The United Republic of Tanzania, formed by Tanganyika and the island of Zanzibar, is one of the most dynamic countries in East Africa. It borders Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. To the east it is washed by the Indian Ocean. Dar es Salaam is the largest city and was the capital until the 1970s. The transfer of administrative functions to the newly designated capital Dodoma, located in the centre of Tanzania, has not yet been completed. During the last century, Tanganyika was the object of German expansionist aims and became a colony. After the First World War, the region was handed over to the British Mandate. With decolonisation, it achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1961 and in 1964 joined Zanzibar to better contain the instability that had spread over the island. The post-independence phase was characterised by the leadership of Julius Nyerere, the first president and a politician who was very active in the non-aligned countries movement. Since 1995, Tanzania has had a multi-party system, although in fact the political landscape appears to be dominated by the majority party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (Ccm, Swahili for 'Party of the Revolution'), which has almost the characteristics of a party-state. The constitution prohibits coalitions between political parties, effectively making it impossible to create a united front in opposition to the Ccm. When compared to the rest of East Africa, however, Tanzania has on average higher levels of democratisation and respect for political and civil rights. For example, 48 parliamentary seats are reserved for women. At the regional level, Tanzania has recently been very active, not least because of the proven international experience of one of its past presidents, Jakaya Kikwete, who was president of the African Union (AU) between January 2008 and February 2009. Tanzania has assumed an important mediation role in the conflicts that have affected its neighbouring countries in recent years. Its role is also enhanced by its participation in the East African Community (EAC) organisation and, as the only country among the EAC members, by its membership of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc). At the international level, Tanzania has good relations with the former colonial powers (Germany and the United Kingdom), the Scandinavian countries, China and, in recent years, also with the United States and Japan. [Enciclopedia Treccani]

Active projects in Tanzania:


KA 107 Overworld