Tanzania

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Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania
United Republic of Tanzania
Flag of Tanzania Coat of arms of Tanzania
Flag Coat of arms
Motto
"Uhuru na Umoja"  (Swahili)
"Freedom and Unity"
Anthem
Mungu ibariki Afrika
"God Bless Africa"
Location of Tanzania
Capital Dodoma (Dar es Salaam)
6°00′S, 35°00′E
Largest city Dar es Salaam
Official languages Swahili (de facto)
Government Republic
 -  President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete
 -  Prime Minister Edward Lowassa
Independence from the United Kingdom 
 -  Tanganyika December 9, 1961 
 -  Zanzibar December 19, 1963 
 -  Merger April 26, 1964 
Area
 -  Total 945,087 km² (31st)
364,898 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 6.2
Population
 -  November 2006 estimate 37,849,1331 (32nd)
 -  2002 census 34,443,603 
 -  Density 41 /km² (159th)
106 /sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2005 estimate
 -  Total $27.12 billion (99th)
 -  Per capita $723 (178th)
Gini? (2000–01) 34.6 (medium
HDI (2004) 0.430 (low) (162nd)
Currency Tanzanian shilling (TZS)
Time zone EAT (UTC+3)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+3)
Internet TLD .tz
Calling code +2552
1 Estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and death rates, lower population and growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected.
2 007 from Kenya and Uganda.

Tanzania IPA: [ˌtænzəˈniə][1], officially the United Republic of Tanzania (Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania in Swahili), is a country on the east coast of Africa. It is bordered by Kenya and Uganda on the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique on the south. To the east it borders the Indian Ocean. The country is named after Tanganyika, its mainland part, and the Zanzibar islands off its east coast. The country has been a member of the Commonwealth since gaining independence in 1961. In 1964, Tanganyika united with Zanzibar, forming the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar,[citation needed] later renamed to the United Republic of Tanzania. In 1996, Tanzania's capital was officially moved from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma, although many government offices still remain in the old capital.

Contents

[edit] History

Main article: History of Tanzania

A German colony from the 1880s until 1919, the area subsequently became a British Mandate from 1919 to 1961. It served as a military outpost during WWII and provided financial help as well as munitions. Julius Nyerere became Minister of British-administered Tanganyika in 1960 and continued as Prime Minister when Tanganyikia became independent in 1961. Tanganyika and neighbouring Zanzibar, which had become independent in 1963, merged to form the nation of Tanzania on April 26, 1964. Nyerere introduced African socialism, or Ujamaa, which emphasized justice and equality.

[edit] Tanganyika (1815–1886)

Tanganyika as a geographical and political entity did not take shape before the period of High Imperialism; its name only came into use after German East Africa was transferred to the United Kingdom as a mandate by the League of Nations in 1920. What is referred to here therefore is the history of the region that was to become Tanganyika.

In 1698 and again in 1725 the Omanis had ousted the Portuguese from the trading ports on East Africa's coast, most notably from Kilwa and Zanzibar. During the 18th century, Zanzibar had emerged as the dominant port of the region. Trade in general had prospered, a chain of coastal trading towns, among them Tanga and Bagamoyo, had emerged. Bagamoyo, a name derived from the term "Bwaga Moyo" which means 'throw your heart away'; was a port from where slaves were shipped.

In 1841, Sultan Sayyid Said moved his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar; with him came many Arabs who invigorated the economy. In 1856, the Sultanate of Zanzibar was separated from the Sultanate of Oman; to Zanzibar belonged the island of Pemba as well as the coastal lands, including Kilwa. Arab traders established caravan routes into the interior, facilitating trades; the camel provided transportation. Slaves were among the most profitable trading goods.

The port of Zanzibar was visited by Dutch, English and French ships. The British East India Company had a representative on Zanzibar, who acted as an advisor to the sultan. In 1873 a British fleet forced Sultan Barghash to declare slave trade ended. Although reduced, an illegal slave trade continued.

