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Tanzania :: Africa



Mainland Tanzania fell under German rule during the late 19th century as part of German East Africa. After World War I, Britain governed the mainland as Tanganyika; the Zanzibar Archipelago remained a separate colonial jurisdiction. Shortly after achieving independence from Britain in the early 1960s, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the United Republic of Tanzania in 1964. In 1995, the country held its first democratic elections since the 1970s. Zanzibar maintains semi-autonomy and participates in national elections; popular political opposition on the isles led to four contentious elections since 1995, in which the ruling party claimed victory despite international observers' claims of voting irregularities.



Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique

Geographic coordinates:

6 00 S, 35 00 E

Map references:



total: 947,300 sq km
land: 885,800 sq km
water: 61,500 sq km
note: includes the islands of Mafia, Pemba, and Zanzibar
country comparison to the world: 32

Area - comparative:

more than six times the size of Georgia; slightly larger than twice the size of California

Land boundaries:

total: 4,161 km
border countries (8): Burundi 589 km, Democratic Republic of the Congo 479 km, Kenya 775 km, Malawi 512 km, Mozambique 840 km, Rwanda 222 km, Uganda 391 km, Zambia 353 km


1,424 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


varies from tropical along coast to temperate in highlands


plains along coast; central plateau; highlands in north, south


mean elevation: 1,018 m
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Kilimanjaro (highest point in Africa) 5,895 m

Natural resources:

hydropower, tin, phosphates, iron ore, coal, diamonds, gemstones, gold, natural gas, nickel

Land use:

agricultural land: 43.7% (2011 est.)
arable land: 14.3% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 2.3% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 27.1% (2011 est.)
forest: 37.3% (2011 est.)
other: 19% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land:

1,840 sq km (2012)

Population distribution:

the largest and most populous East African country; population distribution is extremely uneven, but greater population clusters occur in the northern half of country and along the east coast as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards:

flooding on the central plateau during the rainy season; drought ++ volcanism: limited volcanic activity; Ol Doinyo Lengai (2,962 m) has emitted lava in recent years; other historically active volcanoes include Kieyo and Meru

Environment - current issues:

water polution; improper management of liquid waste; indoor air pollution caused by the burning of fuel wood or charcoal for cooking and heating is a large environmental health issue; soil degradation; deforestation; desertification; destruction of coral reefs threatens marine habitats; wildlife threatened by illegal hunting and trade, especially for ivory; loss of biodiversity; solid waste disposal

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa and one of only three mountain ranges on the continent that has glaciers (the others are Mount Kenya [in Kenya] and the Ruwenzori Mountains [on the Uganda-Democratic Republic of the Congo border]); Tanzania is bordered by three of the largest lakes on the continent: Lake Victoria (the world's second-largest freshwater lake) in the north, Lake Tanganyika (the world's second deepest) in the west, and Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) in the southwest

People and Society


58,552,845 (July 2020 est.)
note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
country comparison to the world: 24


noun: Tanzanian(s)
adjective: Tanzanian

Ethnic groups:

mainland - African 99% (of which 95% are Bantu consisting of more than 130 tribes), other 1% (consisting of Asian, European, and Arab); Zanzibar - Arab, African, mixed Arab and African


Kiswahili or Swahili (official), Kiunguja (name for Swahili in Zanzibar), English (official, primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education), Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), many local languages
note: Kiswahili (Swahili) is the mother tongue of the Bantu people living in Zanzibar and nearby coastal Tanzania; although Kiswahili is Bantu in structure and origin, its vocabulary draws on a variety of sources including Arabic and English; it has become the lingua franca of central and eastern Africa; the first language of most people is one of the local languages


Christian 61.4%, Muslim 35.2%, folk religion 1.8%, other 0.2%, unaffiliated 1.4% (2010 est.)
note: Zanzibar is almost entirely Muslim

Demographic profile:

Tanzania has the largest population in East Africa and the lowest population density; almost a third of the population is urban. Tanzania's youthful population – about two-thirds of the population is under 25 – is growing rapidly because of the high total fertility rate of 4.8 children per woman. Progress in reducing the birth rate has stalled, sustaining the country's nearly 3% annual growth. The maternal mortality rate has improved since 2000, yet it remains very high because of early and frequent pregnancies, inadequate maternal health services, and a lack of skilled birth attendants – problems that are worse among poor and rural women. Tanzania has made strides in reducing under-5 and infant mortality rates, but a recent drop in immunization threatens to undermine gains in child health. Malaria is a leading killer of children under 5, while HIV is the main source of adult mortality ++ For Tanzania, most migration is internal, rural to urban movement, while some temporary labor migration from towns to plantations takes place seasonally for harvests. Tanzania was Africa's largest refugee-hosting country for decades, hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Great Lakes region, primarily Burundi, over the last fifty years. However, the assisted repatriation and naturalization of tens of thousands of Burundian refugees between 2002 and 2014 dramatically reduced the refugee population. Tanzania is increasingly a transit country for illegal migrants from the Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region who are heading to southern Africa for security reasons and/or economic opportunities. Some of these migrants choose to settle in Tanzania.

Age structure:

0-14 years: 42.7% (male 12,632,772/female 12,369,115)
15-24 years: 20.39% (male 5,988,208/female 5,948,134)
25-54 years: 30.31% (male 8,903,629/female 8,844,180)
55-64 years: 3.52% (male 954,251/female 1,107,717)
65 years and over: 3.08% (male 747,934/female 1,056,905) (2020 est.)

Dependency ratios:

total dependency ratio: 85.9
youth dependency ratio: 81
elderly dependency ratio: 4.9
potential support ratio: 20.4 (2020 est.)

Median age:

total: 18.2 years
male: 17.9 years
female: 18.4 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 212

Population growth rate:

2.71% (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 15

Birth rate:

34.6 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22

Death rate:

7.1 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 122

Net migration rate:

-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 125

Population distribution:

the largest and most populous East African country; population distribution is extremely uneven, but greater population clusters occur in the northern half of country and along the east coast as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 35.2% of total population (2020)
rate of urbanization: 5.22% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)

Major urban areas - population:

262,000 Dodoma (legislative capital) (2018), 6.702 million DAR ES SALAAM (administrative capital), 1.120 million Mwanza (2020)

Sex ratio:

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.86 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
total population: 1 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:

19.8 years (2015/16 est.)
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29

Maternal mortality rate:

524 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19

Infant mortality rate:

total: 36.4 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 38.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 34.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 42

Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 63.9 years
male: 62.3 years
female: 65.5 years (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202

Total fertility rate:

4.59 children born/woman (2020 est.)
country comparison to the world: 22

Contraceptive prevalence rate:

38.4% (2015/16)

Drinking water source:

improved: urban: 92.3% of population
rural: 56.2% of population
total: 68.2% of population
unimproved: urban: 7.7% of population
rural: 43.8% of population
total: 31.8% of population (2017 est.)

Current Health Expenditure:

3.6% (2017)

Physicians density:

0.01 physicians/1,000 population (2016)

Hospital bed density:

0.7 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Sanitation facility access:

improved: urban: 82.1% of population
rural: 29.5% of population
total: 46.9% of population
unimproved: urban: 17.9% of population
rural: 70.5% of population
total: 53.1% of population (2017 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

5.1% (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 12

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

1.7 million (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

27,000 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 6

Major infectious diseases:

degree of risk: very high (2020)
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and Rift Valley fever
water contact diseases: schistosomiasis
animal contact diseases: rabies

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:

8.4% (2016)
country comparison to the world: 151

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:

14.6% (2018)
country comparison to the world: 41

Education expenditures:

3.4% of GDP (2014)
country comparison to the world: 121


definition: age 15 and over can read and write Kiswahili (Swahili), English, or Arabic
total population: 77.9%
male: 83.2%
female: 73.1% (2015)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 9 years
male: 9 years
female: 9 years (2019)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

total: 3.9%
male: 3.1%
female: 4.6% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 167


Country name:

conventional long form: United Republic of Tanzania
conventional short form: Tanzania
local long form: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania
local short form: Tanzania
former: German East Africa, Trust Territory of Tanganyika, United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar
etymology: the country's name is a combination of the first letters of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, the two states that merged to form Tanzania in 1964

