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The History and Economy of Tanzania;

The United Republic of Tanzania came about when two counties with long, rich histories – Tanganyika and Zanzibar – came together to form one nation. The history of the nation and the story of its economic development could fill dozens of books (and has) but this simple time-line will help visitors better understand the country that they are guests in:

The Early Centuries Anno Domini – Groups of Bantu farmers migrate to the areas that will one day become Tanganyika and Zanzibar from both the South and the West, displacing many of the original ethnic groups that have been living there for many centuries.

8th – 12th centuries – Persian, Indian and Arab traders discover the area and quickly build highly advanced cities all along the coast that include Kibaha, a large settlement that was the most important city in the region until it was destroyed in 1500s.

Late 1400s – Early 1800s – Portuguese explorers travel to the East African coast and claim the entire area for themselves. Their control of the area however is only ever nominal and by the early 1800s they found themselves being driven out for good.

Mid 1800s – More Europeans arrive to explore the country, led by intrepid English explorers and fervent German missionaries.

1840 – The Sultan Seyyid Said, an Omani Arab, moves his base of operations from Muscat to Zanzibar where he begins promoting a very lucrative trade in ivory, spices and slaves.

1876 - Said is coerced into ceasing his slave trade by the British. 1884 – The head of the recently formed Society for German Colonization, one Karl Peters, brokers a series of treaties with tribal chiefs in the country's interior, which establishes a German protectorate across the area.

1886 -1890 - More treaties are signed that designate British and German areas in the interior of the country. In the process Zanzibar becomes a British protectorate although it is administered by an Arab Sultan.

1905-1907 The Maji Maji rebellion that seeks to overthrow European rule erupts. 120,000 Africans die, either in battle or from starvation.

1918 – Britain assumes total control of Tanganyika.

1954 – The nationalist Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) is founded by Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). 

1956 - In Zanzibar Abaid Karume founds the The Afro-Shirazi Party 1959 – The British agree to allow internal self government in Tanganyika and appoint Nyerere chief minister. later that year the country achieves complete independence and Nyerere becomes president.

1963 – Zanzibar is also granted independence.

1964 – Zanibar and Tanganyika form a union, creating the United Republic of Tanzania.

1970s – Increasing oil prices begin to seriously endanger the country's economic stability.

1977 – TANU and the Afro-Shirazi Party merge together to form the Chama Cha Mapinduzi.

1977 Idi Amin's Ugandan invasion attempt costs more than $500 million to repel, plunging the economy of Tanzania into chaos.

1985-86- Julian Nyerere is succeeded by Ali Hassan Mwinyi, who accepts the International Monetary Fund's and World Bank's Structural Adjustment Package (SAP) in order to qualify for increased borrowing and a rescheduling of debt payments.

1995 – The very first multi party elections are held in Tanzania

As you can see the people of Tanzania have survived a lot, especially throughout the 20th century. Although still a poor nation, the Tanzanian economy is growing. It is still very dependent upon agriculture, in which 75% of the population are still employed but making more of its other natural resources, including natural gas, precious metals including gold and the exclusive top the country tanzanite and its budding tourism industry are all contributing factors in the gradual rebuilding of the Tanzanian economy.