The World Factbook (1990)/Tanzania

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 See regional map VII


Total area: 945,090 km²; land area: 886,040 km²

Comparative area: slightly larger than twice the size of California

Land boundaries: 3,402 km total; Burundi 451 km, Kenya 769 km, Malawi 475 km, Mozambique 756 km, Rwanda 217 km, Uganda 396 km, Zambia 338 km

Coastline: 1,424 km

Maritime claim:

Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Disputes: boundary dispute with Malawi in Lake Nyasa; Tanzania-Zaire-Zambia tripoint in Lake Tanganyika may no longer be indefinite since it is reported that the indefinite section of the Zaire-Zambia boundary has been settled

Climate: varies from tropical along coast to temperate in highlands

Terrain: plains along coast; central plateau; highlands in north, south

Natural resources: hydropower potential, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas, nickel

Land use: 5% arable land; 1% permanent crops; 40% meadows and pastures; 47% forest and woodland; 7% other; includes NEGL% irrigated

Environment: lack of water and tsetse fly limit agriculture; recent droughts affected marginal agriculture; Kilimanjaro is highest point in Africa


Population: 25,970,843 (July 1990), growth rate 3.4% (1990)

Birth rate: 50 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 16 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: NEGL migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 107 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 49 years male, 54 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 7.1 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Tanzanian(s); adjective—Tanzanian

Ethnic divisions: mainland—99% native African consisting of well over 100 tribes; 1% Asian, European, and Arab

Religion: mainland—33% Christian, 33% Muslim, 33% indigenous beliefs; Zanzibar—almost all Muslim

Language: Swahili and English (official); English primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education; Swahili widely understood and generally used for communication between ethnic groups; first language of most people is one of the local languages; primary education is generally in Swahili

Literacy: 79%

Labor force: 732,200 wage earners; 90% agriculture, 10% industry and commerce (1986 est.)

Organized labor: 15% of labor force


Long-form name: United Republic of Tanzania

Type: republic

Capital: Dar es Salaam; some government offices have been transferred to Dodoma, which is planned as the new national capital in the 1990s

Administrative divisions: 25 regions; Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Iringa, Kigoma, Kilimanjaro, Lindi, Mara, Mbeya, Morogoro, Mtwara, Mwanza, Pemba North, Pemba South, Pwani, Rukwa, Ruvuma, Shinyanga, Singida, Tabora, Tanga, Zanzibar Central/South, Zanzibar North, Zanzibar Urban/West, Ziwa Magharibi

Independence: Tanganyika became independent 9 December 1961 (from UN trusteeship under British administration); Zanzibar became independent 19 December 1963 (from UK); Tanganyika united with Zanzibar 26 April 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar; renamed United Republic of Tanzania 29 October 1964

Constitution: 15 March 1984 (Zanzibar has its own Constitution but remains subject to provisions of the union Constitution)

Legal system: based on English common law; judicial review of legislative acts limited to matters of interpretation; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: Union Day, 26 April (1964)

Executive branch: president, first vice president and prime minister of the union, second vice president and president of Zanzibar, Cabinet

Legislative branch: unicameral National Assembly (Bunge)

Judicial branch: Court of Appeal, High Court

Leaders: Chief of State—President Ali Hassan MWINYI (since 5 November 1985);

Head of Government—First Vice President and Prime Minister Joseph Sinde WARIOBA (since 6 November 1985)

Political parties and leaders: only party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM or Revolutionary Party), Julius Nyerere, party chairman

Suffrage: universal at age 18

Elections: President—last held 27 October 1985 (next to be held October 1990); results—Ali Hassan Mwinyi was elected without opposition;

National Assembly—last held 27 October 1985 (next to be held October 1990); results—CCM is the only party; seats—(244 total, 168 elected) CCM 168

