 8.08 billion US dollars , which was offset by income of the equivalent of 6.26 billion US dollars. This results in a budget deficit of 3.9% of GDP .

The national debt was estimated 31 December 2016 to 15.9 billion US dollars or 36.6% of GDP. The country 's government bonds are rated B1 by the rating agency Moody's (as of 2018). Investments in the country's bonds are therefore considered speculative.

Administrative structure

Territorial division

Tanzania is divided into 31 administrative regions ( mkoa ), five of which are in the state of Zanzibar :

Uganda Ruanda Burundi Kenia Somalia Mosambik Malawi Demokratische Republik Kongo Sambia Sambia Daressalam Unguja Kusini Unguja Mjini Magharibi Unguja Kaskazini Pemba North Pemba South Tanga Pwani Lindi Mtwara Kilimandscharo Manyara Dodoma Morogoro Ruvuma Iringa Njombe Mbeya Songwe Singida Arusha Mara Mwanza Kagera Shinyanga Geita Simiyu Kigoma Rukwa Katavi Tabora
Division of Tanzania into 30 administrative regions, as of 2012
S. State of Zanzibar

The regions are further subdivided into 150 districts .


In 2016, 32.3% of the population lived in cities or urban areas. The largest cities are (as of 2012 census):

  1. Dar es Salaam : 4,364,541 inhabitants
  2. Mwanza : 706,453 inhabitants
  3. Zanzibar : 501,459 inhabitants
  4. Arusha : 416,442 inhabitants
  5. Mbeya : 385,279 inhabitants
  6. Morogoro : 305,840 inhabitants
  7. Tanga : 221,127 inhabitants
  8. Kigoma : 215,458 inhabitants
  9. Dodoma : 213,636 inhabitants
  10. Songea : 203,309 inhabitants


The army is known as Jeshi la Ulinzi la Wananchi la Tanzania (Defense Army of the Citizens of Tanzania). It comprises around 27,000 soldiers in all three branches of the armed forces . Tanzania spent just under 1.1 percent of its economic output or 434 million US dollars on its armed forces in 2017.



Tanzania has made considerable progress in terms of macroeconomic stabilization over the past two decades (around 1997) and has become one of the most dynamic growth markets in the Sub-Saharan Africa region . Economic growth in 2016 was around 7.2%. Tanzania has thus recorded consistently high economic growth for a decade. Per capita income rose to $ 1,080 in 2019, more than doubling since 2007.

Tanzania is no longer one of the poorest countries in the world due to its economic growth rates since 2020. The continued high population growth is around 3.03% per year. In the 2019 Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Tanzania ranks 163rd out of 189 countries. On the corruption index (2020) of Transparency International, the country ranks 94 out of 180, in the “Ease of Doing Business Index 2020” of the World Bank 141 out of 190. In the Global Competitiveness Index , which measures a country's competitiveness, Tanzania ranks 117th out of 141 countries (as of 2019). In the index for economic freedom in 2021, the country ranks 93rd out of 188 countries.

The economic growth drivers are telecommunications, financial services and construction. Official unemployment is given at around 13 percent, but should actually be significantly higher. The share of the poor in the population sank to 28.2 percent according to the latest, but with statistical uncertainties fraught figures. At 4.5%, inflation fell below the 5% target.

68.4% of the population live and work in rural areas. Agricultural production (mainly subsistence ) is sufficient for the country to be self-sufficient with normal rainfall. Since 2000, the share of export proceeds from cash crops (coffee, cotton, tea, tobacco, sisal and cashew nuts) has been falling in favor of the local food supply. The main export goods are gold, coffee, tea, cotton and tobacco.

The energy sector remains a major obstacle to economic growth. Less than 20 percent of the population have access to electricity. To solve the problem, the government is relying on higher yields from the developed coastal gas fields in the south of the country and on the development of offshore natural gas fields in the south.

Rising food prices mean that private incomes are mainly used up for food. In view of the poverty and over-indebtedness of the state in Tanzania, the country was granted debt relief by the World Bank in 2001 . Mining, tourism and cotton growing are industries that are increasingly successful.

There is considerable potential for growth and investment in mining, tourism and the expansion of the transport infrastructure. From 2005 to 2014 FDI rose from $ 1.3 billion to $ 3.7 billion.