Government type:

presidential republic


name: Dar es Salaam (administrative capital), Dodoma (legislative capital); note - Dodoma was designated the national capital in 1996 and serves as the meeting place for the National Assembly; Dar es Salaam remains the de facto capital, the country's largest city and commercial center, and the site of the executive branch offices and diplomatic representation; the government contends that it will complete the transfer of the executive branch to Dodoma by 2020
geographic coordinates: 6 48 S, 39 17 E
time difference: UTC+3 (8 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
etymology: Dar es Salaam was the name given by Majid bin Said, the first sultan of Zanzibar, to the new city he founded on the Indian Ocean coast; the Arabic name is commonly translated as "abode/home of peace"; Dodoma, in the native Gogo language, means "it has sunk"; supposedly, one day during the rainy season, an elephant drowned in the area; the villagers in that place were so struck by what had occurred, that ever since the locale has been referred to as the place where "it (the elephant) sunk"

Administrative divisions:

31 regions; Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Geita, Iringa, Kagera, Kaskazini Pemba (Pemba North), Kaskazini Unguja (Zanzibar North), Katavi, Kigoma, Kilimanjaro, Kusini Pemba (Pemba South), Kusini Unguja (Zanzibar Central/South), Lindi, Manyara, Mara, Mbeya, Mjini Magharibi (Zanzibar Urban/West), Morogoro, Mtwara, Mwanza, Njombe, Pwani (Coast), Rukwa, Ruvuma, Shinyanga, Simiyu, Singida, Songwe, Tabora, Tanga


26 April 1964 (Tanganyika united with Zanzibar to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar); 29 October 1964 (renamed United Republic of Tanzania); notable earlier dates: 9 December 1961 (Tanganyika became independent from UK-administered UN trusteeship); 10 December 1963 (Zanzibar became independent from UK)

National holiday:

Union Day (Tanganyika and Zanzibar), 26 April (1964)


history: several previous; latest adopted 25 April 1977; note - progress enacting a new constitution drafted in 2014 by the Constituent Assembly stalled
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage of amendments to constitutional articles including those on sovereignty of the United Republic, the authorities and powers of the government, the president, the Assembly, and the High Court requires two-thirds majority vote of the mainland Assembly membership and of the Zanzibar House of Representatives membership; House of Representatives approval of other amendments is not required; amended several times, last in 2017

Legal system:

English common law; judicial review of legislative acts limited to matters of interpretation

International law organization participation:

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Tanzania; if a child is born abroad, the father must be a citizen of Tanzania
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:

chief of state: President John MAGUFULI, Dr. (since 5 November 2015; sworn in for second 5-year term on 5 November 2020); Vice President Samia Suluhu HASSAN (since 5 November 2015); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President John MAGUFULI, Dr. (since 5 November 2015; sworn in for second 5-year term on 5 November 2020); Vice President Samia Suluhu HASSAN (since 5 November 2015); note - Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa MAJALIWA (since 20 November 2015; reappointed 13 November 2020) 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
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among members of the National Assembly
elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by simple majority popular vote for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 25 October 2015 (next to be held 28 October 2020); prime minister appointed by the president
election results: John MAGUFULI elected president; percent of vote - John MAGUFULI (CCM) 58.5%, Edward LOWASSA (CHADEMA) 40%, other 1.5%
note: Zanzibar elects a president as head of government for internal matters; election held on 25 October 2015 was annulled by the Zanzibar Electoral Commission and rerun on 20 March 2016; President Ali Mohamed SHEIN reelected; percent of vote - Ali Mohamed SHEIN (CCM) 91.4%, Hamad Rashid MOHAMED (ADC) 3%, other 5.6%; the main opposition party in Zanzibar CUF boycotted the 20 March 2016 election rerun

