In the eighth century the Arabs came to Tanzania and spread Islam. Archaeological studies confirm Arabian cities on the coast in the 10th century. In 1499, Vasco de Gama discovered Zengibar while traveling to India. In the next two centuries, the Portuguese Empire kept most of East Africa’s commercial cities under control. At the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Arab Sultanate of Oman captured the shores of Pemba and Kilwa. In 1840, the ruler of Oman, Sayyid Said ibni Sultan, moved his palace to Zengibar. In the vast majority of the nineteenth century, Zengibar was a strong Sultans holding the ivory and slave trade in the country.

In 1885, Tanganyika came under the rule of Germany. In 1890, Britain took Zengibar under her protection. Tanganyika remained part of German East Africa until the end of the First World War. In 1919 the Treaty of Versailles was divided into German East Africa. The Tanganyika League of Nations was a mandate led by Britain. From 1946 onwards, it became a country ruled by the United Kingdom under the auspices of the United Nations.

The independence movements in Tanganika began in 1954 with the establishment of the Tangshan African National Union Party. On December 9, 1961, Tangany won his independence, and a year later, he announced his transfer to the republic. On December 10, 1963, Britain granted independence to Zengibar. A month later, the Arab Sultanate was overthrown and the republic was declared. On April 26, 1964, the Republic of Tanganyika in East Africa and the Zengibar Island Republic near the coast of Tanganyika merged and became the Republic of Tanzania. In 1977, Tanganyika and Zengibar’s governing parties merged.

In 1980, general elections were held. President Nejerere resigned from his post in 1985 at his own request. Ali Hassan Mwinyi, who succeeded in his place and still is the President, had a policy of opening up to the West economically (1994 January).

Physical Structure

Tanganyika is divided into three different regions: a central high plateau divided by a large valley with a coastal zone, a low plateau region in the east and a geological fault (collapse). The average height of Tanganika from sea level is 900 m. There are some high mountainous lands in the country, primarily at the border. Kilimanjaro Mountain in the north, which reaches an altitude of 5894 m, is the highest point in Africa. There are three large lakes in the country: Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria lakes.

Zengibar and Pemba are mainly coral islands, located in the Indian Ocean, about 40 km far from the coast of Tanganyika.


A tropical climate prevails in Tanzania. But the temperature is muted on the islands by regular sea breezes. The coast of Tanganika gets plenty of rainfall. The average annual precipitation in the northern part of the coast is 1500 mm3. The coastal zone is under the influence of monsoon winds blowing in the southwest direction from May to March, from May to October. Although there are two rainy seasons in the interior, the precipitation is not abundant, except for the mountainous regions with an annual rainfall of 2500 mm3, such as Tukuyu in the south. Drought is common in most parts of the central plateau where rainfall is below 760 mm3.

Natural Resources

Various climatic zones allow the growing of a wide variety of plants in the country. On the coast there are mangrove plants and palm trees, bush and boabap trees in the central plateau and the Alpine mountains on Kilimanjaro Mountain. As in other East African countries, Tanganyika has abundant wild animals. Serengeti Plains in the northwestern part of the country are among the most wild animals in Africa. The main animals in the country are gazelles, zebra, cattle, elephant, ape and rhino. The underground wealth of the country is diamond, gold, mineral salt, tin and mica.

Population and Social Life

10% of the people of Tanzania, with a population of 25,900,000, live in cities. The most important city of the country is the city Darüsselam with a population of 769.445. The majority of the population consists of Africans known as Bantu. There are also a small number of Arab, Indian, Pakistani and European in the country.

The majority of Tanzanians live in tribes. The most crowded tribe is Sukuma, near Lake Victoria. Other major tribal groups are Nyamwezi, Haya, Makonde, Ha, Chagga, Gogo, Nyakyusa, Hehe and Masai. The vast majority of the population speaks the language of Swahili, the official language of English.

33% of the country’s population is Muslim, 44% is Christian and the rest is pagan. Islam has come to the shores of Zengibar and Tanganika centuries ago. It was spread in the inner nineteenth century. Christianity was brought to Tanzania by missionaries since 1840.

In Tanzania, 60% of the people are literate. At the university in Dar es Salaam, the University of East Africa and high technical schools in the University of Uganda. The country still benefits from secondary teachers in secondary education and at the university.

Political Life

In Tanzania, the country’s political life is dominated by a single party. The head of state and government is nominated by the party conference and elected by the people. Only one candidate is nominated for this office. Two or more candidates may be nominated for others. There are two co-chairmen. The first of these is the president of Zengibar. Cabinet ministers are elected from the National Assembly. Tanzania is divided into 24 administrative regions, 20 of which are located in Tanganika, 3 in Zengibar and 1 in Pempa. There are many foreign officials in the administrative structure of the country. Most of them have technical, health and civil aviation duties. Tanzania is a member of the United Nations, the African Union and the Commonwealth.


The Tanzanian economy is mainly based on agriculture. The main food crops that grow in the central plateau are wheat, cassava, cassava and corn. Rice is grown on the shore and in Zengibar. The main trade plants are sisal hemp, cotton, coffee, tea and tobacco. Zengibar is the main source of cloves in the world.

There are few industrial products in the country. manufacturing is limited to textiles, soap, shoes, razor blades, wheels, wheat products and powdered coffee. There is an oil refinery in the country.

The production and trade, which were previously conducted mostly by Europeans and Asians, are increasingly under government control. Most marketing and production activities are now handled by government bodies. Tanzania makes most of its foreign trade with Britain, West Germany and Japan. Coffee, sisal hemp, cotton, cloves, animal skins, tea and wax, as well as a few minerals such as diamonds and gold exports. The main imported goods are machinery, fuels, motor vehicles and chemical products.

In Tanzania, the central railway runs from Dar Es Salaam to the northwestern Kigoma Uji on the edge of Lake Tanganika. One arm goes to Mwanza on the edge of Lake Victoria. The other main railway line runs from Tanga Port to Arusha in the northwest and connects with the Tanganyika central railway line and other railways in Kenya. The major ports are Dar es Salaam, Mtwara and Tanga. Highways are in the form of ring roads connecting most locations to the main railway line. Airlines provide the necessary transportation within the country. There are international airports in Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro.