In March 1961 it was announced that Tanganyika would become an independent nation and member of the Commonwealth in December 1961. Zanzibar (with Pemba) is a British protectorate; once the world's greatest slave market, it is now its main producer of cloves.
The east coast area, with Zanzibar as its former focus, has a long history of sea trade, settlement and conquest. Trade with India began over 2,000 years ago (E). Arabs, mainly from Oman (5) on the Persian Gulf, created small coastal colonies between the 8th and the 15th centuries (D). The Portuguese dominated the coast in the 16th and 17th centuries; then the Arabs recaptured Zanzibar and Mombasa, and the Portuguese fell back to Mozambique (F). In 1832 the sultan of Muscat and Oman, long the titular suzerain of Zanzibar, transferred his capital there and made his rule effective; one son inherited his African, another his Arabian domains. Before placing Zanzibar itself under British protection in 1890, the then sultan had leased his lands along the Tanganyika coast to the German East Africa Company, those along the Kenya coast to the British East Africa Company; later the German and British governments took them over. The Germans had obtained control of much of the interior by treaty, but later faced several risings, which they suppressed with severity. After the first world war, the German territories became British and Belgian mandates under League of Nations supervision. Tanganyika went to Britain, densely peopled Ruanda-Urundi (26) to Belgium.
In 1945 Tanganyika became a UN trust territory under British administration. A government plan to develop groundnut production in the south, where a new railway was built to Nachingwea, was a costly failure; but finds of diamonds (near Shinyanga) and other minerals supplemented the main export items, sisal (west of Tanga), cotton, and coffee (largely grown by Chagga (C) on the Kilimanjaro slopes). Europeans, including sisal farmers, number 22,000, Arabs 20,000, Indians and other Asians 90,000, in a population of 91/2 million. In 1955 representation in the legislature was based on 'parity' -- 11 African, 11 European, 11 Asian; but in 1959 an elected African majority (with some reserved European and Asian seats) was accepted, and the Tanganyika African National Union (Tanu), led by Julius Nyerere, swept to power, Mr Nyerere becoming prime minister in 1960. In race relations, Tanganyika compares well with most neighbouring countries; and Swahili (C), its much used lingua franca, helps to check disunity between the 120 tribes.