U.S. Department of State
Background Notes: United Republic of Tanzania, May 1998
Released by the Office of East African Affairs, Bureau of African 
Affairs.


PROFILE

Geography
Area: Mainland--945,000 sq. km. (378,000 sq. mi.); slightly smaller than 
New Mexico and Texas combined. Zanzibar--1,658 sq. km. (640 sq. mi.). 
Cities: Capital--Dar es Salaam (pop. 2.8 million); Dodoma (200,000), 
Zanzibar Town (200,000 ), Tanga (460,000), Mwanza (480,000), Arusha 
(250,000). 
Terrain: Varied. 
Climate: Varies from tropical to arid to temperate. 

People
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Tanzanian(s); Zanzibari(s). 
Population: Mainland--29 million. Zanzibar--800,000. 
Religions: Muslim 45%, Christian 45%, indigenous beliefs 10%. 
Language: Kiswahili (official), English. 
Education: Attendance--74% (primary). Literacy--67%. 
Health: Infant mortality rate--98/1,000. Life expectancy--52 years. 
Work force: Agriculture--80%. Industry, commerce, government--20%. 

Government
Type: Republic. 
Independence: Tanganyika 1961, Zanzibar 1963; union formed 1964. 
Constitution: 1982. 
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state and commander in chief), 
vice president, and prime minister. Legislative--unicameral National 
Assembly (for the union), House of Representatives (for Zanzibar only). 
Judicial--mainland: Court of Appeals, High Courts, resident Magistrate 
Courts, district courts, primary courts. Zanzibar: High Court, people's 
district courts, kadhis courts (Islamic courts). 
Political parties: Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), Civic United Front (CUF), 
Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA), Union for Multiparty 
Democracy (UMD), National Convention for Construction & Reform (NCCR), 
National League for Democracy (NLD), Tanzania People's Party (TPP), 
United People's Democratic Party (UPDP), National Reconstruction 
Alliance (NRA), Popular National Party (PONA), Tanzania Democratic 
Alliance Party (TADEA), Tanzania Labour Party (TLP), The United 
Democratic Party (UDP). 
Suffrage: Universal at 18. 
Administrative subdivisions: 25 regions (20 on mainland, 3 on Zanzibar, 
2 on Pemba). 
Flag: Diagonal yellow-edged black band from lower left to upper right; 
green field at upper left, blue field at lower right. 

Economy
GDP (1997): $7.5 billion. 
Annual growth rate: 3.6%.
Per capita income: $260. 
Natural resources: Hydroelectric potential, coal, iron, gemstone, gold, 
natural gas, nickel, diamonds. 
Agriculture (60% of GDP): Products--coffee, cotton, tea, tobacco, 
cloves, sisal, cashew nuts, maize. 
Industry (10% of GDP): Types--textiles, agribusiness, light 
manufacturing, oil refining, construction. 
Trade: Exports--$793 million: coffee, cotton, tea, sisal, diamonds, 
cashew nuts, tobacco, and cloves. Major markets--U.K., Germany, India, 
Japan, Italy, and Far East. Imports--$1.2 billion: petroleum, consumer 
goods, machinery and transport equipment, used clothing, chemicals, 
pharmaceuticals. Major suppliers--U.K., Germany, Japan, India, Italy, 
U.S. 

PEOPLE
Population distribution in Tanzania is extremely uneven. Density varies 
from 1 person per square kilometer (3/sq. mi.) in arid regions to 51 per 
square kilometer (133/sq. mi.) in the mainland's well-watered highlands 
and 134 per square kilometer (347/sq. mi.) on Zanzibar. More than 80% of 
the population is rural. Dar es Salaam is the capital and largest city; 
Dodoma, located in the center of Tanzania, has been designated to become 
the new capital by the end of the decade.

The African population consists of more than 120 ethnic groups, of which 
the Sukuma, Haya, Nyakyusa, Nyamwezi, and Chaga have more than 1 million 
members. The majority of Tanzanians, including such large tribes as the 
Sukuma and the Nyamwezi, are of Bantu stock. Groups of Nilotic or 
related origin include the nomadic Masai and the Luo, both of which are 
found in greater numbers in neighboring Kenya. Two small groups speak 
languages of the Khoisan family peculiar to the Bushman and Hottentot 
peoples. Cushitic-speaking peoples, originally from the Ethiopian 
highlands, reside in a few areas of Tanzania.

