The United Republic of Tanzania in east Africa, borders on the Indian Ocean and has land borders with eight countries. Tanzania comprises the former colony of Tanganyika on the mainland and the former Protectorate of Zanzibar which were brought together in 1964 forming the United Republic of Tanzania. Zanzibar has its own President and a separate Parliament. Tanzania has a population of around 43.7 million. It is a political leader in Africa, a status obtained during the decolonisation period, when the country’s first president, Julius Nyerere played an important role in the Pan-African Movement.
Although politically stable, the country is heavily indebted and remains one of the world's poorest countries with over 30% of the population living below the poverty line. The economy relies heavily on agriculture and tourism. Mineral production (gold, diamonds, tanzanite) is the country's biggest source of economic growth. Supported by its development partners, who contribute some 40% of the country's total budget, the government is implementing its Poverty Reduction Strategy. Successes include school enrolment which has risen from 53% in 1999 to 97% in 2008. HIV/AIDS, however, remain a cause of premature death. Life expectancy was 51 in 2007.
Tanzania has made much progress in implementing the aid effectiveness and donor harmonisation agendas. The EC is supporting the government’s poverty reduction strategy, called MKUKUTA, and participates with other donors in the Joint Assistance Strategy for Tanzania. The main focus of previous EC development programmes has been to assist the government’s poverty reduction strategy, mostly through budget support, in primary education, roads, water, legal and judicial reform, health and education.
The new EC development cycle (2008–13) allocates €555 million to Tanzania. Most of this (€305 million) is provided as general budget support for the country’s poverty reduction programme. A further €139 million is directed at sector budget support in the road sector and €55.5 million has been reserved for trade and regional integration.
The EC is supporting Tanzania in its efforts to promote regional integration, particularly in the East African Community Customs Union and the Southern African Development Community. The EU is negotiating a new Economic Partnership Agreement with Tanzania, a comprehensive trade agreement that includes trade alongside development cooperation.