In 2017, around 24.9 million Tanzanians were registered as employed. In 2014, 66.9% of these were employed in the agricultural sector, 26.6% in the service sector and only 6.4% in the industrial sector. 10.2% of the population were considered unemployed. 48.9% of the workforce are women.

In the informal sector, about 43% of the residents of Tanzania are active. The informal sector is thus the second most important sector in Tanzania after the agricultural sector.

Gold mining

There are numerous gold mines in Tanzania, e. B. in Bulyanhulu , Buzwagi , Geita , Golden Pride , Kirondatal , New Luika , North Mara , Sekenke and Tulawaka . According to the USGS , 42 tons of gold were mined in Tanzania in 2010. 2011, the value of gold exports amounted to 1.7 billion USD . Gold mining in Tanzania began in 1909 with the Sekenke mine ("Sachsenwald"). During the First World War, 15 rupee gold pieces were minted with the gold from this mine in Tabora , with which the wages of German colonial troops were paid.

Mining on other mineral raw materials

Barrick Gold and Xstrata are mining nickel ores in Kabanga . The estimated reserves amount to 58 million tons of ore with a nickel content of 2.61%. The annual production is a maximum of 2.2 million t per year. The company Uranium One wants to mine uranium in the Mkuju River Mine . Estimated reserves are 186 million tonnes of ore with a uranium content of 0.026%.

The gemstone tanzanite , named after the country, is mined in an area on Lake Manyara .

natural gas

In 2013, the natural gas reserves off the coast of Tanzania were estimated at 13 trillion cubic feet. At the beginning of 2015, they were estimated at 50 trillion cubic feet (1.4 trillion cubic meters). Should a natural gas liquefaction plant be built, it would be the largest investment project in the history of Tanzania. The cost is estimated at $ 20 billion to $ 30 billion , and the facility could not be operational until 2021 or 2022 at the earliest.

Export economy

The export of gold has increased significantly in the last decade, 31.26% of Tanzania's export revenues (9,828 trillion TZS) in 2016 were attributable to this raw material. In addition, tobacco with 7.98% and cashew nuts with 7.70% were of overriding importance. In contrast, coffee (2.28%) and cotton (1.02%) have lost their importance. In addition, also be Sisal , cloves , tea and diamond run. In 2018, the neighboring countries Rwanda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo were the most important export countries. Exports to these countries make up more than a third of all exports. Most of the exports are handled through the port of Dar es Salaam .

Another well-known export item from Tanzania is the Nile perch fished in Lake Victoria and marketed in Germany under the name Viktoriabarsch . The conditions under which this fish is processed on site with funding from the European Union and flown to the sales markets in Europe, Russia and Japan were made known through the documentary Darwin's Nightmare .


The infrastructure is less developed with increasing distance from the coast. The main economic areas with direct access to the ports are located on the east coast. Outside of the cities there is usually no connection to water pipes . In some regions there is no connection to the public power grid within a few kilometers .

Electricity supply

In 2011 Tanzania was in 121st place in the world for annual generation with 5.115 billion kWh and in 127th place in terms of installed capacity with 845 MW . In May 2014 the installed capacity was 1,583 MW, of which hydropower plants accounted for 561 MW (35%), gas power plants 527 MW (34%) and diesel generators 495 MW (31%).

The state-owned electricity supplier Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) is one of the largest companies in its sector in Tanzania.

Only about 24% (or 18.4) of the population are connected to the electricity grid (as of May 2014). In the countryside it is only 7%, although 70% of the population live there. TANESCO has around one million customers. Around 90,000 new customers are connected to the power grid every year. Since large natural gas reserves have been discovered in Tanzania , the capacity is to be doubled to 3,000 MW by 2016 through new gas-fired power plants. The government has ambitious plans to further increase the generation capacity to 10,000 MW by 2025.

The power supply is generally unsafe and marked by power outages. The dependence of generation on hydropower plants leads to a power shortage during droughts.


In recent years, the number of mobile phone connections in particular has increased rapidly. There are around 17.4 million mobile and 180,000 landline connections (as of 2009). With the proliferation of Internet cafes is in many places Internet is available. In 2016, 5.3 percent of the population used the Internet.

