Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is the country that was formed by the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964. It is located in East Africa, bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the westSony PCG-71313M battery; and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern border lies on the Indian Ocean.
The country is divided into thirty regions: five on the semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar and twenty-five on the mainland in the former Tanganyika. The head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, elected in 2005. Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where the country's parliament and some government offices are located. Sony PCG-71212M battery Between independence and 1996, the main coastal city of Dar es Salaam served as the country's political capital. Today, it remains Tanzania's principal commercial city and de facto seat of most government institutions. It is the major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.
The name Tanzania derives from the first syllables of the names of the two states, Tanganyika and Zanzibar, that united to form the countrySony PCG-71311M battery.
Main article: History of Tanzania
Fossil remains of humans and pre-human hominids have been found in Tanzania that date back over two million years, making the area one of the oldest-known inhabited areas on Earth. More recently, Tanzania is believed to have been populated by Cushitic and Khoisan-speaking hunter-gatherer communities. About two-thousand years agoSony PCG-71213M battery, Bantu-speaking people began to arrive from western Africa in a series of migrations. Later, Nilotic pastoralists arrived and continued to move into the area until the 18th century.
The people of Tanzania have been associated with the production of steel. The Haya people of East Africa invented a type of high-heat blast furnace which allowed them to forge carbon steel at 1,802 °C (3,276 °F) nearly two-thousand years agoSony PCG-61211M battery. The Shana clan in the Pare tribe also produced iron.
One of Tanzania's most important archeological sites is Engaruka in the Great Rift Valley which includes an irrigation and cultivation system.
Travellers and merchants from the Persian Gulf and western India have visited the East African coast since early in the first millennium AD. Islam was practised on the Swahili Coast as early as the eighth or ninth century AD. Sony VAIO PCG-31114M battery
General von Lettow-Vorbeck in Dar es Salaam with a British Officer (left) and German Officer (right), March 1919
Claiming the coastal strip, Omani Sultan Seyyid Said moved his capital to Zanzibar City in 1840. During this time, Zanzibar became the centre for the Arab slave trade. Between 65% to 90% of the population of Arab-Swahili Zanzibar was enslaved. Sony VAIO PCG-31113M battery One of the most famous slave traders on the East African coast was Tippu Tip, who was himself the grandson of an enslaved African. The Nyamwezi slave traders operated under the leadership of Msiri and Mirambo. According to Timothy Insoll, "Figures record the exporting of 718,000 slaves from the Swahili coast during the 19th century, and the retention of 769,000 on the coast." Sony VAIO PCG-31112M battery
In the late 19th century, Imperial Germany conquered the regions that are now Tanzania (minus Zanzibar), Rwanda, and Burundi, and incorporated them into German East Africa. During World War I, an invasion attempt by the British was thwarted by German General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, who then mounted a drawn out guerrilla campaign against the BritishSony VAIO PCG-31111M battery. The post–World War I accords and the League of Nations charter designated the area a British Mandate, except for a small area in the northwest, which was ceded to Belgium and later became Rwanda and Burundi, as well as a small area in the southeast (Kionga Triangle), incorporated to Portuguese East Africa (later Mozambique).
Tanzania's founding leader Julius Nyerere with U.S. President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter in 1977Sony VAIO PCG-41112M battery.
British rule came to an end in 1961 after a relatively peaceful (compared with neighbouring Kenya, for instance) transition to independence. In 1954, Julius Nyerere transformed an organization into the politically oriented Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). TANU's main objective was to achieve national sovereignty for TanganyikaSony VAIO PCG-41111M battery. A campaign to register new members was launched, and within a year TANU had become the leading political organization in the country.
Benjamin William Mkapa, the third President of Tanzania.
Nyerere became Minister of British-administered Tanganyika in 1960 and continued as Prime Minister when Tanganyika became officially independent in 1961. In 1967 Nyerere's first presidency took a turn to the Left after the Arusha Declaration, which codified a commitment to socialism in Pan-African fashionSONY VAIO PCG-21212M battery. After the Declaration, banks were nationalized, as were many large industries.
After the Zanzibar Revolution overthrew the Arab dynasty in neighbouring Zanzibar, which had become independent in 1963, the island merged with mainland Tanganyika to form the nation of Tanzania on 26 April 1964. The union of the two, hitherto separate, regions was controversial among many Zanzibaris (even those sympathetic to the revolution) SONY VAIO PCG-21211M battery but was accepted by both the Nyerere government and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar owing to shared political values and goals.
From the late 1970s, Tanzania's economy took a turn for the worse. Tanzania was also aligned with China, which from 1970 to 1975 financed and helped to build the 1,860-kilometer-long (1,160 mi) TAZARA Railway from Dar es Salaam to Zambia. SONY VAIO PCG-51212M battery From the mid 1980s, the regime financed itself by borrowing from the International Monetary Fund and underwent some reforms. From the mid 1980s Tanzania's GDP per capita has grown and poverty has been reduced.
Main article: Politics of Tanzania
President of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete and Deputy Secretaries.
The President of Tanzania, and the members of the National Assembly, are elected concurrently by direct popular vote for five-year termsSONY VAIO PCG-51211M battery. The president appoints a prime minister who serves as the government's leader in the National Assembly. The president selects his Cabinet from among the National Assembly members. The Constitution also empowers him to nominate ten non-elected members of Parliament, who are also eligible to become cabinet membersSONY VAIO PCG-51112M battery. Elections for president and all National Assembly seats were held in October 2010. Tanzania is a one party dominant state with the Chama Cha Mapinduzi in power. Opposition parties are widely considered to have no real chance of gaining power, though the country remains peaceful.
Raphael Masunga Chegeni, Member of Tanzania's National Assembly, addressing locals in Magu.
The unicameral National Assembly elected in 2010 has 343 membersSONY VAIO PCG-51111M battery. These include the Attorney General, five members elected from the Zanzibar House of Representatives to participate in the Parliament, the special women's seats which are made up of 30% of the seats that a given party has in the House, 181 constituent seats of members of Parliament from the mainland, and 50 seats from Zanzibar. Also in the list are forty-eight appointed for women and the seats for the 10 nominated members of ParliamentSONY VAIO PCG-81212M battery. At present, the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi holds about 75% of the seats in the Assembly. Laws passed by the National Assembly are valid for Zanzibar only in specifically designated union matters.
Zanzibar's House of Representatives has jurisdiction over all non-union matters. There are seventy-six members in the House of Representatives in Zanzibar, including fifty elected by the people, ten appointed by the president of ZanzibarSony VAIO PCG-81112M battery, five ex officio members, and an attorney general appointed by the president. In May 2002, the government increased the number of special seats allocated to women from ten to fifteen, which will increase the number of House of Representatives members to eighty-one. Ostensibly, Zanzibar's House of Representatives can make laws for Zanzibar without the approval of the union government as long as it does not involve union-designated mattersSONY VAIO PCG-71111M battery. The terms of office for Zanzibar's president and House of Representatives also are five years. The semi-autonomous relationship between Zanzibar and the union is a unique system of government.
