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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 Emilio GUEBUZA, promised to continue the sound economic policies that have encouraged... See More



 Southeastern Africa, bordering the Mozambique Channel, between South Africa and Tanzania

Geographic Coordinates:

 18 15 S, 35 00 E


 Total: 799,380 sq km
Land: 786,380 sq km
Water: 13,000 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly less than twice the size of California

Land Boundaries:

 Total: 4,571 km
Border countries: Malawi 1,569 km, South Africa 491 km, Swaziland 105 km, Tanzania 756 km, Zambia 419 km, Zimbabwe 1,231 km


 2,470 km (Rank: 49)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


 Tropical to subtropical


 Mostly coastal lowlands, uplands in center, high plateaus in northwest, mountains in west

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Monte Binga 2,436 m

Natural Resources:

 Coal, titanium, natural gas, hydropower, tantalum, graphite

Land Use:

 Arable land: 5.43%
Permanent crops: 0.29%
Other: 94.28% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 1,180 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 216 cu km (1992)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 0.63 cu km/yr (11%/2%/87%)
Per capita: 32 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards:

 Severe droughts; devastating cyclones and floods in central and southern provinces

Environment - Current 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; elephant poaching for ivory is a problem

Environment - International Agreements:

 Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - Note:

 The Zambezi flows through the north-central and most fertile part of the country

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 Noun: Mozambican(s)
Adjective: Mozambican

Ethnic Groups:

 African 99.66% (Makhuwa, Tsonga, Lomwe, Sena, and others), Europeans 0.06%, Euro-Africans 0.2%, Indians 0.08%


 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% (2007 census)


 Catholic 28.4%, Protestant 27.7% (Zionist Christian 15.5%, Evangelical Pentecostal 10.9%, Anglican 1.3%), Muslim 17.9%, other 7.2%, none 18.7% (2007 census)


 22,948,858 (July 2011 est.)

Note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected; the 1997 Mozambican census reported a population of 16,099,246

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 45.9% (male 5,295,776/female 5,245,485)
15-64 years: 51.1% (male 5,550,501/female 6,174,668)
65 years and over: 3% (male 313,892/female 368,536) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 16.8 years
Male: 16.1 years
Female: 17.4 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 2.444% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 39.62 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 13 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -2.18 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)


 Urban population: 38% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 MAPUTO (capital) 1.589 million; Matola 761,000 (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.017 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 550 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 78.95 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 81.18 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 76.68 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 51.78 years
Male: 51.01 years
Female: 52.57 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 5.46 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 5.7% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 0.027 physicians/1,000 population (2006)

Hospital Bed Density:

 0.8 beds/1,000 population (2006)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 77% of population
Rural: 29% of population
Total: 47% of population
Urban: 23% of population
Rural: 71% of population
Total: 53% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 38% of population
Rural: 4% of population
Total: 17% of population
Urban: 62% of population
Rural: 96% of population
Total: 83% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 11.5% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 1.4 million (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 74,000 (2009 est.)

Major Infectious Diseases:

 Degree of risk: very high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: malaria and plague
Water contact disease: schistosomiasis
Animal contact disease: rabies (2009)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 21.2% (2003)

Education Expenditures:

 5% of GDP (2006)


 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 47.8%
Male: 63.5%
Female: 32.7% (2003 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 9 years
Male: 10 years
Female: 8 years (2007)

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Country Name:

 Conventional long form: Republic of Mozambique
Conventional short form: Mozambique
Local long form: Republica de Mocambique
Local short form: Mocambique
Former: Portuguese East Africa

Government Type:



 Name: Maputo
Geographic coordinates: 25 57 S, 32 35 E
Time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 10 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia), 1 city (cidade)*; Cabo Delgado, Gaza, Inhambane, Manica, Maputo, Cidade de Maputo*, Nampula, Niassa, Sofala, Tete, Zambezia


 25 June 1975 (from Portugal)

National Holiday:

 Independence Day, 25 June (1975)


 November 30, 1990

Legal System:

 Mixed legal system of Portuguese civil law, Islamic law, and customary law

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: President Armando GUEBUZA (since 2 February 2005)

Head of government: Prime Minister Aires Bonifacio ALI (since 16 January 2010)

Cabinet: Cabinet

Elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 28 October 2009 (next to be held in 2014); prime minister appointed by the president

Election results: Armando GUEBUZA reelected president; percent of vote - Armando GUEBUZA 76.3%, Afonso DHLAKAMA 14.9%, Daviz SIMANGO 8.8%

