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History of Tanzania

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Title: History of Tanzania  
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History of Tanzania

The African Great Lakes nation of Tanzania dates formally from 1964, when it was formed out of the union of the much larger mainland territory of Tanganyika and the coastal archipelago of Zanzibar. The former was a colony and part of German East Africa from the 1880s to 1919, when, under the League of Nations, it became a British mandate. It served as a military outpost during World War II, providing financial help, munitions, and soldiers. In 1947, Tanganyika became a United Nations Trust Territory under British administration, a status it kept until its independence in 1961. Zanzibar was settled as a trading hub, subsequently controlled by the Portuguese, the Sultanate of Oman, and then as a British protectorate by the end of the nineteenth century.

Julius Nyerere, independence leader and "baba wa taifa for Tanganyika" (father of the Tanganyika nation), ruled the country for decades, assisted by Abeid Amaan Karume, the Zanzibar Father of Nation. Following Nyerere's retirement in 1985, various political and economic reforms began. He was succeeded in office by President Ali Hassan Mwinyi.


  • Prehistory 1
  • Early coastal history 2
  • Tanganyika (1850 –1890) 3
  • German East Africa 4
    • Maji Maji resistance 4.1
    • World War I 4.2
  • British administration after World War I 5
    • British rule through indigenous authorities 5.1
    • Railway development 5.2
    • 1931 census 5.3
    • Health and education initiatives 5.4
    • Tanganyika wheat scheme 5.5
    • World War II 5.6
    • Transition to independence 5.7
  • Zanzibar 6
  • Independence and Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar 7
  • Recent history 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • Further reading 11
  • External links 12


Tanzania is home to some of the oldest Mary Leakey in 1959, and named Zinj or Nutcracker Man, the first example of Paranthropus boisei, and is thought to be over 1.8 million years old. Other finds including Homo habilis fossils were subsequently made. At nearby Laetoli the oldest known hominid footprints, the Laetoli footprints, were discovered by Mary Leakey in 1978, and estimated to be about 3.6 million years old and probably made by Australopithecus afarensis.[2] The oldest hominid fossils ever discovered in Tanzania also come from Laetoli and are the 3.6 to 3.8 million year old remains of Australopithecus afarensisLouis Leakey had found what he thought was a baboon tooth at Laetoli in 1935 (which was not identified as afarensis until 1979), a fragment of hominid jaw with three teeth was found there by Kohl-Larsen in 1938–39, and in 1974–75 Mary Leakey recovered 42 teeth and several jawbones from the site.[3]

Reaching back about 10,000 years, Tanzania is believed to have been populated by hunter-gatherer communities, probably Khoisan-speaking people. Between three and six thousand years ago, they were joined by Cushitic-speaking people who came from the north, into whom the Khoisan peoples were slowly absorbed. Cushitic peoples introduced basic techniques of agriculture, food production, and later, cattle farming.[4]

About 2000 years ago, Cushitic peoples who had preceded them, as well as most of the remaining Khoisan-speaking inhabitants. Later, Nilotic pastoralists arrived, and continued to immigrate into the area through to the 18th century.[4][5]

One of Tanzania's most important archeological sites is Engaruka in the Great Rift Valley, which includes an irrigation and cultivation system.

Early coastal history

Travellers and merchants from the Persian Gulf and Western India have visited the East African coast since early in the first millennium CE. Greek texts such as the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea and Ptolemy's Geography list a string of market places (emporia) along the coast. Finds of Roman-era coins along the coast confirm the existence of trade, and Ptolomey's Geography refers to a town of Rhapta as "metropolis" of a political entity called Azania. Archaeologists have not yet succeeded in identifying the location of Rhapta, though many believe it lies deeply buried in the silt of the delta of the Rufiji River. A long documentary silence follows these ancient texts, and it is not until Arab geographical treatises were written about the coast that our information resumes.

