Dar es Salaam is the largest city, industrial center, and major port of Tanzania.
The city is located on the Swahili coast, on a natural harbour on the eastern coast of East Africa. Due to close proximity to the equator and the warm Indian Ocean, the city experiences tropical climatic conditions, typified by hot and humid weather throughout much of the year.
The region of Dar es Salaam is divided into five districts: Kinondoni in the north, Ilala in the centre, Ubungo and Temeke in the south and Kigamboni in the east across the Kurasini creek.
Dar es Salaam is the largest city in East Africa and the seventh-largest in Africa, with a population of 6,701,650.
Former capital of the country, in 1996 lost its official status as capital city to Dodoma, more centrally located. Nevertheless, Dar es Salaam continues to serve as the seat of most government administration and capital for the surrounding region.
Data and facts
- The name of the city comes from an Arabic word meaning "Abode of Peace."
- Dar es Salaam was founded in 1862 by the sultan of Zanzibar on the site of the village of Mzizima. It remained only a small port until the German East Africa Company established a station there in 1887.
- Tanzania plays a vital role in helping us understand our own evolution as the earliest human skull in the world, dating back 2 million years, was discovered in Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania by the famous East Africa archaeologist, Dr. Leakey
- Head of state: President John Magufuli
- Language: English, Swahili.
- Country motto: Freedom and Unity.
- Currency: Tanzanian shilling (TZS)
- Median age: 17.9 years
- Life expectancy: 63.1 years
- Religion: 63.1% Christianity, 34.1% Islam, 1.6% unaffiliated, 1.1% Folk
The president is both chief of state and head of the government of Tanzania. The president and vice president are elected on the same ballot by popular vote for five-year terms and are eligible for a second term.
The unicameral National Assembly, or Bunge, comprises 274 seats, to which 232 members are elected by popular vote, 37 are allocated to women nominated by the president, and five to members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives. All serve five-year terms.
Dar es Salaam is the capital of the Dar es Salaam Region, which is one of Tanzania's 26 administrative regions. The Dar es Salaam Region consists of three local government areas or administrative districts: Kinondoni to the north, Ilala in the center of the region, and Temeke to the south. Each district has at least one council, known as a local government authority. The city of Dar es Salaam is governed by a city council.
Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. The economy depends on agriculture, which accounts for more than 40 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), provides 85 percent of exports, and employs 80 percent of the workforce. Topography and climatic conditions, however, limit cultivated crops to only four percent of the land area. The major food crops are corn (maize), rice, sorghum, millet, bananas, cassava (manioc), sweet potatoes, barley, potatoes, and wheat.
Industry traditionally is based on the processing of its agricultural goods and the manufacture of products that were once purchased from abroad. The principal industries are food processing, textiles, brewing, and cigarette production. Production of cement, clothing, footwear, tires, batteries, and bottles takes place as well.
Located on a natural harbor on the Indian Ocean, Dar es Salaam is the outlet for mainland Tanzania’s agricultural and mineral exports. Tanzania’s principal exports are gold, coffee, cashew nuts, and cotton. Of these, gold—which provided more than two-thirds of the country’s export earnings in the early 2000s—is by far the most lucrative. However the mines are not located in the city.
Dar es Salaam downtown also includes small businesses, many of which are run by traders and proprietors whose families originated from the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.
The picturesque harbor, beautiful beaches, and thriving nightlife have made the city a tourist destination.
Dar es Salaam is Tanzania's most important city for both business and government. About one half of Tanzania's manufacturing employment is located in the city despite the fact that only ten percent of the population lives there.
The Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE) is the country's first and most important stock exchange market.
The Dar es Salaam Central Business District is the largest in Tanzania and comprises the Kisutu, Kivukoni, Upanga and Kariakoo areas. Kivukoni is home to the Tanzania central bank, The Bank of Tanzania, the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange and the city's important Magogoni fish market. Dar es Salaam also hosts the Mlimani City shopping mall.