Tanzania has a five-level judiciary combining the jurisdictions of tribal, Islamic, and English common law. Appeal is from the Primary Courts through the District Courts, Resident Magistrate Courts, to the High Courts, and the Court of Appeal. SONY VAIO PCG-7196M battery Judges are appointed by the Chief Justice of Tanzania, except for those of the Court of Appeal and the High Court, who are appointed by the President. The Zanzibari court system parallels the legal system of the union, and all cases tried in Zanzibari courts, except for those involving constitutional issues and Islamic law, can be appealed to the Court of Appeal of the Union. SONY VAIO PCG-7195M battery A commercial court was established in September 1999 as a division of the High Court.
Main articles: Economy of Tanzania, Transport in Tanzania, and Microfinance in Tanzania
A market near Arusha
The economy is mostly based on agriculture, which accounts for more than half of the GDP, provides 75% (approximately) of exports, and employs approximately 75% of the workforce. Topography and climate, though, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. The nation has many natural resources including minerals, natural gas, and tourismSONY VAIO PCG-7194M battery.
Extraction of natural gas began in the 2000s. Gas is drawn into the commercial capital, Dar Es Salaam and exported to various markets overseas. Tanzania has vast amounts of minerals including gold, diamonds, coal, iron, uranium, nickel, chrome, tin, platinum, coltan, niobium, and othersSONY VAIO PCG-7192M battery. It was announced in February 2012 that the collapsed volcano approximately 200km north of Mbeya, Mount Ngualla, contained one of the largest rare earths oxide deposits in the world.
Tanzania is the third-largest producer of gold in Africa after South Africa and Ghana. The country is also known for Tanzanite, a type of precious gemstone that is found only in Tanzania. The mineral sector started to pick-up slowly in the late 90sSONY PCG-8113M battery; major discoveries are announced regularly. However, the mineral sector has yet to start contributing significantly to the overall Tanzanian economy, and industry is still mainly limited to processing agricultural products and light consumer goods.
Growth from 1991 to 1999 featured industrial production and a substantial increase in output of minerals, led by gold. Commercial production of natural gas from the Songo Songo island in the Indian Ocean off the Rufiji Delta commenced in 2004, SONY PCG-8112M battery with natural gas being pumped in a pipeline to Dar es Salaam, the bulk of it converted to electricity by both public utility and private operators. A new gas field is being brought on stream in Mnazi Bay.
Panorama of Dar es Salaam
Recent public sector and banking reforms, as well as revamped and new legislative frameworks, have all helped increase private-sector growth and investment. Short-term economic progress also depends on curbing corruption.SONY PCG-7134M battery
Prolonged drought during the early years of the 21st century has severely reduced electricity generation capacity (some 60% of Tanzania's electricity supplies are generated by hydro-electric methods). During 2006, Tanzania suffered a crippling series of "load-shedding" or power-rationing episodes caused by a shortfall of generated power, largely because of insufficient hydro-electric generationSONY PCG-7131M battery . Plans to increase gas- and coal-fueled generation capacity are likely to take some years to implement, and growth is forecast to be increased to 7% or more per year.
There are two major airlines in Tanzania: the Air Tanzania Corporation and Precision Air; both provide local flights to Arusha, Kigoma, Mtwara, Mwanza, Musoma, Shinyanga, Zanzibar and regional flights to Kigali, Nairobi and MombasaSONY PCG-7122M battery. There are also several charter firms and smaller airlines, such as Bold Aviation Ltd., Tropical Air and Coastal Aviation Ltd. There are two railway companies: TAZARA provides service between Dar-es-Salaam and Kapiri Mposhi, a district of the Central Province in Zambia. The other one is the Tanzania Railways Corporation, which provides services between Dar-es-Salaam and KigomaSONY PCG-7121M battery, a town on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and between Dar-es-Salaam and Mwanza, a city on the shores of Lake Victoria. Several modern hydrofoil boats also provide transportation across the Indian Ocean between Dar-es-Salaam and Zanzibar.
Tanzania is part of the East African Community and a potential member of the planned East African FederationSONY PCG-7113M battery .
Main article: Tourism in Tanzania
Unlike minerals, the contribution of the tourism sector to the Tanzanian economy is steadily rising year after year.
Mikumi National park entrance
Tanzania is the home of the world-famous Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain. The country has dozens of beaches such as those found in Zanzibar and national parks like the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Other smaller parks, such as Mikumi National ParkSONY PCG-7112M battery , which is located near Dar es Salaam, also contribute to the economy of the country.
Main articles: Regions of Tanzania and Districts of Tanzania
Regions of Tanzania
Tanzania is divided into thirty regions (mkoa), twentyfive on the mainland and five in Zanzibar (three on Unguja, two on Pemba). Ninety-nine districts (wilaya), each with at least one council, have been created to further increase local authority; the councils are also known as local government authoritiesSONY PCG-8Z3M battery. There are 114 councils operating in 99 districts; 22 are urban and 92 are rural. The 22 urban units are further classified as city councils (Dar es Salaam and Mwanza), municipal councils (Arusha, Dodoma, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Morogoro, Shinyanga, Tabora, and Tanga) or town councils (the remaining eleven communities).
Tanzania's regions areSONY PCG-8Z2M battery: Arusha · Dar es Salaam · Dodoma · Geita · Iringa · Kagera · Katavi · Kigoma · Kilimanjaro · Lindi · Manyara · Mara · Mbeya · Morogoro · Mtwara · Mwanza · Njombe · Pemba North · Pemba South · Pwani · Rukwa · Ruvuma · Shinyanga · Simiyu · Singida · Tabora · Tanga · Zanzibar Central/South · Zanzibar North · Zanzibar Urban/West
Main article: Geography of TanzaniaSONY PCG-8Z1M battery
For more information on Maasai pastoralism as part of the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems, see: GIAHS At 947,300 km², Tanzania is the world's 31st-largest country. Compared to other African countries, it is slightly smaller than Egypt and comparable in size to Nigeria. It lies mostly between latitudes 1° and 12°S, and longitudes 29° and 41°ESONY PCG-8Y3M battery .
Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak
Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of, respectively, Lake Victoria (Africa's largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (the continent's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish); to the southwest lies Lake Nyasa. Central Tanzania comprises a large plateauSONY PCG-8Y2M battery, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the island of Zanzibar lying just offshore.
Landscape in Northern Tanzania, inside the East African Rift
Tanzania contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks, including the famous Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park in the north, and Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park in the south. Gombe National Park in the west is known as the site of Dr. Jane Goodall's studies of chimpanzee behaviourSONY PCG-7Z1M battery .
The government of Tanzania through its department of tourism has embarked on a campaign to promote the Kalambo water falls in the southwestern region of Rukwa as one of Tanzania's main tourist destinations. The Kalambo Falls are the second highest in Africa and are located near the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika. The Menai Bay Conservation Area is Zanzibar's largest marine protected areaSONY PCG-6W2M battery .
