Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique, is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest. The capital city is Maputo, formerly known as Lourenço Marques.
Colonized by Portugal in 1505, Mozambique became independent in 1975 and became the People’s Republic of Mozambique shortly after. It was the scene of an intense civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992.
Mozambique is divided into ten provinces – Cabo Delgado, Niassa, Tete, Nampula, Manica, Sofala, Zambezia, Gaza, Inhambane e Maputo – that are subdivided into 129 districts.
At 309,475 sq mi (801,537 km2), Mozambique is the world’s 35th-largest country (after Pakistan) and lies between latitudes 10° and 27°S, and longitudes 30° and 41°E.
The country is divided into two topographical regions by the Zambezi River. To the north the narrow coastline moves inland to hills and low plateaus, and further west to rugged highlands, which include the Niassa highlands, Namuli or Shire highlands, Angonia highlands, Tete highlands and the Makonde plateau, covered with miombo woodlands. To the south of the Zambezi River, the lowlands are broader with the Mashonaland plateau and Lebombo mountains located in the deep south.
The country is drained by five principal rivers and several smaller ones with the largest and most important the Zambezi. The country has four notable lakes: Lake Niassa (or Malawi), Lake Chiuta, Lake Cahora Bassa and Lake Shirwa, all in the north. The major cities are Maputo, Beira, Nampula, Tete, Quelimane, Chimoio, Pemba, Inhambane, Xai-Xai and Lichinga.
Mozambique has a tropical climate with two seasons, a wet season from October to March and a dry season from April to September. Climatic conditions, however, vary depending on altitude. Rainfall is heavy along the coast and decreases in the north and south. Annual precipitation varies from 500 to 900 mm (19.7 to 35.4 in) depending on the region with an average of 590 mm (23.2 in). Cyclones are also common during the wet season. Average temperature ranges in Maputo are from 13 to 24 °C (55.4 to 75.2 °F) in July to 22 to 31 °C (71.6 to 87.8 °F) in February.
Mozambique is a multi-party democracy under the 1990 constitution. The executive branch comprises a president, prime minister, and Council of Ministers. There is a National Assembly and municipal assemblies. The judiciary comprises a Supreme Court and provincial, district, and municipal courts. Suffrage is universal at eighteen.
The official currency is the New Metical (as of March 2011, 1 USD is roughly equivalent to 31 New Meticals), which replaced old Meticals at the rate of a thousand to one. The old currency will be redeemed by the Bank of Mozambique until the end of 2012. The US dollar, South African rand, and recently the euro are also widely accepted and used in business transactions. The minimum legal salary is around US$60 per month.
Mozambique is a member of the African Union (formerly the Organisation of African Unity) and the Southern African Development Community. In 1994, the government became a full member of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. Similarly, in early 1996 Mozambique joined its Anglophone neighbours in the Commonwealth of Nations. In the same year, Mozambique became a founding member and the first President of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) and maintains close ties with other Lusophone states.
Official language: Portuguese
Government: Presidential republic
- from Portugal June 25, 1975
Area: 309,496 sq mi (801,590 km2) (35th)
Currency: Mozambican metical (Mtn) (MZN)
Time zone: CAT (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code: MZ
Internet TLD: .mz
Calling code: 258
Government website: http://www.portaldogoverno.gov.mz
Gross Domestic Product (10^9 USD)
Real Growth Rate (%)
Gross National Income per capita (USD)
Inflation – annual average (%)
Unemployment rate (%)
Imports (10^6 USD)
Exports (10^6 USD)
Exchange rate to the USD
External debt (10^9 USD)
External help per capita (USD)
Sources: World Bank
Club of Mozambique
Canal de Moçambique
Centro de Promoção de Investimentos
Instituto e Promoção de Exportação de Moçambique
Câmara do Comércio de Moçambique