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World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - United Republic of Tanzania

Publisher Minority Rights Group International
Publication Date 2007
Cite as Minority Rights Group International, World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - United Republic of Tanzania, 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4954ce48c.html [accessed 25 May 2016]
Comments In October 2015, MRG revised its World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples. For the most part, overview texts were not themselves updated, but the previous 'Current state of minorities and indigenous peoples' rubric was replaced throughout with links to the relevant minority-specific reports, and a 'Resources' section was added. Refworld entries have been updated accordingly.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Environment


Tanzania borders Kenya and Uganda in the north, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Malawi in the west, and Mozambique in the south. It encompasses large portions of Lakes Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa, and has a long coastline along the Indian Ocean. The islands of Zanzibar (Unguja and Pemba) are just offshore, to the north of Dar es Salaam. Zanzibar and the coastal lowlands are hot and humid, while the higher central plateau has a climate and soils more suitable to farming. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, sits amid the north-east highlands. The mountain and the country's famous wildlife parks make Tanzania a favoured destination for tourists in Africa.


History


A millennium of Arab and Persian settlement on the islands and the coast, as well as the ravages of the slave trade in which Zanzibar played a prominent role, have left a major fault line in Tanzanian society between the mainland and Zanzibar. Tensions between Christians and Muslims have also emerged in what has traditionally been a fairly tolerant and politically secular society.

Despite these recent tensions, Tanzania has largely avoided the severe internal conflicts of many of its neighbours, as well as the corresponding development of politics along ethnic lines. Tanganyika (mainland Tanzania) gained independence in 1961 and Zanzibar (the offshore islands of Unguja and Pemba) in 1963, the new government in Zanzibar being overthrown almost immediately in a revolutionary uprising. The countries merged to form Tanzania in 1964, while retaining separate administrations and separate versions of one-party rule. Differences exacerbated by despotic practices in Zanzibar were reduced when the ruling parties were merged and a new constitution promulgated in 1977. However, the dual administration was largely retained. In 1992 opposition parties were permitted and elections were held in 1995.


Peoples


Main languages: Swahili/Kiunguja (official), English, Arabic (widely spoken in Zanzibar), 120 others

Main religions: Mainland: traditional beliefs 35%, Islam 35%, Christianity 30%, Hinduism; Zanzibar: over 99% Islam

There are more than 100 ethno-linguistic groups, including Barabaig, Hadza/Hadzabe, 800 (Ethnologue, 2000) and Shirazi and Zanzibar Arabs 985,000 (2.9%).

[Source for demographic data: unless otherwise stated, CIA World Factbook 2006, with exception of figures for the population of Zanzibar, which are taken from Tanzania's 2002 Population and Housing Census. This does not provide information on ethnicity, language or religion]

Tanzania features rich ethnic diversity with around 120 linguistic groups. Most Tanzanians are agriculturalists but there are several pastoralist groups (notably Maasai and Tatoga) as well as small numbers of hunter-gatherers.


Governance


After independence, President Julius Nyerere's Arusha Declaration of 1967 proclaimed a socialist policy that notably included the establishment of ujamaa (communal) villages. The government forcibly implemented 'Villagization' from 1974 with disastrous consequences for the peasant economy and society. The policy also incorporated a system of pervasive political control which may have contributed to the stability of the country, though without significantly ameliorating economic problems and mounting indebtedness.

From 1986 the Tanzanian government adopted liberal economic policies proposed by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, greatly increasing inequalities in Tanzanian society, as well as resentment against the rich, often identified with the country's 250,000-strong Asian community.

All ethno-linguistic groups in Tanzania could be considered 'minorities'. Though ethnic factors can play a role in political opportunities and resource allocation at a local level, only a few groups face acute or systematic disadvantage or discrimination.

Nyerere stepped down as president in 1985, and was succeeded by Ali Hassan Mwinyi, although he remained chairman of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party until 1990. Following the amendment of the constitution in 1992, the CCM no longer held a formal monopoly on power. Yet elections in 1995, 2000, and 2005 have all shown significant democratic shortcomings, particularly in Zanzibar.

Benjamin Mkapa served as president from 1995 until the election of his CCM successor Jakaya Kikwete in December 2005. Under Mkapa and Kikwete, economic liberalization has accelerated. Although economic statistics have improved, most Tanzanians still live in extreme poverty, worsened by the ravages of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.


Minorities



Resources


Minority based and advocacy organisations

General

Community Research and Development Services
Tel: +255-27-250-5668
Email: cords@habari.co.tz.
Website: www.cordstz.org

Ilaramatak Lorkonerie (Olkonerei Integrated Pastoralist Survival Programme)
Tel: +255-57-859-318

Legal and Human Rights Centre
Tel: lhrc@humanrights.or.tz
Email: +255 22 2773038, 277 3048
Website: www.humanrights.or.tz

Barabaig

Bulgalda (Barabaig)
Email: psuhpdf@twiga.com

KIPOC Barabaig Programme
Tel: +255-78-472-4808
Email: pingstz@yahoo.com

Ilaramatak Lorkonerie (Olkonerei Integrated Pastoralist Survival Programme)
Tel: +255-57-859-318

Sources and further reading

General

Africa Watch, Executive Order Denies Land Rights: Barabaig Suffer Beatings, Arson and Criminal Charges, New York, London, Washington, DC, 1990.

Amnesty International, Tanzania: Human Rights Concerns Relating to Demonstrations in Zanzibar on 27 January 2001, London, 2002.

Human Rights Watch, The Bullets Were Raining: The January 2001 Attack on Peaceful Demonstrators in Zanzibar, New York, 2002.

Lane, C., Alienation of Barabaig Pastureland: Policy Implications for Pastoral Development in Tanzania, London, Pastoral Land Tenure monograph, International Institute for Environment and Development, 1991.

Madsen, A., The Hadzabe of Tanzania: Land and Human Rights for a Hunter-gatherer Community, International Working Group for Indigenous Affairs, November 2002.

Markakis, J., Pastoralism on the Margin, MRG report, 2004.

Shirazi and Arabs of Zanzibar

Amnesty International, Tanzania: Human Rights Concerns Relating to Demonstrations in Zanzibar on 27 January 2001, London, 2002.

Human Rights Watch, The Bullets Were Raining: The January 2001 Attack on Peaceful Demonstrators in Zanzibar, New York, 2002.

Barabaig

Africa Watch, Executive Order Denies Land Rights: Barabaig Suffer Beatings, Arson and Criminal Charges, New York, London, Washington, DC, 1990.

Lane, C., Alienation of Barabaig Pastureland: Policy Implications for Pastoral Development in Tanzania, London, Pastoral Land Tenure monograph, International Institute for Environment and Development, 1991.

Markakis, J., Pastoralism on the Margin, MRG report, 2004.

Hadza/Hadzabe

Madsen, A., The Hadzabe of Tanzania: Land and Human Rights for a Hunter-gatherer Community, International Working Group for Indigenous Affairs, November 2002.

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