The Engaresero village on the Western shores of Lake Natron has been chosen by the government of Tanzania to exemplify the Maasai pastoral system given its singularity, integrity, high diversity of habitats and biodiversity. The site also has major additional significance, because of the presence of Lake Natron and the volcano Ol Doinyo LengaiSONY PCG-5J5M battery , which have immense ecological, geological and cultural value. The community has demonstrated a strong resilience in facing threats to their systems, and has maintained associated social and cultural institutions, which ensure its sustainability under prevailing environmental conditions.
Main article: Climate of Tanzania
Landscape of the ridge at the edge of the Ngorongoro CraterSONY PCG-5K2M battery.
Tanzania has a tropical climate. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10 and 20 °C (50 and 68 °F) during cold and hot seasons respectively. The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling lower than 20 °C (68 °F). The hottest period extends between November and February (25–31 °C / 77–87.8 °F while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15–20 °C / 59–68 °F). Annual temperature is 32 °C (89.6 °F) SONY PCG-5K1M battery . The climate is cool in high mountainous regions.
Tanzania has two major rainfall regions. One is uni-modal (December–April) and the other is bi-modal (October–December and March–May). The former is experienced in southern, south-west, central and western parts of the country, and the latter is found to the north and northern coastSONY PCG-5J4M battery .
In the bi-modal regime the March–May rains are referred to as the long rains or Masika, whereas the October–December rains are generally known as short rains or Vuli. As this country lies near the equator, the climate is hot and humid. The easterlies winds cause rainfall in the eastern coastal regionSONY PCG-5J1M battery.
Main article: Wildlife of Tanzania
Savanna at Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Lion on rock in Serengeti National Park.
Tanzania has considerable wildlife habitat, including much of the Serengeti plain, where the white-bearded wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi) and other bovids participate in a large-scale annual migration. Up to 250,000 wildebeest perish each year in the long and arduous movement to find forage in the dry seasonSONY PCG-5G2M battery. Tanzania is also home to 130 amphibian and over 275 reptile species, many of them strictly endemic and included in the IUCN Red Lists of different countries.
Tanzania has developed a Biodiversity Action Plan to address species conservation. A recently discovered species of elephant shrew called Grey-faced Sengi was filmed for the first time in 2005, and it was known to live in just two forests in the Udzungwa MountainsSony VAIO PCG-8152M battery. In 2008, it was listed as "vulnerable" on the 2008 Red List of Threatened Species. Lake Natron in northern Tanzania is the largest breeding site for the threatened Lesser Flamingo, a huge community of which nest in the salt marshes of the lake. Areas of East African mangroves on the coast are also important habitatsSony VAIO PCG-31311M battery.
Main article: Demographics of Tanzania
Tanzanian children in Pongwe. Almost half of the local population is under 15.
As of 2010, the estimated population is 43,188,000. Population distribution is extremely uneven, with density varying from 1 person per square kilometre (3/mi²) in arid regions to 51 per square kilometre (133/mi²) in the well-watered mainland highlandsSony VAIO PCG-31111M battery, to 134 per square kilometre (347/mi²) on Zanzibar. More than 80% of the population is rural. Dar es Salaam is the largest city and is the commercial capital; Dodoma, located in the centre of Tanzania is the new capital and houses the Union's Parliament. The African population consists of more than 120 ethnic groups, of which the Sukuma, NyamweziSony VAIO PCG-8112M battery, Chagga, Nyakyusa, Haya, Hehe, Bena, Gogo, and the Makonde have more than 1 million members. Other Bantu peoples include the Pare, Zigua, Shambaa, and Ngoni. The majority of Tanzanians, including the Sukuma and the Nyamwezi, are Bantu. Cushitic peoples include the half million Iraqw. Nilotic peoples include the nomadic Maasai and LuoSony VAIO PCG-7186M battery, both of which are found in greater numbers in neighbouring Kenya. The Sandawe speak a language that may be related to the Khoe languages of Botswana and Namibia, while the language of the Hadza, although it has similar click consonants, is a language isolate.
The population also includes people of Arab, Indian, and Pakistani origin, and small European and Chinese communities. Sony VAIO PCG-7171M battery Many also identify as Shirazis. As of 1994, the Asian community numbered 50,000 on the mainland and 4,000 on Zanzibar. An estimated 70,000 Arabs and 10,000 Europeans resided in Tanzania.
Main article: Religion in Tanzania
Church in Songea, serving the country's Christian majority.
Tanzania's population consists of approximately 62% Christians, 35% Muslims, and 3% followers of indigenous religions. The CIA World Factbook however states that 30% of the population is Christian with Muslim being 35% and indigenous beliefs 35%.Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M battery
The national census, however, has not asked for religious affiliation since 1967 as the religious balance is seen as a sensitive topic. As Tanzanians pride themselves on living together with their diversity, the use of a statistic that is conveniently equal is seen as avoiding rivalries between the various religious groups by not identifying the majoritySony VAIO PCG-5S1M battery. All figures on religious statistics for Tanzania are at best educated guesswork and differ widely on the question whether there are more Christians or Muslims. Most assume that the share of traditionalists has dwindled.
The Christian population is mostly composed of Roman Catholics. Among Protestants the strong numbers of Lutherans and Moravians point to the German past of the countrySony VAIO PCG-5P1M battery, the numbers of Anglicans to the British history of Tanganyika. All of them have had some influence in varying degrees from the Walokole movement (East African Revival) which has also been fertile ground for the spread of charismatic and Pentecostal groups. Zanzibar is about 97% Muslim. On the mainland, Muslim communities are concentrated in coastal areasSony VAIO PCG-5N2M battery, with some large Muslim majorities also in inland urban areas especially and along the former caravan routes. A large majority of the Muslim population is Sunni. The Islamic population of Dar es Salaam, the largest and richest city in Tanzania, is composed of mainly Sunni Muslims.
There are also active communities of other religious groups, primarily on the mainland, such as Buddhists, Hindus, and Bahá'ís.
Swahili in Arabic script on the clothes of a local Tanzanian woman (early 1900s)
Main article: Languages of TanzaniaSony VAIO PCG-3C2M battery
Swahili and English are the official languages; however the former is the national language. English is still the language of higher courts, it can however be considered a de facto official language. Tanzanians see themselves as having two "official" languages, English and Swahili. Swahili is seen as the unifying language of the country between people of different ethnic groupsSony VAIO PCG-8161M battery, who each have their own language; English serves the purpose of providing Tanzanians with the ability to participate in the global economy and culture. Over 100 different (tribal) languages are spoken in Tanzania, including Maasai, Sukuma and Makonde. The first language typically learned by a Tanzanian is that of his or her ethnic group, with Swahili and English learned thereafterSony VAIO PCG-8141M battery.