In 1848 the German missionary Johannes Rebmann became the first European to see Mount Kilimanjaro, and in 1858 Richard Burton and John Speke mapped Lake Tanganyika.

In 1877 the first of a series of Belgian expeditions arrived on Zanzibar. In the course of these expeditions, in 1879 a station was founded in Kigoma on the eastern bank of Lake Tanganyika, soon to be followed by the station of Mpala on the opposite western bank. Both stations were founded in the name of the Comite D'Etudes Du Haut Congo, a predecessor organization of the Congo Free State. The fact that this station had been established and supplied from Zanzibar and Bagamoyo led to the inclusion of East Africa into the territory of the Conventional Basin of the Congo at the Berlin Conference of 1885.

At the conference table in Berlin, contrary to widespread perception, Africa was not partitioned; rather rules were established amongst the colonial powers and prospective colonial powers as how to proceed in the establishment of colonies and protectorates. While the Belgian interest soon concentrated on the Congo River, the British and Germans focused on Eastern Africa and in 1886 partitioned continental East Africa amongst themselves; the Sultanate of Zanzibar, now reduced to the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, remained independent, for the moment.

The Congo Free State was eventually to give up its claim on Kigoma (its oldest station in Central Africa) and on any territory to the east of Lake Tanganyika, to Germany.

[edit] The Maji Maji War

All resistance to the Germans in the interior ceased and they could now set out to organize Deutsch Ost Afrika. They continued exercising their authority with such disregard and contempt for existing local structures and traditions and with such brutality that discontent was brewing anew and in 1902 a movement against forced labour for a cotton scheme rejected by the local population started along the Rufiji River.

It reached a breaking point in July 1905 when the Matumbi of Nandete led by Kinjikitile Ngwale (traditional leader) chased their akida and suddenly the revolt grew wider from Dar es Salaam to the Uluguru Mountains, the Kilombero Valley, the Mahenge and Makonde Plateaux, the Ruvuma in the southernmost part and Kilwa, Songea, Masasi, and from Kilosa to Iringa down to the eastern shores of Lake Nyasa.

Known as the Maji Maji war with the main brunt borne by the Ngoni, this was a merciless rebellion and by far the bloodiest in Tanganyika.

Germans had occupied the area since 1897 and totally altered many aspects of everyday life. They were actively supported by the missionaries who tried to destroy all signs of indigenous beliefs, notably by razing the 'mahoka' huts where the local population worshiped their ancestors' spirits and by ridiculing their rites, dances and other ceremonies. This would not be forgotten or forgiven; the first battle which broke out at Uwereka in September 1905 under the Governorship of Count Gustav Adolf von Götzen turned instantly into an all-out war with indiscriminate murders and massacres perpetrated by all sides against farmers, settlers, missionaries, planters, villages, indigenous people and peasants.

[edit] War with Germany in East Africa

At the outbreak of war the German authorities may have regarded the position of their premier Colony with considerable equanimity although it must inevitably be cut off from outside communication; for it had been organized against any attack that could be made without those extensive preparations for which, according to the German war programme, the essential factor of time would be lacking. Indeed for the first year of hostilities the Germans were strong enough to carry the war into their neighbours' territories and repeatedly attacked the railway and other points in British East Africa.

The forces at the disposal of the German Command may never be accurately known. Lieutenant-General Jan Smuts at one time estimated them at 2,000 Germans and 16,000 Askaris, with 60 guns and 80 machine guns, but this should prove to be below the mark. The white adult male population in 1913 numbered over 3,500 (exclusive of garrison), a large proportion of these would be available for military duties. The native population of over 7,000,000, comprising practically all the warlike races of Central Africa, formed a reservoir of man-power from which a force might be drawn limited only by the supply of officers and equipment. There is no reason to doubt that the Germans made the best of this material during the long interval of nearly eighteen months which separated the outbreak of war from the invasion in force of their territory.

