Tanzania ( /ˌtænzəˈniːə/), officially the United Republic of Tanzania (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is the country that was formed by the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964. It is located in East Africa, bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north; Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west; and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern border lies on the Indian Ocean.
The country is divided into thirty regions: five on the semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar and twenty-five on the mainland in the former Tanganyika. The head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, elected in 2005. Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where the country's parliament and some government offices are located. Between independence and 1996, the main coastal city of Dar es Salaam served as the country's political capital. Today, it remains Tanzania's principal commercial city and de facto seat of most government institutions. It is the major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.
The name Tanzania derives from the first syllables of the names of the two states, Tanganyika and Zanzibar, that united to form the country.
Fossil remains of humans and pre-human hominids have been found in Tanzania that date back over two million years, making the area one of the oldest-known inhabited areas on Earth. More recently, Tanzania is believed to have been populated by Cushitic and Khoisan-speaking hunter-gatherer communities. About two-thousand years ago, Bantu-speaking people began to arrive from western Africa in a series of migrations. Later, Nilotic pastoralists arrived and continued to move into the area until the 18th century.
The people of Tanzania have been associated with the production of steel. The Haya people of East Africa invented a type of high-heat blast furnace which allowed them to forge carbon steel at 1,802 °C (3,276 °F) nearly two-thousand years ago. The Shana clan in the Pare tribe also produced iron.
One of Tanzania's most important archeological sites is Engaruka in the Great Rift Valley which includes an irrigation and cultivation system.
Travellers and merchants from the Persian Gulf and western India have visited the East African coast since early in the first millennium AD. Islam was practised on the Swahili Coast as early as the eighth or ninth century AD.
General von Lettow-Vorbeck in Dar es Salaam with a British Officer (left) and German Officer (right), March 1919
Claiming the coastal strip, Omani Sultan Seyyid Said moved his capital to Zanzibar City in 1840. During this time, Zanzibar became the centre for the Arab slave trade. Between 65% to 90% of the population of Arab-Swahili Zanzibar was enslaved. One of the most famous slave traders on the East African coast was Tippu Tip, who was himself the grandson of an enslaved African. The Nyamwezi slave traders operated under the leadership of Msiri and Mirambo. According to Timothy Insoll, "Figures record the exporting of 718,000 slaves from the Swahili coast during the 19th century, and the retention of 769,000 on the coast."
In the late 19th century, Imperial Germany conquered the regions that are now Tanzania (minus Zanzibar), Rwanda, and Burundi, and incorporated them into German East Africa. During World War I, an invasion attempt by the British was thwarted by German General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, who then mounted a drawn out guerrilla campaign against the British. The post–World War I accords and the League of Nations charter designated the area a British Mandate, except for a small area in the northwest, which was ceded to Belgium and later became Rwanda and Burundi, as well as a small area in the southeast (Kionga Triangle), incorporated to Portuguese East Africa (later Mozambique).
Tanzania's founding leader Julius Nyerere with U.S. President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter in 1977.
British rule came to an end in 1961 after a relatively peaceful (compared with neighbouring Kenya, for instance) transition to independence. In 1954, Julius Nyerere transformed an organization into the politically oriented Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). TANU's main objective was to achieve national sovereignty for Tanganyika. A campaign to register new members was launched, and within a year TANU had become the leading political organization in the country.
Nyerere became Minister of British-administered Tanganyika in 1960 and continued as Prime Minister when Tanganyika became officially independent in 1961. In 1967 Nyerere's first presidency took a turn to the Left after the Arusha Declaration, which codified a commitment to socialism in Pan-African fashion. After the Declaration, banks were nationalized, as were many large industries.
After the Zanzibar Revolution overthrew the Arab dynasty in neighbouring Zanzibar, which had become independent in 1963, the island merged with mainland Tanganyika to form the nation of Tanzania on 26 April 1964. The union of the two, hitherto separate, regions was controversial among many Zanzibaris (even those sympathetic to the revolution) but was accepted by both the Nyerere government and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar owing to shared political values and goals.