Legislative branch:

description: unicameral National Assembly or Parliament (Bunge) (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 a 5-year term); note - 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 (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)
elections: Tanzania National Assembly and Zanzibar House of Representatives - elections last held on 25 October 2015 (next National Assembly election to be held in October 2020; next Zanzibar election either October 2020 or March 2021); note the Zanzibar Electoral Commission annulled the 2015 election; repoll held on 20 March 2016
election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - CCM 55%, Chadema 31.8%, CUF 8.6%, other 4.6%; seats by party - CCM 253, Chadema 70, CUF 42, other 2; composition as of September 2018 - men 245, women 145, percent of women 37.2% ++ Zanzibar House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; composition - NA

Judicial branch:

highest courts: Court of Appeal of the United Republic of Tanzania (consists of the chief justice and 14 justices); 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)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Appeal and High Court justices appointed by the national president after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission for Tanzania, a judicial body of high level judges and 2 members appointed by the national president; Court of Appeal and High Court judges serve until mandatory retirement at age 60, but terms can be extended; High Court of Zanzibar judges appointed by the national president after consultation with the Judicial Commission of Zanzibar; judges can serve until mandatory retirement at age 65
subordinate courts: Resident Magistrates Courts; Kadhi courts (for Islamic family matters); district and primary courts

Political parties and leaders:

Alliance for Change and Transparency (Wazalendo) or ACT [Zitto KABWE] ++ Alliance for Democratic Change or ADC [Miraji ABDALLAH] ++ Civic United Front (Chama Cha Wananchi) or CUF [Ibrahim LIPUMBA] ++ National Convention for Construction and Reform-Mageuzi or NCCR-M [James Francis MBATIA] ++ National League for Democracy ++ Party of Democracy and Development (Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo) or Chadema [Freeman MBOWE] ++ Revolutionary Party (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) or CCM [John MAGUFULI] ++ Tanzania Labor Party or TLP [Augustine MREMA] ++ United Democratic Party or UDP [John Momose CHEYO]
note: in March 2014, four opposition parties (CUF, CHADEMA, NCCR-Mageuzi, and NLD) united to form Coalition for the People's Constitution (Umoja wa Katiba ya Wananchi) or UKAWA; during local elections held in October, 2014, UKAWA entered one candidate representing the three parties united in the coalition

International organization participation:


Diplomatic representation in the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Wilson Mutagaywa MASILINGI (since 17 September 2015)
chancery: 1232 22nd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037
telephone: [1] (202) 939-6125
FAX: [1] (202) 797-7408

Diplomatic representation from the US:

chief of mission: Ambassador Donald J. WRIGHT (since 2 April 2020)
telephone: (255) 22-229-4000, dial '1' for an emergency operator
embassy: 686 Old Bagamoyo Road, Msasani, Dar es Salaam
mailing address: P.O. Box 9123, Dar es Salaam
FAX: [255] (22) 229-4970 or 4971

Flag description:

divided diagonally by a yellow-edged black band from the lower hoist-side corner; the upper triangle (hoist side) is green and the lower triangle is blue; the banner combines colors found on the flags of Tanganyika and Zanzibar; green represents the natural vegetation of the country, gold its rich mineral deposits, black the native Swahili people, and blue the country's many lakes and rivers, as well as the Indian Ocean

National symbol(s):

Uhuru (Freedom) torch, giraffe; national colors: green, yellow, blue, black

National anthem:

name: "Mungu ibariki Afrika" (God Bless Africa)
lyrics/music: collective/Enoch Mankayi SONTONGA
note: adopted 1961; the anthem, which is also a popular song in Africa, shares the same melody with that of Zambia but has different lyrics; the melody is also incorporated into South Africa's anthem


Economic overview:

