Tanzania History

Tanzania Geography and History

Tanzania. East African state formed by the union of Tanganyika and the island state of Zanzibar. It borders Uganda to the North, Kenya to the Northwest, the Indian Ocean to the East, Mozambique and Malawi to the South, Zambia to the Southwest and with Zaire, Burundi and Rwanda to the West. The State includes, in addition to the mainland, the islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia located off the coast. Dodoma is the capital city of Tanzania according to allpubliclibraries.



The hunting activities of the Palaeolithic man made him occupy himself, almost exclusively, with making weapons for the capture of his prey and small tools for cutting meat or tanning skins. The material used for their utensils was stone, which is why the set of these is called lithic industry (from the Greek lithos, stone). It is logical to think that, from the time of the first Homo habilis, many wooden tools were used, but those have not withstood the passage of time and only a few fossilized remains have survived to the present time. Instruments made of stone During the Paleolithic they all have a common characteristic: they are carved tools and based on the method used for carving, its degree of perfection and the meticulousness of the work, different stages can be established. During the Lower Paleolithic, Homo habilis began by making rough tools, giving rise to the so-called pebble culture. These are simple stones that, when struck, split and thus offer a cutting edge; the method is improved when the stone is struck on both sides to produce a sharper, yet still coarse, edge.

A little further on

The first stable settlers in Tanzania were Bushmen and Pygmies, later replaced by the Bantu. From the 8th to the 15th centuries, Arab and Persian merchants developed a series of city-states useful as factories for maritime trade on the coast, the most important of which was Kilwa, founded in the 10th century by the Persians. Vasco da Gama landed in Kilwa in 1498 and the coast became the domain of the Portuguese, although the decline of the city, which began before his arrival, was accelerated by his presence. At the end of the 17th century, the Arabs drove out the Portuguese, dominating the coastline throughout the 18th century. Zanzibar became an important trading center for ivory and slaves, which led to the penetration of Arab merchants into the interior where the Masai had settled during the seventeenth century. The caravans traveled through routes marked by fortifications that forked in Tabora, entering the continent. The explorers Speke and Burton (1857 – 1858), Livingstone (1866 – 1872) and Stanley (1871) toured the region as well as the caravan routes. At the end of the 19th century the German merchant Carl Peters he landed in Zanzibar, penetrating the interior, where the Deutsche Ostafrikanische Gesellshaft, founded in 1885, signed numerous protectorate treaties with the chiefs established there. In the Anglo-German treaty of 1890, Germany retained East Africa and the coastline by paying compensation to the Sultan of Zanzibar, while the British were left with Kenya and the protectorate of the islands. Since the late nineteenth century the brutal methods of Carl Peters and his associates led to several uprisings supported by the Swahili on the coast, harshly suppressed, at the end of which, in 1907, more than 120,000 natives had died, as a result of which the country it was depopulated and devastated. After the First World War, the African-German territory (Territory of Tanganyika, protectorate since 1891) was entrusted to the British administration under the mandate of the League of Nations, passing in 1946 to the tutelage of the UN. The Legislative Council created in 1926 did not begin to have elected members until 1953.

Political formation

In 1954, the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) was formed, a political formation led by Julius Nyerere that started the nationalist movement. In the elections of 1958 and 1959, the TANU obtained a wide representation that, with the modification of the Legislative Council in 1960, obtained all the positions. On September 1, 1960 J. Nyerere formed the first government and on December 9, 1961 Tanganyika achieved independence, becoming a Republic a year later. On 29 October as as 1964 it accepted the unification with the Revolutionary Republic of Zanzibar and a new State was constituted that adopted the name of United Republic of Tanzania. In 1970, Nyerere was reelected president of the Republic, a position for which he was reelected continuously until 1985, the year in which he resigned and was replaced by Ali Hassan Mwinyi, the sole candidate of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM, party of the revolution), a political organization established in 1977 by the merger of the TANU and the Afro-Shirazi of Zanzibar (whose leader, Karume, was assassinated in 1972) that took up the socialist orientation initiated by the TANU. J. Nyerere supported the nationalist movements of Africa and in 1978 He sent troops to Uganda who overthrew the dictator Idi Amin, remaining in the country until 1981. According to the 1977 Constitution, which reserves broad autonomy for Zanzibar, the President of the Republic and head of the executive power is elected for a period of 5 years, renewable once. In August 1990 J. Nyerere resigned as president of the CCM, a position he had retained after 1985, being assumed by President Mwinyi, re-elected in the general and presidential elections in October. In February 1992 an extraordinary congress of the CCM ratified the recommendations of a presidential commission for the introduction of a multi-party system. The draft constitutional amendments to legalize a multi-party system was presented to the National Assembly for approval in late April.


Continental, present in the West and Southwest the western arc of the great African rift valley, Great Rift Valley, where the great lakes (Victoria, Tanganyika and Malawi or Nyasa) are located, and in the central part the eastern arc of the Rift Valley, less spectacular and more discontinuous, where other smaller lakes are found (Natron, Manyara and Eyasi). The formation of both rift trenches gave rise to large spills that formed a set of volcanoes that rise to great heights, significantly in the Northeast, where Kilimanjaro (5 895 m) is located, the maximum height of the continent, the Meru, the Ngorongoro, whose caldera is one of the largest in the world, and the Rungwe. A vast plateau (more than 1,200 m high) stretches between the two trenches that slopes to the N towards the depression of Lake Victoria, delimited to the east and south-east by upland regions where the Livingstone, Uluguru, Nguru and Usambara mountains meet., to the East of which the alluvial plain that includes the entire coastline extends to the coast.


The Bantus constitute the majority group among the Tanzanian population, which also includes smaller groups of Bushmen and Pygmies, the notable group of the Masai, and small minorities of Europeans, Indians and Arabs in the islands and the coast, where the most of the population and where Dar es-Salaam is located, which is the most important urban center, followed by Mwanza, Zanzibar, Tanga and Arusha. Except for the shores of Lake Victoria and the northern mountainous area, the rest of the territory is sparsely populated, predominantly rural settlements. The official languages are Swahili and English, the use of Arabic being very widespread; the three most widely practiced religions are Islam (32.5%), Catholicism (28.2%) and animists (22.8%).

Tanzania History