From the late 1970s, Tanzania's economy took a turn for the worse. Tanzania was also aligned with China, which from 1970 to 1975 financed and helped to build the 1,860-kilometer-long (1,160 mi) TAZARA Railway from Dar es Salaam to Zambia. From the mid 1980s, the regime financed itself by borrowing from the International Monetary Fund and underwent some reforms. From the mid 1980s Tanzania's GDP per capita has grown and poverty has been reduced.
The President of Tanzania, and the members of the National Assembly, are elected concurrently by direct popular vote for five-year terms. The president appoints a prime minister who serves as the government's leader in the National Assembly. The president selects his Cabinet from among the National Assembly members. The Constitution also empowers him to nominate ten non-elected members of Parliament, who are also eligible to become cabinet members. Elections for president and all National Assembly seats were held in October 2010. Tanzania is a one party dominant state with the Chama Cha Mapinduzi in power. Opposition parties are widely considered to have no real chance of gaining power, though the country remains peaceful.
The unicameral National Assembly elected in 2010 has 343 members. These include the Attorney General, five members elected from the Zanzibar House of Representatives to participate in the Parliament, the special women's seats which are made up of 30% of the seats that a given party has in the House, 181 constituent seats of members of Parliament from the mainland, and 50 seats from Zanzibar. Also in the list are forty-eight appointed for women and the seats for the 10 nominated members of Parliament. At present, the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi holds about 75% of the seats in the Assembly. Laws passed by the National Assembly are valid for Zanzibar only in specifically designated union matters.
Zanzibar's House of Representatives has jurisdiction over all non-union matters. There are seventy-six members in the House of Representatives in Zanzibar, including fifty elected by the people, ten appointed by the president of Zanzibar, five ex officio members, and an attorney general appointed by the president. In May 2002, the government increased the number of special seats allocated to women from ten to fifteen, which will increase the number of House of Representatives members to eighty-one. Ostensibly, Zanzibar's House of Representatives can make laws for Zanzibar without the approval of the union government as long as it does not involve union-designated matters. The terms of office for Zanzibar's president and House of Representatives also are five years. The semi-autonomous relationship between Zanzibar and the union is a unique system of government.
Tanzania has a five-level judiciary combining the jurisdictions of tribal, Islamic, and English common law. Appeal is from the Primary Courts through the District Courts, Resident Magistrate Courts, to the High Courts, and the Court of Appeal. Judges are appointed by the Chief Justice of Tanzania, except for those of the Court of Appeal and the High Court, who are appointed by the President. The Zanzibari court system parallels the legal system of the union, and all cases tried in Zanzibari courts, except for those involving constitutional issues and Islamic law, can be appealed to the Court of Appeal of the Union. A commercial court was established in September 1999 as a division of the High Court.
The economy is mostly based on agriculture, which accounts for more than half of the GDP, provides 75% (approximately) of exports, and employs approximately 75% of the workforce. Topography and climate, though, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. The nation has many natural resources including minerals, natural gas, and tourism.
Extraction of natural gas began in the 2000s. Gas is drawn into the commercial capital, Dar Es Salaam and exported to various markets overseas. Tanzania has vast amounts of minerals including gold, diamonds, coal, iron, uranium, nickel, chrome, tin, platinum, coltan, niobium, and others. It was announced in February 2012 that the collapsed volcano approximately 200 km north of Mbeya, Mount Ngualla, contained one of the largest rare earths oxide deposits in the world.
Tanzania is the third-largest producer of gold in Africa after South Africa and Ghana. The country is also known for Tanzanite, a type of precious gemstone that is found only in Tanzania. The mineral sector started to pick-up slowly in the late 90s; major discoveries are announced regularly. However, the mineral sector has yet to start contributing significantly to the overall Tanzanian economy, and industry is still mainly limited to processing agricultural products and light consumer goods.
Growth from 1991 to 1999 featured industrial production and a substantial increase in output of minerals, led by gold. Commercial production of natural gas from the Songo Songo island in the Indian Ocean off the Rufiji Delta commenced in 2004, with natural gas being pumped in a pipeline to Dar es Salaam, the bulk of it converted to electricity by both public utility and private operators. A new gas field is being brought on stream in Mnazi Bay.
