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.Test

  • Population: 44,841,000
  • Life Expectancy: 57 years
  • Access to Safe Water: 54%
  • School Enrollment: 97%
  • Land Mass: 365,754 sq. mi.
  • Literacy Rate: 73%
  • Under Age 5 Mortality Rate: 76/1000
  • Average Annual Income (GNI): 530

Facts about Tanzania

Food & Agriculture

Tanzania's economy is highly dependent upon agriculture, but only a little more than four percent of the land is arable. Over 35 percent of people live below the poverty line, and the World Food Programme estimates that about 40 percent live in chronic food-deficit areas.


Most girls of primary school age do not attend school, contributing to high illiteracy rates among Tanzanian women.

Clean Water

Disease and poor sanitation threaten the health of Tanzanians. Only about half of the population has access to clean water.


More than 1.4 million Tanzanians live with HIV and AIDS, and almost 1 million children have lost one or both parents to the disease.

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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 2012.

  • Trained farming families in improved farming methods, crop storage techniques, and animal husbandry.

  • Provided livestock and seeds to families, increasing their access to nutritious food and improving household income.

  • Worked with community care coalitions to care for and support orphans and vulnerable children, and people living with HIV and AIDS.

  • Provided age-appropriate HIV-prevention education for children.

  • Built rainwater harvesting tanks at schools and drilled borehole wells, increasing access to water and reducing the prevalence of waterborne illness.

  • Worked with community members to build classrooms and teachers' quarters, increasing school capacity and enrollment.

  • Provided vocational training for orphaned and vulnerable young people.

  • Supported community business organizations with business training and helped them implement income-generating programs for community members.

  • Continued to raise awareness of child rights through community meetings and children's clubs.

  • Trained Sunday school teachers, equipping them to share God's Word with children.

  • Distributed treated mosquito nets to orphans and vulnerable children to protect them from malaria.

  • Partnered with health agencies to immunize and deworm children and provide them with vitamin A and iron supplements.

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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 22,600 girls and boys. In addition to sponsorship, World Vision operates other programs that benefit communities in Tanzania. Highlights include:

    • Helping residents improve economic well being by establishing community banks and distributing small loans to beginning entrepreneurs.
    • Improving physical well-being by providing immunizations, training residents to become Community Based Health Care Service Providers, and establishing community care for residents living with HIV/AIDS.
    • Improving children's school experience by renovating primary school structures and educating parents on the importance of boy/girl education.
    • Providing care for refugees and asylum seekers by distributing 12,789 metric tons of food to refugee camps.

    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

    • The protection and safety of children vulnerable to abuse.
    • Families to recover from poor harvests so they can have enough food to eat.