Remains of those towns' material culture demonstrate that they arose from indigenous roots, not from foreign settlement. And the language that was spoken in them, Swahili (now Tanzania's national language), is a member of the Bantu language family that spread from the northern Kenya coast well before significant Arab presence was felt in the region. By the beginning of the second millennium CE the Swahili towns conducted a thriving trade that linked Africans in the interior with trade partners throughout the Indian Ocean. From c. 1200 to 1500 CE, the town of Kilwa, on Tanzania's southern coast, was perhaps the wealthiest and most powerful of these towns, presiding over what some scholars consider the "golden age" of Swahili civilization. In the early 14th century, Ibn Battuta, a Berber traveller from North Africa, visited Kilwa and proclaimed it one of the best cities in the world. Islam was practised on the Swahili coast as early as the eighth or ninth century CE.[6][7]

In 1498, Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama became the first known European to reach the African Great Lakes coast; he stayed for 32 days.[8] In 1505 the Portuguese captured the island of Zanzibar.[9] Portuguese control lasted until the early 18th century, when Arabs from Oman established a foothold in the region. Assisted by Omani Arabs, the indigenous coastal dwellers succeeded in driving the Portuguese from the area north of the Ruvuma River by the early 18th century. Claiming the coastal strip, Omani Sultan Seyyid Said moved his capital to Zanzibar City in 1840.[9] He focused on the island and developed trade routes that stretched as far as Lake Tanganyika and Central Africa. During this time, Zanzibar became the centre for the Arab slave trade. Due to the Arab and Persian domination at this later time, many Europeans misconstrued the nature of Swahili civilization as a product of Arab colonization. However, this misunderstanding has begun to dissipate over the past 40 years as Swahili civilization is becoming recognized as principally African in origin.[10]

Tanganyika (1850 –1890)

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 Tanzania. A part of the Great Lakes region, namely the western shore of Lake Victoria consisted of many small kingdoms, most notably Karagwe and Buzinza, which were dominated by their more powerful neighbors Rwanda, Burundi, and Buganda.

European exploration of the interior began in the mid-19th century. In 1848 the German missionary Congo Free State. German colonial interests were first advanced in 1884.[13]:page 90 Karl Peters, who formed the Society for German Colonization, concluded a series of treaties by which tribal chiefs ceded territory to the society.[13]:page 90 Prince Otto von Bismarck's government in 1885 granted imperial protection to the German East Africa Company established by Peters with Bismark's encouragement.[13]:page 90

At the Berlin Conference of 1885, the fact that Kigoma had been established and supplied from Zanzibar and Bagamoyo led to the inclusion of German East Africa into the territory of the Conventional Basin of the Congo, to Belgium's advantage. At the table in Berlin, contrary to widespread perception, Africa was not partitioned; rather, rules were established among 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 between 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.

German East Africa

All resistance to the Tanganyika, European rule provoked African resistance. Between 1891 and 1894, the Hehe—led by Chief Mkwawa—resisted German expansion, but were eventually defeated. After a period of guerrilla warfare, Mkwawa was cornered and committed suicide in 1898.

Maji Maji resistance

Widespread discontent re-emerged, and in 1902 a movement against forced labour for a cotton scheme rejected by the local population started along the Rufiji River. The tension reached a breaking point in July 1905 when the Matumbi of Nandete led by Kinjikitile Ngwale revolted against the local administrators (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. The resistance culminated in the Maji Maji Resistance of 1905–1907. The resistance, which temporarily united a number of southern tribes ended only after an estimated 120,000 Africans had died from fighting or starvation. Research has shown that traditional hostilities played a large part in the resistance.

Germans had occupied the area since 1897 and totally altered many aspects of everyday life. They were actively supported by the 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. Known as the Maji-Maji war with the main brunt borne by the Ngoni people, this was a merciless rebellion and by far the bloodiest in Tanganyika.

World War I

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

Before the outbreak of the war, German East Africa had been prepared to resist any attack that could be made without extensive preparation.[14] For the first year of hostilities, the Germans were strong enough to conduct offensive operations in their neighbours' territories by, for example, repeatedly attacking railways in British East Africa.[14] The strength of German forces at the beginning of the war is uncertain.[14] Lieutenant-General Jan Smuts, the commander of British forces in east Africa beginning in 1916, estimated them at 2,000 Germans and 16,000 Askaris.[14] The white adult male population in 1913 numbered over 3,500 (exclusive of the German garrison).[14] In addition, the indigenous population of over 7,000,000 formed a reservoir of manpower from which a force might be drawn, limited only by the supply of German officers and equipment.[14] "There is no reason to doubt that the Germans made the best of this material during the ... nearly eighteen months which separated the outbreak of war from the invasion in force of their territory."[14]

The geography of German East Africa also was a severe impediment to British and allied forces.[14] The coastline offered few suitable points for landing and was backed by unhealthy swamps.[14] The line of lakes and mountains to the west proved to be impenetrable.[14] Belgian forces from the Belgian Congo had to be moved through Uganda.[14] On the south, the Ruvuma River was fordable only its upper reaches.[14] In the north, only one practicable pass about five miles wide existed between the Pare Mountains and Mount Kilimanjaro, and here the German forces had been digging in for eighteen months.[14]

Germany commenced hostilities in 1914 by unsuccessfully attacking from the town of [14] British forces from the northeast and southwest and Belgian forces from the northwest steadily attacked and defeated German forces beginning in January 1916.[14] In October 1916, General Smuts wrote, "With the exception of the Mahenge Plateau [the Germans] have lost every healthy or valuable part of their Colony".[14]

Cut-off from Germany, General Von Lettow by necessity conducted a guerilla campaign throughout 1917, living off the land and dispersing over a wide area.[14] In December, the remaining German forces evacuated the colony by crossing the Ruvuma River into Portuguese Mozambique.[14] Those forces were estimated at 320 German troops and 2,500 Askaris.[14] 1,618 Germans and 5,482 Askaris were killed or captured during the last six months of 1917.[14] In November 1918, his remaining force surrendered near present-day Mbala, Zambia consisting of 155 Europeans, 1,165 Askaris, 2,294 African porters etc., and 819 African women.[14]

Under the Treaty of Versailles, Germany relinquished all her overseas possessions, including German East Africa.[15] Britain lost 3,443 men in battle plus 6,558 men to disease.[13]:page 246 The equivalent numbers for Belgium were 683 and 1,300.[13]:page 246 Germany lost 734 Europeans and 1,798 Africans.[13]:page 246

Von Lettow's 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. Unlike the Belgian, British, French and Portuguese colonial masters in central Africa, Germany had developed an educational program for her Africans that involved elementary, secondary and vocational schools. "Instructor qualifications, curricula, textbooks, teaching materials, all met standards unmatched anywhere in tropical Africa."[16] In 1924, ten years after the beginning of the First World War and six years into British rule, the visiting American Phelps-Stokes Commission reported: In regards to schools, the Germans have accomplished marvels. Some time must elapse before education attains the standard it had reached under the Germans.[16] But by 1920, the Education Department consisted of 1 officer and 2 clerks with a budget equal to 1% of the country's revenue—less than the amount appropriated for the maintenance of Government House.

British administration after World War I

In 1919, the population was estimated at 3,500,000.

The first British civilian administrator after the end of CMG, appointed by Royal Commission on 31 January 1919.[17]:page 2 The colony was renamed the "The Tanganyika Territory" in January 1920.[13]:page 247[17]:page 3 In September 1920 by the Tanganyika Order in Council, 1920, the initial boundaries of the territory, the Executive Council, and the offices of governor and commander-in-chief were established.[17]:page 2 The governor legislated by proclamation or ordinance until 1926.[17]:page 4

Britain and Belgium signed an agreement regarding the border between Tanganyika and Ruanda-Urundi in 1924.[18]

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 13 December 1946.

British rule through indigenous authorities

Governor Byatt took measures to revive African institutions by encouraging limited local rule. He authorized the formation in 1922 of political clubs such as the Tanganyika Territory African Civil Service Association, which in 1929 became the Tanganyika African Association and later constituted the core of the nationalist movement. Under the Native Authority Ordinances of 1923, limited powers were granted to certain recognized chiefs who could also exercise powers granted by local customary law.[17]:page 6

Sir Donald Cameron became the governor of Tanganyika in 1925.[17]:page 5 "His work ... was of great significance in the development of colonial administrative policy, being associated especially with the vigorous attempt to establish a system of 'Indirect Rule' through the traditional indigenous authorities."[17]:page 5 He was a major critic of Governor Byatt's policies about indirect rule, as evidenced by his Native Administration Memorandum No. 1, Principles of Native Administration and their Application.[17]:page 6

In 1926, the Legislative Council was established with seven unofficial (including two Indians) and thirteen official members, whose function was to advise and consent to ordinances issued by the governor.[17]:pages 4–5 In 1945, the first Africans were appointed to the council.[17]:page 5 The council was reconstituted in 1948 under Governor Edward Twining, with 15 unofficial members (7 Europeans, 4 Africans, and 4 Indians) and 14 official members.[17]:page 9 Julius Nyerere became one of the unofficial members in 1954.[17]:page 9 The council was again reconstituted in 1955 with 44 unofficial members (10 Europeans, 10 Africans, 10 Indians, and 14 government representatives) and 17 official members.[17]:page 9

Governor Cameron in 1929 enacted the Native Courts Ordinance No. 5, which removed those courts from the jurisdiction of the colonial courts and provided for a system of appeals with final resort to the governor himself.[17]:page 6

Railway development

In 1928, the Tabora to Mwanza railway line was opened to traffic. The line from Moshi to Arusha opened in 1930.[13]:page 136

1931 census

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

Health and education initiatives

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 $290,000, although it is unclear how much this represented at the time in terms of purchasing power parity.

