Africa: Mozambique

About Mozambique

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. The ruling 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 with rebel forces ended the fighting in 1992.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Maputo
Population: 19,371,057
Percent below poverty: 70% (2000 est.)
Language: Portuguese (official), indigenous dialects
Date of independence: 25 June 1975 (from Portugal)
Form of government: republic
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: coal, titanium, natural gas, hydropower, tantalum, graphite
Environmental 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
Agricultural Products: cotton, cashew nuts, sugarcane, tea, cassava (tapioca), corn, rice, coconuts, sisal, tropical fruits; beef, poultry
Imports: machinery and equipment, mineral products, chemicals, metals, foodstuffs, textiles (2000)
Exports: prawns 40%, cashews, cotton, sugar, citrus, timber; bulk electricity (2000)
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: South Africa 44%, EU 16%, US 6.5%, Japan 6.5%, Pakistan 3%, India 3% (1999 est.)
EXPORTS: EU 27%, South Africa 26%, Zimbabwe 15%, India 12%, US 5%, Japan 4% (1999 est.)


Mozambique Headlines

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