Mozambique (GPS: 18 15 S, 35 00 E) is located in Southeastern Africa, bordering the Mozambique Channel, between South Africa and Tanzania. The country’s area measurements are total: 799,380 sq km; land: 786,380 sq km, water: 13,000 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly less than twice the size of California. The total irrigated land is 1,180 sq km (2012).
One of the important features of Mozambique: The Zambezi River flows through the north-central and most fertile part of the country.
It’s significant, and at the same time, the principal city, Maputo’s GPS coordinates are 25 57 S 32 35 E. Maputo’s local time is 7 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC+2.
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.
An UN-negotiated peace agreement between FRELIMO and rebel Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) forces ended the fighting in 1992. In 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 2015. RENAMO’s residual armed forces have intermittently engaged in a low-level insurgency since 2012. However, a late December 2016 ceasefire held throughout 2018 has facilitated efforts toward a peacebuilding initiative and a constitutional amendment to devolve some governance to the provinces. Since October 2017, the northern province of Cabo Delgado has experienced violent extremist attacks.
Mozambique’s names conventional long form: the Republic of Mozambique, conventional short form: Mozambique, local long form: Republica de Mocambique, local short state: Mocambique, former: Portuguese East Africa, etymology: named for the offshore island of Mozambique; the island was named after Mussa al-BIK, an influential Arab slave trader who set himself up as sultan on the island in the 15th century. Named for Mozambique’s offshore island, the island was named after Mussa al-BIK, an influential Arab slave trader who set himself up as a sultan on the island in the 15th century.
Mozambique’s terrain is typically mostly coastal lowlands, uplands in the center, high plateaus in the northwest, mountains in the west. The country’s mean elevation: 345 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m, highest point: Monte Binga 2,436 m.
The general climate in the country; tropical to subtropical.
The total number of border countries is 6, Malawi 1,498 km, South Africa 496 km, Eswatini 108 km, Tanzania 840 km, Zambia 439 km, Zimbabwe 1,402 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Mozambique’s coastline is 2,470 km, while its marital claims are: territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles. Waterways: 460 km (Zambezi River navigable to Tete and along Cahora Bassa Lake) (2010). Land use: agricultural land: 56.3%; arable land 6.4%; permanent crops 0.3%; permanent pasture 49.6%; forest: 43.7%; other: 0% (2011 estimate).
The population in Mozambique 27,233,789 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 32.2% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: MAPUTO (capital) 1.187 million; Matola 937,000 (2015), while Mozambique has N/A. Their spoken languages are: Emakhuwa 25.3%, Portuguese (official language) 10.7%, Xichangana 10.3%, Cisena 7.5%, Elomwe 7%, Echuwabo 5.1%, other Mozambican languages 30.1%, other 4% (1997 census). Main religions in Mozambique are 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 estimate). The nation uses mixed legal system of Portuguese civil law and customary law; note – in rural, predominately Muslim villages with no formal legal system, Islamic law may be applied. It is a(n) presidential republic, National holiday(s) Independence Day, 25 June (1975).
Economic overview for the country: At independence in 1975, Mozambique was one of the world’s poorest countries. Socialist policies, financial mismanagement, and a brutal civil war from 1977 to 1992 further impoverished the country. In 1987, the government embarked on a series of macroeconomic reforms designed to stabilize the economy. Combined with donor assistance and political stability since the multi-party elections in 1994, these steps propelled the country’s GDP in purchasing power parity terms, from $4 billion in 1993 to about $37 billion in 2017. Fiscal reforms, including introducing a value-added tax and reform of the customs service, have improved the government’s revenue collection abilities. Despite these gains, about half the population remains below the poverty line, and subsistence agriculture continues to employ the vast majority of the country’s work force.
Mozambique’s once substantial foreign debt was reduced through forgiveness and rescheduling under the IMF’s Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Enhanced HIPC initiatives. However, in 2016, information surfaced revealing that the Mozambican Government was responsible for over $2 billion in government-backed loans secured between 2012-2014 by the state-owned defense and security companies without parliamentary approval or national budget inclusion; This prompted the IMF and international donors to halt direct budget support to the Government of Mozambique. A global audit was performed on Mozambique’s debt in 2016-2017, but debt restructuring and donor support resumption have yet to occur. Mozambique grew at an average annual rate of 6%-8% in the decade leading up to 2015, one of Africa’s strongest performances. Still, the sizable external debt burden, donor withdrawal, elevated inflation, and currency depreciation contributed to slower growth in 2016-2017.
Two major international consortiums, led by American companies ExxonMobil and Anadarko, are seeking approval to develop massive natural gas deposits off the coast of Cabo Delgado province in what has the potential to become the largest infrastructure project in Africa. The government predicts sales of liquefied natural gas from these projects could generate several billion dollars in revenues annually sometime after 2022.
Main export partners for Mozambique, Africa are South Africa 24.9%, China 10.2%, Italy 8.9%, India 8.9%, Belgium 7.9%, Spain 4.4% (2015) for aluminum, prawns, cashews, cotton, sugar, citrus, timber; bulk electricity, while the main import partners for the country are: South Africa 26.8%, China 19.3%, India 13.9% (2015) for machinery and equipment, vehicles, fuel, chemicals, metal products, foodstuffs, textiles.
When you visit this country in Africa, consider the natural hazards in Mozambique: Severe droughts, devastating cyclones, and floods in central and southern provinces, while infectious diseases are a degree of risk: very high food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever water contact disease: schistosomiasis animal contact disease: rabies (2016). Also, note that Mozambique faces the following environmental issues: Increased migration of the population to urban and coastal areas with adverse environmental consequences, Desertification, Soil erosion, deforestation, water pollution caused by artisanal mining, Pollution of surface and coastal waters, wildlife preservation (elephant poaching for ivory).