Communists: no Communist party; a few Communist sympathizers


Diplomatic representation: Ambassador-designate Charles Musama NYIRABU; Chancery at 2139 R Street NW, Washington DC 20008; telephone (202) 939-6125; US—Ambassador Edmond DE JARNETTE; Embassy at 36 Laibon Road (off Bagamoyo Road), Dar es Salaam (mailing address is P. O. Box 9123, Dar es Salaam); telephone [255](51) 37501 through 37504

Flag: divided diagonally by a yellow-edged black band from the lower hoist-side corner; the upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower triangle is blue


Overview: Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. The economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, which accounts for about 40% of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs 90% of the work force. Industry accounts for about 10% of GDP and is mainly limited to processing agricultural products and light consumer goods. The economic recovery program announced in mid-1986 has generated notable increases in agricultural production and financial support for the program by bilateral donors. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have increased the availability of imports and provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania's deteriorated economic infrastructure.

GDP: $5.92 billion, per capita $235; real growth rate 4.5% (1989 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 29% (1989)

Unemployment rate: NA%

Budget: revenues $568 million; expenditures $835 million, including capital expenditures of $230 million (FY89)

Exports: $394 million (f.o.b., FY89); commodities—coffee, cotton, sisal, cashew nuts, meat, tobacco, tea, diamonds, coconut products, pyrethrum, cloves (Zanzibar); partners—FRG, UK, US, Netherlands, Japan

Imports: $1.3 billion (c.i.f., FY89); commodities—manufactured goods, machinery and transportation equipment, cotton piece goods, crude oil, foodstuffs; partners—FRG, UK, US, Iran, Japan, Italy

External debt: $4.5 billion (December 1989 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 6% (1988 est.)

Electricity: 401,000 kW capacity; 895 million kWh produced, 35 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: primarily agricultural processing (sugar, beer, cigarettes, sisal twine), diamond mine, oil refinery, shoes, cement, textiles, wood products, fertilizer

Agriculture: accounts for over 40% of GDP; topography and climatic conditions limit cultivated crops to only 5% of land area; cash crops—coffee, sisal, tea, cotton, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), cashews, tobacco, cloves (Zanzibar); food crops—corn, wheat, cassava, bananas, fruits, and vegetables; small numbers of cattle, sheep, and goats; not self-sufficient in food grain production

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $387 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $8.5 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $44 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $607 million

Currency: Tanzanian shilling (plural—shillings); 1 Tanzanian shilling (TSh) = 100 cents

Exchange rates: Tanzanian shillings (TSh) per US$1—192.901 (January 1990), 143.377 (1989), 99.292 (1988), 64.260 (1987), 32.698 (1986), 17.472 (1985)

Fiscal year: 1 July-30 June


Railroads: 3,555 km total; 960 km 1.067-meter gauge; 2,595 km 1.000-meter gauge, 6.4 km double track, 962 km Tazara Railroad 1.067-meter gauge; 115 km 1.000-meter gauge planned by end of decade

Highways: total 81,900 km, 3,600 km paved; 5,600 km gravel or crushed stone; remainder improved and unimproved earth

Pipelines: 982 km crude oil

Inland waterways: Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, Lake Nyasa

Ports: Dar es Salaam, Mtwara, Tanga, and Zanzibar are ocean ports; Mwanza on Lake Victoria and Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika are inland ports

Merchant marine: 7 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 29,174 GRT/39,186 DWT; includes 2 passenger-cargo, 3 cargo, 1 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 1 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker

Civil air: 6 major transport aircraft

Airports: 103 total, 92 usable; 13 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 3 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 44 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: fair system of open wire, radio relay, and troposcatter; 103,800 telephones; stations—12 AM, 4 FM, 2 TV; 1 Indian Ocean INTELSAT earth station

Defense Forces

Branches: Tanzanian People's Defense Force includes Army, Navy, and Air Force; paramilitary Police Field Force Unit; Militia

Military manpower: males 15-49, 5,351,192; 3,087,501 fit for military service

Defense expenditures: 3.3% of GDP (1985)