Tanzania became a republic in 1964 following the union of the former British protectorate of Tanganyika with the archipelago of Zanzibar. The country of nearly 50 million people was under one-party rule until the mid 1990s when the first democratic elections were held. Nonetheless the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM or 'Party of the Revolution'), Tanzania's ruling party for the last 50 years, retains an iron grip on politics, even after changes in legislation to allow more opposition, several elections and the formation of a more representative government. Tanzania’s current president is Jakaya Kikwete, Zanzibar's president is Ali Mohamed Shein: both are members of the CCM. Parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled in both territories for October 2015.

Zanzibar remains a semi-autonomous state within the country, with its own parliament and president, and the union has lasted over four decades, despite moments of conflict. Zanzibar is 99 per cent Muslim while mainland Tanzania has large Christian and Muslim communities.

Tanzania has played a strong role in regional politics historically while avoiding conflict within its own borders. It is the only country in Africa that uses an African indigenous language - Swahili - as its official language. Tourism and agriculture have always been the strongest economic sectors, although recent discoveries of new resources such as gold offer fresh economic opportunities.

MiCT began working in Tanzania in 2014 in collaboration with UNESCO and the Community Media Network of Tanzania (COMNETA) in the country's blossoming radio sector. In July 2014, a research team from MiCT visited a dozen community radio stations in Tanzania to assess their financial sustainability. The MiCT team met with advertising, media and regulatory stakeholders to assess the long-term financial options available to the mushrooming community media sector.

MiCT returned to Tanzania in February and March 2015 to conduct a follow-up report, a capacity assessment of COMNETA. The research team visited a further 12 radio stations to conduct interviews with COMNETA member-radios and board members. The final report contained more than 20 concrete suggestions on how to strengthen COMNETA's infrastructure and modus operandi.