The Full Wiki

Zanzibar: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Zanzibar ( ) is a semi-autonomous part of the United Republic of Tanzania, in East Africa. It comprises the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Oceanmarker, off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Ungujamarker (the main island, informally referred to as Zanzibar), and Pembamarker.Other nearby island countries and territories include ,Comoros and Mayotte to the south, Mauritius and Réunion to the far East, and the Seychelles Islands about 1500km. Zanzibar was once a separate state with a long trading history within the Arab world; it united with Tanganyika to form Tanzania in 1964 and still enjoys a high degree of autonomy within the union. The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Ungujamarker, is Zanzibar Citymarker, and its historic center, known as Stone Townmarker, is a World Heritage Site.

Zanzibar's main industries are spices, raffia, and tourism. In particular, the islands produce cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper. For this reason, the islands, together with Tanzania's Mafia Islandmarker, are sometimes called the Spice Islands (a term also associated with the Maluku Islandsmarker in Indonesiamarker). Zanzibar's ecology is of note for being the home of the endemic Zanzibar Red Colobus and the (possibly extinct) Zanzibar Leopard.


A Zanzibari woman, circa 1890
The presence of microlithic tools attests to at least 20,000 years of human occupation of Zanzibar. The islands became part of the historical record of the wider world when Persian traders discovered them and used them as a base for voyages between Middle East, Indiamarker, and Africa. Ungujamarker offered a protected and defensible harbour, so although the archipelago offered few products of value, the Persians settled at what became Zanzibar Citymarker (Stone Town) as a convenient point from which to trade with East African coastal towns. They established garrisons on the islands and built the first mosque in the Southern hemispheremarker.

During the Age of Exploration, the Portuguese Empire was the first European power to gain control of Zanzibar, and the Portuguese kept it for nearly 200 years. In 1698, Zanzibar fell under the control of the Sultanate of Omanmarker, which developed an economy of trade and cash crops with a ruling Arab elite. Plantations were developed to grow spices, hence the term Spice Islands. Another major trade good for Zanzibar was ivory. 1 The Sultan of Zanzibar controlled a substantial portion of the East African coast, known as Zanj; this included Mombasamarker, Dar es Salaammarker, and trading routes that extended much further inland, such as the route leading to Kindumarker on the Congo Rivermarker.
Sometimes gradually and sometimes by fits and starts, control of Zanzibar came into the hands of the British Empire; part of the political impetus for this was the 19th century movement for the abolition of the slave trade. The relationship between Britain and the nearest relevant colonial power, Germanymarker, was formalized by the 1890 Helgoland-Zanzibar Treaty, in which Germany pledged not to interfere with British interests in insular Zanzibar. That year, Zanzibar became a protectorate (not a colony) of Britain. From 1890 to 1913, traditional viziers were appointed to govern as puppets, switching to a system of British residents (effectively governors) from 1913 to 1963. The death of the pro-British Sultan Hamad bin Thuwaini on 25 August 1896 and the succession of Sultan Khalid bin Barghash of whom the British did not approve led to the Anglo-Zanzibar War. On the morning of 27 August 1896, ships of the Royal Navy destroyed the Beit al Hukum Palace. A cease fire was declared 38 minutes later, and to this day the bombardment stands as the shortest war in history.

The islands gained independence from Britain in December 1963 as a constitutional monarchy. A month later, the bloody Zanzibar Revolution, in which thousands of Arabs and Indians were killed in a genocide and thousands more expelled, led to the establishment of the Republic of Zanzibar and Pemba. That April, the republic was subsumed by the mainland former colony of Tanganyika. This United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar was soon renamed (as a portmanteau) the United Republic of Tanzania, of which Zanzibar remains a semi-autonomous region.

Government and Politics

As a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, Zanzibar has its own government, known as the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. It is made up of the Revolutionary Council and House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives has a similar composition to the National Assembly of Tanzania: There are 50 members from electoral constituencies, directly elected by universal suffrage to serve five-year terms; 10 members appointed by the President of Zanzibar; 15 special seats for women; 5 Regional commissioners; and an attorney-general. Five of these 81 members are then elected to represent Zanzibar in the National Assembly of Tanzania.

Unguja comprises three administrative regions: Zanzibar Central/Southmarker, Zanzibar Northmarker and Zanzibar Urban/Westmarker. Pemba has two: Pemba Northmarker and Pemba Southmarker.

There are many political parties in Zanzibar, but the main Parties are the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and the Civic United Front (CUF). Since the early 1990s, the politics of the archipelago have been marked by repeated clashes between these two political parties. Contested elections in late 2000 led to a massacre in Zanzibar in January 2001 when the government shot into crowds of protestors, killing 35 and injuring 600. Violence erupted again in 2005 after another contested election, with the CUF claiming that its rightful victory had been stolen from them. Following 2005, negotiations between the two parties aiming at the long-term resolution of the tensions and a power-sharing accord took place, but they suffered repeated setbacks. The most notable of these took place in April 2008, when the CUF walked away from the negotiating table following a CCM call for a referendum to approve of what had been presented as a done deal on the power-sharing agreement.

