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Tanzania Timeline

A chronology of key events in Tanzania's history

800s Kilwa is established as a trading settlement by Arabs, whilst Persian traders settle at Pemba and on Zanzibar.
1200 The distinctive mix of Arabs, Persians and Africans develops into the Swahili culture.
1498 Vasco da Gama, Portuguese explorer, sails up Tanzanian coast.
1500-09 Swahili ports along the Tanzanian coast are seized by Portuguese.
1699 Zanzibar is commandeered by Omanis who make it the centre of their maritime empire, eventually to become its capital.
1858 Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke arrive at Lake Tanganika and Lake Victoria.
1867 British campaign against Zanzibar slave trade starts.
1873 The Sultan of Zanzibar is forced to close his slave market by the British.
1884 The Gesellschaft für Deutsche Kolonisation (Society for German Colonisation), co-founded by Carl Peters, begins exploring the mainland.
1885 With the conclusion of the Berlin West African Conference a German protectorate is created in East Africa under the control of the Deutsch Osta-Afrikanischen Gesellschaft (German East-African Society) .
1890 Britain takes over Zanzibar as a protectorate.
1891 Deutsch-Ostafrika (German East Africa) colony is created.

1905-07 Maji Maji Rebellion put down by German troops.
1914 General Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck, the commander of German forces in East Africa, begins a guerrilla style war against the British and her Allies.
1916 Majority of German East Africa is occupied by British and South African troops.
1919 Following the defeat of German in the Great War, Tanganyika is given by the League of Nations as a mandate to the British.
1929 Formation of the Tanganyika African Association (TAA) .
1946 British mandate over Tanganyika is converted into a trusteeship by the United Nations.
1954 Julius Kambarage Nyerere and Oscar Kambona create the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) out of the remnants of the TAA.
1958 Tanganyika is given internal self-government by the British.
1961 Tanganyika achieves independence (9 December) .
1962 Julius Kambarage Nyerere is first president of the newly formed Republic of Tanganyika (9 December), having previously served as Prime Minister under the British Governor-General Richard Gordon Turnbull. Nyerere introduces his own form of African socialism.
1963 Zanzibar achieves independence (10 December) .
1964 In a violent revolution, left-wing forces overthrow the Sultanate of Zanzibar and the People's Republic of Zanzibar is proclaimed (12 January). Shortly after Tanganyika and Zanzibar are merged together as the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar (26 April) with Nyerere as president (and Abeid Amani Rashid Karume as president of Zanzibar). The United Republic of Tanzania was proclaimed on 29 Oct.
1967 Arusha Declaration - President Nyerere outlines his own version of socialism, Ujamaa. Nyerere's vision called for socialism, self-reliance and a belief in human equality (5 February) .
1975 The Tanzania-Zambia railroad (known as the Tan-Zam) is completed.
1977 Merger of Tanzania African National Union (TANU) and Zanzibar's Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) to create the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM - Revolutionary State Party). The CCM is declared to be the only legal political party in Tanzania.
1978 With the assistance of Libyan troops, Idi Amin attempts to annex Kagera, Tanzania's northern province.
1979 Tanzanian forces invade Uganda and capture the capital Kampala. The president of Uganda, Idi Amin, flees to Libya.
1985 President Ali Hassan Mwinyi comes into power, Mwinyi had been president of Zanzibar (5 November). Nyerere's socialist experiment is eased.
1992 Tanzania's constitution is amended to allow multi-party democracy.
1994 Tanzania accepts 800,000 refugees form ethnic violence in Rwanda and Burundi.
1995 Benjamin William Mkapa of the CCM becomes president after first multi-party elections (23 November).
1998 US embassy buildings in Dar es Salaam are destroyed by a terrorist blast.
1999 Julius Kambarage Nyerere dies (14 October) .
2001 Offices of opposition party, Civic United Front (CUF), in Zanzibar are raided: two people are killed. Period of violence follows the government's ban on opposition rallies. The CCM and CUF finally reach agreement and normality is restored. Tanzania rekindles the East African Community with Kenya and Uganda. Presidents of all three countries launch a regional parliament and court of justice to act on common matters.
2005 Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete of the CCM becomes president (21 December).
2006 African Development Bank cancels more than $640 million of debt.
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