Located on the east coast of the African continent, Tanzania is a picturesque country known for its national parks, multitude of wildlife species, and wonderful safari tours. The country boasts over 125 ethnic groups, most notably the nomadic Maasai people. English and Kiswahili are most commonly spoken, being the country’s official languages, but due to the multitude of ethnic groups inhabiting the country, over one hundred languages can be heard, many of them of Bantu origin.
Over 80% of Tanzania’s population are rural farmers. The majority of these farmers are “small holders” (subsistence farmers) who use manual labor and hand tools. Tanzania is pushing to modernize it’s agricultural industry to not only provide more food security for a growing population, but also to economically empower the impoverished rural population.
Education is highly valued in Tanzanian society; however, most individuals are only afforded the opportunity to attend primary school, which was recently mandated as a free service by the Tanzanian government. Despite the mandate, public school isn’t truly free: books, supplies, uniforms and school meals all have an associated fee. Many Tanzanian families struggle to afford these fees.
Our school, Saving Grace Day & Boarding School is located in Arusha. Arusha is a small urban center in northern Tanzania. The capital of the Arusha region, the city of Arusha is home to many governmental institutions all well as a large number of banks, schools, and businesses large and small. However, one of the largest income sources is tourism, due to its location near the Serengeti National Park, Olduvai Gorge, and Mount Kilimanjaro. Arusha is popularly known as “The Safari Capital” and has cultivated award winning safari parks. The Serengeti National Park is a great place to spot “The Big Five,” Elephants, Wildebeest, Zebras, Cheetahs & Lions. Olduvai Gorge is an important archaeological site home to some of the oldest human remains. Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons, by Geir Kiste
Area: 947,300 sq km
Life expectancy: 61.71 years
Median age: 17.5 years
Education expenditures: 6.2% of GDP (2010)
Literacy: 70.6% (approximately 75.9% for males, 65.4% for females)
School life expectancy: 9 years
15,816 primary schools in operation
Only 1% of the population aged 15 years old and above have post-secondary education.
Child labor: 21% children aged 5-14
Population below poverty line: 67.9%