According to the official linguistic policy of Tanzania, as announced in 1984, Swahili is the language of the social and political sphere as well as primary and adult education, whereas English is the language of secondary education, universities, technology, and higher courts. Though the British government financially supports the use of English in Tanzania, Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M battery its usage in the Tanzanian society has diminished over the past decades: In the seventies Tanzanian university students used to speak English with each other, whereas now they almost exclusively use Swahili outside the classroom. Even in secondary school and university classes, where officially only English should be used, it is now quite common to use a mix of Swahili and EnglishSony VAIO PCG-3H1M battery.
Other spoken languages are Indian languages, especially Gujarati, and Portuguese (spoken by Indians and Mozambican blacks, respectively) and to a lesser extent French (from neighbouring Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of the Congo). Historically German was widely spoken during that colonial period, but this practice is already forgottenSony VAIO PCG-3F1M battery.
Emmaus students in Tanzania
Main article: Education in Tanzania
The literacy rate in Tanzania is estimated to be 73%. Education is compulsory for seven years, until children reach age 15, but most children do not attend school until this age, and some do not attend at all. In 2000, 57% of children age 5–14 years were attending school. As of 2006, 87.2% of children who started primary school were likely to reach grade 5. Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M battery
Main articles: Health in Tanzania and HIV/AIDS in Tanzania
Malaria Clinic in Tanzania helped by SMS for Life program
The under-five mortality rate in 2010 is estimated to be 76 out of 1,000. Life expectancy at birth is estimated to be 52. The 15–60 year old adult mortality (the probability of dying between the ages 15–60) in 2009 was 456/1000 for men and 311/1000 for women.
The leading cause of death in children who survive the neonatal period is malaria. Sony VAIO PCG-9Z2L battery Other leading causes of death in under 5’s is pneumococcal disease (pneumonia) and rotavirus (diarrhea). The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a significant problem in Tanzania; in 2009, the prevalence was estimated to be 5.6% of the adult population. Anti-retroviral treatment coverage for people with advanced HIV infection was 30% in 2011 – 7% below the average for the continentSony VAIO PCG-9Z1L battery. According to the 2011 UNAIDS Report, HIV prevalence has declined among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics, young people (ages 15–24 years) and men in the general population.
2006 data show that 55% of the population had sustainable access to improved drinking water sources and 33% had sustainable access to improved sanitation.
Main articles: Culture of Tanzania and Music of TanzaniaSony VAIO PCG-9131L battery
The music of Tanzania stretches from traditional African music to the string-based taarab to a distinctive hip hop known as bongo flava. Famous taarab singers names are Abbasi Mzee, Culture Musical Club, Shakila of Black Star Musical Group.
Internationally known traditional artists are Bi Kidude, Hukwe Zawose and Tatu Nane.
Tanzania has its own distinct African rumba music, termed muziki wa dansi ("dance music") where names of artists/groups like Tabora Jazz, Western Jazz BandSony VAIO PCG-8161L battery, Morogoro Jazz, Volcano Jazz, Simba Wanyika, Remmy Ongala, Marijani Shaabani, Ndala Kasheba, NUTA JAZZ, ATOMIC JAZZ, DDC Mlimani Park, Afro 70 & Patrick Balisidya, Sunburst, Tatu Nane and Orchestra Makassy must be mentioned in the history of Tanzanian music.
One of Tanzania's, and other parts of Eastern Africa's, most common cultural dishes is Ugali. It is mainly composed of corn and is similar to the consistency of porridge, giving it its second name of corn meal porridgeSony VAIO PCG-8152L battery.
Tanzania has many writers. The list of writers' names includes well-known writers such as Godfrey Mwakikagile, Mohamed Said, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Prof. Julius Nyang'oro, Prof. Clement Ndulute, Prof. Frank Chiteji, Prof. Joseph Mbele, Juma Volter Mwapachu, Prof. Issa Shivji, Jenerali Twaha Ulimwengu, Prof. Penina Mlama, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Adam Shafi, Dr. Malima M.P Bundala and Shaaban RobertSony VAIO PCG-8141L battery.
Tanzania has remarkable position in art. Two styles became world known: Tingatinga and Makonde. Tingatinga are the popular African paintings painted with enamel paints on canvas. Usually the motifs are animals and flowers in colourful and repetitive design. The style was started by Mr. Edward Saidi Tingatinga born in South Tanzania. Later he moved to Dar Es SalaamSony VAIO PCG-8131L battery. Since his death in 1972 the Tingatinga style expanded both in Tanzania and worldwide. Makonde is both a tribe in Tanzania (and Mozambique) and a modern sculpture style. It is known for the high Ujamaas (Trees of Life) made of the hard and dark ebony tree. Tanzania is also a birthplace of one of the most famous African artists – George LilangaSony VAIO PCG-81312L battery.
See also: Rugby union in Tanzania and Tanzania at the Olympics
Youth soccer club in Zanzibar
Filbert Bayi and Suleiman Nyambui both won track and field medals in the 1980 Summer Olympics. Tanzania competes in the Commonwealth Games as well as in the African Championships in Athletics.
Football is widely played all over the country with fans divided between two major clubs, Young African Sports Club (Yanga) and Simba Sports Club (Simba) Sony VAIO PCG-81214L battery. Football is the most popular sport in Tanzania, despite the little success that has been achieved by the national team. To date, they have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup and have made just one appearance in the African Cup of Nations, back in 1980, where they finished last in their group with just 1 draw and 2 lossesSony VAIO PCG-81115L battery.
Basketball is also played but mainly in the army and schools. Hasheem Thabeet is a Tanzanian-born NBA player with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is the first Tanzanian to play in the NBA. Cricket is a rapidly growing sport in Tanzania after hosting the ICC Cricket League division 4 in 2008, Tanzania finished with one win for the tournament, and Tanzania also has its own national team. Rugby is a minor sport in TanzaniaSony VAIO PCG-81114L battery. Tanzania now has a national team, which used to be part of the East Africa team, but was separated. The city of Arusha is home to Tanzanian rugby, and the city was host to 2007 Castel Beer Trophy.
The Gambia (the i/ˈɡæmbiə/; officially the Republic of The Gambia), also commonly known as Gambia, is a country in West Africa. Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa, surrounded by Senegal except for a short coastline on the Atlantic Ocean in the westSony VAIO PCG-81113L battery.
The country is situated around the Gambia River, the nation's namesake, which flows through the country's centre and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. Its area is 11,295 km² with an estimated population of 1.7 million.
On 18 February 1965, The Gambia gained independence from the United Kingdom and joined the Commonwealth of Nations. Banjul is The Gambia's capital, but the largest cities are Serekunda and BrikamaSony VAIO PCG-7142L battery.