Political Solution

In October 2009 Zanzibar President Amani Karume met with CUF Secretary Seif Shariff Hamad at the State House to discus how to save Zanzibar from future political turmoil and to end the backlash between them, a move which was welcomed by many people including the USA and political parties. It was the first time CUF agreed to recognize Karume as the legitimate president of Zanzibar.The relationship between Zanzibar government and Tanzanian Mainland has not been so well in recent years since Tanzania Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda's remark about the Isles' sovereignty that Zanzibar is not an independent country outside the Union Government, within which it can only exercise its sovereignty.Members from both the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), and the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) disagreed with Mr Pinda's interpretation and stand firmly in recognizing Zanzibar as a fully autonomous and full state, the move which is widely unrecognized by the formation of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania which raises a backlash between Members of Parliament from the Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar.

In 2008 Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete tried to silence the matter when he addressed the nation in a live conference by saying that Zanzibar is a state internal but semi-state international.

Geography,Weather and Climate

Zanzibar Covering an area of 1464 km2, Zanzibar is a mainly low lying island, with its highest point at 120 meters..It is +3 GMT during winter and +2 during summer time. It is located in the Indian Ocean, about 25 miles from the Tanzanian mainland coast, and 6° south of the equator. Zanzibar Island (known locally as Unguja, but as Zanzibar internationally) is 60 miles long and 20 miles wide, occupying a total area of approximately 650 square miles. It is characterised by beautiful sandy beaches with fringing coral reefs, and the magic of historic Stone Town - said to be the only functioning ancient town in East Africa.The coral reefs that surround the East Coast are rich in marine diversity, and make Zanzibar an ideal location for snorkelling and scuba diving.Zanzibar experiences ideal holiday weather for most of the year. The heat of summer is seasonally often cooled by windy conditions, resulting in pleasant sea breezes, particularly on the North and East coasts. Being near to the equator, the islands are warm all year round, but officially, summer and winter peak in December and June respectively. Zanzibar is blessed with an average of 7-8 hours of sunshine daily.

Short rains can occur in November but are characterised by short showers which do not last long. The long rains normally occur in April and May although this is often referred to as the 'Green Season', and it typically doesn't rain every day during that time.

The Sultan's Palace in Stone Town, as seen from the House of Wonders


The main island of Zanzibar, Ungujamarker, has a fauna which reflects its connection to the African mainland during the last ice age.Endemic mammals with continental relatives include the Zanzibar red colobus, a full species;the Zanzibar leopard, which is critically endangered and possibly extinct; and the recently described Zanzibar servaline genet.There are no large wild animals in Zanzibar, and forest areas such as Jozani are inhabited by monkeys, bush-pigs and small antelopes. Civets - and rumour has it, the elusive Zanzibar leopard! Various species of mongoose can also be found on the island. There is a wide variety of birdlife, and a large number of butterflies in rural areas.Pemba island is separated from Unguja island and the African continent by deep channels and has a correspondingly restricted fauna, reflecting its comparative isolation from the mainland. Its best-known endemic is the Pemba Flying Fox.


Until 2002 Zanzibar has the population of about 981,754in Zanzibar Island of Unguja the total population is about 620,957 and Pemba 360,797.Over all age between 0-14 is 44.2%, Age 15-64 is 51.8% and remaining is 3.9%,the population growth is about 3.1 annually,the current population is estimated to be around 1.070,000


The most commonly practised religion is Islam. Over 95% of Zanzibar's population follow the laws of Islam.Its history was influenced by the Arabs, Persiansmarker, Indiansmarker, Portuguesemarker, Britishmarker and the African mainland. The remainder is a mix of Hindu and Christians


Zanzibar, mainly Pemba Islandmarker, was once the world's leading clove producer, but annual clove sales have plummeted since the 1970's by 80%. Explanations given for this are a fast-moving global market, international competition and a hangover from Tanzania's failed experiment with socialism in the 1960s and 1970s, when the government controlled clove prices and exports. Zanzibar now ranks a distant third with Indonesia supplying 75% of the world's cloves compared to Zanzibar's 7%.

Zanzibar exports spices, seaweed and fine raffia. It also has a large fishing and dugout canoe production. Tourism is a major foreign currency earner.
's economy is based primarily on the production of cloves (90% grown on the island of Pemba), the principal foreign exchange earner. Exports have suffered with the downturn in the clove market. Tourism is a promising sector with a number of new hotels and resorts having been built in recent years.