In his final despatch of May 1919, General Jacob van Deventer placed the German forces at the commencement of 1916 at 2,700 whites and 12,000 blacks. Lord Cranford, in his foreword to Captain Angus Buchanan's book on the war, writes, "At his strongest von Lettow probably mustered 25,000 to 30,000 rifles, all fighting troops", with 70 machine guns and 40 guns. After eighteen months of continuous fighting, General van Deventer estimated the enemy's forces at 8,000 to 9,000 men.

Another point bearing on the war and duly emphasized by General Smuts in his lecture before the Royal Geographic Society (January 1918), was the extraordinary strength of the German frontier. The coastline offered few suitable points for landing and was backed by an unhealthy swamp belt. On the west the line of lakes and mountains proved so impenetrable that the Belgian forces from the Congo had, in the first instance, to be moved through Uganda. On the south the Ruvuma River was only fordable on its upper reaches. And the northern frontier was the most difficult of all. Only one practicable pass about five miles wide offered between the Pare Mountains and Kilimanjaro, and here the German forces, amid swamps and forests, had been digging themselves in for eighteen months.

The Hon. H. Burton, speaking in London, August 1918, said: "Nothing struck our commanders in the East African field so much as the thorough, methodical and determined training of the German native levies previous to the war".

The force which evacuated the Colony in December 1917, was estimated at the time at 320 white and 2,500 black troops; 1,618 Germans were killed or captured in the last six months of 1917, 155 whites and 1,168 Askaris surrendered at the close of hostilities.

[edit] The war years

A skillful and remarkably successful guerrilla campaign waged by the German Commander Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck kept the war in Tanganyika going for the entire length of the First World War. A scorched earth policy and the requisition of buildings meant a complete collapse of the Government's education system, though some mission schools managed to retain a semblance of instruction. Thus by 1920, the Education Department consisted of 1 officer and 2 clerks with a budget equal to 1% of the country's revenue, in fact less than the amount appropriated for the maintenance of Government House.

[edit] History of East Africa

The mandate to administer the former German Colony was conferred to the United Kingdom under the terms of the Supreme Council of the League of Nations. The United Kingdom transferred the Provinces of Ruanda and Urundi, in the N.W., to Belgium, with the concurrence of the Supreme Council. These Provinces contained three-sevenths of the population and more than half the cattle of the Colony.

Naval Defence. The boundaries of the East Indies Station, on the African coast, were enlarged in 1919, and include Zanzibar and what was the littoral of German East Africa.

Dar-es-Salaam remained the seat of Government of the conquered Colony. The first Administrator was Sir Horace Archer Byatt, C.M.G. The native troops went back quietly to their villages and the few Germans that remained were reported as settling down under the new Administration.

[edit] Tanganyika Order in Council

In 1920, by the Tanganyika Order in Council, 1920, the Office of Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Territory was constituted. The administration of the Territory continued to be carried out under the terms of the mandate until its transfer to the Trusteeship System under the Charter of the United Nations by the Trusteeship Agreement of December 13, 1946.

[edit] Tanganyika, a British Mandate (1918–1939)

The period of British rule began with the occupation of the island of Mafia by the Royal Navy in 1914. In 1916, the colony was occupied; German troops, commanded by able Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck continued to resist until the end of the war. In 1920, the League of Nations, granted the mandate to administrate the former German colony of German East Africa, except Rwanda and Burundi, to the United Kingdom.

The colony was renamed Tanganyika Territory in 1920. In 1921 the Belgians transferred the Kigoma district, which they had administered since the occupation, to British administration. The United Kingdom and Belgium signed an agreement regarding the border between Tanganyika and Ruanda-Urundi in 1924.

British policy was to rule indirectly through African leaders. In 1926, a Legislative Council was established, which was to advise the governor. In 1928 the railway line Tabora-Mwanga was opened to traffic, the line from Moshi to Arusha in 1929.

In 1919 the population was estimated at 3,500,000. In 1931 a census established the population of Tanganyika at 5,022,640 natives, in addition to 32,398 Asians and 8,228 Europeans.

Under British rule, efforts were undertaken to fight the Tsetse fly (a carrier of sleeping sickness), and to fight malaria and bilharziasis; more hospitals were built.

In 1926, the Colonial administration provided subsidies to schools run by missionaries, and at the same time established its authority to exercise supervision and to establish guidelines. Yet in 1935, the education budget for the entire country of Tanganyika amounted to only (US) $240,000, although it is unclear how much this represented at the time in terms of purchasing power parity.

In 1933, Sir Horace Hector Hearne was appointed as Puisne Judge, Tanganyika Territory, and acted as Chief Justice in 1935 and 1936. He held the post of Puisne Judge until 1936/1937 when he went on to be a Puisne Judge in Ceylon.

[edit] British administration

The British administration took measures to revive African institutions by encouraging limited local rule and authorized the formation in 1922 of political clubs such as the Tanganyika Territory African Civil Service Association. In 1926 some African members were unofficially admitted into the Legislative Council and in 1929 the Association became the Tanganyika African Association which would constitute the core of the nascent nationalist movement. In 1945 the first Africans were effectively appointed to the Governor's Legislative Council.

Tanganyika first achieved autonomy and (some months later) full independence from the United Kingdom in 1961, with the Republic of Tanganyika constituted in the following year. In 1963, Zanzibar achieved independence from the United Kingdom in the form of a constitutional monarchy under the sultan, but a popular revolt in 1964 against the sultan soon led to the unification of Zanzibar with Tanganyika to form the United Republic of Tanzania. The name Tanzania is a combination of Tanganyika and Zanzibar and previously had no significance.

[edit] Recent history

In 1979, Tanzania declared war on Uganda after Uganda invaded and tried to annex the northern Tanzanian province of Kagera. Tanzania not only expelled Ugandan forces, but, enlisting the country's population of Ugandan exiles, also invaded Uganda itself. On April 11, 1979, Idi Amin was forced to quit the capital, Kampala. The Tanzanian army took the city with the help of the Ugandan and Rwandan guerrillas. Amin fled into exile.[1]

Nyerere handed over power to Ali Hassan Mwinyi in 1985, but retained control of the ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), as Chairman until 1990, when he handed that responsibility to Mwinyi. In October 1995, one-party rule came to an end when Tanzania held its first ever multi-party election. However, CCM comfortably won the elections and its candidate Benjamin Mkapa was subsequently sworn in as the new president of the United Republic of Tanzania on 23 November 1995. In December 2005, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete was elected the 4th president for a five-year term.

One of the deadly 1998 U.S. embassy bombings occurred in Dar es Salaam; the other was in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2004, the undersea earthquake on the other side of the Indian ocean caused tidal surges along Tanzania's coastline in which 11 people were killed. An oil tanker also temporarily ran aground in the Dar es Salaam harbor, damaging an oil pipeline.

Battle of Tanga, fought between the British and Germans during World War I
Battle of Tanga, fought between the British and Germans during World War I

[edit] Politics

Main article: Politics of Tanzania

Tanzania's president and National Assembly members are elected concurrently by direct popular vote for five-year terms. The president appoints a prime minister who serves as the government's leader in the National Assembly. The president selects his cabinet from among National Assembly members. The Constitution also empowers him to nominate ten non-elected members of Parliament, who also are eligible to become cabinet members. Elections for president and all National Assembly seats were held in December 2005.

The unicameral National Assembly elected in 2000 has 295 members. These 295 members include the Attorney General, five members elected from the Zanzibar House of Representatives to participate in the Parliament, the special women's seats which are made up of 20% of the seats a particular party has in the House, 181 constituents seats of members of Parliament from the mainland, and 50 seats from Zanzibar. Also in the list are forty-eight appointed for women and the seats for the 10 nominated members of Parliament. At present, the ruling CCM holds about 93% of the seats in the Assembly. Laws passed by the National Assembly are valid for Zanzibar only in specifically designated union matters.