Tanzania has achieved high growth rates based on its vast natural resource wealth and tourism with GDP growth in 2009-17 averaging 6%-7% per year. Dar es Salaam used fiscal stimulus measures and easier monetary policies to lessen the impact of the global recession and in general, benefited from low oil prices. Tanzania has largely completed its transition to a market economy, though the government retains a presence in sectors such as telecommunications, banking, energy, and mining. ++ The economy depends on agriculture, which accounts for slightly less than one-quarter of GDP and employs about 65% of the work force, although gold production in recent years has increased to about 35% of exports. All land in Tanzania is owned by the government, which can lease land for up to 99 years. Proposed reforms to allow for land ownership, particularly foreign land ownership, remain unpopular. ++ The financial sector in Tanzania has expanded in recent years and foreign-owned banks account for about 48% of the banking industry's total assets. Competition among foreign commercial banks has resulted in significant improvements in the efficiency and quality of financial services, though interest rates are still relatively high, reflecting high fraud risk. Banking reforms have helped increase private-sector growth and investment. ++ The World Bank, the IMF, and bilateral donors have provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania's aging infrastructure, including rail and port, which provide important trade links for inland countries. In 2013, Tanzania completed the world's largest Millennium Challenge Compact (MCC) grant, worth $698 million, but in late 2015, the MCC Board of Directors deferred a decision to renew Tanzania's eligibility because of irregularities in voting in Zanzibar and concerns over the government's use of a controversial cybercrime bill. ++ The new government elected in 2015 has developed an ambitious development agenda focused on creating a better business environment through improved infrastructure, access to financing, and education progress, but implementing budgets remains challenging for the government. Recent policy moves by President MAGUFULI are aimed at protecting domestic industry and have caused concern among foreign investors.

GDP real growth rate:

6.98% (2019 est.)
6.95% (2018 est.)
6.78% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 17

Inflation rate (consumer prices):

3.4% (2019 est.)
3.5% (2018 est.)
5.3% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154

Credit ratings:

Moody's rating: B2 (2020)

GDP (purchasing power parity) - real:

$159.821 billion (2019 est.)
$149.396 billion (2018 est.)
$139.685 billion (2017 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):

$60.633 billion (2019 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):

$959 (2019 est.)
$923 (2018 est.)
$889 (2017 est.)
note: data are in 2010 dollars
country comparison to the world: 211

Gross national saving:

25% of GDP (2017 est.)
23.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
24.9% of GDP (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 60

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:

agriculture: 23.4% (2017 est.)
industry: 28.6% (2017 est.)
services: 47.6% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:

household consumption: 62.4% (2017 est.)
government consumption: 12.5% (2017 est.)
investment in fixed capital: 36.1% (2017 est.)
investment in inventories: -8.7% (2017 est.)
exports of goods and services: 18.1% (2017 est.)
imports of goods and services: -20.5% (2017 est.)

Ease of Doing Business Index scores:

20.2 (2020)

Agriculture - products:

coffee, sisal, tea, cotton, pyrethrum (insecticide made from chrysanthemums), cashew nuts, tobacco, cloves, corn, wheat, cassava (manioc, tapioca), bananas, fruits, vegetables; cattle, sheep, goats


agricultural processing (sugar, beer, cigarettes, sisal twine); mining (diamonds, gold, and iron), salt, soda ash; cement, oil refining, shoes, apparel, wood products, fertilizer

Industrial production growth rate:

12% (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8

Labor force:

24.89 million (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 66.9%
industry: 6.4%
services: 26.6% (2014 est.)

Unemployment rate:

10.3% (2014 est.)
country comparison to the world: 151

Population below poverty line:

22.8% (2015 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:

lowest 10%: 2.8%
highest 10%: 29.6% (2007)


revenues: 7.873 billion (2017 est.)
expenditures: 8.818 billion (2017 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:

15.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):

-1.8% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 100

Public debt:

37% of GDP (2017 est.)
38% of GDP (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 141

Fiscal year:

1 July - 30 June

Current account balance:

-$1.313 billion (2019 est.)
-$1.898 billion (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155


$7.827 billion (2017 est.)
$5.697 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107

Exports - partners:

India 21.8%, South Africa 17.9%, Kenya 8.8%, Switzerland 6.7%, Belgium 5.9%, Democratic Republic of the Congo 5.8%, China 4.8% (2017)

Exports - commodities:

gold, coffee, cashew nuts, manufactures, cotton


$9.972 billion (2017 est.)
$8.464 billion (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109

Imports - commodities:

consumer goods, machinery and transportation equipment, industrial raw materials, crude oil

Imports - partners:

India 16.5%, China 15.8%, UAE 9.2%, Saudi Arabia 7.9%, South Africa 5.1%, Japan 4.9%, Switzerland 4.4% (2017)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:

$5.301 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$4.067 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
note: excludes gold
country comparison to the world: 94

Debt - external:

$17.66 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
$15.21 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97

Exchange rates:

Tanzanian shillings (TZS) per US dollar -
2,319 (2020 est.)
2,300 (2019 est.)
2,299.155 (2018 est.)
1,989.7 (2014 est.)
1,654 (2013 est.)


