The Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama explored the East African coast in 1498 on his voyage to India. By 1506, the Portuguese claimed control over the entire coast. This control was nominal, however, because the Portuguese did not colonize the area or explore the interior. Assisted by Omani Arabs, the indigenous coastal dwellers succeeded in driving the Portuguese from the area north of the Ruvuma River by the early 18th Century. They then claimed the coastal strip, Omani Sultan Seyyid Said (l804-56) moved his capital to Zanzibar in 1841.
European exploration of the interior began in the mid-19th Century. Two German missionaries reached Mt. Kilimanjaro in the 1840s. British explorers Richard Burton and John Speke crossed the interior to Lake Tanganyika in 1857. David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary-explorer who crusaded against the slave trade, established his last mission at Ujiji, where he was "found" by Henry Morton Stanley, an American journalist-explorer, who had been commissioned by the New York Herald to locate him.
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.
Africa’s Women’s Day is observed annually across the continent on 31 July and is a day earmarked to recognise and affirm the role of women’s organising in achieving the political freedom of Africa and advancing the social and economic status of women on the continent. Africa’s Women’s Day was proclaimed as a day to be commemorated during the first conference of the Pan-African Women’s Organization (PAWO) which was held in July 1962 in Dar es Salaam Tanganyika (now known as Tanzania).
In 2015, the first woman, H.E. Samia Suluhu Hassan, was elected as Vice President, and in 2021, she became the first woman President of the United Republic of Tanzania. Furthermore, the country’s commitment towards advancing gender equality in decision-making has led to 30 percent of women holding cabinet positions, 36 percent occupying parliamentary seats, 30.1% in District councils, with the proportion of women judges in the country at 41%.
Tanzania is endowed with diverse renewable energy resources, ranging from biomass and mini-hydro to geothermal, solar and wind. Tanzania’s power sector is dominated by state-owned TANESCO (Tanzania Electricity Supply Company Limited). TANESCO owns most of the country’s transmission and distribution network, and more than half of its generating capacity. Currently, Tanzania’s total power installed capacity is 1,602 MW. (For more interesting information-please have a look at the LINKS in FURTHER READING)