Bordered by eight countries, Tanzania sits on the eastern coast of Africa. The country’s three islands — Mafia, Zanzibar, and Pemba — lie to the east in the Indian Ocean.

  • Population: 47,783,100
  • Life Expectancy: 61 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 53%
  • School Enrollment: 98%
  • Land Mass: 365,754 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 68%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 54/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 570

Facts about Tanzania

Agriculture accounts for more than one-quarter of GDP, provides 85 percent of exports, and employs about 80 percent of the work force. Unfortunately, low agricultural productivity has been a problem for the country.

HIV and malaria are serious threats to the country. There is an HIV adult prevalence rate of 5.1 percent and a malaria prevalence rate of 17.7 percent for children under 5 years old.

Access to clean, safe water and sanitation is declining, which is leading to the spread of diseases.

Education standards are declining at both primary and secondary levels as a result of the rapid increase in enrollment. In 2010, only 53 percent of 13-year-olds had completed a full cycle of primary school.

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Progress in Tanzania

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. World Vision was able to work alongside communities to accomplish the following in 2013.

  • Conducted training sessions for students and teachers on child rights, working to improve children’s well-being and girls’ access to education.

  • Trained and equipped village savings and credit groups, enabling them to help families increase their household incomes.

  • Trained primary school teachers on improved teaching methods, enhancing the quality of education for students.

  • Provided books and desks to schools to improve learning environments.

  • Worked with school committees, administrators, and community members on ways to more effectively manage local schools.

  • Raised community awareness on the importance of education for all children.

  • Helped young people access vocational training, teaching them skills to earn an income.

  • Trained farmers on improved farming methods, livestock management, food preservation, and storage practices to help improve food security for families.

  • Educated students and adults on HIV and AIDS prevention, and trained youth to be peer educators to share the knowledge with others.

  • Trained mothers on age-appropriate infant and child feeding practices to help reduce malnutrition.

  • Worked to prevent and treat malaria by holding community awareness campaigns.

  • Trained health workers and educated students on personal hygiene and water safety practices to help reduce the prevalence of waterborne diseases.

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    World Vision in Tanzania Today

    World Vision is committed to partnering with the people of Tanzania to improve their lives today and to help enact sustainable solutions for the future of their children, families, and communities. World Vision’s child sponsorship program plays a vital role in this partnership, with donors from the United States sponsoring more than 24,800 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Tanzania. Highlights include:

    • Helping families increase their production of crops so that they can improve food security.
    • Increasing the number of households with year-round access to clean and safe water within 400 meters.
    • Reducing the number of HIV infections among children.

    World Vision History in Tanzania

    World Vision’s involvement in Tanzania dates back to 1970 with a pastors conference and feeding programs; an office opened in 1981. Since then, some of World Vision’s major accomplishments have included:

    • Providing emergency relief projects for people affected by flooding and offering aid to victims of a cholera epidemic during the 1980s.
    • Offering agricultural assistance and improving access to clean water and education during the 1990s.
    • Raising HIV and AIDS awareness and improving the care and prevention of this disease since the 1990s.

    Geography & People

    Geography and people

    Bordered by eight countries, Tanzania sits on the eastern coast of Africa. The country’s three islands — Mafia, Zanzibar, and Pemba — lie to the east in the Indian Ocean. Three large lakes border Tanzania, and Tanzania’s northern area contains Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa.

    The climate varies from tropical along the coast to temperate in the highlands. Natural resources include hydropower, natural gas, iron ore, tin, nickel, phosphates, coal, diamonds, gemstones, and gold.

    Almost all of Tanzania’s population is of Bantu origin, representing more than 130 tribes. Swahili and English are the country’s official languages; Tanzanians often use English in commerce, administration, and higher education.

    Tanzanians usually live with their extended families in huts that are clustered together. The majority of the population lives in rural areas. Many Tanzanians are small-scale farmers growing only enough food to feed their families.


    After gaining independence from Britain in the 1960s, the colony of Tanganyika and the island of Zanzibar joined to become the country of Tanzania in 1964.

    One-party rule began in the 1970s; democratic elections did not resume until 1995.

    In 1998, the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam was bombed by terrorists, killing 11 Tanzanians and injuring 85 others. Seven years later, Jakaya Kikwete was elected president of the country, enacting much-needed reform. Despite recent debate over election results, Tanzania continues to hold democratic elections.

    Prayer Requests for Tanzania

    • For more girls to have a voice in decisions that affect their lives, as well as equal access to education.
    • For the wisdom to help Tanzanian communities find the best solutions to poverty that will help their children grow and thrive.
    • For the protection and safety of children vulnerable to abuse.
    • That families would recover from poor harvests so they can have enough food to eat.