Electricity access:

population without electricity: 35 million (2019)
electrification - total population: 40% (2019)
electrification - urban areas: 71% (2019)
electrification - rural areas: 23% (2019)

Electricity - production:

6.699 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 114

Electricity - consumption:

5.682 billion kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 118

Electricity - exports:

0 kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206

Electricity - imports:

102 million kWh (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 99

Electricity - installed generating capacity:

1.457 million kW (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124

Electricity - from fossil fuels:

55% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 140

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:

0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 192

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:

40% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53

Electricity - from other renewable sources:

6% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106

Crude oil - production:

0 bbl/day (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206

Crude oil - exports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 205

Crude oil - imports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202

Crude oil - proved reserves:

0 bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 202

Refined petroleum products - production:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206

Refined petroleum products - consumption:

72,000 bbl/day (2016 est.)
country comparison to the world: 92

Refined petroleum products - exports:

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 207

Refined petroleum products - imports:

67,830 bbl/day (2015 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69

Natural gas - production:

3.115 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 56

Natural gas - consumption:

3.115 billion cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 74

Natural gas - exports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198

Natural gas - imports:

0 cu m (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 198

Natural gas - proved reserves:

6.513 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:

14.57 million Mt (2017 est.)
country comparison to the world: 93


Telephones - fixed lines:

total subscriptions: 74,081
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 148

Telephones - mobile cellular:

total subscriptions: 46,847,405
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 82.21 (2019 est.)
country comparison to the world: 31

Telecommunication systems:

general assessment: telecommunications services are marginal and operating below capacity; 1 fixed-line operator and 8 operational mobile networks; unfortunate high tariffs on telecoms; mobile use is growing at 85% penetration; 3G/LTE services; govt. allocates TZ $17.5 billion to improve rural telecom infrastructure and work on national fiber backbone network connecting population around country (2020)
domestic: fixed-line telephone network inadequate with less than 1 connection per 100 persons; mobile-cellular service, aided by multiple providers, is increasing rapidly and exceeds 82 telephones per 100 persons; trunk service provided by open-wire, microwave radio relay, tropospheric scatter, and fiber-optic cable; some links being made digital (2019)
international: country code - 255; landing points for the EASSy, SEACOM/Tata TGN-Eurasia, and SEAS fiber-optic submarine cable system linking East Africa with the Middle East; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Indian Ocean, 1 Atlantic Ocean) (2019)
note: the COVID-19 outbreak is negatively impacting telecommunications production and supply chains globally; consumer spending on telecom devices and services has also slowed due to the pandemic's effect on economies worldwide; overall progress towards improvements in all facets of the telecom industry - mobile, fixed-line, broadband, submarine cable and satellite - has moderated

Broadcast media:

a state-owned TV station and multiple privately owned TV stations; state-owned national radio station supplemented by more than 40 privately owned radio stations; transmissions of several international broadcasters are available (2019)

Internet country code:


Internet users:

total: 13,862,836
percent of population: 25% (July 2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46

Broadband - fixed subscriptions:

total: 861,234
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 2 (2018 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71


National air transport system:

number of registered air carriers: 11 (2020)
inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 91
annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 1,481,557 (2018)
annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 390,000 mt-km (2018)

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:

5H (2016)


166 (2013)
country comparison to the world: 33

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 10 (2019)
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2

Airports - with unpaved runways:

total: 156 (2013)
over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 24 (2013)
914 to 1,523 m: 98 (2013)
under 914 m: 33 (2013)


311 km gas, 891 km oil, 8 km refined products (2013)


total: 4,567 km (2014)
narrow gauge: 1,860 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)
2707 km 1.000-m gauge
country comparison to the world: 43


total: 87,581 km (2015)
paved: 10,025 km (2015)
unpaved: 77,556 km (2015)
country comparison to the world: 56


