Tanganyika became a Sovereign State on 9th December 1961 and a Republic in 1962. Zanzibar became independent on 19th December 1963 as a constitutional monarchy under the sultan and the People’s Republic of Zanzibar was established after the Revolution of 12th January 1964. The two Sovereign States formed the United Republic of Tanzania on 26th April 1964.
The United Republic of Tanzania is located in East Africa. It is bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the North, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the West and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the South. The country’s eastern border lies in the Indian Ocean.
Tanzania has a total area of 945,087 sq.km including 62,000 sq. km of inland water. The total surface area of Zanzibar is 2,000 sq.km.
The 2012 Population and Housing Census (PHC) for the United Republic of Tanzania was carried out on the 26 th August, 2012. This was the fifth Census after the Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964. The 2012 Population and Housing Census results show that, Tanzania has a population of 44,928,923 of which 43,625,354 is on Tanzania Mainland and 1,303,569 is in Tanzania Zanzibar.
Over the period from 1967 to 2010 the population of Tanzania has almost increased four fold. The rate of population growth has varied over this period. The Population has grown from 12,313,469 persons in the first post-Independence Census in 1967 to 43,188,000 as of the estimated population 2010.
The number of people per square kilometre of land area, or population density in Tanzania varies considerably from Region to Region. People are particularly concentrated in Dar es Salaam Region (3118 persons per square kilometre) and Zanzibar Urban West (2101 persons per square kilometre). More than 80% of the population is rural.
Zanzibar: 2,000 km2
Water: 62,000 km2
Forest and Woodlands: 3.350 km2
The Capital City
The official capital of Tanzania is Dodoma, which is located 309 km west of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam is the country’s commercial capital and is also the major seaport for the county’s serving its landlocked neighbors. Other big urban centres include Arusha, Moshi, Tanga, Mwanza, Morogoro, Mbeya, Iringa, Tabora, Kigoma, Shinyanga and Zanzibar.
Since independence, Tanzania has been ruled by 5 Presidents, namely; the late Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere (1961-1985), H.E. Al Haj Ali Hassan Mwinyi (1985 – 1995); H.E. Benjamin William Mkapa (1995 – 2005); H.E Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete (2010-2015) and the current President of the United Republic of Tanzania is H.E. John Pombe Magufuli.
The United Republic of Tanzania is a Democratic Republic. The Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania guarantees political pluralism. Currently there are about eighteen (18) registered political parties. (http://www.nec.go.tz)
Since 1992, when the Multi-Party Political System was introduced in Tanzania, there have been five successful Presidential and Parliamentary elections. The first such election was conducted in 1995, followed by the 2000,2005, 2010 and 2015 elections.
Kiswahili is the National language. Kiswahili and English are the official languages, while Kiswahili is the medium of instruction at primary school level, social and political spheres; English is the medium at higher educational levels, technology, and higher courts. Kiswahili is seen as the unifying language of the country between people of different ethnic groups, who each have their own language. English serves the purpose of providing Tanzanians with the ability to participate in the global economy and culture. Virtually all of Tanzania’s inhabitants speak Bantu languages. There are approximately 158 ethnic groups.