The United Republic of Tanzania (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania)
The United Republic of Tanzania is a unitary republic composed of 26 mkoa (regions). The current head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, elected in 2005. Since 1996, the capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where government offices are located. Between independence and 1996 the major coastal city of Dar es Salaam had been the country’s political capital. Today Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania, and is major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.
Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of Lake Victoria (Africa’s largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (Africa’s deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish). Central Tanzania comprises a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the island of Zanzibar lying just offshore.