Although much of Zanzibar's African population came from the mainland, 
one group known as Shirazis traces its origins to the island's early 
Persian settlers. Non-Africans residing on the mainland and Zanzibar 
account for 1% of the total population. The Asian community, including 
Hindus, Sikhs, Shi'a and Sunni Muslims, and Goans, has declined by 50% 
in the past decade to 50,000 on the mainland and 4,000 on Zanzibar. An 
estimated 70,000 Arabs and 10,000 Europeans reside in Tanzania.

Each ethnic group has its own language, but the national language is 
Kiswahili, a Bantu-based tongue with strong Arabic borrowings. 

HISTORY

Tanganyika/Tanzania
Northern Tanganyika's famed Olduvai Gorge has provided rich evidence of 
the area's prehistory, including fossil remains of some of humanity's 
earliest ancestors. Discoveries suggest that East Africa may have been 
the site of human origin.

Little is known of the history of Tanganyika's interior during the early 
centuries of the Christian era. The area is believed to have been 
inhabited originally by ethnic groups using a click-tongue language 
similar to that of Southern Africa's Bushmen and Hottentots. Although 
remnants of these early tribes still exist, most were gradually 
displaced by Bantu farmers migrating from the west and south and by 
Nilotes and related northern peoples. Some of these groups had well-
organized societies and controlled extensive areas by the time the Arab 
slavers, European explorers, and missionaries penetrated the interior in 
the first half of the 19th century.

The coastal area first felt the impact of foreign influence as early as 
the 8th century, when Arab traders arrived. By the 12th century, traders 
and immigrants came from as far away as Persia (now Iran) and India. 
They built a series of highly developed city and trading states along 
the coast, the principal one being Kilwa, a settlement of Persian origin 
that held ascendancy until the Portuguese destroyed it in the early 
1500s.

The Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama explored the East African coast 
in 1498 on his voyage to India. By 1506, the Portuguese claimed control 
over the entire coast. This control was nominal, however, because the 
Portuguese did not colonize the area or explore the interior. Assisted 
by Omani Arabs, the indigenous coastal dwellers succeeded in driving the 
Portuguese from the area north of the Ruvuma River by the early 18th 
century. Claiming the coastal strip, Omani Sultan Seyyid Said (1804-56) 
moved his capital to Zanzibar in 1841.

European exploration of the interior began in the mid-19th century. Two 
German missionaries reached Mt. Kilimanjaro in the 1940s. British 
explorers Richard Burton and John Speke crossed the interior to Lake 
Tanganyika in 1857. David Livingstone, the Scottish missionary-explorer 
who crusaded against the slave trade, established his last mission at 
Ujiji, where he was "found" by Henry Morton Stanley, an American 
journalist-explorer, who had been commissioned by the New York Herald to 
locate him.
German colonial interests were first advanced in 1884. Karl Peters, who 
formed the Society for German Colonization, concluded a series of 
treaties by which tribal chiefs in the interior accepted German 
"protection." Prince Otto von Bismarck's government backed Peters in the 
subsequent establishment of the German East Africa Company.

In 1886 and 1890, Anglo-German agreements were negotiated that 
delineated the British and German spheres of influence in the interior 
of East Africa and along the coastal strip previously claimed by the 
Omani sultan of Zanzibar. In 1891, the German Government took over 
direct administration of the territory from the German East Africa 
Company and appointed a governor with headquarters at Dar es Salaam.
Although the German colonial administration brought cash crops, 
railroads, and roads to Tanganyika, European rule provoked African 
resistance, culminating in the Maji Maji rebellion of 1905-07. The 
rebellion, which temporarily united a number of southern tribes and 
ended only after and estimated 120,000 Africans had died from fighting 
or starvation, is considered by most Tanzanians to have been one of the 
first stirrings of nationalism.

