Tanzania is one of the largest countries in Africa. It is a union (formed in 1964) between the mainland (Tanganyika), and the Zanzibar Isles consisting of Unguja (also known as Zanzibar) and Pemba. It lies on the east coast of Africa, between 1 and 11 degrees South of the Equator. It is bordered to the North by Kenya and Uganda. To the West is Zaire, Rwanda, Burundi and Zambia, and to the South are Malawi and Mozambique. It covers an area of 945,000 sq. km.
The United Republic of Tanzania comprise the territory formerly known as Tanganyika, now mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar which is made up of the Islands of Unguja and Pemba.Tangayika which gained independence in 1961, united with Zanzibar in 1964 to form the United Republic.
However, reducing poverty and maternal mortality remain key development challenges. Recent growth recorded was for the very few, leaving out the majority of the population from economic growth and greater national wealth.
Visible high youth unemployment and rising income disparities could not only destabilize the steady social fabric that Tanzania has enjoyed for years since independence, but could also derail further economic and social progress unless urgent action is taken to address them.
While Tanzania has achieved progress towards gender equality over the last decade, key challenges remain such as inequitable access to and ownership of land and resources, the low participation of women at all levels of decision making, gender based violence and women exclusion from the economy. This is reflected in the 2014 Gender Inequality Index, where Tanzania ranks 125 out of 155 countries with a rating of 0.547.
Tanzania has made little progress towards reducing extreme hunger and malnutrition. The 2010 Global Hunger Index ranks the situation as “alarming”. Children in rural areas suffer substantially higher rates of malnutrition and chronic hunger, although urban-rural disparities have narrowed as regards both stunting and underweight.Low rural sector productivity arises mainly from inadequate infrastructure investment; limited access to farm inputs, extension services and credit; limited technology as well as trade and marketing support; and heavy dependence on rain-fed agriculture and natural resources.
Tanzania’s fast-growing population of 43 million (which includes 1.3 million people on Zanzibar) is highly dependent on the environment and natural resources for its livelihood. Thus unsustainable harvesting of natural resources, water-source encroachment and unchecked cultivation, coupled with global climate change, pose challenges both for achieving the Millennium Development Goal related to the environment and for maintaining any achievements.
Tanzania weathered 2012 well in the face of global economic and climate change challenges, regional threats to peace and security, and mounting national economic, social and environmental stress. This includes sustained economic growth, preservation of internal peace and security, contributions to regional/international peace and security and advances in democratic development.
The economy grew by 6.5 per cent in 2012-well above the regional and global averages-despite a significant slowdown in its main trading partner economies. Limited exposure to global financial markets, high gold prices and continued flow of foreign direct investments to the extractive sector seem to have somewhat shielded Tanzania from the global shocks.
In 2012 and into 2013 Tanzania also made important governance advances-it was among the top 10 best governed in Africa (sixth excluding small island States) as per the Mo Ibrahim Index. Yet, the fight against corruption remains a significant national and development challenge.
Development cooperation continues to play a significant role in financing of development activities, although there are signs of a decreasing share of ODA financing of the national budget following a deliberate Government policy measure to reduce national aid dependence (Net ODA received i.e. % of gross capital formation received in 2010 was 44.78, its highest value recorded over the past 2 decades was 106.47 in 1992, and its lowest value was 37.79 in 2008)
Remarkable achievements in overall human development have been a noticeable feature of Tanzania registering the most gains in Sub Saharan Africa in the Human Development Index