In 2020, more than 63 million people live in the Federal Republic of Tanzania. For the year 2025, the total population of Tanzania is predicted to be around 72.6 million. Therefore, the East African country is demographically an especially young country, in which more than 40 percent of all Tanzanians are less than 15 years old.
Tanzania is almost thrice as large as Germany. Tanzania is well known for its natural beauty, it is rich in species, the Kibo is the highest summit of the Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti national park and three of Africa’s Great Lakes are partly within Tanzania. Dodoma is Tanzania’s capital, Dar es Salaam is both the largest city in Tanzania and seat of the government. Swahili and English are the official languages of Tanzania. However, 125 languages are spoken in Tanzania. Islam and Christianity are the two main religious groups in Tanzania with around 40 percent of the population being Muslims and around 40 percent being Christians. Traditional African religion supplements the religious diversity of Tanzania.
Tanzania’s history is comparatively young and has been significantly influenced by previous colonial powers. In 1885, the German East Africa Company made claims of the territorial area of Tanzania as being part of the German empire and tried to establish a German colony. In 1888, a mutiny brought an end to this claim and endeavour and was responded by the German Empire with military force. As a result, the ‘German East African’ colony was established.
During the First World War, both Belgian and British troops conquered the area which is today known as Tanzania (minus Zanzibar). This way, Tanzania as Tanganyika Territory became part of the League of Nations under British government.
British rule came to an end in 1961 and Tanganyika became independent. In 1964, the archipelago Zanzibar merged with mainland Tanganyika and the country was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania. There are 31 districts in total, 5 of which are in Zanzibar (see map below).
Tanzania is one of the world’s most poorest countries. Almost half of the Tanzanian population has to live with less than 2 US dollars per day. Malaria and HIV are the two main burdens of the country. Each year, approximately 60,000 people die of Malaria and around 6 percent of the population between 15 and 49 years of age are HIV positive. Other illnesses such as cholera and typical tropical diseases such as dengue fever, bilharzias and African sleeping sickness are also common. The medical health care of the population is still insufficient even if some progress has been achieved. This is especially the case in rural parts of the country.
Therefore, thousands of Tanzanian children have to grow up as orphans. Life expectancy of a person being born in Tanzania in 2017 is approximately 60 years and thus more than two decades less than that of new-borns in Germany.
As in all parts of the world, education is the key to development. The Tanzanian educational system is subject to the Tanzanian government. Since 2002, officially school fees are no longer charged. However, in most cases parents have to pay for the education of their children mostly as fees for school meals, books, school inventory, exercise books and school uniforms. Especially in poor, rural areas this leads to unfair educational opportunities.
Looking away was never an option