The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and bilateral donors, have provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania's out-of-date economic infrastructure and to alleviate poverty.
Dar es Salaam, on a natural harbour on the Indian Ocean, is one of the hubs of the Tanzanian transportation system as the main railways and several highways originate in or near the city to provide convenient transportation for commuters. The city has the country's busiest port located on the west of the Indian Ocean. The Port of Dar es Salaam handles 90% of the country's cargo
The most common form of transport in Dar es Salaam are the public buses, called dala dala although the government has been introducing a bus rapid transport or metro bus system under the Dar es Salaam bus rapid transit.
The Julius Nyerere International Airport is the principal airport serving the country with two operating terminals and one under construction; Terminal Three at Kipawa in Ilala Municipality. The airport is located west of Dar es Salaam's central business district.
Most global innovation ecosystem reports and maps still consider Tanzania among the countries with few spaces to support entrepreneurs. This has been the reality for many years but it is starting to change.
Tanzania innovation ecosystem is among the most diverse and community Spaces, Incubators, Accelerators, and Technology Hubs are distributed across the country even in extremely rural areas.
Although this technological scene is still on its early stage, it is already possible to find some interesting startups with its home is Dar es Salaam:
- Mtabe App: offline elearning and assistance via SMS for students who do not access to internet, textbooks or smartphones
- MyHI: MyHI is a mobile phone app to simplify access to health insurance access
- Sheria Kiganjani: Digital legal platform
- Kilimo Fresh Foods: platform that links smallholder farmers and produce buyers.
- Noobites: This startup has developed a cloth which releases a highly effective wide-area spatial mosquito repellent.
- Nuru: A security and defence network for girls against sexual harassment and physical violence.
- MITZ Innovations: Designs, builds and supplies easy to use portable and affordable sets of science, technology, engineering and mathematics tools for students
Social wellness and human resources
The health sector in Tanzania faces important challenges: life expectancy at birth reaches barely 59 years and the human resources gap is estimated at 40%.
The country has been experiencing an epidemiologic transition with a significant increase in non-communicable diseases (diabetes, cancer, heart diseases), particularly in urban areas. Those are estimated to cause nearly 46,000 deaths per year and this figure is likely to double by 2030.
Despite the efforts of the Government and the support from development partners, the public health care system struggles to meet the growing demand in health services, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Dar es Salaam is the educational centre of Tanzania. The city is home to several institutions of higher learning.
Educational facilities include the University of Dar es Salaam (1961), several libraries and research institutes, and the National Museum.
Newspapers in Dar es Salaam are often sold by people prowling through stationary traffic at road intersections. English-language ones include The Citizen and The Guardian and the Kiswahili dailies, Tanzania Daima and Mwananchi.
Dar es Salaam is home to ITV, Sibuka, Channel Ten, Television Station and Azam TV.
Dar es Salaam has two of the five museums comprising the National Museum of Tanzania consortium, namely the National Museum proper and the Makumbusho Cultural Centre & Village Museum. The National Museum is dedicated to the history of Tanzania.
The Makumbusho Cultural Centre & Village Museum, located in the outskirts of the city on the road to Bagamoyo, showcases traditional huts from 16 different Tanzanian ethnic groups.
The music scene includes live dance bands such as Kilimanjaro, Twanga Pepeta and FM Academia.
"Bongo Flava," a broad category that represents the Tanzanian take on hip hop and R&B, has become the most popular locally produced music. Traditional tribal music is performed at weddings.
Football is the most popular sport in Tanzania although basketball is also played but mainly in the army and schools.
Dar es-Salaam is the sports center of Tanzania. The city hosts the second largest stadium in East and Central Africa (National Stadium), which can accommodate up to 60,000 people.
The National Stadium hosts Dar es Salaam's Young Africans Sports Club, Simba Sports Club, Azam F.C. and other Tanzanian football clubs.