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral Assembly of the Republic or Assembleia da Republica (250 seats; members directly elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

Elections: last held on 28 October 2009 (next to be held in 2014)

Election results: percent of vote by party - FRELIMO 74.7%, RENAMO 17.7%, MDM 3.9%, other 3.7%; seats by party - FRELIMO 191, RENAMO 51, MDM 8

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court (the court of final appeal; some of its professional judges are appointed by the president, and some are elected by the Assembly); other courts include an Administrative Court, Constitutional Court, customs courts, maritime courts, courts marshal, labor courts

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Democratic Movement of Mozambique (Movimento Democratico de Mocambique) or MDM [Daviz SIMANGO]; Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frente de Liberatacao de Mocambique) or FRELIMO [Armando Emilio GUEBUZA]; Mozambique National Resistance (Resistencia Nacional Mocambicana) or RENAMO [Afonso DHLAKAMA]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Mozambican League of Human Rights (Liga Mocambicana dos Direitos Humanos) or LDH [Alice MABOTE, president]

International Organization Participation:


Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Amelia Matos SUMBANA
Chancery: 1525 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
Telephone: [1] (202) 293-7146
FAX: [1] (202) 835-0245

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Leslie V. ROWE
Embassy: Avenida Kenneth Kuanda 193, Maputo
Mailing address: P. O. Box 783, Maputo
Telephone: [258] (21) 492797
FAX: [258] (21) 490114

Flag Description:

 Three equal horizontal bands of green (top), black, and yellow with a red isosceles triangle based on the hoist side; the black band is edged in white; centered in the triangle is a yellow five-pointed star bearing a crossed rifle and hoe in black superimposed on an open white book; green represents the riches of the land, white peace, black the African continent, yellow the country's minerals, and red the struggle for independence; the rifle symbolizes defense and vigilance, the hoe refers to the country's agriculture, the open book stresses the importance of education, and the star represents Marxism and internationalism

National Anthem:

 Name: "Patria Amada" (Lovely Fatherland)
Lyrics/music: Salomao J. MANHICA/unknown

Note: adopted 2002

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Economy - Overview:

 At independence in 1975, Mozambique was one of the world's poorest countries. Socialist mismanagement and a brutal civil war from 1977-92 exacerbated the situation. In 1987, the government embarked on a series of macroeconomic reforms designed to stabilize the economy. These steps, combined with donor assistance and with political stability since the multi-party elections in 1994, have led to dramatic improvements in the country's growth rate. Fiscal reforms, including the introduction of a value-added tax and reform of the customs service, have improved the government's revenue collection abilities. In spite of these gains, Mozambique remains dependent upon foreign assistance for more than half of its annual budget, and the majority of the population remains below the poverty line. Subsistence agriculture continues to employ the vast majority of the country's work force and smallholder agricultural productivity and productivity growth is weak. A substantial trade imbalance persists although the opening of the Mozal aluminum smelter, the country's largest foreign investment project to date, has increased export earnings. At the end of 2007, and after years of negotiations, the government took over Portugal's majority share of the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectricity (HCB) company, a dam that was not transferred to Mozambique at independence because of the ensuing civil war and unpaid debts. More electrical power capacity is needed for additional investment projects in titanium extraction and processing and garment manufacturing that could further close the import/export gap. Mozambique's once substantial foreign debt has been reduced through forgiveness and rescheduling under the IMF's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Enhanced HIPC initiatives, and is now at a manageable level. In July 2007 the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) signed a compact with Mozambique; the compact entered into force in September 2008 and will continue for five years. Compact projects will focus on improving sanitation, roads, agriculture, and the business regulation environment in an effort to spur economic growth in the four northern provinces of the country. Mozambique grew at an average annual rate of 9% in the decade up to 2007, one of Africa's strongest performances. However, heavy reliance on aluminum, which accounts for about one-third of exports, subjects the economy to volatile international prices. The sharp decline in aluminum prices during the global economic crisis lowered GDP growth by several percentage points. Despite 8.3% GDP growth in 2010, the increasing cost of living prompted citizens to riot in September 2010, after fuel, water, electricity, and bread price increases were announced. In an attempt to contain the cost of living, the government implemented subsidies, decreased taxes and tariffs, and instituted other fiscal measures.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $21.81 billion (2010 est.)
$20.38 billion (2009 est.)
$19.17 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $9.893 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 7% (2010 est.)
6.3% (2009 est.)
6.8% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $1,000 (2010 est.)
$900 (2009 est.)
$900 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 28.8%
Industry: 26.4%
Services: 44.8% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 9.871 million (2010 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 81%
Industry: 6%
Services: 13% (1997 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 21% (1997 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 70% (2001 est.)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 1.9%
Highest 10%: 36.7% (2008)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 45.6 (2008)
47.3 (2002)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 25.5% of GDP (2010 est.)