German colonial domination of Tanganyika ended after World War I when 
control of most of the territory passed to the United Kingdom under a 
League of Nations mandate. After World War II, Tanganyika became a UN 
trust territory under British control. Subsequent years witnessed 
Tanganyika moving gradually toward self-government and independence.

In 1954, Julius K. Nyerere, a schoolteacher who was then one of only two 
Tanganyikans educated abroad at the university level, organized a 
political party--the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). TANU-
supported candidates were victorious in the Legislative Council 
elections of September 1958 and February 1959. In December 1959, the 
United Kingdom agreed to the establishment of internal self-government 
following general elections to be held in August 1960. Nyerere was named 
chief minister of the subsequent government.

In May 1961, Tanganyika became autonomous, and Nyerere became prime 
minister under a new constitution. Full independence was achieved on 
December 9, 1961. Mr. Nyerere was elected President when Tanganyika 
became a republic within the Commonwealth a year after independence. 

Zanzibar
An early Arab/Persian trading center, Zanzibar fell under Portuguese 
domination in the 16th and early 17th centuries but was retaken by Omani 
Arabs in the early 18th century. The height of Arab rule came during the 
reign of Sultan Seyyid Said, who encouraged the development of clove 
plantations, using the island's slave labor.

The Arabs established their own garrisons at Zanzibar, Pemba, and Kilwa 
and carried on a lucrative trade in slaves and ivory. By 1840, Said had 
transferred his capital from Muscat to Zanzibar and established a ruling 
Arab elite. The island's commerce fell increasingly into the hands of 
traders from the Indian subcontinent, who Said encouraged to settle on 
the island.

Zanzibar's spices attracted ships from as far away as the United States. 
A U.S. consulate was established on the island in 1837. The United 
Kingdom's early interest in Zanzibar was motivated by both commerce and 
the determination to end the slave trade. In 1822, the British signed 
the first of a series of treaties with Sultan Said to curb this trade, 
but not until 1876 was the sale of slaves finally prohibited.

The Anglo-German agreement of 1890 made Zanzibar and Pemba a British 
protectorate. British rule through a sultan remained largely uncharged 
from the late 19th century until after World War II.
Zanzibar's political development began in earnest after 1956, when 
provision was first made for the election of six non-government members 
to the Legislative Council. Two parties were formed: the Zanzibar 
Nationalist Party (ZNP), presenting the dominant Arab and "Arabized" 
minority, and the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP), led by Abaid Karume and 
representing the Shirazis and the African majority.

The first elections were held in July 1957, and the ASP won three of the 
six elected seats, with the remainder going to independents. Following 
the election, the ASP split; some of its Shirazi supporters left to form 
the Zanzibar and Pemba People's Party (ZPPP). The January 1961 election 
resulted in a deadlock between the ASP and a ZNP-ZPPP coalition.

On April 26, 1964, Tanganyika united with Zanzibar to form the United 
Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, renamed the United Republic of 
Tanzania on October 29. 

United Republic of Tanzania
TANU and the Afro-Shirazi Party of Zanzibar were merged into a single 
party (Chama cha Mapinduzi--CCM Revolutionary Party) on February 5, 
1977. On April 26, 1977, the union of the two parties was ratified in a 
new constitution. The merger was reinforced by principles enunciated in 
the 1982 union constitution and reaffirmed in the constitution of 1984.

The elections that followed the granting of self-government in June 1963 
produced similar results. Zanzibar received its independence from the 
United Kingdom on December 19, 1963, as a constitutional monarchy under 
the sultan. On January 12, 1964, the African majority revolted against 
the sultan, and a new government was formed with the ASP leader, Abeid 
Karume, as president of Zanzibar and chairman of the Revolutionary 
Council. Under the terms of its political union with Tanganyika in April 
1964, the Zanzibar Government retained considerable local autonomy.