Zanzibar's House of Representatives has jurisdiction over all non-union matters. There are currently seventy-six members in the House of Representatives in Zanzibar, including fifty elected by the people, ten appointed by the president of Zanzibar, five ex officio members, and an attorney general appointed by the president. In May 2002, the government increased the number of special seats allocated to women from ten to fifteen, which will increase the number of House of Representatives members to eighty-one. Ostensibly, Zanzibar's House of Representatives can make laws for Zanzibar without the approval of the union government as long as it does not involve union-designated matters. The terms of office for Zanzibar's president and House of Representatives also are five years. The semiautonomous relationship between Zanzibar and the union is a relatively unique system of government.

Tanzania has a five-level judiciary combining the jurisdictions of tribal, Islamic, and British common law. Appeal is from the primary courts through the district courts, resident magistrate courts, to the high courts, and Court of Appeals. Judges are appointed by the Chief Justice, except those for the Court of Appeals and the High Court who are appointed by the president. The Zanzibari court system parallels the legal system of the union, and all cases tried in Zanzibari courts, except for those involving constitutional issues and Islamic law, can be appealed to the Court of Appeals of the union. A commercial court was established in September 1999 as a division of the High Court.

[edit] Administrative divisions

For administrative purposes, Tanzania is divided into 26 regions (mkoa), twenty-one on the mainland and five on Zanzibar (three on Unguja, two on Pemba). 98 districts (wilaya) each with at least one council have been created to further increase local authority; the councils are also known as local government authorities. Currently there are 114 councils operating in 99 districts; 22 are urban and 92 are rural. The 22 urban units are further classified as city councils (Dar es Salaam and Mwanza), municipal councils (Arusha, Dodoma, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Morogoro, Shinyanga, Tabora, and Tanga) or town councils (the remaining eleven communities).

Tanzania's regions are:
Arusha · Dar es Salaam · Dodoma · Iringa · Kagera · Kigoma · Kilimanjaro · Lindi · Manyara · Mara · Mbeya · Morogoro · Mtwara · Mwanza · Pemba North · Pemba South · Pwani · Rukwa · Ruvuma · Shinyanga · Singida · Tabora · Tanga · Zanzibar Central/South · Zanzibar North · Zanzibar Urban/West

For regions ranked by total area, land area and water area, see List of Tanzanian regions by area.

[edit] Geography

Main article: Geography of Tanzania
Map of Tanzania
Map of Tanzania

At 364,875 mi² (945,087 km²[2]), Tanzania is the world's 31st-largest country (after Egypt). It is comparable in size to Nigeria, and is about half the size of the US state of Alaska.

Tanzania is mountainous in the north-east, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of Lake Victoria (Africa's largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (Africa's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish). Central Tanzania comprises a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the island of Zanzibar lying just offshore.

Tanzania contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks, including the famous Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park in the north, and Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park in the south. Gombe National Park in the west is known as the site of Dr. Jane Goodall's studies of chimpanzee behavior.

[edit] Environment

Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.
Summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Tanzania has considerable land area of wildlife habitat, including much of the Serengeti plain, where Blue Wildebeest and other bovids participate in a large scale annual migration. Up to 250,000 Blue Wildebeest perish each year in the long and arduous movement to find forage in the dry season.

Tanzania has developed a Biodiversity Action Plan to address species conservation.

