Portal:Tanzania

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Tanzania Portal

The Tanzania Portal

Flag of Tanzania
Coat of Arms of Tanzania
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The United Republic of Tanzania (/ˌtænzəˈnə/; Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania) is a sovereign state in central East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The states eastern borders lie in the Indian Ocean.

The United Republic of Tanzania is a unitary republic composed of 26 mkoa (regions). The current head of state is President John Pombe Magufuli, elected in 2015. Since 1996, the capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where government offices are located. Between independence and 1996 the major coastal city of Dar es Salaam had been the country's political capital. Today Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania, and is major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.

The name Tanzania is a portmanteau of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, the two states united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

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Morogoro panorama.jpg
Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Morogoro is a city with an urban population of 206,868 (2002 census) in the southern highlands of Tanzania, 190 km west of Dar es Salaam. It is the capital of the Morogoro Region. It is also known informally as "Mji kasoro bahari," which translates as 'city short of an ocean/port'.

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Sultan's harem after the bombardment

The Anglo-Zanzibar War was fought between the United Kingdom and Zanzibar on 27 August 1896. The conflict lasted approximately 38 minutes and is the shortest war in history. The immediate cause of the war was the death of the pro-British Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini on 25 August 1896 and the subsequent succession of Sultan Khalid bin Barghash. The British authorities preferred Hamud bin Muhammed as Sultan. In accordance with a treaty signed in 1886, a condition for accession to the sultanate was that the candidate obtain the permission of the British Consul, and Khalid had not fulfilled this requirement. The British considered this a casus belli and sent an ultimatum to Khalid demanding that he order his forces to stand down and leave the palace. In response, Khalid called up his palace guard and barricaded himself inside the palace.

The ultimatum expired at 09:00 East Africa Time (EAT) on 27 August, by which time the British had gathered three cruisers, two gunships, 150 marines and sailors, and 900 Zanzibaris in the harbour area. The Royal Navy contingent were under the command of Rear-Admiral Harry Rawson whilst their Zanzibaris were commanded by Brigadier-General Lloyd Mathews of the Zanzibar army.

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Carved door in Zanzibar
Credit: Paul Brockmeyer

A traditional carved door showing Arabic calligraphy in Zanzibar. Zanzibar has a long history of Arab influence and was controlled by the Sultan of Oman from 1698–1861.

Did you know ...

  • ...that Sonjo, a Bantu language of northern Tanzania, has been spoken for centuries in an isolated enclave in Maasai territory?


Did you know?



This month in Tanzanian history

  • 11 May 1848: German missionary Johannes Rebmann became the first European to report seeing Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • 11 May 2006: Scientists announced that the Kipunji monkey found in 2003 belongs to a new genus of African monkey—the first to be discovered since 1923.
  • 28 May 1992: The Civic United Front liberal party was formed.

In the news

Wikinews Tanzania portal
  • November 28: United Nations passes Declaration on human cloning
  • September 25: 2012 Report on Gender Equality and Development looks at women's issues in India


Wildlife of Tanzania

Male Olive Baboon
Credit: P1050483

The Olive Baboon (Papio anubis), also called the Anubis Baboon, is a member of the family Cercopithecidae (Old World monkeys). The species is the most widely spread of all baboons: it is found in 25 countries throughout Africa, extending south from Mali to Ethiopia and to Tanzania. Isolated populations are also found in some mountainous regions of the Sahara. It inhabits savannahs, steppes, and forest areas.

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Selected biography

Skull of Mkwawa.jpg

Paramount Chief Mkwavinyika Munyigumba Mwamuyinga (1855 – 19 July 1898), more commonly known as Chief Mkwawa, was a Hehe tribal leader in German East Africa (now mostly the mainland part of Tanzania) who opposed the German colonisation. The name "Mkwawa" is derived from Mukwava, itself a shortened form of Mukwavinyika, meaning "conqueror of many lands". Mkwawa was born in Luhota and was the son of Chief Munyigumba, who died in 1879.

In July 1891, the German commissioner, Emil von Zelewski, led a battalion of soldiers (320 askaris with officers and porters) to suppress the Hehe. On 17 August, they were attacked by Mkwawa's 3,000-strong army at Lugalo, who, despite only being equipped with spears and a few guns, quickly overpowered the German force and killed Zelewski.

On 28 October 1894, the Germans, under the new commissioner Colonel Freiherr Friedrich von Schele, attacked Mkwawa's fortress at Kalenga. Although they took the fort, Mkwawa managed to escape. Subsequently, Mkwawa conducted a campaign of guerrilla warfare, harassing the Germans until 1898 when, on 19 July, he was surrounded and committed suicide rather than be captured.

After his death, German soldiers removed Mkwawa's head. The skull was returned to Tanzania in 1954.

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