Abeid Karume was named First Vice President of the union government, a 
post he held until his assassination in April 1972. Aboud Jumbe, a 
fellow member of the ASP and the Revolutionary Council, was appointed to 
succeed Karume. In 1981, 32 persons were selected to serve in the 
Zanzibar House of Representatives. The election marked the first poll 
since the 1964 revolution. In 1984, Jumbe resigned and was replaced by 
Ali Hassan Mwinyi as both President of Zanzibar and First Vice President 
of Tanzania. In the election of 1985, Mwinyi was elected President of 
the United Republic of Tanzania; Idris Wakil was elected President of 
Zanzibar and Second Vice President of Tanzania. In 1990, Wakil retired 
and was replaced as President of Zanzaibar by Salmin Amour.

In 1977, Nyerere merged TANU with the Zanzibar ruling party, the ASP, to 
form the CCM as the sole ruling party in both parts of the union. The 
CCM was to be the sole instrument for mobilizing and controlling the 
population in all significant political or economic activities. He 
envisioned the party as a "two-way street" for the flow of ideas and 
policy directives between the village level and the government.
President Nyerere handed over power to his successor, President Ali 
Hassan Mwinyi, in 1985, Nyerere retained his position as Chairman of the 
ruling party for five more years, but in 1990, this post also was passed 
on to Mwinyi, who started his last five-year terms at that time. Nyerere 
retired from formal politics but remains influential behind the scenes.

In 1990, in response to the currents of democracy sweeping much of the 
world, Tanzania began making substantial changes to its political 
system.

GOVERNMENT 
Tanzania's president, vice president, and National Assembly members are 
elected concurrently by direct popular vote for 5-year terms. The 
president appoints a prime minister who serves as the government's 
leader in the National Assembly. The president also selects his cabinet 
from among National Assembly members.

The unicameral National Assembly has 275 members, 232 of whom are 
elected from the mainland and Zanzibar. There are 37 appointed seats for 
women, and each political party receives a proportion of appointed seats 
commensurate with the number of constituency seats won. Also, five 
members are elected by the Zanzibar House of Representatives to 
participate in the National Assembly. At present, the ruling CCM holds 
about 80% of the seats in the Assembly. Laws passed by the National 
Assembly are valid for Zanzibar only in specifically designated union 
matters.

Zanzibar's own House of Representatives has jurisdiction over all non-
union matters. There are currently 76 members in the House of 
Representatives in Zanzibar, including 50 elected by the people, 10 
appointed by the president of Zanzibar, 5 ex-officio members, 10 women 
appointed by political parties commensurate with constituency seats won, 
and an attorney general appointed by the president. Zanzibar's House of 
Representatives can make laws for Zanzibar without the approval of the 
union government. The terms of office for Zanzibar's president and House 
of Representatives are also 5 years. The semiautonomous relationship 
between Zanzibar and the union is a relatively unique system of 
government. 

Tanzania has a five-level judiciary combining the jurisdictions of 
tribal, Islamic, and British common law. Appeal is from the primary 
courts through the district courts, resident magistrate courts, to the 
high courts, and Court of Appeals. Judges are appointed by the Chief 
Justice, except those for the Court of Appeals and the High Court who 
are appointed by the president. The Zanzibari court system parallels the 
legal system of the union, and all cases tried in Zanzibari courts, 
except for those involving constitutional issues and Islamic law, can be 
appealed to the Court of Appeals of the union.

For administrative purposes, Tanzania is divided into 25 regions--20 on 
the mainland, 3 on Zanzibar, and 2 on Pemba. Since 1972, a 
decentralization program on the mainland has worked to increase the 
authority of the regions. On July 1, 1983, the government reinstated 99 
district councils to further increase local authority. Of the 99 
councils operating in 86 districts, 19 are urban and 80 are rural. The 
19 urban units are classified further as city (Dar es Salaam), municipal 
(Arusha, Dodoma, Tanga), and town councils (the remaining 15 
communities).

Principal Government Officials
President--Benjamin W. Mkapa
Vice President--Dr. Omar Ali Juma
Prime Minister--Frederick T. Sumaye 
President of Zanzibar--Dr. Salmin Amour
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Jakaya Kikwete
Ambassador to the United States--Mustafa Nyang'anyi
Ambassador to the United Nations--Daudi Mwakawago
Tanzania maintains an embassy in the United States at 2139 R Street NW, 
Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-939-6125). 

