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

Food & Agriculture

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.

Clean Water

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 2014.

  • World Vision trained leaders, teachers, parents, and children on child protection issues and child rights.

  • Children's councils were created so kids could become actively involved in advocating for their rights.

  • Village committees learned to develop disaster preparedness plans and teach others how to respond to natural disasters.

  • To increase household income, village savings association members were trained on how to operate their own businesses and manage their profits.

  • We helped farmers access loans through Vision Fund Tanzania, World Vision's micro-lending program, to update their farm equipment and produce more food for their families.

  • World Vision improved the learning environment of students by providing more textbooks and remodeling dormitories, classrooms, and school offices.

  • Teachers and school administrators attended workshops on school management.

  • Community members learned about skills like beekeeping and sunflower oil production as viable ways to improve their income and support their families.

  • We helped farmers increase their yields and practice sustainable agriculture by offering courses like re-germinating roots and seeds that are already in the soil.

  • Our nutrition programs helped health workers learn to improve children's health through vitamin supplements, nutrition education, and growth monitoring.

  • Mothers learned about exclusive breastfeeding and preparing nutritious meals for their families.

  • Children benefited when we partnered with the Tanzanian government on providing Vitamin A, which helps prevent blindness, for everyone and constructing a maternity ward in the community.

  • World Vision partnered with local churches to provide spiritual nurture for children and their parents through Sunday schools, Bible clubs, and family workshops.

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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

    • Please pray for faith leaders trained in spiritual nurture, that they may continue to expand their ministries to children.
    • Pray for community savings groups based in churches to continue to grow and help parents provide food, healthcare, and education for their children.