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History of Dar es Salaam

Mzizima was originally a fishing village situated on the trade routes of the Indian Ocean before Sultan Majid bin Said of Zanzibar built a city close to Mzizima and named it Dar es Salaam. The name means ‘harbour or haven of peace’. After Majid’s death, Dar es Salaam fell into decline in 1870, but was revived in 1887 when the German East Africa Company established Dar es Salaam as the administrative and commercial centre. When German East Africa was captured by the British during World War I, it was re-named Tanganyika. However, Dar es Salaam retained its position of the territory’s administrative and commercial centre.

Despite its prosperity, Dar es Salaam struggles with the plight of slums. In fact 70% of the population live in slums. The slums are crowded and situated downtown where there is no running water or basic amenities, while the elite live in mansions by the beach and are a much smaller community. This has caused a lop-sided economy. In 2000 Dar es Salaam underwent some re-construction, however, there are still major infrastructural problems.

Photograph compliments of wikimedia

About Bronwyn Paxton

Article by: Bronwyn Paxton
on April 8, 2013
Filed under  Africa Blog • Tanzania 
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