(Lake Tanganyika, Lake Victoria, and Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) are the principal avenues of commerce with neighboring countries; the rivers are not navigable) (2011)

Merchant marine:

total: 337
by type: bulk carrier 4, container ship 8, general cargo 173, oil tanker 44, other 108 (2019)
country comparison to the world: 51

Ports and terminals:

major seaport(s): Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar

Military and Security

Military and security forces:

Tanzania People's Defense Forces (TPDF or Jeshi la Wananchi la Tanzania, JWTZ): Land Forces Command, Naval Forces Command, Air Force Command, National Building Army (Jeshi la Kujenga Taifa, JKT), People's Militia (Reserves) (2019)
note: the National Building Army is a paramilitary organization under the Defense Forces that provides six months of military and vocational training to individuals as part of their two years of public service; after completion of training, some graduates join the regular Defense Forces while the remainder become part of the People's Militia

Military expenditures:

1.3% of GDP (2019)
1.3% of GDP (2018)
1.2% of GDP (2017)
1.1% of GDP (2016)
1.1% of GDP (2015)
country comparison to the world: 95

Military and security service personnel strengths:

the Tanzania People's Defense Forces (TPDF) have an estimated 26,000 active personnel (22,000 Land Forces; 1,000 Naval Forces; 3,000 Air Force) (2019 )

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions:

the TPDF inventory includes mostly Soviet-era and older Chinese equipment; since 2010, China is the leading supplier of arms to the TPDF (2019 est.)

Military deployments:

450 Central African Republic (MINUSCA); 750 Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO); 120 Lebanon (UNIFIL); 330 Sudan (UNAMID) (2020)

Military service age and obligation:

18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; 6-year commitment (2019)

Maritime threats:

The International Maritime Bureau reports that shipping in territorial and offshore waters in the Indian Ocean remain at risk for piracy and armed robbery against ships, especially as Somali-based pirates extend their activities south; numerous commercial vessels have been attacked and hijacked both at anchor and while underway; crews have been robbed and stores or cargoes stolen.

Military - note:

the TPDF has deployed additional troops to its border with Mozambique to prevent a spillover of the growing violence in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado (2020)


Terrorist group(s):

Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham - Central Africa (2020)
note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:

dispute with Tanzania over the boundary in Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi) and the meandering Songwe River; Malawi contends that the entire lake up to the Tanzanian shoreline is its territory, while Tanzania claims the border is in the center of the lake; the conflict was reignited in 2012 when Malawi awarded a license to a British company for oil exploration in the lake

Refugees and internally displaced persons:

refugees (country of origin): 149,847 (Burundi), 77,898 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2020)

Trafficking in persons:

current situation: Tanzania is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the exploitation of young girls in domestic servitude continues to be Tanzania's largest human trafficking problem; Tanzanian boys are subject to forced labor mainly on farms but also in mines and quarries, in the informal commercial sector, in factories, in the sex trade, and possibly on small fishing boats; Tanzanian children and adults are subjected to domestic servitude, other forms of forced labor, and sex trafficking in other African countries, the Middle East, Europe, and the US; internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking and is usually facilitated by friends, family members, or intermediaries with false offers of education or legitimate jobs; trafficking victims from Burundi, Kenya, South Asia, and Yemen are forced to work in Tanzania's agricultural, mining, and domestic service sectors or may be sex trafficked
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Tanzania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Tanzania was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; the government adopted a three-year national action plan and implementing regulations for the 2008 anti-trafficking law; authorities somewhat increased their number of trafficking investigations and prosecutions and convicted one offender, but the penalty was a fine in lieu of prison, which was inadequate given the severity of the crime; the government did not operate any shelters for victims and relied on NGOs to provide protective services (2015)

Illicit drugs:

targeted by traffickers moving hashish, Afghan heroin, and South American cocaine transported down the East African coastline, through airports, or overland through Central Africa; Zanzibar likely used by traffickers for drug smuggling; traffickers in the past have recruited Tanzanian couriers to move drugs through Iran into East Asia