Recent public sector and banking reforms, as well as revamped and new legislative frameworks, have all helped increase private-sector growth and investment. Short-term economic progress also depends on curbing corruption.
Prolonged drought during the early years of the 21st century has severely reduced electricity generation capacity (some 60% of Tanzania's electricity supplies are generated by hydro-electric methods). During 2006, Tanzania suffered a crippling series of "load-shedding" or power-rationing episodes caused by a shortfall of generated power, largely because of insufficient hydro-electric generation. Plans to increase gas- and coal-fueled generation capacity are likely to take some years to implement, and growth is forecast to be increased to 7% or more per year.
There are two major airlines in Tanzania: the Air Tanzania Corporation and Precision Air; both provide local flights to Arusha, Kigoma, Mtwara, Mwanza, Musoma, Shinyanga, Zanzibar and regional flights to Kigali, Nairobi and Mombasa. There are also several charter firms and smaller airlines, such as Bold Aviation Ltd., Tropical Air and Coastal Aviation Ltd. There are two railway companies: TAZARA provides service between Dar-es-Salaam and Kapiri Mposhi, a district of the Central Province in Zambia. The other one is the Tanzania Railways Corporation, which provides services between Dar-es-Salaam and Kigoma, a town on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and between Dar-es-Salaam and Mwanza, a city on the shores of Lake Victoria. Several modern hydrofoil boats also provide transportation across the Indian Ocean between Dar-es-Salaam and Zanzibar.
Tanzania is part of the East African Community and a potential member of the planned East African Federation.
Unlike minerals, the contribution of the tourism sector to the Tanzanian economy is steadily rising year after year.
Tanzania is the home of the world-famous Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain. The country has dozens of beaches such as those found in Zanzibar and national parks like the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Other smaller parks, such as Mikumi National Park, which is located near Dar es Salaam, also contribute to the economy of the country.
Child labour is common in Tanzania with millions working. It is more common with girls rather than boys. Girls are commonly employed as domestic servants, sometimes by force. There is trafficking of children into commercial sexual exploitation. Sexual exploitation of children is illegal.
Tanzania is divided into thirty regions (mkoa), twentyfive on the mainland and five in Zanzibar (three on Unguja, two on Pemba). Ninety-nine districts (wilaya), each with at least one council, have been created to further increase local authority; the councils are also known as local government authorities. There are 114 councils operating in 99 districts; 22 are urban and 92 are rural. The 22 urban units are further classified as city councils (Dar es Salaam and Mwanza), municipal councils (Arusha, Dodoma, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Morogoro, Shinyanga, Tabora, and Tanga) or town councils (the remaining eleven communities).
Tanzania's regions are: Arusha · Dar es Salaam · Dodoma · Geita · Iringa · Kagera · Katavi · Kigoma · Kilimanjaro · Lindi · Manyara · Mara · Mbeya · Morogoro · Mtwara · Mwanza · Njombe · Pemba North · Pemba South · Pwani · Rukwa · Ruvuma · Shinyanga · Simiyu · Singida · Tabora · Tanga · Zanzibar Central/South · Zanzibar North · Zanzibar Urban/West
For more information on Maasai pastoralism as part of the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems, see: GIAHS At 947,300 km², Tanzania is the world's 31st-largest country. Compared to other African countries, it is slightly smaller than Egypt and comparable in size to Nigeria. It lies mostly between latitudes 1° and 12°S, and longitudes 29° and 41°E.
Tanzania is mountainous in the northeast, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of, respectively, Lake Victoria (Africa's largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (the continent's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish); to the southwest lies Lake Nyasa. Central Tanzania comprises a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the island of Zanzibar lying just offshore.
Tanzania contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks, including the famous Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park in the north, and Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park in the south. Gombe National Park in the west is known as the site of Dr. Jane Goodall's studies of chimpanzee behaviour.
The government of Tanzania through its department of tourism has embarked on a campaign to promote the Kalambo water falls in the southwestern region of Rukwa as one of Tanzania's main tourist destinations. The Kalambo Falls are the second highest in Africa and are located near the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika. The Menai Bay Conservation Area is Zanzibar's largest marine protected area.
The Engaresero village on the Western shores of Lake Natron has been chosen by the government of Tanzania to exemplify the Maasai pastoral system given its singularity, integrity, high diversity of habitats and biodiversity. The site also has major additional significance, because of the presence of Lake Natron and the volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai, which have immense ecological, geological and cultural value. The community has demonstrated a strong resilience in facing threats to their systems, and has maintained associated social and cultural institutions, which ensure its sustainability under prevailing environmental conditions.
Tanzania has a tropical climate. In the highlands, temperatures range between 10 and 20 °C (50 and 68 °F) during cold and hot seasons respectively. The rest of the country has temperatures rarely falling lower than 20 °C (68 °F). The hottest period extends between November and February (25–31 °C / 77–87.8 °F while the coldest period occurs between May and August (15–20 °C / 59–68 °F). Annual temperature is 32 °C (89.6 °F). The climate is cool in high mountainous regions.
Tanzania has two major rainfall regions. One is uni-modal (December–April) and the other is bi-modal (October–December and March–May). The former is experienced in southern, south-west, central and western parts of the country, and the latter is found to the north and northern coast.
In the bi-modal regime the March–May rains are referred to as the long rains or Masika, whereas the October–December rains are generally known as short rains or Vuli. As this country lies near the equator, the climate is hot and humid. The easterlies winds cause rainfall in the eastern coastal region.
Tanzania has considerable wildlife habitat, including much of the Serengeti plain, where the white-bearded wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus mearnsi) and other bovids participate in a large-scale annual migration. Up to 250,000 wildebeest perish each year in the long and arduous movement to find forage in the dry season. Tanzania is also home to 130 amphibian and over 275 reptile species, many of them strictly endemic and included in the IUCN Red Lists of different countries.
Tanzania has developed a Biodiversity Action Plan to address species conservation. A recently discovered species of elephant shrew called Grey-faced Sengi was filmed for the first time in 2005, and it was known to live in just two forests in the Udzungwa Mountains. In 2008, it was listed as "vulnerable" on the 2008 Red List of Threatened Species. Lake Natron in northern Tanzania is the largest breeding site for the threatened Lesser Flamingo, a huge community of which nest in the salt marshes of the lake. Areas of East African mangroves on the coast are also important habitats.
As of 2010, the estimated population is 43,188,000. Population distribution is extremely uneven, with density varying from 1 person per square kilometre (3/mi²) in arid regions to 51 per square kilometre (133/mi²) in the well-watered mainland highlands, to 134 per square kilometre (347/mi²) on Zanzibar. More than 80% of the population is rural. Dar es Salaam is the largest city and is the commercial capital; Dodoma, located in the centre of Tanzania is the new capital and houses the Union's Parliament. The African population consists of more than 120 ethnic groups, of which the Sukuma, Nyamwezi, Chagga, Nyakyusa, Haya, Hehe, Bena, Gogo, and the Makonde have more than 1 million members. Other Bantu peoples include the Pare, Zigua, Shambaa, and Ngoni. The majority of Tanzanians, including the Sukuma and the Nyamwezi, are Bantu. Cushitic peoples include the half million Iraqw. Nilotic peoples include the nomadic Maasai and Luo, both of which are found in greater numbers in neighbouring Kenya. The Sandawe speak a language that may be related to the Khoe languages of Botswana and Namibia, while the language of the Hadza, although it has similar click consonants, is a language isolate.
The population also includes people of Arab, Indian, and Pakistani origin, and small European and Chinese communities. Many also identify as Shirazis. As of 1994, the Asian community numbered 50,000 on the mainland and 4,000 on Zanzibar. An estimated 70,000 Arabs and 10,000 Europeans resided in Tanzania.
