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Tanzania was established on 26 April 1964 as a result of the merger of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. The name of the African country was created from the combination of specific letters from the two states of Tanganyika and Zanzibar (Article: Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896).

Tanzanian map. cr: Alarmy

Tanganyika is often known as a reference to Lake Tanganyika which is claimed to be derived from the Swahili words tanga, meaning sail, and nyika, meaning uninhabited plain, wilderness, resulting in the expression “sail in the wilderness”.

The name of Zanzibar comes from zeng, said to mean black, and the Arabic word barr, which means coast or shore.

Tanzania: Brief History

The association of the two states came soon after the two nations acquired their freedom from Britain. From 1894 to 1914, African Tanganyika, alongside two more two smaller regions, was constrained by Germany and known as German East Africa.

African Tanganyika was put under the “trusteeship” of Britain by the League of Nations in 1920 after Germany was crushed in World War I. On December 9, 1961, the nation acquired its autonomy from Britain.

Zanzibar, an island port off the shore of Tanganyika, had been in contact with merchants from the Persian Gulf for hundreds of years but was placed under British control in 1890.

Zanzibar became an independent territory on December 10, 1963, however, but remained influenced by the Omani Arabs, under Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah.

The locals, who were more than the Arabs and served as slaves under their influence, detested the resignation and chose to battle for their autonomy in what brought about the Zanzibar Revolution in which about 20,000 people died. Jamshid bin Abdullah was removed and exiled.

The revolutionary government led by Abeid Karume of the Afro-Shirazi Party came to power and visited Julius Nyerere only a short time after the insurgency.

Nyerere proposed the possibility of an association. Karume, purportedly, quickly concurred and recommended that Nyerere become the leader of the association.

Tanzania: The Birth

Tanzania, officially United Republic of Tanzania, Country, eastern Africa. It is mostly on the African mainland yet includes the “islands of Zanzibar, Pemba, and Mafia in the Indian Ocean. Area: 366,311 sq mi (948,740 sq km). Population: (2021 est.) 59,678,000. Capital: Dar es Salaam; Dodoma, designated.”

Tanzania: Features

There are over 120 identifiable ethnic groups; the biggest, the Sukuma, is about one-tenth of the population. Languages are Swahili, and English (both official) and religions are Christianity, Islam, and traditional beliefs.

Although most of Tanzania consists of plains and plateaus, it has some spectacular relief features, including “Kilimanjaro and Ol Doinyo Lengai, an active volcano.”

All or segments of Lakes Nyasa, Tanganyika, Victoria, and Rukwa exist in Tanzania, as do the headwaters of the Nile, Congo, and Zambezi streams. Serengeti National Park is the most well-known of its broad game reserves.

Significant mineral deposits are gold, jewels, gemstones, coal, and gaseous petrol. The economy depends to a great extent on farming; major crops include cotton, coffee, corn, rice, cloves, sisal, cashews, and tobacco.

They also have industries including food processing, textiles, cement, and brewing. Its system is a unitary multiparty republic with one legislative house; its head of state and government is the president.


Inhabited from the 1st millennium BCE, it was occupied by Arab and Indian traders and the Bantu-speaking peoples by the 10th century CE.

The Portuguese controlled the shoreline in the late fifteenth century; however, they were driven out by the Arabs of Oman and Zanzibar in the late 18th century.

German settlers entered the region during the 1880s, and in 1891 the Germans pronounced the region a protectorate as part of German East Africa.

During World War I, Britain acquired the German possessions, which became a British mandate (1920) under the name Tanganyika. Britain held control of the area after World War II when it became a trusted territory of the UN.

Tanganyika gained independence in 1961 and became a republic in 1962. In 1964 it united with Zanzibar, later adopted the name Tanzania, and then was led by Pres. Julius Nyerere until 1985.

The country subsequently experienced both political and economic struggles; it held its first multiparty elections in 1995.

Tadese Faforiji

I am Tadese Faforiji, a history student of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State- 21st-century University, properly called. I am a blogger and an avid writer.