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About Mozambique

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Official Name: República de Moçambique
Short form: Moçambique
International long form: Republic of Mozambique
International short form: Mozambique
ISO Country Code: mz
Languages: Portuguese (official), various indigenous languages

Government
Moz Map3

  • Type: Multi-party democracy.
  • Independence: 25 June 1975 (from Portugal).
  • Constitution: 30 November 1990.
  • Head of State: President Armando Guebuza
  • Membership of international groupings/organisations: United Nations; AU (African Union); SADC (Southern African Development Community); the Non-Aligned Movement; the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP); the Organisation of Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP); The Commonwealth; the Islamic Conference Organisation (OIC); Francophonie; and the Indian Ocean Rim-Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC).
  • Major political parties: Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (Frelimo), Resistência Nacional de Moçambique (Renamo)
  • Capital City: Maputo (pop. 1.2 million)
  • Other Cities: Beira, Matola, Nampula, Quelimane, Tete, Nacala

Key Indicators

  • Population, total (millions) 21.0
  • Population growth (annual %) 2.1
  • Surface area (sq. km) (thousands) 799.4
  • Life expectancy at birth, total (years) 42.5
  • Mortality rate, infant (per 1,000 live births) 95.6
  • GNI (current US$) (billions) 6.1
  • GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US$) 310.0
  • Prevalence of HIV, total (% of population ages 15-49) 16.2

People

  • Nationality: Mozambican(s).
  • People: Indigenous ethnic groups and small minorities of European and Asian descent.
  • Languages: Portuguese (official), 16 African languages and respective dialects
  • Religion(s): Roman Catholic (30.3%), other Christian (including independent African churches 36%), Muslim (18%). Elements of indigenous religion are widespread.
  • Ethnic groups: Makua, Tsonga, Makonde, Changana, Shona, Sena, Ndau, and other indigenous groups, and approximately 10,000 Europeans, 35,000 Euro-Africans, and 15,000 South Asians.
  • Literacy: 67% for men 38% for women
  • Natural resources: Coal, titanium, natural gas, hydropower, tantalum, graphite.

Economy

  • Currency: Metical (MT) = 100 centavos
  • GDP: US$8.132 bn (2007 estimate)
  • GDP per head: US$333 (2005)
  • Annual GDP Growth: 7.5% (2007 estimate)
  • Inflation: 8% (2007 estimate)
  • Major Industries: aluminium (processing only); natural gas; hydro power, prawns and fish (45%); cotton (2%); cashew nuts (9%); timber, sugar and copra (14%); agriculture
  • Major trading partners: (exports) Spain, South Africa, USA, Belgium, Italy; (imports) South Africa, Australia, Portugal.

Mozambique’s economy was devastated by decades of conflict. Its high growth rate over the last decade has been from a very low base, and has been greatly dependent on capital-intensive investment by the private sector, and on the strong South African economy. The government has initiated widespread reforms to alleviate this, particularly in banking, the management of public finance and the collection of customs dues.

Agriculture employs 83% of the population and until recently accounted for 80% of exports. Minerals make up an increasing share of exports, and recent investment in Mozambique’s mineral and gas deposits may increase their contribution to the economy.

The Mozambican economy also benefits from the transit of goods to and from the African interior. Investment in infrastructure for the Beira, Nacala and Maputo Corridors, which respectively link Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa’s Gauteng province to the Indian Ocean has increased in recent years.

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