Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern border lies on the Indian Ocean.
Tanzania’s economy is highly dependent on agricultural productivity. The agro sector contributes more than two-thirds of the GDP. It accounts for almost 85% of the total exports and employs nearly 80% of the population. However, agriculture is restricted to the coastal plains, since nearly 90% of the land is not arable. The small industrial sector basically comprises food processing plants. Light consumer goods are also manufactured in the country. After 2000, the country has also invested in the mining sector. Tanzania has large deposits of gold and natural gas.
Tanzania’s economy is one of the poorest in the world, based on the UN statistics for 2009. Almost 36% of the total population (in excess of 43.7 million) lives below the international poverty line.
The trade weighted average tariff rate is high at 8.2 percent, with costly non-tariff barriers further inhibiting free trade. Investment regulations are outmoded, and burdensome bureaucracy and inadequate infrastructure are ongoing deterrents to investment growth. The small financial sector has been evolving. Credit is allocated largely at market rates, and a range of commercial credit instruments are available to the private sector.
The judicial system is subject to political interference and severely inefficient. Recent reforms have been aimed at establishing a reliable system of transferable property rights, but there is no single comprehensive law covering transactions. Legislation conforms to international intellectual property rights conventions, but violations are not seriously investigated. Enforcement of anti-corruption laws and penalties is ineffective.
The great majority of Tanzania's population is of African descent, and most of the peope speak Bantu languages. There are approximately 130 ethnic groups. Inhabitants of South Asian, European, and Arab descent constitute approximately 1% of the population. The Bantu-speaking peoples include the Sukuma (the republic's largest ethnic group), Bena, Chagga, Gogo, Ha, Haya, Hehe, Luguru, Makonde, Makua, Ngoni, Nyakyusa, Nyamwezi, and Nyaturu.
Tanzania is governed under the constitution of 1977 as amended. The president, who is head of state and head of government, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term and is eligible for a second term. Political parties besides the ruling Party of the Revolution (CCM) were permitted starting in 1993, and the first multiparty elections were held in 1995.
Tanzania is bordered on the south by Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia; on the west by Zaire, Burundi, and Rwanda; on the north by Uganda and Kenya; and on the east by the Indian Ocean. Tanzania is the largest of the East African nations, and it possesses a geography as mythic as it is spectacular.
Tourism is an important revenue earner; Tanzania's attractions include Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, and wildlife-rich national parks such as the Serengeti.
Tanzania has been spared the internal strife that has blighted many African states.
Though it remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with many of its people living below the World Bank poverty line, it has had some success in wooing donors and investors.
Tanzania has a generally comfortable, tropical climate year-round, although there are significant regional variations. Along the warmer and humid coast, the climate is determined in large part by the monsoon winds, which bring rains in two major periods.