Tanzania’s media scene, once small and largely state-controlled, developed rapidly following the advent of the multi-party era in the mid 1990s.
Television was a latecomer: state TV launched in 2001, several years after the first private station. TV viewing is eroding radio’s traditional dominance.
Tanzania is one of the few African countries to have completed the switch to digital terrestrial TV.
Dozens of private FM radio stations are on the air, most of them in cities.
News from international radios – including the BBC, Voice of America and Germany’s Deutsche Welle – is carried by many stations.
The constitution provides for freedom of speech, but laws encourage self-censorship while threats and attacks against journalists hinder critical reporting, says US-based Freedom House.
Tanzania has been spared the internal strife that has blighted many African states.
Domestic stability has not translated into economic prosperity for Tanzanians, however. Many of its people live below the World Bank poverty line, although the country has had some success in wooing donors and investors.
Tanzania is home to two renowned tourism destinations – Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, and wildlife-rich national parks such as the Serengeti – but has become a target for poachers.
Conservationists have warned that the entire elephant population could die out by the end of the decade if they continue to be killed for their ivory at the current rate.
United Republic of Tanzania
Population: 47.6 million
Major Languages: English, Swahili
Life expectancy: 58 years (men), 60 years (women)
Currency: Tanzanian Shilling (1 ZAR = 164.6 TZS)
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