Mozambique

mozambique_flag Almost five centuries as a Portuguese colony came to a close with independence in 1975. Large-scale emigration by whites, economic dependence on South Africa, a severe drought, and a prolonged civil war hindered the country's development until the mid 1990's. The ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) party formally abandoned Marxism in 1989, and a new constitution the following year provided for multiparty elections and a free market economy. A UN-negotiated peace agreement between FRELIMO and rebel Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) forces ended the fighting in 1992. In December 2004, Mozambique underwent a delicate transition as Joaquim CHISSANO stepped down after 18 years in office. His elected successor, Armando Emilio GUEBUZA, promised to continue the sound economic policies that have encouraged foreign investment. Mozambique has seen very strong economic growth since the end of the civil war largely due to post-conflict reconstruction.

Geography

 

Location: Southeastern Africa, bordering the Mozambique Channel, between South Africa and Tanzania
Geographic coordinates: 18 15 S, 35 00 E
Map references: Africa
Area: water: 17,500 sq km

land: 784,090 sq km

total: 801,590 sq km
Area - comparative: Slightly less than twice the size of California
Land boundaries: total: 4,571 km
Border countries: Malawi 1,569 km, South Africa 491 km, Swaziland 105 km, Tanzania 756 km, Zambia 419 km, Zimbabwe 1,231 km
Coastline: 2,470 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate: tropical to subtropical
Terrain: mostly coastal lowlands, uplands in center, high plateaus in northwest, mountains in west
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

highest point: Monte Binga 2,436 m
Natural resources: coal, titanium, natural gas, hydropower, tantalum, graphite
Land use: arable land: 5.43% 

permanent crops: 0.29%

other: 94.28% (2005)
Irrigated land:                         1,180 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources: 216 cu km (1992)
Natural hazards: severe droughts; devastating cyclones and floods in central and southern provinces
Environment - current issues: a long civil war and recurrent drought in the hinterlands have resulted in increased migration of the population to urban and coastal areas with adverse environmental consequences; desertification; pollution of surface and coastal waters; elephant poaching for ivory is a problem
Geography - note: the Zambezi flows through the north-central and most fertile part of the country

People

 

Population: 21,284,700
Nationality: noun: Mozambican(s)
adjective: Mozambican
Ethnic groups: African 99.66% (Makhuwa, Tsonga, Lomwe, Sena, and others), Europeans 0.06%, Euro-Africans 0.2%, Indians 0.08%
Religions: Catholic 23.8%, Muslim 17.8%, Zionist Christian 17.5%, other 17.8%, none 23.1%
Languages: Emakhuwa 26.1%, Xichangana 11.3%, Portuguese 8.8% (official; spoken by 27% of population as a second language), Elomwe 7.6%, Cisena 6.8%, Echuwabo 5.8%, other Mozambican languages 32%, other foreign languages 0.3%, unspecified 1.3%
Literacy: total population: 47.8%

 

Government

 

Country name:    

conventional long form: Republic of Mozambique
conventional short form: Mozambique
local long form: Republica de Mocambique
local short form: Mocambique
former: Portuguese East Africa

Government type:    
republic
Capital:  
name: Maputo
geographic coordinates: 25 57 S, 32 35 E
Independence:         
25 June 1975 (from Portugal)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 25 June (1975)
Constitution: 30 November 1990
Legal system: 
based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:

18 years of age; universal

Flag description: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), black, and yellow with a red isosceles triangle based on the hoist side; the black band is edged in white; centered in the triangle is a yellow five-pointed star bearing a crossed rifle and hoe in black superimposed on an open white book

 

Economy

 

Economy - overview: At independence in 1975, Mozambique was one of the world's poorest countries. Socialist mismanagement and a brutal civil war from 1977-92 exacerbated the situation. In 1987, the government embarked on a series of macroeconomic reforms designed to stabilize the economy. These steps, combined with donor assistance and with political stability since the multi-party elections in 1994, have led to dramatic improvements in the country's growth rate. Mozambique remains dependent upon foreign assistance for much of its annual budget. Subsistence agriculture continues to employ the vast majority of the country's work force. A substantial trade imbalance persists although the opening of the Mozal aluminum smelter, the country's largest foreign investment project to date, has increased export earnings. At the end of 2007 the government took over Portugal's majority share of the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectricity (HCB) company. More power is needed for additional investment projects in titanium extraction and processing and garment manufacturing that could further close the import/export gap.
Agriculture - products:
cotton, cashew nuts, sugarcane, tea, cassava (tapioca), corn, coconuts, sisal, citrus and tropical fruits, potatoes, sunflowers; beef, poultry
Industries: food, beverages, chemicals (fertilizer, soap, paints), aluminum, petroleum products, textiles, cement, glass, asbestos, tobacco
Currency (code): metical (MZM)

 

Communications

 

Telephone system: fair system with an extremely low density of less than 1 fixed line per 100 persons
the telecommunications sector is shackled with a heavy state presence, lack of competition, and high operating costs and charges; stagnation in the fixed-line network contrasts with rapid growth in the mobile-cellular network; mobile-cellular coverage now includes all the main cities and key roads, including those from Maputo to the South African and Swaziland borders, the national highway through Gaza and Inhambane provinces, the Beira corridor, and from Nampula to Nacala
international: country code - 258;
Internet country code: .mz

                   

Transportation

 

Airports: 147 (2007)
Railways: total: 22
Roadways: total: 30,400 km

paved: 5,685 km

unpaved: 24,715 km (2000)
Waterways:                                           460 km (Zambezi River navigable to Tete and along Cahora Bassa Lake) (2007)
Merchant marine: total: 2
Ports and terminals: Beira, Maputo, Nacala

 

Military

 

Military branches:
Mozambique Armed Defense Forces (FADM): Mozambique Army, Mozambique Navy (Marinha Mocambique, MM), Mozambique Air Force (Forca Aerea de Mocambique, FAM)

Transnational Issues

 

Disputes - international: none

 

 
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