The Gambia shares historical roots with many other West African nations in the slave trade, which was the key factor in the placing and keeping of a colony on the Gambia River, first by the Portuguese and later by the British. Since gaining independence in 1965, The Gambia has enjoyed relative political stability, with the exception of a brief period of military rule in 1994. Sony VAIO PCG-7141L battery
Thanks to the fertile land of the country, the economy is dominated by farming, fishing, and tourism. About a third of the population lives below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day
Main article: History of The Gambia
Arab traders provided The Gambia's first written accounts in the 9th and 10th centuries. During the 10th century, Muslim merchants and scholars established communities in several West African commercial centresSony VAIO PCG-71111L battery. Both groups established trans-Saharan trade routes, leading to a large trade in slaves, gold, ivory (exports) and manufactured goods, etc. (imports).
The first picture is of the Senegambian stone circles (megaliths) which runs from Senegal all the way to The Gambia and described by UNESCO as "the largest concentration of stone circles seen anywhere in the world"Sony VAIO PCG-61411L battery.
By the 11th century or the 12th century, the rulers of kingdoms such as Takrur (a monarchy centred on the Senegal River just to the north), ancient Ghana and Gao, had converted to Islam and had appointed Muslims who were literate in the Arabic language as courtiers. At the beginning of the 14th century, most of what is today called Gambia was part of the Mali EmpireSony VAIO PCG-61112L battery. The Portuguese reached this area by sea in the mid-15th century, and they began to dominate overseas trade.
In 1588, the claimant to the Portuguese throne, António, Prior of Crato, sold exclusive trade rights on the Gambia River to English merchants. Letters patent from Queen Elizabeth I confirmed the grant. In 1618, King James I of England granted a charter to an English company for trade with The Gambia and the Gold Coast (now Ghana) Sony VAIO PCG-61111L battery. Between 1651 and 1661 some parts of The Gambia were under Courland's rule, and had been bought by Prince Jacob Kettler, who was a Polish-Lithuanian vassal.
A map of James Island and Fort Gambia
During the late 17th century and throughout the 18th century, the British Empire and the French Empire struggled continually for political and commercial supremacy in the regions of the Senegal River and the Gambia RiverSony VAIO PCG-5T4L battery. The British Empire occupied The Gambia when an expedition led by Augustus Keppel landed there—following the Capture of Senegal in 1758. The 1783 First Treaty of Versailles gave Great Britain possession of the Gambia River, but the French retained a tiny enclave at Albreda on the river's north bank. This was finally ceded to the United Kingdom in 1856Sony VAIO PCG-5T3L battery.
According to its president Yahya Jammeh, The Gambia "is one of the oldest and biggest countries in Africa that was reduced to a small snake by the British government—[which] sold all our lands to the French".
As many as three million slaves may have been taken from this general region during the three centuries that the transatlantic slave trade was operated. It is not known how many slaves were taken by inter-tribal wars or Muslim traders before the transatlantic slave trade beganSony VAIO PCG-5T2L battery. Most of those taken were sold by other Africans to Europeans; others were prisoners of inter-tribal wars; some were victims sold because of unpaid debts; and others were simply victims of kidnapping.
Traders initially sent slaves to Europe to work as servants until the market for labour expanded in the West Indies and North America in the 18th century. In 1807, the United Kingdom abolished the slave trade throughout its EmpireSony VAIO PCG-5S3L battery. It also tried, unsuccessfully, to end the slave trade in The Gambia. Slave ships intercepted by the Royal Navy in the Atlantic were also returned to The Gambia, with Liberated Slaves released on MacCarthy Island far up the Gambia River where they were expected to establish new lives. The British established the military post of Bathurst (now Banjul) in 1816Sony VAIO PCG-5S2L battery. In the ensuing years, Banjul was at times under the jurisdiction of the British Governor General in Sierra Leone. In 1888, The Gambia became a separate colony.
An agreement with the French Republic in 1889 established the present boundaries. The Gambia became a British Crown Colony called British Gambia, divided for administrative purposes into the colony (city of Banjul and the surrounding area) and the protectorate (remainder of the territory). The Gambia received its own executive and legislative councils in 1901Sony VAIO PCG-5S1L battery, and it gradually progressed toward self-government. Slavery was finally abolished in 1906.
During World War II, the entire Gambian army, 10 soldiers, fought with the Allies of World War II. Though these soldiers fought mostly in Burma, some died closer to home and there is a Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in Fajara (close to Banjul). According to Jammeh, "when Germany was about to defeat BritainSony VAIO PCG-5R2L battery, not only were Gambians conscripted and forced to go and fight in Britain, but also..." Banjul contained an airstrip for the U.S. Army Air Forces and a port of call for Allied naval convoys. President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt visited by air and stopped overnight in Banjul en route to and from the Casablanca Conference (1943) in Morocco, marking the first visit to the African continent by an American PresidentSony VAIO PCG-5R1L battery.
After World War II, the pace of constitutional reform increased. Following general elections in 1962, the United Kingdom granted full internal self-governance in the following year. The Gambia achieved independence on 18 February 1965, as a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth of Nations. Shortly thereafterSony VAIO PCG-5P4L battery, the national government held a referendum proposing that an elected president should replace The Gambian monarch (Queen Elizabeth II) as the head of state. This referendum failed to receive the two-thirds majority required to amend the constitution, but the results won widespread attention abroad as testimony to The Gambia's observance of secret ballotingSony VAIO PCG-5P2L battery, honest elections, civil rights, and liberties. On 24 April 1970, Gambia became a republic within the Commonwealth, following a second referendum. Prime Minister Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara became the Head of State.
The Gambia was led by President Dawda Jawara, who was re-elected five times. The relative stability of the Jawara era was shattered first by an attempted coup in 1981. The coup was led by Kukoi Samba Sanyang, who, on two occasionsSony VAIO PCG-5N4L battery, had unsuccessfully sought election to Parliament. After a week of violence which left several hundred people dead, Jawara, in London when the attack began, appealed to Senegal for help. Senegalese troops defeated the rebel force.
In the aftermath of this attempted coup, Senegal and Gambia signed a Treaty of Confederation in 1982. The goal of the Senegambia Confederation was to combine the armed forces of the two states and to unify their economies and currenciesSony VAIO PCG-5N2L battery. After just a short stretch of years, Gambia permanently withdrew from this confederation in 1989.
In 1994, the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) deposed the Jawara government and banned opposition political activity. Lieutenant Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, chairman of the AFPRC, became head of state. Sony VAIO PCG-51513L battery The AFPRC announced a transition plan for return to democratic civilian government. The Provisional Independent Electoral Commission (PIEC) was established in 1996 to conduct national elections. The PIEC was transformed to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) in 1997 and became responsible for registration of voters and conduct of elections and referendums. In late 2001 and early 2002, the Gambia completed a full cycle of presidentialSony VAIO PCG-51511L battery, legislative, and local elections, which foreign observers deemed free, fair, and transparent, albeit with some shortcomings. President Yahya Jammeh, who was elected to continue in the position he had assumed during the coup, took the oath of office again on 21 December 2001. Jammeh's Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) maintained its strong majority in the National AssemblySony VAIO PCG-51412L battery, particularly after the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) boycotted the legislative elections.
