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Tanganyika Ramsar Site, Wetland of International Importance

Tanganyika, Zambia

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Flag of the Tanganyika Territory

Tanganyika Territory was a British League of Nations mandate between 1922 and 1946 and a British United Nations trust territory between 1946 and 1961.

Prior to the end of the First World War the territory was part of the German colony of German East Africa. After the war had broken out, the British invaded German East Africa, but were unable to defeat the German Army. The German leader in East Africa, Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck did not surrender until the German Empire had collapsed. After this the League of Nations gave control of the area to the United Kingdom who named their part of the earlier German area Tanganyika. The United Kingdom held Tanganyika as a League of Nations mandate until the end of the Second World War after which it was held as a United Nations trust territory. In 1961, Tanganyika Territory gained its independence from the United Kingdom as Tanganyika, a Commonwealth realm. It became a republic a year later but stayed in the British Commonwealth of Nations. Tanganyika now forms part of the modern-day state of Tanzania.

The name "Tanganyika" is derived from the Swahili words tanga ("sail") and nyika ("uninhabited plain", "wilderness"). It might, therefore, be understood as a description of using Lake Tanganyika: "sail in the wilderness".

In the second half of the 19th century, to European explorers and colonialists penetrating the African interior from Zanzibar, Tanganyika came to mean that country around the lake. In 1885, Germany declared that it intended to establish a protectorate, named German East Africa in the area, under the leadership of Carl Peters. When the Sultan of Zanzibar objected, German warships threatened to bombard his palace. Britain and Germany then agreed to divide the mainland into spheres of influence, and the Sultan was forced to acquiesce. After charges of brutality in the repression of the Maji Maji Rebellion of 1905, and reform under the leadership of Bernhard Dernburg in 1907, the colony became a model of colonial efficiency and commanded extraordinary loyalty among the indigenous peoples during the First World War. The German educational programme for native Africans, including elementary, secondary and vocational schools, was particularly notable, with standards unmatched elsewhere in tropical Africa.

After the defeat of Germany in 1918 in World War I, German East Africa was divided among the victorious powers under the Treaty of Versailles. Apart from Rwanda and Burundi (assigned to Belgium) and the small Kionga Triangle (assigned to Portuguese Mozambique), the territory was transferred to British control. "Tanganyika" was adopted by the British as the name for its part of the former German East Africa.

In 1927, Tanganyika entered the Customs Union of Kenya and Uganda, as well as the East African Postal Union, later the East African Posts and Telecommunications Administration. Cooperation expanded with those countries in a number of ways, leading to the establishment of the East African High Commission (1948–1961) and the East African Common Services Organisation (1961–1967), forerunners of the East African Community. The country held its first elections in 1958 and 1959. The following year it was granted internal self-government and fresh elections were held. Both elections were won by the Tanganyika African National Union, which led the country to independence in December 1961. The following year a presidential election was held, with TANU leader Julius Nyerere emerging victorious.

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Official Record

  • WDPA ID903041
  • NameTanganyika
  • Original NameTanganyika
  • Country / TerritoryZMB
  • Sub locationZM-05
  • IUCN CategoryNot ApplicableWhat is this?
  • English DesignationRamsar Site, Wetland of International Importance
  • Designation TypeInternational
  • StatusDesignated
  • Status Year2007
  • Reported Area km22300.0
  • Marinefalse
  • Governance TypeNot Reported
  • International CriteriaNot Reported
  • Management AuthorityNot Reported
  • Management Plan URLNot Reported




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Ramsar Secretariat (2011)

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