Rail transport

Road and rail network in Tanzania
Red: asphalt roads; Blue: railway lines

Tanzania has two railway systems with a total route length of 3,690 kilometers. The network of the Tanganyika Railway, which was previously operated by the Tanzania Railways Corporation , essentially dates back to the German colonial era before 1914 with additions from the British era. It was built in meter gauge. The main line runs from Dar es Salaam via Morogoro and Dodoma to Tabora . Here the line branches to Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika and to Mwanza on Lake Victoria . There are also further branch lines to Singida and Mpanda. There is also a northern line to Tanga or to Arusha via Moshi (currently no passenger traffic; a connection to the Uganda Railway in Kenya is in Kahe, south of Moshi).

In November 2006, operations on the most important section from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma were discontinued in both freight and passenger traffic. Trains ran from Dodoma to Mwanza or Kigoma according to a special schedule. At the end of 2006 the Tanzania Railways Corporation was liquidated and operations were transferred to the private successor company Tanzania Railways Limited. This started in September 2007 with work on the route from Dar es Salaam to Tanga. The route from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma has been used by passenger and freight trains again since November 2007.

The second railway company is Tanzania-Zambia Railways , TAZARA for short , which connects Dar es Salaam via Mbeya to Zambia and the South African rail network in Cape Gauge (1067 mm) . The TAZARA was built by Chinese companies. The vehicles cannot switch from one system to the other.

Road traffic

The country's road network has a total length of 86,472 km, 7,092 km of which are paved (as of 2010). Due to the British colonial past, there is left-hand traffic in Tanzania . There are paved roads between the big cities. From Dar es Salaam a northern route goes to Kilimanjaro and on towards Nairobi . This route also connects to Tanga with a branch. To the south, the main route runs from Dar es Salaam via Morogoro, Iringa and Mbeya to Malawi and Zambia. The asphalt road branches off from Morogoro to Dodoma. Njombe and Songea are also connected between Iringa and Mbeya. The coastal road from Dar es Salaam to the south in the direction of Mtwara is now largely asphalted, apart from a few gaps, the route on to Mozambique with a bridge over the Rovuma has been under construction since the end of 2005. The coastal stretch to the north in the direction of Tanga is practically impassable from Bagamoyo .

Road traffic is one of the most unsafe in the world. In 2013, there were a total of 32.9 road deaths for every 100,000 inhabitants in Tanzania. For comparison: In Germany there were 4.3 deaths in the same year. A total of around 16,200 people were killed in traffic. The road death rate is much higher when compared to the country's low motorization rate. In 2007 there were only 7 motor vehicles for every 1000 inhabitants in the country (in Germany there were over 500 vehicles). One reason for the high number of accidents is the inadequate traffic infrastructure and the fact that the majority of road users have not completed a regular driving test.

The large transit route to Rwanda, Burundi and Congo runs from Dodoma largely on dirt roads with very different conservation statuses. In the rainy season there are frequent interruptions to the roads and railways, especially in the interior of the country.

air traffic

Tanzania has four airports with international connections (IATA code):

Other airports include Arusha Airport (ARK), Bukoba Airport (BKZ), Dodoma Airport (DOD), Iringa Airport (IRI), Kigoma Airport (TKQ), Mbeya Airport (MBI), Moshi Airport (QSI), Mtwara Airport (MYW) , Musoma Airport (MUZ), Pemba Airport (PBA), Shinyanga Airport (SHY), Songea Airport (SGX), Tabora Airport (TBO), Tanga Airport (TGT) as well as many local village and bush landing areas, most of which are located at Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) are registered. Some of these landing sites are approached from abroad, for example Klein's camp in the Serengeti.

Julius K. Nyerere International Airport and Kilimanjaro International Airport are served by flights within African and intercontinental routes from Europe and Asia, Zanzibar Kisauni International Airport from Kenya, Uganda, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Ethiopia and Oman, Mwanza International Airport acts as a regional hub for Uganda, Kenya, Burundi and Rwanda. Well-known Tanzanian airlines are Precision Air and Regional Air Services , some of which offer joint flights with larger companies such as Kenya Airways or KLM , and the low-cost airline Fastjet Airlines .

Due to the poor condition of the road network away from the major traffic routes, many villages are much easier to reach by plane than by land vehicle. Medical care in particular for the population is therefore largely carried out by air with small aircraft. The employees of these companies work largely on a donation basis in order to be able to offer the service at low cost. The following companies operate in Tanzania:

Nationwide there are over 400 runways for such flight services, which are kept in a usable condition by the local population.