Map of the Gambia
Main article: Geography of the Gambia
The Gambia is a very small and narrow country whose borders mirror the meandering Gambia River. It lies between latitudes 13° and 14°N, and longitudes 13° and 17°W.
The country is less than 48.2 km (30.0 mi) wide at its widest point, with a total area of 11,295 km². Approximately 1,300 km² of The Gambia's area is covered by waterSony VAIO PCG-51411L battery. It is the smallest country on the continent of Africa. In comparative terms The Gambia has a total area which is slightly less than that of the island of Jamaica. The western side of the country borders the North Atlantic Ocean with 50 miles of coastline.
The climate of The Gambia is tropical. There is a hot and rainy season, normally from June until November, but from then until May there are cooler temperatures with less precipitation. Sony VAIO PCG-51312L battery The climate in The Gambia is about the same as that found in neighbouring Senegal, southern Mali, and the northern part of Benin.
Its present boundaries were defined in 1889 after an agreement between the United Kingdom and France. During the negotiations between the French and the British in Paris, the French initially gave the British approximately 200 miles (320 km) of the Gambia River to controlSony VAIO PCG-51311L battery. Starting with the placement of boundary markers in 1891, it took nearly fifteen years after the Paris meetings to determine the final borders of The Gambia. The resulting series of straight lines and arcs gave the British control of areas that are approximately 10 miles (16 km) north and south of the Gambia RiverSony VAIO PCG-51211L battery.
Marina Parade street.
Main article: Politics of The Gambia
The Gambia is a republic and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The serving President is His Excellency Sheikh Professor Al Haji Dr Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh.
Following independence, The Gambia conducted freely contested elections every five years. Each election was won by The People's Progressive Party (PPP), headed by Dawda (David) Jawara. The PPP dominated Gambian politics for nearly 30 yearsSony VAIO PCG-41112L battery. After spearheading the movement toward complete independence from Britain, the PPP was voted into power and was never seriously challenged by any opposition party. The last elections under the PPP regime were held in April 1992.
In 1994, following corruption allegations against the Jawara regime and widespread discontent in the army, a largely bloodless and successful coup d’état installed army Lieutenant Yahya Jammeh into powerSony VAIO PCG-3A4L battery. Politicians from deposed President Jawara's People's Progressive Party (PPP) and other senior government officials were banned from participating in politics until July 2001. A presidential election took place in September 1996, in which Yahya Jammeh won 56% of the vote. The legislative elections held in January 1997 were dominated by the APRC, which captured 33 out of 45 seatsSony VAIO PCG-3A3L battery.
In July 2001, the ban on Jawara-era political parties and politicians was lifted. Four registered opposition parties participated in the 18 October 2001, presidential election, which the incumbent, President Yahya Jammeh, won with almost 53% of the votes. The APRC maintained its strong majority in the National Assembly in legislative elections held in January 2002Sony VAIO PCG-3A2L battery, particularly after the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) boycotted the legislative elections.
Arch 22 monument commemorating the 1994 coup
Jammeh won the 2006 election handily after the opposition coalition, the National Alliance for Democracy and Development, splintered earlier in the year. The voting was generally regarded as free and fair, though events from the run-up raised criticism from someSony VAIO PCG-3A1L battery. A journalist from the state television station assigned to the chief opposition candidate, Ousainou Darboe, was arrested. Additionally, Jammeh said, "I will develop the areas that vote for me, but if you don't vote for me, don't expect anything".
On the 21 and 22 March 2006, amid tensions preceding the 2006 presidential elections, an alleged planned military coup was uncoveredSony VAIO PCG-394L battery. President Yahya Jammeh immediately returned from a trip to Mauritania, many army officials were arrested, and prominent army officials fled the country. Some believe the planned coup was fabricated by the President for his own purposes, but no proof has been found.
For their roles in an alleged 2009 coup plot, 8 Gambians, including the former Chief of Defense Staff of the Gambian Armed ForcesSony VAIO PCG-393L battery, a former head and deputy head of the National Intelligence Agency and others were tried for treason, found guilty and sentenced to death in July, 2010. One of the convicted, a businessman, disappeared while in custody awaiting his appeal. Before that trial concluded, the former Chief of Defense Staff and the former Chief of the Gambia Naval Staff were charged with treason for their complicity in the failed 2006 coupSony VAIO PCG-391L battery. A key prosecution witness, serving a lengthy prison sentence for his role in the 2006 coup plot, received a Presidential Pardon, apparently in return for his testimony.
The 1970 constitution, which divided the government into independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches, was suspended after the 1994 military coup. As part of the transition process, the AFPRC established the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) through decree in March 1995Sony VAIO PCG-384L battery. In accordance with the timetable for the transition to a democratically elected government, the commission drafted a new constitution for the Gambia, which was approved by referendum in August 1996. The constitution provides for a strong presidential government, a unicameral legislature, an independent judiciary, and the protection of human rightsSony VAIO PCG-383L battery.
In November 2011, elections were held under conditions that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) characterised as "not to be conducive for the conduct of free, fair and transparent polls". These elections, which were not monitored by ECOWAS, returned Jammeh to another 5-year termSony VAIO PCG-382L battery.
On 22 August 2012, Gambia announced it will execute all death-row convicts, 42 men and 2 woman, by September 2012. The country has not executed anyone in the past 30 years.
Foreign relations and military
Main articles: Foreign relations of The Gambia and Military of The Gambia
The Gambia followed a formal policy of nonalignment throughout most of former President Jawara's tenure. It maintained close relations with the United Kingdom, Senegal, and other African countriesSony VAIO PCG-381L battery. The July 1994 coup strained the Gambia's relationship with Western powers, particularly the United States, which until 2002 suspended most non-humanitarian assistance in accordance with Section 508 of the Foreign Assistance Act. Since 1995, President Jammeh has established diplomatic relations with several additional countries, including Libya (suspended in 2010), Republic of China (Taiwan), and CubaSony VAIO PCG-7185L battery.
The Gambia plays an active role in international affairs, especially West African and Islamic affairs, although its representation abroad is limited. As a member of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), The Gambia has played an active role in that organisation's efforts to resolve the civil wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone and contributed troops to the community's the ceasefire monitoring group Sony VAIO PCG-7184L battery (ECOMOG) in 1990 and (ECOMIL) in 2003. It also has sought to mediate disputes in nearby Guinea-Bissau and the neighbouring Casamance region of Senegal. The Government of the Gambia believes Senegal was complicit in the March 2006 failed coup attempt. This has put increasing strains on relations between the Gambia and its neighbour. y.html">Sony VAIO PCG-7183L battery The subsequent worsening of the human rights situation has placed increasing strains of U.S.-Gambian relations.
