Tanzania History

By | November 7, 2021

Origin of the Swahili culture

The coast of East Africa was already known to the European and Asian seafarers of antiquity. From the 12th century, the mixture of native cultures with Arabs (traders) in the coastal area of ​​today’s Tanzania gave rise to the Islamic Swahili culture with Swahili, a Bantu language with strong Arabic influences. One of their centers was Kilwa ( Kilwa Kisiwani ). Around 1500–1650 the coast was under Portuguese rule, then Oman Arabs pushed the Portuguese back to Mozambique. In 1840 the Sultan of Oman Said al-Busaidi (* 1790, † 1856) Zanzibar became the capital and expanded its power over the mainland coast into the interior. In the 19th century, the Hehe (around Iringa), Nyamwezi (south of Lake Victoria), Chaga (on Kilimanjaro) and others joined them there. Peoples together to form larger states. Few of the small empires were long-lived. They were mostly based on kinship associations.

Under German and British administration

From 1843 onwards, British influence predominated in Zanzibar. In 1884, C. Peters acquired in six weeks inland for the Society for German Colonization (from 1885 German-East African Society; DOAG), of which he was a founding member, an area of ​​140,000 km 2. As with later “acquisitions”, he often used criminal methods. On February 27, 1885, the emperor issued a letter of protection from the German Empire for the possessions. In the Heligoland-Zanzibar Treaty on January 1, 1890, Germans and British demarcated their zones of influence, with the islands of Zanzibar (today’s name Unguja Island) and Pemba becoming a British protectorate. On 1. 1.1891 the German Reich took over the government of German East Africa ,because the DOAG was not up to it.

Some peoples offered armed resistance to the Germans. In 1891–94 the Hehe (under King Mkwawa ) rose up, causing heavy losses for the Germans. The chaga rose as Peters left a runaway girl hanging from his harem. In order to build up the colonial system economically and logistically, the German administration introduced a new tax system and recruited African auxiliary soldiers (Askaris) as well as large numbers of slave laborers. In July 1905, the mythical-religiously motivated Maji Maji uprising broke out, which spread across the whole of the south. At least 75,000 Africans lost their lives in the heavy fighting (more recent estimates put up to 180,000), but only around 15 whites and just under 400 Askari. The uprising could not be put down until 1907 because of the superiority of the colonial troops in terms of weapons technology. After that, the colony, which was badly destroyed as a result of the fighting, was administered more civilly and “more liberally”.

During the First World War, the German protection force under P. von Lettow-Vorbeck defended itself until 14 days after the armistice in Europe in 1918. The senseless fighting had devastating consequences for the entire East African region. Around 14,000 German and British victims faced up to a million African victims (around 750,000 in German East Africa), who were not only killed in the fighting, but mainly due to the famine and epidemics that followed the fighting.

State building according to the Ujamaa concept

Most of German East Africa fell to Great Britain (Tanganyika Territory) in 1922 as a mandate of the League of Nations, in 1946 as a UN trust territory and was part of British East Africa. In 1954 the anti-colonial movement Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) was formed under J. Nyerere. It achieved independence on December 3, 1961. Tanganyika became a republic ( Nyerere president) a year later, but remained in the Commonwealth.

According to neovideogames, Zanzibar gained independence on December 12, 1963 under its Arab Sultan Saijid Jamschid bin Abdulla (* 1929), who was overthrown on January 12, 1964 after bloody fighting. The new government of the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) under Amani Karume (* 1905, † 1972) approved the union with Tanganyika in April 1964; the United Republic has been called Tanzania since then.

In 1965 an interim constitution came into force; The president of Tanganyika, Nyerere , became the president, and the first vice-president of the president of Zanzibar, Abeid Amani Karume (* 1905). The basis of the one-party system laid down in the constitution was the TANU in Tanganyika and the ASP in Zanzibar. In February 1967, Nyerere announced the declaration of Arusha. The ujamaa concept contained therein (often referred to as African socialism) relied on mutual respect, shared ownership (of land and means of production) and the obligation to work with the aim of satisfying the basic needs of each individual. The program, based on traditional pre-colonial ways of life, was primarily intended to promote rural development. The basis of this was »kujitegemea«, i. H. independence and trust in your own strength. The population responded positively to the ideas. When the establishment of the so-called »Ujamaa villages« was forced through force in the early 1970s and economic and social progress did not occur as expected, it became clear that the concept did not meet its own requirements.

After Karume’s assassination (1972), under his successor Aboud Jumbe (* 1920, † 2016), Zanzibar gradually lost its domestic political weight. Under the chairmanship of Nyerere , TANU and ASP merged in February 1977 to form the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) unity party. The constitution of April 1977 established the one-party system.

In terms of foreign policy, Tanzania joined the movement of the non-aligned states and opposed attempts to align them more closely with the communist state system. In 1967 the East African Community (EAC) was formed with Kenya and Uganda. The customs and currency union broke up in 1977. The EAC was re-established in 1999 with the aim of creating an economic community with a strong social focus and for conflict prevention. Since the 1960s, Tanzania supported the black African liberation movements against the Portuguese colonial rule in southern Africa and against the white minority rule in Rhodesia (today: Zimbabwe) and in the Republic of South Africa.

Years of tensions with Uganda sparked a war between the two states in 1978, which ended in 1979 with the overthrow of Ugandan President I. Amin Dada.

Political supremacy of the CCM

In November 1985, after Nyerere’s resignation, A. Mwinyi was elected President, who in 1992 initiated the transition to the multi-party system. Despite this democratic opening, the former unity party CCM remained the strongest political force. She continued to provide the head of state, who, according to the constitution, was allowed to hold office for two legislative periods at a time. 1995 was succeeded as President B. Mkapa , who initiated economic reforms. 2005 became the former Foreign Minister J. Kikwete new president of the country. In the parliamentary elections held in 2010, the ruling CCM suffered noticeable losses in favor of the opposition for the first time since the state was founded. Corruption affairs have repeatedly led to ministerial dismissals and cabinet reshuffles. In addition to the development-inhibiting poverty, the Kikwete government was confronted above all with internal political tensions between the central government and the semi-autonomous administrative area of Zanzibar. The Islamist-separatist movement Uamsho has also gained strength here since 2010/11. The 2012 from Kikwete The process of constitutional reform initiated came to a standstill in the area of ​​tension between different points of view. The CCM government wanted to maintain the existing state structure with a strong central government. The opposition, on the other hand, advocated a federal structural change which, among other things, should give Zanzibar more decision-making power.

The referendum on a new constitution planned for 2015 was postponed indefinitely and the 2015 presidential and parliamentary elections were held on the basis of the old constitution. As the successor to President Kikwete , the population elected the CCM candidate J. Magufuli with around 58% of the vote. The new president followed a political course that took massive action against corruption, abuse of office and mismanagement. His authoritarian leadership style has been criticized by opposition voices as an attack on civil rights.

The incumbent President Magufuli won the presidential and parliamentary elections on October 28, 2020 with around 84% of the vote. The opposition party Chadema, together with its opposition leader Tundu Lissu (* 1968), who survived an assassination attempt in 2017, called the election illegitimate and called for peaceful protests. International observers also criticized the election as “not free and fair”.

Magufuli was also criticized because, as a denier of the COVID-19 pandemic, he refused his country protective measures to contain the pandemic. In March 2021, Magufuli died unexpectedly of heart failure. Rumors of a serious COVID-19 illness of the president, which emerged in the weeks before his death, have been officially denied.

Tanzania History