The islands in the Indian Ocean, Unguja (Zanzibar), Pemba and Mafia , are dependent on shipping. Several ships operate daily between Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar . Pemba and Mafia are also regularly approached via Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. In 2011, almost 3,000 people were killed when the Spice Islander I ferry went down .

Important seaports on the Indian Ocean are Dar es Salaam, Tanga , Zanzibar and Mtwara . The inland ports include Mwanza , Bukoba and Musoma (all on Lake Victoria ) and Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika . Many ports are administered and operated by the state Tanzania Ports Authority .

Several ferries operate on the large lakes. In 1996 the Bukoba crashed on Lake Victoria ; there were over 500 fatalities. On Lake Tanganyika, the Liemba runs twice a month from Kigoma to Mpulungu in Zambia . The journey takes around two days.


April 26, 1964 is celebrated as a national holiday as the anniversary of the union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar . December 9th (1961) is also an important holiday as Independence Day (swahili: Sikukuu ya Uhuru ).

Oldowan culture

The fossils from the Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania - together with the Afar Triangle in Ethiopia and sites in the South African province of Gauteng - are known as the " cradle of humanity ". The stone tools found there are still considered examples of archaeological culture with the world's oldest stone tools .

Fine arts

The carving of the Makonde , a Bantu people living in southeastern Tanzania and northeastern Mozambique , is known far beyond the country's borders. Many Makonde carvers have settled in Dar es Salaam because they can find a market here. You can watch the carvers at work and buy their works at the Mwenge market. Traditionally, the carvings produced for the market are made of ebony ; Due to the shortage of this slowly growing type of wood, Mpingo (swahili for the so-called African blackwood, Dalbergia melanoxylon ) is now used a lot .

A distinction is made between four different types of maconda carvings, both stylistically and in terms of content:

  • All motifs related in terms of content with the term Ujamaa (the term Kiswahili means: community, cohesion, cooperation, unity, mutual help), mostly like a totem pole made up of many figures standing next to and on top of each other, structurally and in terms of content, which together form a Form sculpture. The individual figures are very representational, abstractions are largely dispensed with. The columns can be several meters high, the most valuable ones have a cavity inside. Roberto Jacobo is considered the founder and most important representative of the Ujamaa style .
  • In contrast to this are the more recent abstract, often grotesque sculptures of the Shetani style, which are thematically dedicated to dealing with the good and bad spirits and allow the artist much more freedom. More imagination is also required from the viewer. Shetani , also Sheitani , is the Arabic word for the possessed spirits Pepo . The style was developed by an artist named Samaki.
  • Traditionally, the art of carving has developed from the artistic examination of the Makonde cult of femininity, a matriarchal culture. For this purpose, the (male) artists carve small amulet-like talismans . These are only made for personal use, possibly for blood relatives, but are not commercially available.
  • Finally, the Makonde also decorate their own everyday objects such as shepherds' sticks or wooden bowls with motifs that are mostly derived from the world of the gods. Such items rarely get on the market and are not actually made for them.

In painting, local artists often followed European models. Since the 1960s, Edward Saidi Tingatinga and numerous other painters developed the Tingatinga painting named after him as a modern East African form of expression. The internationally best-known Tanzanian painter, however, was George Lilanga , who developed his own contemporary style mainly from the forms of Makonde carving.

In 1994, the most important exhibition to date of around 400 traditional sculptures from what was then German East Africa was presented from the holdings of German museums and collections. Due to the media coverage and the number of visitors both in Berlin and Munich, and not least due to an extensive catalog, the artistic production of the ethnic groups represented in it attracted unprecedented attention even beyond Germany. The richly illustrated catalog Tanzania - Masterpieces of African Sculpture , which is bilingual in German and Swahili, was made accessible in Tanzania by the German embassy and the Goethe-Institut in Dar es Salaam and thus led to knowledge of the artistic production in the country of origin of the sculptures for the first time.

music and dance

Music in connection with dances is an essential cultural element of local communities in villages and towns. Entertainment events and ceremonies, commonly called ngoma , include dances, songs, music with various melodic and rhythmic structures and a specific selection of musical instruments. The ngoma differ according to ethnicity, region and function, for example: ngoma ya washambaa ( ngoma of the Shamba in the Usambara mountains ), ngoma za Morogoro ( ngoma in the Morogoro area ), ngoma ya harusi (wedding dances ) or ngoma ya shetani ( Pepo - Obsession dances).