[edit] Economy

Main article: Economy of Tanzania
Irente viewpoint, Lushoto, Tanga Region
Irente viewpoint, Lushoto, Tanga Region
Ngurdoto Crater at Arusha National Park in Tanzania, East Africa
Ngurdoto Crater at Arusha National Park in Tanzania, East Africa

The economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, which accounts for half of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs 90% of the workforce. Topography and climatic conditions, however, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. Industry is mainly limited to processing agricultural products and light consumer goods. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and bilateral donors have provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania's deteriorated economic infrastructure. Tanzania has vast amounts of natural resources including gold deposits (such as that at Tulawaka have reserves of over 500,000 ounces of gold, at a grade of 12.2 grams per tonne[2]). It also has beautiful national parks that remain undeveloped. Growth from 1991 to 1999 featured a pickup in industrial production and a substantial increase in output of minerals, led by gold. Commercial production of natural gas from the Songo Songo island in the Indian Ocean off the Rufiji Delta commenced 2004,[3] with natural gas being pumped in a pipeline to the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, with the bulk of it being converted to electricity by the public utility and private operators. A new gas field is being brought on stream in Mnazi Bay and its estimated reserves significantly exceed those of the Songo Songo gas field.

Recent public sector and banking reforms, and revamped and new legislative frameworks have all helped increase private sector growth and investment. Short-term economic progress also depends on curbing corruption and cutting back on unnecessary public spending.[4]

Prolonged drought during the early years of the 21st century has severely reduced electricity generation capacity (some 60% of Tanzania's electricity supplies are generated by hydro electric schemes.[5] During 2006 Tanzania suffered a crippling series of "load-shedding" or power rationing because of the shortfall of generated power, largely because of insufficient hydro electric generation. The impact of this power gap is estimated to have reduced national GDP growth by at least four percent to 5.9 for 2006. Plans to increase gas and coal fueled generation capacity are likely to take some years to implement, and growth is forecast to be increased to seven per cent per year, and perhaps eight or more.[6]

[edit] Demographics

Population distribution in Tanzania is extremely uneven. Density varies from 1 person per square kilometer (3/mi²) in arid regions to 51 per square kilometer (133/mi²) in the mainland's well-watered highlands to 134 per square kilometer (347/mi²) on Zanzibar. More than 80% of the population is rural. Dar es Salaam is the largest city and is the commercial capital; Dodoma, located in the center of Tanzania is the new capital and houses the Union's Parliament. Zanzibar Town houses the Zanzibar Parliament.

The African population consists of more than 120 ethnic groups, of which the Sukuma, Haya, Nyakyusa, Nyamwezi, and Chagga have more than 1 million members. Other groups include the Pare, Sambaa or Shambala and Ngoni. The majority of Tanzanians, including such large ethnic groups as the Sukuma and the Nyamwezi, have Bantu origins. Groups of Nilotic or related origin include the nomadic Masai and the Luo, both of which are found in greater numbers in neighboring Kenya. Two small groups speak languages of the Khoisan family peculiar to the people of the Kalahari in southern Africa. Cushitic-speaking peoples, originally from the Ethiopian highlands, reside in a few areas of Tanzania. Other Bantu groups were refugees from Mozambique.

Although much of Zanzibar's African population came from the mainland, one group known as Shirazis claims its origins to be the supposed island's early Persian settlers. Non-Africans residing on the mainland and Zanzibar account for 1% of the total population. The Asian community, including Hindus, Sikhs, Shi'a and Sunni Muslims, Parsis and Goans, has declined by 50% in the past decade to 50,000 on the mainland and 4,000 on Zanzibar. An estimated 70,000 Arabs and 10,000 Europeans still reside in Tanzania.

Each ethnic group has its own language. No language is de jure official, but Swahili is the de facto official national language, used for intertribal communication and for official matters. After independence, English, the language of colonial administration during the era of British rule, was still used for some official issues, and was thus considered de facto official alongside Swahili. As official usage of English has greatly diminished over during the first thirty years following independence, and it was more common to regard Swahili as the only de facto official language. However the political reforms which turned Tanzania away from a closed and socialist environment and a centrally planned economy inevitably resulted in a dramatic opening up of the country. The attendant growth of the private sector and new investment has resulted in English having increasing importance, and there are a plethora of schools in which English is the medium of instruction. Universities all use English as the medium of instruction, which often causes problems for students who have previously only taken English as a subject in school. Other spoken languages are Indian languages, especially Gujarati, and Portuguese (both spoken by Mozambican blacks and Goans). Historically German was widely spoken during that colonial period, but few remain alive who remember that period.

