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 is a state composed of 26 regions (mikoa), including those of the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar. The head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, elected in 2005. Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where Parliament and some government offices are located. Between independence and 1996, the main coastal city of Dar es Salaam served as the country’s political capital. Today, Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania and the de facto seat of most government institutions. It is the major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.
The name Tanzania derives from the names of the two states Tanganyika and Zanzibar that united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.
Unlike minerals, the contribution of the tourism sector to the Tanzanian economy is steadily rising year after year. Tanzania is the home of the world-famous Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. The country has dozens of beaches such as those found in Zanzibar and world-appreciated national parks like the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which generate tourism income that plays a vital part in the economy.