Tanzania is located in East Africa and borders Kenya to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. It is the largest country in East Africa (943,000 sq km), comprising both the mainland and the Zanzibar Archipelago.
A large central plateau makes up most of the mainland (at between 900m and 1800m) and the mountain ranges of the Eastern Arc and the Southern and Northern Highlands cut across the country to form part of the Great Rift Valley.
A land of geographical extremes, Tanzania has the highest peak – Mount Kilimanjaro, the lowest point – the lakebed of Lake Tanganyika, and the largest lake – Lake Victoria, on the continent.
Daily News - Tanzania's daily newspaper
Tanzania Tourist Board - The official Tanzania tourist website
Shortly after achieving independence from Britain in the early 1960s, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the nation of Tanzania in 1964. One-party rule came to an end in 1995 with the first democratic elections held in the country since the 1970s. Zanzibar's semi-autonomous status and popular opposition have led to two contentious elections since 1995, which the ruling party won despite international observers' claims of voting irregularities.
The country has been led by President Jakaya KIKWETE since 21 December 2005. He was re-elected in early November 2010 for a further and final five year period of office.
Tanzania is in the bottom 10% of the world's economies in terms of per capita income. The economy depends heavily on agriculture, which accounts for more than one-fourth of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs 80% of the work force. Topography and climatic conditions, however, limit cultivated crops to about 4% of the land area. Industry traditionally featured the processing of agricultural products and light consumer goods. The World Bank, the IMF, and bilateral donors have provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania's aging economic infrastructure and to alleviate poverty. Long-term growth through 2005 featured a pickup in industrial production and a substantial increase in output of minerals led by gold. Recent banking reforms have helped increase private-sector growth and investment. Continued donor assistance and solid macroeconomic policies supported a positive growth rate, despite the world recession.
Topography and climatic conditions, however, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. Industry traditionally featured the processing of agricultural products and light consumer goods.
- Life expectancy is 52 years (2009 est)
- Unemployment records are unavailable but expected to be high, given the nature of the economy
- An estimated 36% of the population live below the poverty line
Weather forecast in Tanzania - Weather forecast in Tanzania.