The Government of Zanzibar legalized foreign exchange bureaus on the islands before mainland Tanzania moved to do so. The effect was to increase the availability of consumer commodities. The government has also established a free port area, which provides the following benefits: contribution to economic diversification by providing a window for free trade as well as stimulating the establishment of support services; administration of a regime that imports, exports, and warehouses general merchandise; adequate storage facilities and other infrastructure to cater for effective operation of trade; and creation of an efficient management system for effective re-exportation of goods.

The island's manufacturing sector is limited mainly to import substitution industries, such as cigarettes, shoes, and processed agricultural products. In 1992, the government designated two export-producing zones and encouraged the development of offshore financial services. Zanzibar still imports much of its staple requirements, petroleum products, and manufactured articles.

During May and June 2008, Zanzibar suffered a major failure of its electricity system, which left the island without electricity for nearly a month. The Mainland, where the fault originated, managed to be restored at the same time, but the Islanders stayed powerless and entirely dependent on alternative methods of electricity generation from May 21 to June 19 (mainly diesel generators). This led to a serious and ongoing shock to the island's fragile economy, which is heavily dependent on foreign tourism.In 2000, the annual income per capita was US$220.

There is also a possibility of oil availability in Zanzibar on the island of Pemba, and efforts have been made by the Tanzanian Government and Zanzibar revolutionary Government to exploit what could be one of the most significant discoveries in recent memory. Oil would help boost the economy of Zanzibar, but there have been and disagreements about dividends between the Tanzanian Mainland and Zanzibar, the latter claiming the oil should be excluded in Union matters.Already Norwegian consultant has been sent to Zanzibar to find out the possibility of oil in Zanzibar


In 2000 there were 207 government schools and 118 privately owned schools in Zanzibar. There are also two universities and one college: Zanzibar University, the State University of Zanzibarmarker (SUZA) and the Chukwani College of Education.

SUZA was established in 1999, and is located in Stone Townmarker, in the buildings of the former Institute of Kiswahili and Foreign Language (TAKILUKI). It is the only public institution for higher learning in Zanzibar, the other two institutions being private. In 2004, the three institutions had a total enrollment of 948 students, of whom 207 were female.

The primary and secondary education system in Zanzibar is slightly different than that of the Tanzanian mainland. On the mainland, education is only compulsory for the seven years of primary education, while in Zanzibar an additional three years of secondary education are compulsory and free. Students in Zanzibar score significantly less on standardized tests for reading and mathematics than students on the mainland.

In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, national service after secondary education was necessary, but it is now voluntary and few students volunteer. Most choose to seek employment or attend teacher's colleges.


Zanzibar has a total road network of 1,600 kilometres of roads, of which 85% are termaced or semitermaced. The remainder are earth roads, which is annually rehabilitated to make them passable throughout the year. There is no Public transport owned by government at the moment in Zanzibar, but Dalala as officially known in Zanzibar is the only kind of transport owned by private owners, the term Dalala originated from swahili word DALA or Five shillings during 1970s and 80s, at that time the public transport cost five shillings.Zanzibar now has an improved and thriving sea transport network, by which public owned ships and private speed boats serve the ports of Zanzibar, which was renovated by the help of European Union,There are five ports in Zanzibar and Pemba Islands. Zanzibar Port Corporation (ZPC) is a public entity, which has full autonomy for operation and development of ports.

Malindi port was built in 1925 as a modest lighter port. The wharves of the main seaport were constructed in 1989-1991 with financial assistance from the European Union. The Port handles more than 90% of Zanzibar trade. Malindi port was in a poor state in terms of infrastructure (quays, container stacking yard etc) as well as very limited operational area and storage facilities

Several assessments of Malindi port condition were made between 1995 and 2001. However, no repair works has been done resulting in further deterioration of the wharves. The main port wharf has deteriorated to the extent that it can no longer be repaired.

The fastest journey time is around 75 minutes to Dar es Salaam,the slowest is the overnight trip.

The most recently accident was May 2009 where a cargo vessel sunk before departing to Dar-es Salaam. It is still unclear how many people lost their lives as well as the cause of the accident. It took more than a week to rescue and lift the vessel. Zanzibar is well connected to the rest of the world. Zanzibar's main airport, Zanzibar International Airportmarker, can now handle larger planes, which has resulted in an increase in passenger and cargo inflows and outflows.


The energy sector in Zanzibar is constituted by electric power, petroleum and petroleum products; it is also supplemented by firewood and its related products. Coal and gas are rarely used for either domestic and industrial purposes. Zanzibar gets 70 percent of its electric power needs from mainland Tanzania through a submarine cable, and the rest (for Pemba) is thermally generated. Between 70 and 75% of the electricity generated is domestically used while less than 20 percent is industrially used. Fuel wood, charcoal and kerosene are widely used as sources of energy for cooking and lighting for most rural and urban areas. The consumption capacity of petroleum, gas, oil, kerosene and IDO is increasing annually, with a total of 5,650 tons consumed in 1997 to more than 7,500 tons in 1999.