Tanzania's population consists of approximately 62% Christians, 35% Muslims, and 3% followers of indigenous religions. The CIA World Factbook however states that 30% of the population is Christian with Muslim being 35% and indigenous beliefs 35%.
The national census, however, has not asked for religious affiliation since 1967 as the religious balance is seen as a sensitive topic. As Tanzanians pride themselves on living together with their diversity, the use of a statistic that is conveniently equal is seen as avoiding rivalries between the various religious groups by not identifying the majority. All figures on religious statistics for Tanzania are at best educated guesswork and differ widely on the question whether there are more Christians or Muslims. Most assume that the share of traditionalists has dwindled.
The Christian population is mostly composed of Roman Catholics. Among Protestants the strong numbers of Lutherans and Moravians point to the German past of the country, the numbers of Anglicans to the British history of Tanganyika. All of them have had some influence in varying degrees from the Walokole movement (East African Revival) which has also been fertile ground for the spread of charismatic and Pentecostal groups. Zanzibar is about 97% Muslim. On the mainland, Muslim communities are concentrated in coastal areas, with some large Muslim majorities also in inland urban areas especially and along the former caravan routes. A large majority of the Muslim population is Sunni. The Islamic population of Dar es Salaam, the largest and richest city in Tanzania, is composed of mainly Sunni Muslims.
There are also active communities of other religious groups, primarily on the mainland, such as Buddhists, Hindus, and Bahá'ís.
Swahili and English are the official languages; however the former is the national language. English is still the language of higher courts, it can however be considered a de facto official language. Tanzanians see themselves as having two "official" languages, English and Swahili. Swahili is seen as the unifying language of the country between people of different ethnic groups, who each have their own language; English serves the purpose of providing Tanzanians with the ability to participate in the global economy and culture. Over 100 different (tribal) languages are spoken in Tanzania, including Maasai, Sukuma and Makonde. The first language typically learned by a Tanzanian is that of his or her ethnic group, with Swahili and English learned thereafter.
According to the official linguistic policy of Tanzania, as announced in 1984, Swahili is the language of the social and political sphere as well as primary and adult education, whereas English is the language of secondary education, universities, technology, and higher courts. Though the British government financially supports the use of English in Tanzania, its usage in the Tanzanian society has diminished over the past decades: In the seventies Tanzanian university students used to speak English with each other, whereas now they almost exclusively use Swahili outside the classroom. Even in secondary school and university classes, where officially only English should be used, it is now quite common to use a mix of Swahili and English.
Other spoken languages are Indian languages, especially Gujarati, and Portuguese (spoken by Indians and Mozambican blacks, respectively) and to a lesser extent French (from neighbouring Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of the Congo). Historically German was widely spoken during that colonial period, but this practice is already forgotten.
The literacy rate in Tanzania is estimated to be 73%. Education is compulsory for seven years, until children reach age 15, but most children do not attend school until this age, and some do not attend at all. In 2000, 57% of children age 5–14 years were attending school. As of 2006, 87.2% of children who started primary school were likely to reach grade 5.
The under-five mortality rate in 2010 is estimated to be 76 out of 1,000. Life expectancy at birth is estimated to be 53 years in 2012. The 15–60 year old adult mortality (the probability of dying between the ages 15–60) in 2009 was 456/1000 for men and 311/1000 for women.
The leading cause of death in children who survive the neonatal period is malaria. Other leading causes of death in under 5’s is pneumococcal disease (pneumonia) and rotavirus (diarrhea). The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a significant problem in Tanzania; in 2009, the prevalence was estimated to be 5.6% of the adult population. Anti-retroviral treatment coverage for people with advanced HIV infection was 30% in 2011 – 7% below the average for the continent. According to the 2011 UNAIDS Report, HIV prevalence has declined among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics, young people (ages 15–24 years) and men in the general population.
2006 data show that 55% of the population had sustainable access to improved drinking water sources and 33% had sustainable access to improved sanitation.
The music of Tanzania stretches from traditional African music to the string-based taarab to a distinctive hip hop known as bongo flava. Famous taarab singers names are Abbasi Mzee, Culture Musical Club, Shakila of Black Star Musical Group.