POLITICAL CONDITIONS
From independence in 1961 until the mid 1980s, Tanzania was a one-party 
state, with a socialist model of economic development. Founding Father 
and first president Julius Nyerere used the Kiswahili word "ujamaa" 
(familyhood) to describe the ideal of communal cooperation his 
government sought to foster. 
National goals were set forth in more conventional socialist terms in 
the TANU constitution and reaffirmed in February 1967 in a party 
document, the Arusha Declaration. This declaration enunciated the 
principles of socialism and self-reliance, laying the foundation for 
government nationalization of the means of production. The Arusha 
Declaration also placed emphasis on improving rural living standards.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, under the administration of President Ali 
Hassan Mwinyi, Tanzania undertook a number of political and economic 
reforms. In January and February 1992, the government decided to adopt 
multiparty democracy. Legal and constitutional changes led to the 
registration of 11 political parties. Two parliamentary by-elections 
(won by CCM) in early 1994 were the first-ever multiparty elections in 
Tanzanian history.

In October and November 1995, Tanzania held its first multiparty general 
elections. The ruling CCM party's candidate, Benjamin W. Mkapa, defeated 
his three main rivals, winning the presidential election with 62% of the 
vote. In the parliamentary elections, CCM won 186 of the elected seats, 
while the two main opposition parties CUF and NCCR won 24 seats and 16 
seats, respectively.

In the Zanzibar presidential election, incumbent CCM candidate Salmin 
Amour was declared the winner over rival CUF contender, Seif Sharif 
Hamad, in a controversial decision by the Zanzibar Electoral Commission. 
In the elections for Zanzibar's House of Representatives, CCM won 26 
seats versus CUF's 24 seats, although the latter party decided to 
boycott the legislature as a protest against the Zanzibar presidential 
election results. 

President Mkapa, Vice President Omar Ali Juma, Prime Minister Frederick 
Sumaye, and National Assembly members will serve until the next general 
elections in 2000. Similarly, Zanzibar President Salmin Amour and 
members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives also will complete 
their terms of office in 2000. 

ECONOMY
Significant measures have been taken to liberalize the Tanzanian economy 
along market lines and encourage both foreign and domestic private 
investment. Beginning In 1986, the Government of Tanzania embarked on an 
adjustment program to dismantle state economic controls and encourage 
more active participation of the private sector in the economy. The 
program included a comprehensive package of policies which reduced the 
budget deficit and improved monetary control, substantially depreciated 
the overvalued exchange rate, liberalized the trade regime, removed most 
price controls, eased restrictions on the marketing of food crops, freed 
interest rates, and initiated a restructuring of the financial sector.

The Tanzanian Government agreed to a new 3-year Enhanced Structural 
Adjustment Facility (ESAF) arrangement with the International Monetary 
Fund in November 1996. Tanzania also embarked on a major restructuring 
of state-owned enterprises. The program aims at privatizing some 425 
parastatals. Overall, real economic growth has averaged about 4% a year, 
much better than the previous 20 years, but not enough to improve the 
lives of average Tanzanians. Also, the economy remains overwhelmingly 
donor-dependent. Moreover, Tanzania has a heavy debt burden. with an 
external debt of nearly $8 billion at the end of 1997. 
The servicing of this debt absorbs about 40 % of total government 
expenditures.

Agriculture dominates the economy, providing more than 60% of GDP and 
80% of employment. Cash crops, including coffee, tea, cotton, cashews, 
sisal, cloves, and pyrethrum account for the vast majority of export 
earnings. The volume of all major crops--both cash and goods, which have 
been marketed through official channels--has increased over the past few 
years, but large amounts of produce never reach the market. Poor pricing 
and unreliable cash-flow to farmers continue to frustrate the 
agricultural sector.
Accounting for only about 10% of GDP, Tanzania's industrial sector is 
one of the smallest in Africa. It has been hit hard recently by 
persistent power shortages caused by low rainfall in the hydroelectric 
dam catchment area, a condition compounded by years of neglect and bad 
management at the state-controlled electric company.

The main industrial activities include producing raw materials, import 
substitutes, and processed agricultural products. Foreign exchange 
shortages and mismanagement continue to deprive factories of much-needed 
spare parts and have reduced factory capacity to less than 30%.

