RECSA > Members > Great lakes region > Republic of Tanzania

Republic of Tanzania


The United Republic of Tanzania

Demographic Features

The United Republic of Tanzania was formerly known as Tanganyika. In 1964, Tanganyika united with the Island of Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanzania, the largest in East Africa. The total land covers 947,300 sq km; the land occupies 885,800 sq km while water covers 61,500 sq km. Tanzania is located east of Africa’s Great Lakes north of Mozambique and south of Kenya, it has a coastline at the Indian Ocean in the east. The nation is bordered by six other African countries: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the CongoMalawiRwandaUganda, and Zambia, it also shares maritime borders with the Comoros and the Seychelles

It has shorelines at three of the Great Lakes: Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyassa (Lake Malawi). The capital is Dodoma, the largest city, chief port, and major economic and transportation hub and the de facto capital is Dar es Salaam. Spoken languages are Swahili and English (both official), and Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar). The population of the country is 65,642,682 million people. The country is characterized by many mineral resources such as hydropower, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones (including tanzanite, found only in Tanzania), gold, natural gas, and nickel. The varies from tropical along the coast to temperate in the highlands.

Ongeza Title

Kiswahili or Swahili is the official language, English is the primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education, and Arabic is widely spoken in Zanzibar. There are many other local languages spoken in the country.

Governance Structure

The government consists of three arms as described below:

The Executive is made up of the president who is both the chief of state and head of government. Additionally, there is the Prime Minister who has authority over the day-to-day functions of the government, is the leader of government business in the National Assembly, and is head of the Cabinet. The Council of Ministers is also part of the executive arms and is appointed by the president from among members of the National Assembly.

The Legislative arm is a unicameral National Assembly or Parliament (Bunge). It has 393 seats; 264 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 113 women indirectly elected by proportional representation vote, 5 indirectly elected by simple majority vote by the Zanzibar House of Representatives, 10 appointed by the president, and 1 seat reserved for the attorney general; members serve 5-year terms. In addition to enacting laws that apply to the entire United Republic of Tanzania, the National Assembly enacts laws that apply only to the mainland.

Zanzibar has its own House of Representatives or Baraza La Wawakilishi composed of 82 seats; 50 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 20 women directly elected by proportional representation vote, 10 appointed by the Zanzibar president, 1 seat for the House speaker, and 1 ex-officio seat for the attorney general; elected members serve a 5-year term.

The Judiciary is made up of two categories namely: the highest courts and the subordinate courts. The highest courts consist of; the Court of Appeal of the United Republic of Tanzania (consists of the chief justice and 14 justices); the High Court of the United Republic for Mainland Tanzania (consists of the principal judge and 30 judges organized into commercial, land, and labor courts); High Court of Zanzibar (consists of the chief justice and 10 justices).

The subordinate courts include Resident Magistrates Courts; Kadhi courts (for Islamic family matters); district and primary courts. 


The country is emerging lower middle-income East African economy. It is resource-rich and growing tourism; strong post-pandemic recovery from hospitality, electricity, mining, and transit sectors; declining poverty and stable inflation. 


Safety and Security

There have been a number of terrorist-related attacks from Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab and other terror groups. Other crimes related issues include the use and possession of illicit small arms and light weapons. For instance, there is a widespread poaching target for national park reserves. Conservationists have warned that the entire elephant population could die out by the end of the decade if they continue to be killed for their ivory at the current rate. Further, offshore waters in the Indian Ocean remain at risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships


Membership to Regional Blocs

The United Republic of Tanzania is a member of various regional blocs including the Regional Centre on Small Arms. Other include UN, AU, COMESA, ICGLR, and SADC among others.