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After gaining independence in 1964, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged into the United Republic of Tanzania. The next three decades were characterized by one-party rule, which ended in 1995 with democratic elections. Zanzibar has retained a semi-autonomous status that has contributed to hotly contested elections and charges of voting irregularities. With a per capita income of only $700, Tanzania is the seventh poorest country in the world. Some 36 percent of the population live in abject poverty. Only four percent of the land area is arable, yet 80 percent of Tanzanians are engaged in the agricultural sector, which provides around half of the Gross Domestic Product and 85 percent of all exports. The United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Reports rank Tanzania 164 of 232 ...

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