Tanganyika wheat scheme

The British Government decided to develop wheat growing to help feed a war-ravaged and severely rationed Britain and eventually Europe at the hoped-for Allied victory at the end of the Second World War. An American farmer in Tanganyika, Freddie Smith, was in charge, and David Gordon Hines was the accountant responsible for the finances. The scheme had 50,000 acres (202 km2) on the Ardai plains just outside Arusha; 25,000 acres (101 km2) on Mount Kilimanjaro; and 25,000 acres (101 km2) towards Ngorongoro to the west. All the machinery was lend/lease from the USA, including 30 tractors, 30 ploughs, and 30 harrows. There were western agricultural and engineering managers. Most of the workers were Italian prisoners of war from Somalia and Ethiopia: excellent, skilled engineers and mechanics. The Ardai plains were too arid to be successful, but there were good crops in the Kilimanjaro and Ngorongoro areas.[19]

World War II

As soon as Nazi Germany invaded Poland and began World War II, Great Britain declared war and the British forces in Tanganyika were ordered to intern the German males living in Tanganyika. The British government feared that these Axis country citizens would attempt to help the Axis forces and some of the Germans living in Dar es Salam did attempt to flee the country but were stopped and later interned by Roald Dahl and a small group of Tanganyikan soldiers of the King's African Rifles.[20]

During the war about 100,000 people from Tanganyika joined the Allied forces.[21] and were part of the 375,000 British colonial troops who fought against the Axis forces. Tanganyikans fought in units of the King’s African Rifles and fought in the East African Campaign in Somalia and Abyssinia against the Italians, in Madagascar against the Vichy French during the Madagascar Campaign, and in Burma against the Japanese during the Burma Campaign.[22] Tanganyika became an important source of food and Tanganyika’s export income greatly increased from the pre-war years of the Great Depression[21] however despite the additional income the war caused inflation within the country.[23]

Transition to independence

In 1947, Tanganyika became a United Nations trust territory under British control. "It's geography, topography, climate, geopolitics, patterns of settlement and history made Tanganyika the most significant of all UN Trust Territories."[24]:page 11 But two-thirds of the population lived in one-tenth of the territory because of water shortages, soil erosion, unreliable rainfall, tsetse fly infestations, and poor communications and transportation infrastructures.[24]:page 11

In 1957, only 15 towns had over 5,000 inhabitants, with the capital Dar es Salaam having the nation's highest population of 128,742.[24]:page 12 Tanganyika was a multi-racial territory, which made it unique in the trusteeship world.[24]:page 13 Its total non-African population in 1957 was 123,310 divided as follows: 95,636 Asians and Arabs (subdivided as 65,461 Indians, 6,299 Pakistanis, 4,776 Goans, and 19,100 Arabs), 3,114 Somalis, and 3,782 "coloured" and "other" individuals.[24]:page 13 The white population, which included the Europeans (British, Italians, Greeks, and Germans) and white South Africans, totalled 20,598 individuals.[24]:page 13 Tanganyika's ethnic and economic make-up posed problems for the British.[24]:page 13 Their policy was geared to ensuring the continuance of the European presence as necessary to support the country's economy.[24]:page 13 But the British also had to remain responsive to the political demands of the Africans.[24]:page 13

Many Africans were government servants, business employees, labourers, and producers of important cash crops during this period. But the vast majority were subsistence farmers who produced barely enough to survive.[24]:page 12 The standards of housing, clothing, and other social conditions were "equally quite poor."[24]:page 12 The Asians and Arabs were the middle class and tended to be wholesale and retail traders.[24]:page 13 The white population were missionaries, professional and government servants, and owners and managers of farms, plantations, mines, and other businesses.[24]:page 13 "White farms were of primary importance as producers of exportable agricultural crops."[24]:page 13

Britain, through its colonial officer David Gordon Hines, encouraged the development of farming co-operatives to help convert subsistence farmers to cash husbandry. The subsistence farmers sold their produce to Indian traders at poor prices. By the early 1950s, there were over 400 co-operatives nationally.[25] Co-operatives formed "unions" for their areas and developed cotton gineries, coffee factories, and tobacco dryers. A major success for Tanzania was the Moshi coffee auctions that attracted international buyers after the annual Nairobi auctions.[19]

The disastrous Tanganyika groundnut scheme began in 1946 and was abandoned in 1951.