historical development

Both the musical forms and types of musical instruments common to the surrounding countries as well as the different regional musical traditions are explained as developments from the diverse migration movements and trade contacts that were recognizable from the 1st millennium onwards. The relationship of a certain regionally widespread xylophone can possibly be traced back to the import of culture by seafarers and traders from the Malay Archipelago , who reached the East African coast in the second half of the 1st millennium . The xylophone type has a single box resonator for all bars and is also used in Indonesian gamelan . The large Sanduhrtrommeln ngoma and fimkhang'u the Pangwa in südtansanischen Njombe Region, held by musicians between the knees, resemble those of the music of New Guinea known drum kundu . The Asian type of instrument, the flat zithers, which is called zeze in Tanzania , according to the current theory, also spread with Indonesian seafarers along the East African coast and from there reached the island of Madagascar . In contrast, the valiha bamboo zither, brought to Madagascar from the Malay Archipelago, did not become native to the East African mainland. Arab cultural influence began on the coast with the arrival of the first Arab traders in the 8th century. In the 13th century there were lively trade contacts between the East African coast, Arabia, India, Southeast Asia and China. Some melodies are accompanied by a drone that seems to be taken from the Asian musical tradition, especially Indian music . At that time, these influences only affected the coastal regions, because until around 1500 the Tanzanian inland was hardly connected to the Arabized and Islamized coast at that time, which resulted in recognizable cultural differences.

When Bantu-speaking Nyamwezi settled in central Tanzania in the 18th century, they, together with Arab traders, took on the leading role in the ivory and slave trade on the two main routes that led through their territory from Zanzibar to Lake Tanganyika in the west and north to Buganda . On these and other caravan routes, the Nyamwezi brought a heptatonic sound system, as it was cultivated in Zanzibar under Arab influence, into the interior of the country. With the supports of the caravans in the 18th and 19th centuries, the flat bar Zither were zeze and going back to an Arab origin shell spike fiddle zeze inland accommodated. Almost all lamellophones in Tanzania were only distributed during the colonial period. The lamellophones with box resonators ( malimba and ilimba ) carried wearers from the Congo with them on their way from Ujiji back to the coast to Bagamoyo at the end of the 19th century . They have been adapted to the respective regional sound systems. The previously existing exceptions among the Makonde on the Rovuma include the board-shaped lamellophone chityatya with a small calabash resonator and the lulimba , which looks like a scaled-down Indonesian metallophone saron (cf. gangsa ).

In the second half of the 19th century, Nguni came from southern Africa and settled in the Ruvuma region in the south. They brought their calabash musical bow , which is called mundale in the region , introduced the mouth bow mtyangala and probably a special form of pentatonic polyphony. Another form of choral singing was adopted by the Wagogo, who settled in the Dodoma region, from the Maasai who invaded Kenya in the 1830s . At the beginning of the 20th century the popularization of guitar music began - starting from the coast - whereby some older stringed instruments and lamellophones disappeared from everyday life.

Before the Second World War , hymns and German and British military bands enriched local folk music. The music played in the churches was initially exclusively Western. It was not until the early 1950s that African music began to be used in church services.

Musician in the mid-1950s at a radio recording for Sauti ya Dar es Salaam ("The Voice of Dar es Salaam"), the state broadcaster that began operating in 1951.

An important traditional musician of the Wagogo was Hukwe Zawose from Dodoma, who was promoted under President Nyerere as the keeper of traditional music ( muziki wa asili ) and also performed overseas together with the national dance company ( Utamaduni ) founded in 1964 . Under the political guidelines of creating national folk music, the development of improved folk musical instruments was also promoted in the two decades that followed independence ( ujamaa phase), in which Zawose played a key role.

After the war, Latin American rumba spread from the Congo . The Katanga guitar style and the soukous (also Rumba Lingala ) were also adopted from the Congo . From the 1960s onwards, Congolese bands formed the style of popular music, namely Lingala Music (after the Lingala language in the Congo). From the 1960s, electric electric guitars came into fashion. The popular music muziki wa dansi ("music and dance") that originated in Dar es Salaam was greatly changed by the Congolese influence, but it resisted the political nationalization efforts. The popular stage shows with a group of erotic young women dancing between male dancers and musicians, which were introduced in Dar es Salaam at the end of the 1980s, also come from the Congolese Soukous.

