On April 26th 2014 the United Republic of Tanzania celebrated its 50 years of union. It was on April 26th 1964 that mainland Tanganyika and the Zanzibar archipelago formally united to become Tanzania. During the commemorations and celebrations that took place Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete outlined the reasons why the union has successfully endured until now.
Among these he stressed that Zanzibaris and Mainlanders are one people, once separated by colonial boundaries and reminded the early good relation between political leaders from both sides, something that has been carried forward during the years.
In reference to the issues that may undermine the strength of the Union he indicated that his government was committed to solve these: if in 2006 there were 13 pending Union issues, seven of them had since been sorted.
In relation to talks about a review of the structure of the Union President Kikwete warned earlier this years “If you decide to start segregating each other today, things will be difficult.”
Currently over 600,000 Zanzibaris live in mainland Tanzania and some 120,000 Tanzanians from the Mainland live in Zanzibar.
About 1.8m people travel in and from the two parts of the Union each year.