This East African nation is known for stability. But drought and rising prices are fueling insecurity and violence in many parts of the country.
A farmer walks past a burnt and collapsed house on a village street in Tanzania’s Zanzibar Archipelago.
Tanzania’s eastern seaboard has attracted thousands of tourists to the country’s coastal cities and holiday hotspots over the past decade.
But the region also has a troubled history.
Tanzania was once an independent colonial colony that was briefly unified along ethnic lines after a brutal military coup in the 1960s.
A year later, the military’s attempt to create a single political party, led by Joshua Auma, an American-educated leader, was defeated by a rival group of pro-Western politicians, known as the Japolo Party.
Then, in a swift but bloody countermeasure, the Tanzania army overthrew the government in 1979 and declared independence.
Tanzania has never been formally recognized by any country. Its citizens are called Tanzanians and have a separate identity from other people in Tanzania or any other country.
But the country has always had a history of instability.
Tanzania is a land that has been affected by extreme poverty.
Photo: AFP/Getty Images
According to the World Bank, the average income of the country’s inhabitants is at $1,890 (21 euros) per year, meaning that the average wage in the country is almost $15 (15 euros).
The country’s economy is largely run by public companies which are owned by foreign investors. About 75 percent of Tanzanians earn less than $4 (4 euros) for a day’s work, and only one in six working adults earns over $5 (5,3 euros).
The poverty rate for Tanzania’s residents is a very high 30 percent, and only one in 10 people are self-sufficient in food.
Moses Mwesigwa, a spokesman for the World Bank, described Tanzania as a “poverty-stricken country” in an interview with AFP.
“If you put the income from agriculture, and even more from the informal sector, at the same level as the income from the formal sector, you would have a country with a poverty rate of about 10 percent,” he said.
Drought and increasing economic instability could have serious consequences for