The first so-called jazz bands were founded in Dar es Salaam. Popular jazz bands of the 1960s and 1970s were the Morogoro Jazz Band (with guitarist Mbaraka Mwinshehe ), the Dar es Salaam Jazz Band ( Dar Jazz for short ) and the Nuta Jazz Band , which has survived to this day under the name Msondo Ngoma .

In the early 1990s, a local rap and reggae scene began to establish itself in Dar es Salaam , when these types of music were already in circulation as cassette copies by Western musicians. Dar es Salaam is called in the youth language, which is used in the music titles, Bongo (about "brain, intelligence"). This means that anyone who wants to survive in Dar es Salaam has to be smart. The most popular popular music today is bongo flava , a variant of African hip-hop that combines different pop styles and is sung in Swahili.

Since the beginning of the 2000s, the " Sauti za Busara Festival " has been held in Zanzibar every year in February . Current music groups from East Africa and the rest of Africa perform at this internationally known music festival.

Traditional music style regions

According to Gerhard Kubik (1982), eight musical styles can be distinguished, some of which extend beyond national borders: 1) the Kenyan and Tanzanian coast with the offshore islands, 2) the area of Nyamwezi and Sukuma south of Lake Victoria, 3) Wagogo and neighboring groups in the center, 4) Chagga and other groups on Kilimanjaro, 5) the Buhaya area in the northwest in connection with Rwanda, Burundi and the kingdoms of southern Uganda, 6) Wafipa and other groups in the Rukwa region on the western border, 7) the Southern border on Rovuma including northern Mozambique and 8) the highlands in the southwest on Lake Malawi.

1. Coast: On Zanzibar, Pemba and in the coastal cities of the mainland, the influence of Arabic music can be seen especially in the Taarab . On the islands, the form of song performed by a choir and the instrumental style have always been part of the national identity of Swahili society, while Taarab had to be considered alien to African culture in the ujamaa phase. In a Taarab ensemble, which can also be found in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, the Arabic lute udi (Arabic ʿūd ), the Arabic box zither kanuni , the longitudinal flute nai , several violins, cello, double bass, accordion and several play along drums beaten in the hands. The Arabic influence in the mbeta dance style of the Zaramo is less strong in the Dar es Salaam area. The dance is accompanied by flutes ( viyanzi ), various drums and rattles . The Zaramo play trough xylophones with eight to ten sound bars, which they call marimba like their lamellophones .

2. Nyamwezi: In the central north around Tabora , drum music has been used since the time of the caravan traders in the 18th and 19th centuries. Century under the influence of the Islamic Swahili culture of the coast and the former Ugandan kingdoms. When a chief was inaugurated, the Nyamwezi used to beat large tumbler drums. In the rituals of secret societies, the Sukuma still use large double-headed cylinder drums to this day.

3. Center: The musically most active region is the center of the country. The music of the Wagogo is known for its independent form of polyphony with a sequence of melodic phrases and rhythmic structures that are played overlaying by musicians and singers. Main melody instruments Wagogo are the multi-stringed lute shell spit izeze and lamellophone ilimba . The hourglass drums in the ngoma dance are beaten exclusively by women. Men accompany the dance with one or two kayamba rattles filled with stones . A sacred horn is blown in secret society rituals, and a flute ( filimba ) is blown in other ritual and entertainment dances . Tanzanian flutes, such as the kilanzi of the Hehe and the ibirongwe of the Kuria , are generally mostly blown across. In traditional contexts they are preferred to modern, imported flutes.

5. Northwest: In northwestern Tanzania, the music of the Haya , Ha and Zinza is stylistically related to the music of Rwanda, Burundi and the kingdoms of Uganda. In a ceremonial ensemble of the Haya, several long natural trumpets makondere (composed of calabashes like the waza in Sudan) that produce two tones, accompanied by an interlocking polyphonic melody, are accompanied by drums. Until around 1900 the seven-string trog zither enanga was the only stringed instrument on the island of Ukerewe . The enanga , which has only been played by men to this day , was introduced towards the end of the 17th century and belongs to the tradition of the empires of Bunyoro and Buhaya .