Despite Tanzania's past record of political stability, an unattractive 
investment climate has discouraged foreign investment. Government steps 
to improve that climate include redrawing tax codes, floating the 
exchange rate, licensing foreign banks, and creating an investment 
promotion center to cut red tape. In terms of mineral resources and the 
largely untapped tourism sector, Tanzania could become a viable and 
attractive market for U.S. goods and services.

Zanzibar's economy is based primarily on the production of cloves (90% 
grown on the island of Pemba), the principal foreign exchange earner. 
Exports have suffered with the downturn in the clove market. Tourism is 
an increasingly promising sector, and a number of new hotels and resorts 
have been built in recent years.
The Government of Zanzibar has been more aggressive than its mainland 
counterpart in instituting economic reforms and has legalized foreign 
exchange bureaus on the islands. This has loosened up the economy and 
dramatically increased the availability of consumer commodities. 
Furthermore, with external funding, the government plans to make the 
port of Zanzibar a free port. Rehabilitation of current port facilities 
and plans to extend these facilities will be the precursor to the free 
port. The island's manufacturing sector is limited mainly to import 
substitution industries, such as cigarettes, shoes, and processed 
agricultural products. In 1992, the government designated two export-
producing zones and encouraged the development of off-shore financial 
services. Zanzibar still imports much of its staple requirements, 
petroleum products, and manufactured articles. 

FOREIGN RELATIONS 
Throughout the Cold War era, Tanzania pursued a foreign policy based on 
the principle of nonalignment with the West or the communist bloc. 
Former President Nyerere defined nonalignment as the right of small 
nations to determine their own policies in their own interests and to 
have an influence in world affairs that accords with the right of all 
people to live equally.

Tanzania played an important role in several regional and international 
organizations, including the Non-Aligned Movement, the front-line 
states, Southern African Development Coordination Conference, the 
Organization of African Unity, and the United Nations and its 
specialized and related agencies.
As one of Africa's best-known elder statesmen, Nyerere has been involved 
in many of these organizations, particularly as former chairman of the 
six front-line states concerned with Southern Africa and as former 
chairman of the OAU (1984-85). Tanzania supported of liberation groups 
in Southern Africa and was a leading opponent of apartheid in South 
Africa.

In recent years, Tanzania has joined with many other developing 
countries to support a new international economic order. Tanzania 
acknowledges the need for structural adjustment in developing economies 
but also stresses the importance of developed country cooperation in the 
transfer of resources and technology and debt settlement.

Tanzania enjoys close ties with neighboring Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, and 
Mozambique. In 1977, the Kenyan, Tanzanian, and Ugandan partnership in 
the East African Community (EAC), established 10 years earlier, was 
dissolved. The breakup resulted in suspension of nearly all trade 
between Tanzania and Kenya and closure of the border to most tourist 
travel. The border was reopened in 1984, and relations with Kenya have 
improved significantly. Also, in March 1996, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda 
relaunched the EAC, which was renamed the East African Cooperation. 

U.S.-TANZANIAN RELATIONS
The United States enjoys cordial relations with the United Republic of 
Tanzania. The United States has historically sought to assist Tanzania's 
economic and social development through bilateral and regional programs 
administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). 

In the 1970s and 1980s, USAID focused on strengthening national 
institutions in agriculture and, to a lesser degree, on health. In 
agriculture, food crops and livestock were emphasized. Health care 
assistance has supported labor development, particularly training for 
maternal and childcare health aides. Training has been an important part 
of the USAID program, and almost 3,500 Tanzanians have received either 
long- or short-term training, primarily in the United States. During the 
1990s, USAID has focused on improving the rural transportation network, 
private enterprise development, HIV/AIDS prevention, family planning, 
and programs designed to strengthen democracy and good governance. In 
recent years, USAID assistance has averaged about $20 million annually.

The Peace Corps program, revitalized in 1979, provides assistance in 
wildlife management, teaching, forestry, and agricultural mechanics on 
both the mainland and on Zanzibar. There are about 92 volunteers 
currently serving in Tanzania. 