Zanzibar's local people are an incredible mixture of ethnic backgrounds, indicative of her colourful history.Zanzibaris speak Swahili (known locally as Kiswahili), a language which is spoken extensively in East Africa. Many believe that the purest form is spoken in Zanzibar as it is the birth place of the language.Zanzibar's most famous event is the Zanzibar International Film Festival, also known as the Festival of the Dhow Countries. Every July, this event showcases the best of the Swahili Coast arts scene, including Zanzibar's favourite music, Taarab.Important architectural features in Stone Townmarker are the Livingstone house, the Guliani Bridge, and the House of Wonders. The town of Kidichimarker features the hammam (Persian baths), built by immigrants from Shirazmarker, Iranmarker during the reign of Barghash bin Said.

Media and Communication

Zanzibar was the first region in Africa to introduce colour television, in 1973. The first television service on mainland Tanzania was not introduced until some twenty years later!, but it currently ranks low among African countries due to poor services offered and lack of modern production tools as well as experienced staff. The current TV station is called TVZ.Among the famous reporters of TVZ during the 1980s and 1990s were the late Alwiya Alawi 1961–1996 (the elder sister of Inat Alawi, famous Taarab singer during the 1980s), Neema Mussa, Sharifa Maulid, Fatma Mzee, Zaynab Ali, Ramadhan Ali, and Khamis Faki. The first television service on mainland Tanzania was not introduced until some twenty years later. There is currently no privately owned media in Zanzibar.In term of Communication Zanzibar is well served by the newly restructured public telecommunication company (TTCL) and four privately owned mobile systems. Through these systems the whole of Zanzibar (Unguja and Pemba) is widely covered and connected to most parts of the world.Zanzibar Telecommunicatio known as Zantel was the first and only Zanzibar based Tele-communication company since 1999 before relocate its main headquarters to the Mainland,Almost all Mobile and Internet companies served in Mainland Tanzania are available in Zanzibar.


Association Football is the most popular sport in Zanzibar, overseen by the Zanzibar Football Association. Zanzibar is an associate member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF). This means that the Zanzibar national football team is not eligible to enter national CAF competitions, such as the African Nations Cup, but Zanzibar's football clubs get representation at the CAF Confederation Cup and the CAF Champions League.

The national team participates in non-FIFA international tournaments such as the FIFI Wild Cup, and the ELF Cup. Because Zanzibar is not a member of FIFAmarker, their team is not eligible for the World Cup.

The Zanzibar Football Association also has a Premier League for the top clubs, which was created in 1981.

Famous people


Image:ZanzibarBeach.jpg|A Zanzibar beachImage:Contruction and repair of Dhows, near Mtoni, Zanzibar.JPG|Construction and repair of Dhows, near MtoniImage:Zanzibar from sea.jpg|Stone TownImage:Zanzibar sultan palace.jpg|Stone Town with Sultan's PalaceImage:Cloves-spice.jpg|Cloves have played a significant role in the history of Zanzibar's economyImage:Zanzibarsultanpalace22.JPG|House of WondersImage:Zanzibar east coast pristine beach.JPG|Zanzibar East Coast beachImage:Severely polluted beach at Mtoni, Zanzibar.JPG|Polluted beach at Mtoni

See also


  1. Composition of the Zanzibar House of Representatives
  11. Tanzania Commission for Universities
  12. SUZA website
  13. Higher education –
  14. Tanzania entry – SACMEQ
  16. TVZ.

Further reading

  • Revolution in Zanzibar, Don Petterson (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2002)
  • Memoirs of an Arabian Princess from Zanzibar, Emily Ruete, 1888. (Many reprints). Author (1844–1924) was born Princess Salme of Zanzibar and Oman and was a daughter of Sayyid Said.
  • Banani: the Transition from Slavery to Freedom in Zanzibar and Pemba, H. S. Newman, (London, 1898)
  • Travels in the Coastlands of British East Africa, W. W. A. FitzGerald, (London, 1898)
  • Zanzibar in Contemporary Times, R. N. Lyne, (London, 1905)
  • Pemba: The Spice Island of Zanzibar, J. E. E. Craster, (London, 1913)
  • Nyerere and Africa: End of an Era, and Tanzania under Mwalimu Nyerere: Reflections on an African Statesman, Godfrey Mwakikagile, (Pretoria, South Africa: New Africa Press, 2006)
  • Hatice Uğur, Osmanlı Afrikası'nda Bir Sultanlık: Zengibar (Zanzibar as a Sultanate in the Ottoman Africa), İstanbul: Küre Yayınları, 2005. For its English version, see
  • Challenges of Informal Urbanisation. The Case of Zanzibar/Tanzania, Wolfgang Scholz (Dortmund 2008)

External links

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address