6. West: The Sangu in the Mbeya region play the six-string, deep-sounding bowl zither ligombo with a calabash resonator, with which they used to accompany heroic songs and prize songs to the chief. The Sangu maintain a polyphonic singing with intervals of thirds and fourths. The mbasi pipe flute dance of the Sangu is extinct . Five players blew a flute that produced only one note and sang tone syllables at the same time. The resulting polyphonic overall sound is reminiscent of the combination of singing and the single-tone flute hindewhu of the Central African pygmies.

7. Rovuma: The cultural area along the Rovuma River includes southern Tanzania and northern Mozambique. The Makonde accompany mask dancers ( mapiko , singular lipiko ) with a series of upright tubular drums ; the narrower drums have a pointed end with which they are speared into the ground. The Makonde use the lamellophone chityatya with eight blades , the spar xylophone dimbila with round wooden chimes and the single-stringed string akanyembe as melody instruments . The round wood xylophone mangolongondo of the Yao speaker is even larger than the dimbila . Its sticks are usually placed over two banana trunks.

8. Lake Malawi: In the south-western region, in areas on the caravan route from Kilwa to Lake Malawi, Islamic musical traditions have been preserved, which can be heard around the New Year festival of Muharram . The matuli dance of the pangwa is related to the nkhwendo dance of Malawi and is accompanied rhythmically with drums and bamboo scrapsticks. In the ngwaya dance of the pangwa, the dancers make jumps with large single-headed hourglass drums. Women and men sing interlocking polyphonic patterns.

Film, video and television films

In the 1980s there were almost no in-house productions of Tanzanian films. Only in 1998 with the opening of the Zanzibar International Film Festival , which has meanwhile become a forum for film productions from all over East Africa - with lively participation also from southern Africa and some contributions from West Africa - did a small but noteworthy film and video industry develop. Martin M'hando became known nationwide with the films Maangamizi and earlier with Women of Hope .

Several TV production companies in Dar es Salaam produce daily soap operas with local actors (mostly amateur actors) on a tight budget . In June 2019, despite concerns from MPs, a law was passed that obliges foreign film producers to make their raw recordings available to the government free of charge.

See also

Portal: Tanzania  - Overview of Wikipedia content on Tanzania


  • Federal Agency for Civic Education (Ed.): Tanzania. The country in data Federal Agency for Civic Education, 2019
  • Jannik Boesen, Kjell J. Havnevik, Juhani Koponen, Rie Odgaard (Eds.): Tanzania - crisis and struggle for survival. Scandinavian Institute of African Studies, Uppsala 1986
  • Andreas Eckert : Rule and Administration - African Bureaucrats, State Order and Politics in Tanzania, 1920–1970 (= Studies on International History, Volume 16) Oldenbourg, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-486-57906-2 .
  • Michaela von Freyhold : Ujamaa Villages in Tanzania: Analysis of a Social Experiment . Heinemann, London 1979.
  • Jens Jahn (Ed.) Tanzania - Masterpieces of African Sculpture . Munich: Fred Jahn, 1994, ISBN 978-3-88645-118-0
  • Hans Hecklau: East Africa: (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) (= Scientific Country Customers, Volume 33), Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1989, ISBN 978-3-534-06213-3 .
  • Thilo Thielke : Tanzania - Reports and travel reports from the heart of East Africa. Brandes & Apsel, Frankfurt am Main 2015, ISBN 978-3-95558-110-7 .
  • Minu Haschemi Yekani: Colonial Work: Racism, Migration and Rule in Tanzania (1885-1914) , Campus, Frankfurt am Main 2017, ISBN 978-3-593-50623-4 (Dissertation EUI Florence, 400 pages, 21 cm × 14, 3 cm).

Web links

Wiktionary: Tanzania  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Tanzania  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Tanzania  Travel Guide
Wikimedia Atlas: Tanzania  - geographical and historical maps

Individual evidence

  1. ^ English as the second official language , accessed on March 21, 2014.
  2. National Bureau of Statistic - Tanzania (Ed.): 2019 - Tanzania in Figures . Dodoma June 2020, p. 18 (English, nbs.go.tz [PDF]).
  3. population, total. In: World Economic Outlook Database. World Bank , accessed March 17, 2021 .
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Coordinates: 7 °  S , 34 °  E