After Tanganyika became a UN trust territory, the British felt extra pressure for political progress.[24]:page 16 The British principal of "gradualism" was increasingly threatened and was abandoned entirely during the last few years before independence.[24]:page 16 Five UN missions visited Tanganyika, the UN received several hundred written petitions, and a handful of oral presentations made it to the debating chambers in New York City between 1948 and 1960.[24]:page 16 The UN and the Africans who used the UN to achieve their purposes were very influential in driving Tanganyika towards independence.[24]:page 17 The Africans attended public gatherings in Tanganyika with UN representatives.[24]:page 17 There were peasants, urban workers, government employees, and local chiefs and nobles who personally approached the UN about local matters needing immediate action.[24]:page 17 And finally, there were Africans at the core of the political process who had the power to mould the future.[24]:page 17 Their goal was political advancement for Africans, with many supporting the nationalist movement, which had its roots in the African Association (AA). It was formed in 1929 as a social organization for African government servants in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar.[24]:page 17 The AA was renamed the Tanganyika African Association (TAA) in 1948 and ceased being concerned with events in Zanzibar.[24]:page 17

Beginning in 1954, African nationalism centered on the Julius Nyerere in that year[24]:page 16 as the successor to the TAA.[24]:page 17 The TANU won the Legislative Council elections in 1958, 1959, and 1960, with Nyerere becoming chief minister after the 1960 election.[24]:page 16 Internal self-government started on 1 May 1961 followed by independence on 9 December 1961.[24]:page 16


Zanzibar today refers to the island of that name, also known as Unguja, and the neighboring island of Pemba. Both islands fell under Portuguese domination in the 16th and early 17th centuries but were retaken by Omani Arabs in the early 18th century. The height of Arab rule came during the reign of Sultan Seyyid Said, who moved his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar, established a ruling Arab elite, and encouraged the development of clove plantations, using the island's slave labor. Zanzibar and Pemba were world famous for their trade in spices and became known as the Spice Islands; in the early 20th century, they produced approximately 90% of the world's supply of cloves. Zanzibar was also a major transit point in the African Great Lakes and Indian Ocean slave trade (see Arab slave trade). Zanzibar attracted ships from as far away as the United States, which established a consulate in 1833. The United Kingdom's early interest in Zanzibar was motivated by both commerce and the determination to end the slave trade. In 1822, the British signed the first of a series of treaties with Sultan Said to curb this trade, but not until 1876 was the sale of slaves finally prohibited. The Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty of 1890 made Zanzibar and Pemba a British protectorate, and the Caprivi Strip in Namibia became a German protectorate. British rule through a Sultan remained largely unchanged from the late 19th century until 1957, when elections were held for a largely advisory Legislative Council.

Independence and Union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar

Julius Nyerere demanding political independence for Tanganyika in 1961.

In 1954, Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). On 9 December 1961, Tanganika became an independent Commonwealth realm, and Nyerere became Prime Minister, under a new constitution. On 9 December 9, 1962, a republican constitution was implemented with Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere as Tanganyika's first president.

Zanzibar received its independence from the United Kingdom on 10 December 1963, as a constitutional monarchy under the Sultan. On 12 January 1964, the African majority revolted against the sultan and a new government was formed with the ASP leader, Abeid Karume, as President of Zanzibar and Chairman of the Revolutionary Council.

In the first few days, between 5,000 and 15,000 Arabs and Indians were murdered, women were raped and their homes burned. Within a few weeks, a fifth of the population had died or fled.[26]

It was at this time that the Tanganyika army revolted and Britain was asked by Julius Nyerere to send in troops. Royal Marines Commandos were sent by air from England via Nairobi and 40 Commando came ashore from the aircraft carrier HMS Bulwark. Several months were spent with Commandos touring the country disarming military outposts. When the successful operation ended, the Royal Marines left to be replaced by Canadian troops.

