(Arabic "Abode of Peace"). Seat of government, largest city, industrial
centre, and major port of Tanzania. Founded in 1862 by the sultan of Zanzibar
on the site of the village of Mzizima, Dar es Salaam is hot and humid, with an
annual rainfall of 1,100 mm. It remained
only a small port until the German East Africa Company established a station
there in 1887. The starting point (1907) for the Central Line railroad, it
served as the capital of German East Africa (1891-1916), Tanganyika (1961-64),
and since 1974 Tanzania (pending completion of the transfer of official
functions to the new national capital at Dodoma).
Post-World War II growth brought contemporary, multistory buildings, a
hospital complex, a technical institute, and a high court. Educational
facilities include the University of Dar es Salaam (founded in 1961), several
libraries and research institutes, and the National Museum. Dar es Salaam's
natural, nearly landlocked harbor is the outlet for most of mainland
Tanzania's agricultural and mineral exports and is also a transit port for the
Congo River, whose navigable tributary, the Lualaba, can be reached by rail.
The city is the terminus of a rail line west to Kigoma on Lake Tanganyika and
north to Mwanza on Lake Victoria, and the Tanzam Railway connects Zambia with
the port at Dar es Salaam. Local products include soap, paint, cigarettes,
food products, metalware, glassware, textiles, wood carvings, and shoes. Pop.
(1988) 1,360,850. [—Adapted from Encyclopedia Britannica, 2004]