Tanzania

Tanzania is an East African country known for its vast wilderness areas. They include the plains of Serengeti National Park, a safari mecca populated by the “big five” game (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino), and Kilimanjaro National Park, home to Africa’s highest mountain. Offshore lie the tropical islands of Zanzibar, with Arabic influences, and Mafia, with a marine park home to whale sharks and coral reefs. The mainland is dominated by a large central plateau, one covered with grasslands, plains and rolling hills. The Serengeti plain is a large geographical region that spans some 30,000 km2 (12,000 sq. mi). Tanzania is mountainous in the far-northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak is located.

Key Cities

Key cities in Tanzania include Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Arusha, Dodoma, Mbeya, Morogoro, Tanga, Kahama, Tabora, and Zanzibar City.

Historical, Cultural facts & Religion

The former was a colony and part of German East Africa from the 1880s to 1919, when, under the League of Nations, it became a British mandate.  In 1947, Tanganyika became a United Nations Trust Territory under British administration, a status it kept until its independence in 1961. The Tanzania culture is Swahili, an Arab/African mix, but there are also big Asian communities, particularly Indian, in towns and cities. Tribes inhabit rural areas, including the Maasai of the Great Rift Valley of the north. The country has two major religious groups, namely Christians and Muslims. Christianity is the predominant religion with more than half of the Tanzanian population identifying as Christians. Tanzanians generally identify as either Christian or Muslim, though many of these still practice folk beliefs as well.

Brief Country History

The first human beings in Tanzania lived by hunting animals and gathering plants. Agriculture in Tanzania probably began about 1,000 BC but the farmers still made wooden and stone tools. However, by the 4th century AD, Bantu people began to migrate to Tanzania. They brought iron tools and weapons.

Meanwhile, people on the east coast of Africa had contact with the Mediterranean civilizations. The Persians and later the Romans sailed as far as Tanzania. Later, by the 8th century, Arab merchants sailed to the area. The Arabs brought Islam and ever since many Tanzanians have been Muslims. Many Arabs settled along the coast and eventually, traders came from as far away as India.

In the 11th century AD, the ancestors of the Masai began to migrate to Tanzania from southern Sudan. Most of them arrived between the 15th century and the 18th century.

The first European to reach Tanzania was a Portuguese explorer named Vasco Da Gama who arrived in 1498. However Portuguese rule did not extend inland. At first, the Portuguese were peaceful but not for long. In 1503 a ship commanded by Rui Lourenco Ravasco came to Unguja Island. The Portuguese captured 20 dhows (Arab sailing ships) and killed about 35 people. The ruler of Zanzibar, the Mwinyi Mkuu was forced to submit. He had to grant the Portuguese access to Zanzibar and he had to agree to provide Portuguese ships with food and water. He also had to pay tribute to Portugal.

In 1505 the Portuguese captured Mombassa and in 1056 they captured Pemba Island. In 1510 the people of Unguja Island and Pemba Island rebelled but they were crushed by the Portuguese. During the 16th century, the Portuguese took control of the coast and they built forts. In 1560 they founded Zanzibar town. The Portuguese also introduced 2 plants from Brazil, cassava and cashew nuts.

However, the Portuguese only controlled the coast of Tanzania and in the 17th century, they were driven out by Arabs from Oman. The Arabs captured Unguja in 1652. The last Portuguese were expelled from Pemba in 1695. Finally, the last Portuguese stronghold in Tanzania, Fort Jesus in Mombasa was taken in 1698. The Arab victory ensured that Tanzania did not become a Portuguese colony like Mozambique. Instead, from the end of the 17th century, the Arabs were the dominant power in the region.

In the 18th century and 19th-century Arab slave traders took huge numbers of slaves from Tanzania and exported them from Tanzania. The slaves were sold to Arabs or to European colonies in the Indian Ocean. In 1812 a man named Saleh bin Haramil introduced cloves to Zanzibar. Soon cloves became a major export. The clove plantations were worked by African slaves. Unfortunately, in 1967 Nyerere adopted a policy of socialism. He made the Arusha declaration in which he outlined his vision of a socialist Tanzania. However, in Tanzania, as in other countries, socialism proved to a complete failure. The cornerstone of that policy was called Ujamaa (family hood). Nyerere planned to create huge collective farms. The people were encouraged to move into large villages in which food and other goods would be produced collectively for the whole community. However, the policy proved disastrous for Tanzania. Agricultural production slumped and the Tanzanian economy was wrecked.

Furthermore, by 1973 only about 20% of the population had moved to Ujamaa villages. So Nyerere forced people to move and by 1977 about 80% of the population had been resettled. Meanwhile, in 1975 Tanzania became a one-party state. At that time Uganda was ruled by the tyrant Idi Amin. In October 1978 Amin invaded the Kagera region on Tanzania. In January 1979 a Tanzanian force counterattacked and rapidly overran Uganda. The Tanzanians withdrew in 1981.

Meanwhile, Nyerere was re-elected president in 1980. However, the Tanzanian economy was in tatters and corruption was endemic. Furthermore, Tanzania sank heavily into debt. International donors demanded reform in return for help but Nyerere was unwilling to change his policies. So, in 1985 he resigned.

He was replaced by Ali Hassan Mwinyi who spent the next 10 years trying to repair the economy of Tanzania. Mwinyi privatized business and tried to purge corruption. He also encouraged foreign investment. As a result, the economy of Tanzania began to grow steadily.

In 1992 Tanzania became a multi-party democracy and in 1995 Benjamin Mkapa became president. In 2005 Jakaya Kikwete was elected president of Tanzania. Meanwhile in 2001 school fees were abolished in Tanzania and as a result attendance at school greatly increased.

Language (s) Written & Spoken

The official language of Tanzania is Swahili, although the country is the English language, which was first introduced by colonial powers.

Important Types of Commerce in Tanzania

Tanzania still relies on agriculture and there are many plantations that grow tea and coffee, tobacco, cotton, and cashew nuts. Tanzania also has considerable mineral resources. Tanzania is still a poor country but it is developing fast. Along the coast of Tanzania fishing is important. Tanzania also has great potential for tourism. It has several national parks with animals like lions, leopards, crocodiles, giraffes, and hippopotamus.

Today the population of Tanzania is 53 million.

Language Services US and others will provide working with Tanzania

Kiswahili also is known as Swahili, is one of the most spoken languages in Africa. It is spoken by about 80 million people globally and is the second most widely spoken language in Africa after Arabic. It’s most spoken in East and Central African countries. In fact, it’s the national of Kenya, Tanzania, DR Congo among other countries. This means Swahili is also an ‘emerging language’, with an increasing demand for language services. Today, your company can gain in this entrepreneurial spirit but it must be able to count with the right Swahili translation services to tap into Tanzania. The full range of Swahili language services is required to support your strategic global communication goals in Tanzania.

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