On 26 April 1964, Tanganyika united with Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The country was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania on 29 October of that year. The name Tanzania is a blend of Tanganyika and Zanzibar and previously had no significance. Under the terms of this union, the Zanzibar Government retains considerable local autonomy.

Recent history

To form a sole ruling party in both parts of the union, Julius Nyerere merged TANU with the Zanzibar ruling party, the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) of Zanzibar to form the CCM (Chama cha Mapinduzi-CCM Revolutionary Party), on February 5, 1977. The merger was reinforced by principles enunciated in the 1982 union constitution and reaffirmed in the constitution of 1984.

Nyerere believed multiple political parties, in a nation with hundreds of ethnic groups, were a threat to national unity and therefore sought ways to ensure a one party system.[27] In a post-colonial and unstable social environment, Nyerere 'well aware of the divisiveness of ethnic chauvinism moved to excise tribalism from national politics' (Locatelli & Nugent, 2009: 252).[28] To further his aim for national unity Nyerere established Kiswahili as the national language.[29]

Nyerere used the Preventive Detention Act first to suppress trade unions and then to lock up any opponents when he wanted. People disappeared and total numbers were never published, but victims are estimated at thousands. International human rights organizations such as Amnesty International campaigned against repression in Tanzania.[30]

Nyerere introduced African socialism, or Ujamaa, literal meaning 'family-hood'. Nyerere's government had made Ujamaa the philosophy that would guide Tanzania's national development; 'the government deliberately de-emphasized urban areas to deconcentrate and ruralize industrial growth (Darkoh, 1994). the main urban area of Tanzania, Dar es Salaam, was for several long decades the main victim of this de-emphasis, largely because it 'remained for Nyerere a reminder of a colonial legacy (Myers, 2011: 44)[31]

Scope of the state expanded rapidly into virtually every sector. In 1967, nationalizations transformed the government into the largest employer in the country. It was involved in everything from retailing to import-export trade and even baking. This created an environment ripe for corruption.[32] Cumbersome bureaucratic procedures multiplied and excessive tax rates set by officials further damaged the economy.[32] Enormous amounts of public funds were misappropriated and put to unproductive use.[32] Purchasing power declined at an unprecedented rate and even essential commodities became unavailable.[32] A system of permits (vibali) allowed officials to collect huge bribes in exchange for the vibali.[32] A foundation for systemic corruption had been laid.[32] Officials became widely known as Wabenzi ("people of the Benz"). By mid-1979, corruption had reached epidemic proportions as the economy collapsed.[32]

Nyerere's Tanzania had a close relationship with the People's Republic of China. In 1979 Tanzania declared war on Uganda after the Soviet-backed 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, ending the Uganda-Tanzania War.[33] The Tanzanian army took the city with the help of the Ugandan and Rwandan guerrillas. Amin fled into exile.[34]

In October 1985, Nyerere handed over power to Ali Hassan Mwinyi, but retained control of the ruling party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), as Chairman until 1990, when he handed that responsibility to Mwinyi.

In 1990, a coalition of ethnic and cultural groups of Zanzibar demanded a referendum on independence. They declared that the merger with the mainland Tanzania, based on the now dead ideology of socialism, had transformed Zanzibar from a bustling economic power to a poor, neglected appendage.[26] Their demands were neglected.

However, the ruling party comfortably won the elections amid widespread irregularities[26] and its candidate Benjamin William Mkapa was subsequently sworn in as the new president of Tanzania in the country's ever multi-party election on 23 November 1995.[35][36] Contested elections in late 2000 led to a massacre in Zanzibar in January 2001, with the government shooting into crowds of protesters, killing 35 and injuring 600.[37] In December 2005, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete was elected the fourth 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 tsunamis along Tanzania's coastline in which 11 people were killed. An oil tanker also temporarily ran aground in the Dar Es Salaam harbour, damaging an oil pipeline.

