Portal:Tanzania

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Tanzania Portal

The Tanzania Portal

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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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Uluguru Mountains
Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

The Uluguru Mountains, a mountain range in eastern Tanzania. The mountains are named after the Luguru people.

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Rwandan refugee camp in east Zaire

The Great Lakes refugee crisis is the common name for the situation beginning with the exodus in April 1994 of over two million Rwandans to neighboring countries of the Great Lakes region of Africa in the aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide. Many of the refugees were Hutu ethnics fleeing the predominantly Tutsi Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF), which invaded to end the Rwandan Genocide. However, the humanitarian relief effort was vastly complicated by the presence among the refugees of many of the Interahamwe and government officials who carried out the genocide, who used the refugee camps as bases to launch attacks against the new government led by Paul Kagame. The camps in Zaire became particularly politicized and militarized. The knowledge that humanitarian aid was being diverted to further the aims of the genocidaires led many humanitarian organizations to withdraw their assistance.

The conflict escalated until the start of the First Congo War in late 1996, when RPF-supported rebels invaded Zaire (soon thereafter, the Democratic Republic of Congo) and the refugees were repatriated.

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Dhow
Credit: Winky

Dhow off the coast of Zanzibar at sunset. Dhows are traditional Arab sailing boats used primarily along the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula, India, and East Africa.

Did you know ...

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


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This month in Tanzanian history

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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

Aldabra Giant Tortoise
Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

The Aldabra Giant Tortoise (Geochelone gigantea), from the islands of the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, is one of the largest tortoises in the world. This species is widely referred to as Geochelone gigantea but is now placed in the genus Dipsochelys (or sometimes in the invalid genus Aldabrachelys) as Dipsochelys dussumieri. A small isolated population of the species resides on the island of Zanzibar.

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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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