Internationally known traditional artists are Bi Kidude, Hukwe Zawose and Tatu Nane.
Tanzania has its own distinct African rumba music, termed muziki wa dansi ("dance music") where names of artists/groups like Tabora Jazz, Western Jazz Band, Morogoro Jazz, Volcano Jazz, Simba Wanyika, Remmy Ongala, Marijani Shaabani, Ndala Kasheba, NUTA JAZZ, ATOMIC JAZZ, DDC Mlimani Park, Afro 70 & Patrick Balisidya, Sunburst, Tatu Nane and Orchestra Makassy must be mentioned in the history of Tanzanian music.
One of Tanzania's, and other parts of Eastern Africa's, most common cultural dishes is Ugali. It is mainly composed of corn and is similar to the consistency of porridge, giving it its second name of corn meal porridge.
Tanzania has many writers. The list of writers' names includes well-known writers such as Godfrey Mwakikagile, Mohamed Said, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Prof. Julius Nyang'oro, Prof. Clement Ndulute, Prof. Frank Chiteji, Prof. Joseph Mbele, Juma Volter Mwapachu, Prof. Issa Shivji, Jenerali Twaha Ulimwengu, Prof. Penina Mlama, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, Adam Shafi, Dr. Malima M.P Bundala and Shaaban Robert.
Tanzania has remarkable position in art. Two styles became world known: Tingatinga and Makonde. Tingatinga are the popular African paintings painted with enamel paints on canvas. Usually the motifs are animals and flowers in colourful and repetitive design. The style was started by Mr. Edward Saidi Tingatinga born in South Tanzania. Later he moved to Dar Es Salaam. Since his death in 1972 the Tingatinga style expanded both in Tanzania and worldwide. Makonde is both a tribe in Tanzania (and Mozambique) and a modern sculpture style. It is known for the high Ujamaas (Trees of Life) made of the hard and dark ebony tree. Tanzania is also a birthplace of one of the most famous African artists – George Lilanga.
Filbert Bayi and Suleiman Nyambui both won track and field medals in the 1980 Summer Olympics. Tanzania competes in the Commonwealth Games as well as in the African Championships in Athletics.
Football is widely played all over the country with fans divided between two major clubs, Young African Sports Club (Yanga) and Simba Sports Club (Simba). Football is the most popular sport in Tanzania, despite the little success that has been achieved by the national team. To date, they have never qualified for the FIFA World Cup and have made just one appearance in the African Cup of Nations, back in 1980, where they finished last in their group with just 1 draw and 2 losses.
Basketball is also played but mainly in the army and schools. Hasheem Thabeet is a Tanzanian-born NBA player with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is the first Tanzanian to play in the NBA. Cricket is a rapidly growing sport in Tanzania after hosting the ICC Cricket League division 4 in 2008, Tanzania finished with one win for the tournament, and Tanzania also has its own national team. Rugby is a minor sport in Tanzania. Tanzania now has a national team, which used to be part of the East Africa team, but was separated. The city of Arusha is home to Tanzanian rugby, and the city was host to 2007 Castel Beer Trophy.
- Tanzania in Figures 2010
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- These sources give similar numbers for Muslims and Christians:
- Spiegel Länder-LexikonGerman Spiegel Wissen online about Tanzania: 40% Muslims, 40% Christians
- Der Fischer Weltalmanach 2009Fischer Weltalmanach 2009, page 465. Frankfurt 2008 and Religious Freedom Report 2007 International Religious Freedom Report 2007 about Tanzania: 30–40% Muslims, 30–40% Christians
- MunzingerMunzinger Online über Tanzania: 35–45% Muslims, 40–45% Christians
- The Wordsworth Pocket EncyclopediaThe Wordsworth Pocket Encyclopedia, page 580. Hertfordshire 1993: 35% Muslims, 35% Christians
- Britisches AußenministeriumFCO Country Profile Tanzania: each 35% Muslims and Christians, 30% others
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