Located in East Africa, south of the Equator, Tanzania consists of two major parts -- the mainland Tanganyika and the island Zanzibar, which is separated from the mainland by a narrow channel.
Covering a total area of more than 945,000 square km, Tanzania is bordered on the north by Uganda and Kenya, on the east by the Indian Ocean, on the south by Mozambique and Malawi, on the southwest by Zambia and on the west by Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Tanzania has a population of about 37 million. People in Tanzania speak Swahili, which, together with English, are the two official languages in the country.
The United Republic of Tanzania was founded on April 26, 1964, when Tanganyika and Zanzibar, previously separate countries, merged.
Tanzania's economy relies heavily on agriculture, which accounts for almost half of the GDP. The country, with abundant natural resources, also boasts a rich array of tourist resorts.
Tanzania is a multiparty democracy. One-party rule came to an end in 1995 with the first democratic multiparty elections held in the country.
Zanzibar has had its own constitution as well as president, cabinet and house of representatives since 1979 when the Revolutionary Council of Zanzibar adopted a separate constitution, governing Zanzibar's internal administration, with provisions for a popularly-elected president and a legislative House of Representatives elected by delegates of then ruling party.