The Republic of Tanzania

The Republic of Tanzania was officially created on the 12th September 1961 and became a member of the United Nations on the 14th December 1961. Tanzania is located in East Africa and is bordered by eight countries to the north, west and south and by the Indian Ocean to the east. It covers some 945,087 square kilometres. The official languages are Kiswahili and English.  

Tanzania has a population of almost 43 million people (Dar es Salaam is the largest city and has a population of about 3 million). The median age is 18 years, and life expectancy is 52. About 6% of the population have HIV/AIDS.  

Statistically, the UN Human Development Index ranks Tanzania 152 out of 198 countries, making it one of the poorer countries in the world. The economy is based primarily on agriculture, which directly and indirectly employs about 80% of the workforce. It accounts for almost half of the county’s GDP. Other important, albeit far less significant, industries include manufacturing, mining, and tourism. While it has seen solid growth in the past decade, including 7.3% growth in 2007, Tanzania is still a country largely in poverty. 67.9% of the population reside below the International Poverty Line, surviving on less than $1.25 US per day. 

The City of Arusha

The city of Arusha, where The Umoja Centre is located, lies near the Tanzanian-Kenyan border, at the base of Mount Meru (Africa’s 5th highest peak). The city, with a population of approximately 600,000, is the capital of the region, and also serves as the headquarters for the East African Community.  

Urbanisation is high in the Arusha area, with many having moved to the city in search of work. Agriculture, mining, and tourism are the main industries, attracting many people looking for work. These industries, however, are unable to support the fast growing population. This has led to high levels of unemployment, especially for those with little or no education.