Tanzania is a religiously divided society. It is hard to say which is the largest religion in Tanzania, since this question, together with tribal affiliation, has not been included in the national census. According to the CIA Factbook, Muslims account for 35% of the population, an estimated 30% of the population is Christian, and 35% adheres to traditional faiths. On Zanzibar, by contrast, the population is 99% Muslim.

[edit] Culture

The head of a wildebeest in Tanzania
The head of a wildebeest in Tanzania
A bar in Zanzibar, Tanzania
A bar in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Taarab Music[3] is a fusion of Swahili tunes sung in rhythmic poetic style spiced with Arabic or, at times, Indian melodies. It is an extremely lively art form springing from a classical culture, still immensely popular with women, drawing all the time from old and new sources. Taarab forms a major part of the social life of the Swahili people along the coastal areas; especially Zanzibar, Tanga and even further in Mombasa and Malindi along the Kenya coast. Wherever the Swahili speaking people travelled, Tarabu culture moved with them. It has penetrated to as far as Uganda. Rwanda and Burundi in the interior of East Africa, where taarab groups compete in popularity with other western-music inspired groups.

These days a taarab revolution [4] is taking place and much heated debate continues about the music which has been changed drastically by the East African Melody phenomenon. Melody, as they are affectionately known by their mostly women fans, play modern taarab, which, for the first time, is 'taarab to dance to' and features direct lyrics, by- passing the unwritten laws of lyrical subtlety of the older groups such as Egyptian Musical Club and Al-Wattan Musical Club where meaning to their songs was only alluded to, and never directly inferred. Today, taarab songs are explicit - sometimes even graphic - in sexual connotation, and much of the music of groups like Melody and Muungano is composed and played on keyboards, increasing portability, hence the group is much smaller in number than 'real taarab' orchestras and therefore more readily available to tour and play shows throughout the region and beyond.

Mbaraka Mwinshehe was the most popular and original musician of Tanzania, also there is a greater influx of musicians from the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), who were entering the country as refugees and made residence in the country. But in recent years, mainly from the mid-nineties, new generation of musicians has emerged and are coming up with popular tunes which are Tanzanian in composition. Bands like Twanga Pepeta have managed to carve a new tune distinct from imported Zairean tunes, and are competing with Zairean bands in popularity and audience acceptance.

The Tanzanian artistes have devised a new style going by the name of "Bongo Flava", which is a blend of all sorts of melodies, beats, rhythms and sounds. The trend among the Tanzanian music consumers has started changing towards favouring products from their local artists who sing in Swahili, the national language.

The mushrooming of FM music stations and reasonable production studios has been a major boost to the music industry in the country. Contemporary artists like Juma Nature, Lady Jaydee, Mr. Nice, Mr. II, Cool James, Dully Sykes and many others command a huge audience of followers in the country and neighbouring countries.

More information about Tanzanian music and events can be found on the various web portals that have sprung up recently. Tanzania has an enormously high growth rate for internet technologies, estimated at up to 500% per year. Because costs for computers are still quite high, many users share connections at internet cafes or at work. naomba.com business directory, Movie and Sports information, Arusha locality information all are part of an increasing number of websites dedicated to the region.

[edit] Media

The Daily News is the oldest newspaper in Tanzania and is state-run, while Televisheni ya Taifa is the state-run television network. Radio Tanzania Dar es Salaam is Tanzania's state-run radio network. Tanzania also has many private-run media outlets, and broadcasts from the BBC Radio, Voice of America and Deutsche Welle can also be heard in Tanzania.[7]

For media station websites, see the Media section in #External links below.

[edit] Lists

[edit] Notes

[edit] References

(in addition to some external links below)

[edit] External links

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