The Gambian national army numbers about 1,900. The army consists of infantry battalions, the national guard, and the navy, all under the authority of the Department of State for Defense (a ministerial portfolio held by Jammeh). Prior to the 1994 coup, the Gambian army received technical assistance and training from the United StatesSony VAIO PCG-7182L battery, United Kingdom, People's Republic of China, Nigeria, and Turkey. With the withdrawal of most of this aid, the army has received renewed assistance from Turkey and others. A number of junior Gambian army officers are regularly trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and sergeants from the Royal Gibraltar Regiment were observed training Gambian troops in Bakau in November 2010Sony VAIO PCG-7181L battery.
The Gambia allowed its military training arrangement with Libya to expire in 2002.
Members of the Gambian military participated in ECOMOG, the West African force deployed during the Liberian civil war beginning in 1990. Gambian forces have subsequently participated in several other peacekeeping operations, including Bosnia, Kosovo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea and East TimorSony VAIO PCG-7174L battery. The Gambia contributed 150 troops to Liberia in 2003 as part of the ECOMIL contingent. In 2004, the Gambia contributed a 196-man contingent to the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur, Sudan. Responsibilities for internal security and law enforcement rest with the Gambian police under the Inspector General of Police and the Secretary of State for the InteriorSony VAIO PCG-7173L battery.
Main article: Economy of The Gambia
Graphical depiction ofGambia's product exports in 28 color coded categories.
Brightly painted fishing boats are common in Bakau, The Gambia.
The Gambia has a liberal, market-based economy characterised by traditional subsistence agriculture, a historic reliance on groundnuts (peanuts) for export earnings, a re-export trade built up around its ocean port, low import duties, minimal administrative procedures, a fluctuating exchange rate with no exchange controls, and a significant tourism industry. Sony VAIO PCG-7172L battery
The World Bank pegs Gambia's GDP for 2009 at US$733M while the International Monetary Fund puts it at US$968M for 2009.
Agriculture accounts for roughly 30% of gross domestic product (GDP) and employs about 70% of the labour force. Within agriculture, peanut production accounts for 6.9% of GDP, other crops 8.3%, livestock 5.3%, fishing 1.8%, and forestry 0.5%. Industry accounts for approximately 8% of GDP and services approximately 58%Sony VAIO PCG-7171L battery. The limited amount of manufacturing is primarily agricultural-based (e.g., peanut processing, bakeries, a brewery, and a tannery). Other manufacturing activities include soap, soft drinks, and clothing.
Previously, Great Britain and other EU countries constituted the Gambia's major domestic export markets. However, in recent years Senegal, the United StatesSony VAIO PCG-7162L battery, and Japan have become significant trade partners of the Gambia. In Africa, Senegal represented the biggest trade partner of the Gambia in 2007, which is a defining contrast to previous years that saw Guinea-Bissau and Ghana as equally important trade partners. Globally, Denmark, the United States, and China have become important source countries for Gambian importsSony VAIO PCG-7161L battery. The U.K., Germany, Côte d'Ivoire, and the Netherlands also provide a fair share of Gambian imports. The Gambia's trade deficit for 2007 was $331 million.
As of May 2009, there were twelve commercial banks in the Gambia, including one Islamic bank. The oldest of these, Standard Chartered Bank dates its presence back to the entry in 1894 of what shortly thereafter became Bank of British West Africa. In 2005, the Swiss-based banking group, International Commercial Bank established a subsidiary and has now four branches in the country. In 2007Sony VAIO PCG-7154L battery, Nigeria's Access Bank established a subsidiary that now has four branches in the country, in addition to its head office; the bank has pledged to open four more. In May 2009, the Lebanese Canadian Bank opened a subsidiary called Prime Bank (Gambia). 
Main article: Demographics of The Gambia
Gambian woman and child.
More than 63% of Gambians live in rural villages (1993 census), although more and more young people come to the capital in search of work and educationSony VAIO PCG-7153L battery. Provisional figures from the 2003 census show that the gap between the urban and rural populations is narrowing as more areas are declared urban. While urban migration, development projects, and modernisation are bringing more Gambians into contact with Western habits and values, indigenous forms of dress and celebration and the traditional emphasis on the extended family remain integral parts of everyday lifeSony VAIO PCG-7152L battery.
The UNDP's Human Development Report for 2010 ranks The Gambia 151st out of 169 countries on its Human Development Index, putting it in the 'Low Human Development' category. This index compares life expectancy, years of schooling, Gross National Income (GNI) per capita and some other factorsSony VAIO PCG-7151L battery.
Ethnicity and language
A variety of ethnic groups live in The Gambia, each preserving its own language and traditions. The Mandinka ethnicity is the largest, followed by the Fula, Wolof, Jola, Serahule, Serers and the Bianunkas. The Krio people, locally known as Akus, constitute one of the smallest ethnic minorities in The Gambia. They are descendants of the Sierra Leone Creole people and have been traditionally concentrated in the capitalSony VAIO PCG-7148L battery.
There are approximately 3,500 non-African residents including Europeans and families of Lebanese origin (roughly 0.23% of the total population). Most of the European minority are Britons, many of whom left after independence.
English is the official language of The Gambia. Other languages are Mandinka, Wolof, Fula, Serer, Krio and other indigenous vernaculars.Due to geographical setting French language knowledge is relatively wide spreadSony VPCW21C7E battery.
Main article: Education in The Gambia
Classroom at Armitage High School
The Constitution mandates free and compulsory primary education in the Gambia. Lack of resources and educational infrastructure has made implementation of this difficult. In 1995, the gross primary enrollment rate was 77.1% and the net primary enrollment rate was 64.7% School fees long prevented many children from attending schoolSony VPCW12S1E/WZ battery, but in February 1998 President Jammeh ordered the termination of fees for the first six years of schooling. Girls make up about 52 percent of primary school students. The figure may be lower for girls (and consequently higher for boys) in rural areas, where cultural factors and poverty prevent parents from sending girls to school. Approximately 20 percent of school-age children attend Koranic schoolsSony VPCW12S1E/W battery.
In June 2011, the United Nations Population Fund released a report on The State of the World's Midwifery. It contained new data on the midwifery workforce and policies relating to newborn and maternal mortality for 58 countries. The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Gambia is 400. This is compared with 281.3 in 2008 and 628.5 in 1990Sony VPCW12S1E/T battery. The under 5 mortality rate, per 1,000 births is 106 and the neonatal mortality as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 31. The aim of this report is to highlight ways in which the Millennium Development Goals can be achieved, particularly Goal 4 – Reduce child mortality and Goal 5 – reduce maternal death. In Gambia the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is 5 and the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women is 1 in 49Sony VPCW12S1E/P battery.
Public expenditure was at 1.8% of the GDP in 2004, whereas private expenditure was at 5.0%. There were 11 physicians per 100,000 persons in the early 2000s. Life expectancy at birth was at 59.9 for females in 2005 and for males at 57.7.
According to the World Health Organization in 2005 an estimated 78.3% of Gambia's girls and women have suffered female genital mutilationSony VPCW11S1E/W battery. c.90% of Gambian men have been circumcised.