Principal U.S. Officials
Ambassador--Vacant
Chargˇ/Deputy Chief of Mission--John E. Lange
Director, USAID--Lucretia Taylor
Public Affairs Officer (USIS)--Miriam Guichard
Director, Peace Corps--Sabina Dunton
The U.S. embassy in Tanzania is located at 36 Laibon Road, Dar es 
Salaam. The consulate on Zanzibar was closed on June 15, 1979. 

TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION
The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program provides 
Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets. Travel Warnings are 
issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel 
to a certain country. Consular Information Sheets exist for all 
countries and include information on immigration practices, currency 
regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and 
security, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. posts in 
the country. Public Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate 
information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-
term conditions overseas which pose significant risks to the security of 
American travelers. Free copies of this information are available by 
calling the Bureau of Consular Affairs at 202-647-5225 or via the fax-
on-demand system: 202-647-3000. Travel Warnings and Consular Information 
Sheets also are available on the Consular Affairs Internet home page: 
http://travel.state.gov  and the Consular Affairs Bulletin Board (CABB). 
To access CABB, dial the modem number: (301-946-4400 (it will 
accommodate up to 33,600 bps), set terminal communications program to N-
8-1 (no parity, 8 bits, 1 stop bit); and terminal emulation to VT100. 
The login is travel and the password is info (Note: Lower case is 
required). The CABB also carries international security information from 
the Overseas Security Advisory Council and Department's Bureau of 
Diplomatic Security. Consular Affairs Trips for Travelers publication 
series, which contain information on obtaining passports and planning a 
safe trip abroad, can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, 
U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-
7954; telephone: 202-512-1800; fax 202-512-2250. 

Emergency information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be 
obtained from the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-
5225. For after-hours emergencies, Sundays and holidays, call 202-647-
4000. 

Passport Services information can be obtained by calling the 24-hour, 7-
day a week automated system ($.35 per minute) or live operators 8 a.m. 
to 8 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday ($1.05 per minute). The number is 1-900-
225-5674 (TDD: 1-900-225-7778). Major credit card users (for a flat rate 
of $4.95) may call 1-888-362-8668 (TDD: 1-888-498-3648) 

Travelers can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers 
for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at 
(404) 332-4559 gives the most recent health advisories, immunization 
recommendations or requirements, and advice on food and drinking water 
safety for regions and countries. A booklet entitled Health Information 
for International Travel (HHS publication number CDC-95-8280) is 
available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 
20402, tel. (202) 512-1800.
Information on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency and 
customs regulations, legal holidays, and other items of interest to 
travelers also may be obtained before your departure from a country's 
embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see "Principal 
Government Officials" listing in this publication). 

U.S. citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous areas 
are encouraged to register at the U.S. embassy upon arrival in a country 
(see "Principal U.S. Embassy Officials" listing in this publication). 
This may help family members contact you in case of an emergency. 

Further Electronic Information: 
Department of State Foreign Affairs Network. Available on the Internet, 
DOSFAN provides timely, global access to official U.S. foreign policy 
information. Updated daily, DOSFAN includes Background Notes; Dispatch, 
the official magazine of U.S. foreign policy; daily press briefings; 
Country Commercial Guides; directories of key officers of foreign 
service posts; etc. DOSFAN's World Wide Web site is at 
http://www.state.gov.

U.S. Foreign Affairs on CD-ROM (USFAC). Published annually by the U.S. 
Department of State, USFAC archives information on the Department of 
State Foreign Affairs Network, and includes an array of official foreign 
policy information from 1990 to the present. Contact the Superintendent 
of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, 
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. To order, call (202) 512-1800 or fax (202) 
512-2250.

National Trade Data Bank (NTDB). Operated by the U.S. Department of 
Commerce, the NTDB contains a wealth of trade-related information. It is 
available on the Internet (www.stat-usa.gov) and on CD-ROM. Call the 
NTDB Help-Line at (202) 482-1986 for more information. 
[end of document]

 
Return to Africa Background Notes Archive
Return to Background Notes Archive Homepage
Return to Electronic Research Collection Homepage