In 2008, a power surge cut off power to Zanzibar, resulting in the 2008 Zanzibar Power blackout.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Wong, Kate (1 August 2005), "Flat feet and doubts about makers of the Laetoli tracks",  
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "History", Absolute Tanzania, retrieved 22 March 2010 
  5. ^ Martin, Phyllis;  
  6. ^ The Swahili: The Social Landscape of a Mercantile Society, authored by Mark Horton and John Middleton, published by Wiley, 2001
  7. ^ The Swahili: Reconstructing the History and Language of an African Society, 800-1500, authored by Derek Nurse and Thomas Spear, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1985
  8. ^ Walker, Eric (1940). The Cambridge History of the British Empire.  
  9. ^ a b Notholt, Stuart (2008). Fields of Fire: An Atlas of Ethnic Conflict. Troubador Publishing. p. 2.52.  
  10. ^ "History and Origin of Swahili - Jifunze Kiswahili". Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  11. ^ Raum, Otto Friedrich; Moore, Sally Falk (1996). Chaga Childhood: A Description of Indigenous Education in an East African Tribe. LIT Verlag Berlin-Hamburg-Münster. p. xvi.  
  12. ^ Wright, Thomas (2008). The Life of Sir Richard Burton. BiblioBazaar, LLC. pp. 116–122.  
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h , authored by John Iliffe, Cambridge University Press, 1979, accessed 23 October 2014A Modern History of Tanganyika
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x website, accessed 2 November 2014Information about northern Tanzania, edited by A. Samler Brown and Gordon Brown, Sampson Low, Marston & Company, 1920, pages 520-1, quoted on the South and East African Year Book and Guide for 1920: With Coloured Maps, Plans, and Diagrams
  15. ^ Peace Treaty of Versailles, accessed 2 November 2014
  16. ^ a b  
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n , authored by James S. Read, Microform Academic Publishers, 2006, accessed 1 November 2014Government Publications Relating to Tanganyika, 1919-1961"Introduction",
  18. ^ Protocol respecting the Boundary between Tanganyika Territory and the Belgian Mandated Territory of Ruanda–Urundi, Kigoma, 5 August 1924, "Burundi-Tanzania Border", International Boundary Study, United States Department of State, 16 May 1966
  19. ^ a b Work by WD Ogilvie: (a)1999 interview of David Hines; (b) London Daily Telegraph obituary of David Hines 8 April 2000
  20. ^ Going Solo, By Roald Dahl, Publisher: Puffin Books (September 4, 2008), ISBN 978-0141322742
  21. ^ a b Jay Heale, Winnie Wong, 2009, Cultures of the World, Second (Book 16), Tanzania, Publisher: Cavendish Square Publishing (March 1, 2009), ISBN 978-0761434177
  22. ^ Memorial Gates Trust, , African participants in the Second World War,
  23. ^ Tanzania: British rule between the Wars (1916-1945), Updated September 2005, Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa,
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa Voices from Tanganyika: Great Britain, The United Nations and the Decolonization of a Trust Territory, 1946-1961, authored by Ullrich Lohrmann, published by Lit Verlag, Berlin, 2007, accessed 30 October 2014
  25. ^ 3rd edition 1994 Lonely Planet: East Africa ISBN 0-86442-209-1 page 497
  26. ^ a b c Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations: S-Z, James Minahan, pages 2088-2089
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  32. ^ a b c d e f g Stapenhurst, Rick; Kpundeh, Sahr John (1999). Curbing corruption: toward a model for building national integrity.  
  33. ^ Mwakikagile, Godfrey (2001). Ethnic Politics in Kenya and Nigeria.  
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  35. ^ "Polling Problems Mar Election in Tanzania",  
  36. ^ "Tanzania swears in Mkapa as president",  
  37. ^ "Tanzania: Zanzibar Election Massacres Documented",  

Further reading

  • Gibbons, Ann (2007). The First Human: The Race to Discover our Earliest Ancestor. Anchor Books. ISBN 978-1-4000-7696-3.
  • Hyden, Goran (1980). Beyond Ujamaa in Tanzania: Underdevelopment and an Uncaptured Peasantry. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Iliffe, John (1971). Agricultural Change in Modern Tanganyika (Historical Association of Tanzania Paper no. 10. (Nairobi: East African Publishing House, 1971), 47 pp.
  • Kjekshus, Helge (1996). Ecology Control and Economic Development in East African History. London: James Currey.
  • Koponen, Juhani (1988). People and Production in Late Pre-colonial Tanzania: History and Structures. Uppsala: Scandinavian Institute of International Studies.
  • Koponen, Juhani (1994). Development for Exploitation: German Colonial Policies in Mainland Tanzania, 1884–1914.
  • Paice, Edward (2007). Tip and Run: The Untold Tragedy of the Great War in Africa. London: Orion Publishing.
  • Waters, Tony (2007). The Persistence of Subsistence Agriculture: Life Beneath the Level of the Marketplace. Lanham: Lexington Books.

External links

  • Background Note: Tanzania
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