A group called Power Up Gambia operates in The Gambia to provide solar power technology to health care facilities, ensuring greater access to electricity.
Public health progress
Under President Jammeh, The Gambia has improved public health. In October 2012, it was reported that The Gambia has made significant improvements in polio, measles immunization, and the PCV-7 vaccineSony VPCW11S1E/T battery.
The Gambia was certified as polio-free in 2004. "The Gambia EPI program is one of the best in the WHO African Region," Thomas Sukwa, a representative of the World Health Organization, said, according to the Foroyaa Newspaper. "It is indeed gratifying to note that the government of the Gambia remains committed to the global polio eradication initiativeSony VPCW11S1E/P battery."
According to Vaccine News Daily:
Gambia is tied for third place in Africa for measles immunization among one-year-old children.
Gambia is tied for fourth place in the world for the DTP3 immunization for one-year-old children.
Gambia is ranked second in Africa for "feverish children under the age of five who received antimalarial treatment, according to Trading EconomicsSony VPCYA1S1E/B battery."
Saint Mary's Anglican Cathedral in Banjul
Further information: Religion in The Gambia
Article 25 of the Constitution protects the rights of citizens to practice any religion that they choose. The government also did not establish a state religion. Islam is the predominant religion, practised by approximately 90 percent of the country's population. The majority of the Muslims in the Gambia adhere to Sufi laws and traditions.Sony VPCYA1V9E/B batteryVirtually all commercial life in The Gambia comes to a standstill during major Muslim holidays, including Eid al-Adha and Eid ul-Fitr. Most Muslims in the Gambia follow the Maliki school of jurisprudence. There is also a Shiite Muslim community in the Gambia, mainly from Lebanese and other Arab immigrants to the region. The Christian community represents about 8 percent of the populationSony VPCY21S1E/SI battery. Residing in the western and the southern parts of the Gambia, most of the Christian community identify themselves as Roman Catholic. However, there are smaller Christian groups present, such as Anglicans, Methodists, Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses and small evangelical denominationsSony VPCY21S1E/L battery.
Serer religious symbol (the Ndut).
The remaining 1.97 percent of the population adheres to indigenous beliefs, such as the Serer religion. Serer religion encompasses cosmology and a belief in a supreme deity called Rog. Some of its religious festivals include the Xoy, Mbosseh and Randou Rande. Each year, adherents to Serer religion make the annual pilgrimage to Sine in Senegal for the Xoy divination ceremony. Sony VPCY21S1E/G battery Serer religion also has a rather significant imprint on Senegambian Muslim society in that, all Senegambian Muslim festivals such as "Tobaski", "Gamo", "Koriteh" and "Weri Kor", etc., are all loanwords from Serer religion. They were ancient Serer festivals.
Like the Serers, the Jola people also have their religious custom. One of the major religious ceremonies of the Jolas is the BoukoutSony VPCY11S1E/S battery.
Due to immigration from South Asia, there is a presence of Buddhists and followers of the Baha'i Faith.
Main article: Music of The Gambia
Although the Gambia is the smallest country on mainland Africa, its culture is the product of very diverse influences. The national borders outline a narrow strip on either side of the River Gambia, a body of water that has played a vital part in the nation's destiny and is known locally simply as "the River." Without natural barriersSony VPCY11S1E battery, the Gambia has become home to most of the ethnic groups that are present throughout western Africa, especially those in Senegal. Europeans also figure prominently in the nation's history because the River Gambia is navigable deep into the continent, a geographic feature that made this area one of the most profitable sites for the slave trade from the 15th through the 17th centuriesSony VPCZ11X9E/B battery. (It also made it strategic to the halt of this trade once it was outlawed in the 19th century.) Some of this history was popularised in the Alex Haley book and TV series Roots which was set in the Gambia.
Critics have accused the government of restricting free speech. A law passed in 2002 created a commission with the power to issue licenses and imprison journalists; in 2004, additional legislation allowed prison sentences for libel and slander and cancelled all print and broadcasting licenses, forcing media groups to re-register at five times the original costSony VPCZ11Z9E/B battery.
Three Gambian journalists have been arrested since the coup attempt. It has been suggested that they were imprisoned for criticising the government's economic policy, or for stating that a former interior minister and security chief was among the plotters. Newspaper editor Deyda Hydara was shot to death under unexplained circumstances, days after the 2004 legislation took effectSony VPCZ12M9E/B battery.
Licensing fees are high for newspapers and radio stations, and the only nationwide stations are tightly controlled by the government.
Reporters Without Borders has accused "President Yahya Jammeh's police state" of using murder, arson, unlawful arrest and death threats against journalists. In December, 2010 Musa Saidykhan, former editor of The Independent newspaper, was awarded US$200,000 by the ECOWAS Court in Abuja, NigeriaSony VPCZ12X9E/X battery. The court found the Government of The Gambia guilty of torture while he was detained without trial at the National Intelligence Agency. Apparently he was suspected of knowing about the 2006 failed coup.
Footballer Ebrima Sohna
Even with a population under two million, Gambian players abroad have been making a distinct impact in the football (soccer) world. Macoumba Kandji plays with the 2006 and 2007 MLS Champions Houston DynamoSony VPCZ12Z9E/X battery. Portland Timbers (MLS) team features Gambian defender Mamadou "Futty" Danso as a starter in 2011. On 12 July 2011, Mustapha Jarju signed with Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the MLS.
Other Gambian players in MLS include Amadou Sanyang (Seattle Sounders FC), Sanna Nyassi (Montreal Impact), Sainey Nyassi (New England Revolution) and Kenny Mansally (Real Salt Lake). Mamadou Danso was called up to the national team along with Sanna NyassiSony VPCZ138GA battery, Sainey Nyassi and Kenny Mansally for a 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match versus Namibia.
Other Gambian players who play outside the Gambia include Ousman Jallow and Paul Jatta (Brøndby IF), Ibou (OH Leuven), Tijan Jaiteh (SK Brann), Momodou Ceesay (MŠK Žilina), Ebrima Sohna (Sandefjord Fotball), Matarr Jobe(Nesta) (Valur FC Iceland) Sony VPCZ13M9E/B battery, Yankuba Ceesay (JK Nõmme Kalju) and Mustapha Carayol (Milton Keynes Dons, Lincoln City F.C., Bristol Rovers). The former England under-21 international Cherno Samba was fully capped by Gambia.
Alhaji Momodo Nije, also known as Biri Biri, who played for Sevilla FC, was the first Gambian footballer to play professionally abroad. He is regarded as the best Gambian footballer of all time. The name of the current group of Sevilla FC supporters is called Biris after his nameSony VPCZ13M9E/X battery.
Gambian Patrick Mendy (born 26 September 1990) is a professional boxer. He was picked as a contender for the 13th series of Prizefighter series where he went on to win the super middleweight competition. He was also the youngest fighter ever to take part in the competition at the age of 19Sony VPCZ13V9E battery.