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Dar-es-Salaam (därˈ-ĕs-sälämˈ) [key] [Arab., = haven of peace], city (1994 pop. 2,000,000), on a bay of the Indian Ocean. The former capital of Tanzania, it is the country's largest city and its communications, and economic center. The major industries produce foods and beverages, oil, textiles, clothing, shoes, cement, aluminum products, and pharmaceuticals. Although it has limited access to the sea, Dar-es-Salaam is Tanzania's main port; exports include cotton, sisal, coffee, diamonds, and hides. The port can handle oceangoing vessels, but dhows still carry some goods bound for coastal African and SW Asian ports. A railroad runs from Dar-es-Salaam to Kigoma, on Lake Tanganyika, and the Tazara Railway (also known as the Great Uhuru or Tanzam Railway) links Dar-es-Salaam with the Zambian Copperbelt. Dar-es-Salaam has an international airport.

Founded in 1866 by the sultan of Zanzibar, Dar-es-Salaam was a small town when German forces occupied it in 1887. In 1891 it became the capital of German East Africa, but its main growth began during World War II. It is the site of the Univ. of Dar-es-Salaam, Kivukoni Acad. of Social Sciences, Dar-es-Salaam Technical College, the Open Univ. of Tanzania, the College of Business Education, the Ardhi Institute, the Institute of Kiswahili Research, a botanical garden, the national archives, and the National Museum of Tanzania. Many political exiles were drawn to Dar-es-Salaam when Tanzania was an outspoken supporter of African liberation movements (1960s to early 1990s). In 1996, Tanzania's national assembly moved to Dodoma, but many government offices remain in Dar-es-Salaam. In Aug., 1998, a terrorist bomb exploded at the U.S. Embassy in Dar-es-Salaam, killing 11 people.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Tanzania Political Geography

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