News / Africa

Tanzania Marks 50th Anniversary

Tanzania Marks 50th Anniversaryi
X
Zlatica Hoke
April 26, 2014 12:56 PM
The eastern African country of Tanzania is marking its 50th anniversary Saturday. On April 26, 1964, shortly after gaining independence from Britain, two countries in the Great Lakes region, coastal Tanganyika and archipelago Zanzibar, merged to form one nation. Later that same year, the two combined their names into a new one: Tanzania, with 'Tan' from Tanganyika and 'Zan' from Zanzibar. Zlatica Hoke looks into how the country has fared since then.

VIDEO: African country still seeking to diversify economy driven largely by gold production, tourism.

Zlatica Hoke
On April 26, 1964, shortly after gaining independence from Britain, two countries in the Great Lakes region — coastal Tanganyika and the Zanzibar archipelago — merged to form a single nation.

Later that same year, the two combined portions of their respective names — "Tan" from Tanganyika and "Zan" from Zanzibar — to become Tanzania, the eastern African country that marks its 50th anniversary on Saturday.

Drawn by the pristine waters and fine sand beaches of  Zanzibar island, one of the world's last open slave trade markets, tourists from around the globe have come to learn about darker aspects of the country's history.

"People used to make a lot of money through slave trade, and people became really wealthy," says tour guide Abdullah Suleiman Abdullah. "And slaves used to work very hard in the spice plantation until 1873, when the trade was abolished."

Today, gold production and tourism are Tanzania's economic backbone, but the country is working to diversify. This past week, the capital, Dar es Salam, hosted an information and communications technology summit where regional government and industry representatives discuss opportunities.

"ICT is very important in development and social development of our people," said Tanzanian communications minister Makame Mbarawa. "Everything has changed now. Anything you want to do, you have to do with ICT [information and communications technology]. ICT is not just a tool, ICT itself is a very important tool for social and economic development."

But as the weak government struggles to pull the nation out of poverty, increasing violence by radical Islamists may discourage tourists from visiting Tanzania's great national parks and attractive coastline.

Once an island of religious tolerance, Zanzibar has seen a spate of church burnings and violent attacks in recent months. During his regular morning run, moderate Muslim cleric Sheikh Fadhil Soraga was attacked with acid by an unidentified assailant.

"When I was coming across him, he threw me an acid, on my face," he said.  "He targeted the eyes. Of course, he got them, and the acid fell straight from the eyes, and down the neck, burning the chest. It was a very, very serious attack on me."

As they celebrate their country's anniversary, some Tanzanians worry about the future of their country.

Analysts say that radical Islam has not taken hold in Tanzania, but warn that an unstable government, poverty and unemployment could turn many young people to extremism.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: sergei from: moscow
April 27, 2014 2:41 PM
David Livingstone was the main figure in the abolition of the African slave trade in the 19th centure. As we see Africa is facing problems of 21st centure to fight: gays are facing prosecution ranging from stoning to life in prison. Where are new Livingstones to free gay people in Africa? When will the internation community consider regimes that have criminal punishment for gays as criminal and subject to change?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid