Country of the World Tanzania

About the country Tanzania, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: The United Republic of Tanzania, located in East Africa, is an amalgamation of the island of Zanzibar and the former colonial territory of Tanganyika. Lake Tanganyika runs nearly the whole length of the western side of the country and forms the border with Zaire. The northern tip of the lake lies in Burundi, with the Kagera River forming Tanzania's border with Rwanda. Lake Victoria, Africa's largest lake, juts into northern Tanzania. Midway up the western shore lies the border with Uganda. The border with Kenya is approximately halfway up the eastern side of the lake and stretches southeast to the Indian Ocean.

Africa's highest mountain, flat-topped, snow-covered Mt. Kilimanjaro, rises over 19,000 ft. just south of the Kenyan frontier. Enormous game migrations still take place in Tanzania's vast Serengeti National Park.

Size: 364,898 sq. mi. (945,087 sq. km.).

Population: 16.4 million.

Who Rules: On Feb. 5, 1977, the Tanganyikan African National Union (TANU, the only political party allowed on the Tanzanian mainland) and the Afro-Shirazi party (ASP, the only political party allowed on the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba) were merged to form the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), or Revolutionary party of Tanzania. The new party is the only one legally allowed in Tanzania. Mainland voters are able to show their approval or disapproval by choosing from a number of different official party candidates running in each constituency every five years. No elections have been held on Zanzibar and Pemba since the coup d'etat of 1964.

Who REALLY Rules: On the mainland, Pres. Julius Nyerere still holds the reins of power. Often in the past few years he has personally interceded in party affairs as a moderating force when zealots have disrupted the country's economy by moving too rapidly in nationalizing private property or moving people into Ujumaa villages (rural communal settlements which characterize Tanzania's "African socialism"). On the islands of Pemba and Zanzibar, the Revolutionary Council has ruled since 1964 with dictatorial revolutionary fervor. The absolute power of the Revolutionary Council has eroded somewhat since the assassination of Sheikh Karume in 1972, but the islands are still tightly in its grasp.

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