Mozambique Country Facts

Mozambique-mapCountry: Republic of Mozambique (formerly Portuguese East Africa)

Background/History: Almost five centuries as a Portuguese colony came to a close with independence in 1975. Large-scale emigration, economic dependence on South Africa, a severe drought, and a prolonged civil war hindered the country’s development until the mid-1990s. 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 GUEBUZA, served two terms and then passed executive power to Filipe NYUSI in October 2014. RENAMO’s residual armed forces engaged in a low-level insurgency from 2012 to 2014.

Geography: Mozambique is in Southeastern Africa and is bordered by Tanzania to the north; Zambia and Malawi to the northwest; Zimbabwe to the west; and South Africa and Swaziland to the southwest. The Indian Ocean lies to the east. There is a coastline of nearly 1550 miles. In addition to the coastal lowlands, there are high plateaus in the northwest, mountains in the west, and highlands in the center. The Zambezi is the largest river that flows through Mozambique.

Area: 799,380 sq km; slightly less than twice the size of California

Climate: Varies. Inland is cooler than the coast and rainfall higher as the land rises, with most rain between January and March. The hottest and wettest season is from October to March. From April to September the coast has warm, mainly dry weather.

Population: 25,930,150 (July 2016 est.)

Population Growth Rate: 2.45% (2016 est.)

Fertility Rate: 5.15 children born/woman (2016 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate: 67.9 deaths/1,000 live births

Life Expectancy at Birth: 53.3 years

HIV/AIDS Adult Prevalence Rate: 10.55% (2015 est.)

Literacy: 58.8% (age > 15) (2015 est.)

Language: Emakhuwa 25.3%, Portuguese (official) 10.7%, Xichangana 10.3%, Cisena 7.5%, Elomwe 7%, Echuwabo 5.1%, other Mozambican languages 30.1%, other 4% (1997 census)

Capital: Maputo

Government: Presidential Republic

Religion: Roman Catholic 28.4%, Muslim 17.9%, Zionist Christian 15.5%, Protestant 12.2% (includes Pentecostal 10.9% and Anglican 1.3%), other 6.7%, none 18.7%, unspecified 0.7% (2007 est.)

Currency: Metical (MZM)

GDP-per capita: $1200 (in 2015 US dollars)

Labor Force: agriculture 81%, industry 6%, services 13% (1997 est.)

Natural Resources: coal, titanium, natural gas, hydropower, tantalum, graphite

Agriculture Products: cotton, cashew nuts, sugarcane, tea, cassava (tapioca), corn, coconuts, sisal, citrus and tropical fruits, potatoes, sunflowers; beef, poultry

Economy: Mozambique was one of the world’s poorest countries when they became independent in 1975. The situation was worsened due to socialist mismanagement and a civil war lasting from 1977-1992. The economy has improved due to government reforms. Mozambique remains dependant upon foreign assistance and the majority of the population remains below the poverty line. The majority of the workforce is employed in subsistence agriculture.


(Information obtained from the World Fact Book 2016 and other sources)