 Revenues: $2.417 billion
Expenditures: $2.986 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 24.4% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -5.8% of GDP (2010 est.)

Public Debt:

 46.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
38% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 13% (2010 est.)
3% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 3.25% (31 December 2010 est.)
9.95% (31 December 2009 est.)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 16.263% (31 December 2010 est.)
15.675% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $1.406 billion (31 December 2008)
$1.261 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $1.752 billion (31 December 2008)
$1.467 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $2.736 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$2.531 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $4.033 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$3.667 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $2.92 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$2.059 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Agriculture - Products:

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


 Food, beverages, chemicals (fertilizer, soap, paints), aluminum, petroleum products, textiles, cement, glass, asbestos, tobacco

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 8% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 14.98 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 2.9%
Hydro: 97.1%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 10.18 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 11.21 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 3.436 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - Production:

 0 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 17,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 0 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 14,540 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 0 bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 3.6 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 100 million cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 3.5 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 127.4 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$1.21 billion (2010 est.)
-$1.171 billion (2009 est.)


 $2.243 billion (2010 est.)
$1.853 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Aluminum, prawns, cashews, cotton, sugar, citrus, timber; bulk electricity


 $3.335 billion (2010 est.)
$3.243 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Machinery and equipment, vehicles, fuel, chemicals, metal products, foodstuffs, textiles

Imports - Partners:

 South Africa 28.6%, China 10.3%, Australia 7.2%, India 5.8%, US 4.7%, Portugal 4.1% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $2.159 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$2.099 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $4.81 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$4.169 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert to Any Currency

Meticais (MZM) per US dollar -
35 (2010)
26.28 (2009)
24.125 (2008)
26.264 (2007)
25.4 (2006)

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Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 88,100 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 7.224 million (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: a fair telecommunications system that is shackled with a heavy state presence, lack of competition, and high operating costs and charges

Domestic: stagnation in the fixed-line network contrasts with rapid growth in the mobile-cellular network; mobile-cellular coverage now includes all the main cities and key roads, including those from Maputo to the South African and Swaziland borders, the national highway through Gaza and Inhambane provinces, the Beira corridor, and from Nampula to Nacala; extremely low fixed-line teledensity; despite significant growth in mobile-cellular services, teledensity remains low at about 25 per 100 persons

International: country code - 258; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean); landing point for the SEACOM fiber-optic cable

Broadcast Media:

 1 state-run TV station supplemented by private TV station; Portuguese state TV's African service, RTP Africa, and Brazilian-owned TV Miramar are available; state-run radio provides nearly 100% territorial coverage and broadcasts in multiple languages; a number of privately-owned and community-operated stations also broadcast; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 13, FM 17, shortwave 11 (2001)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 4 (2008)

Internet Country Code:


Internet Hosts:

 21,172 (2010)

Internet Users:

 613,600 (2009)

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 106 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 23
Over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
914 to 1,523 m: 4
Under 914 m: 5 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 83
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 34
Under 914 m: 39 (2010)


 Gas 918 km; refined products 278 km (2010)


 Total: 4,787 km
Narrow gauge: 4,787 km 1.067-m gauge (2010)


 Total: 30,331 km
Paved: 6,303 km
Unpaved: 24,028 km (2008)


 460 km (Zambezi River navigable to Tete and along Cahora Bassa Lake) (2010)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 2
By type: cargo 2
Foreign-owned: 2 (Belgium 2) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Beira, Maputo, Nacala

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Military Branches:

 Mozambique Armed Defense Forces (Forcas Armadas de Defesa de Mocambique, FADM): Mozambique Army, Mozambique Navy (Marinha de Guerra de Mocambique, MGM), Mozambique Air Force (Forca Aerea de Mocambique, FAM) (2011)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 Registration for military service is mandatory for all males and females at 18 years of age; 18-35 years of age for selective compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary service; 2-year service obligation; women may serve as officers or enlisted (2010)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 4,613,367 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 2,677,473
Females age 16-49: 2,941,073 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 274,602
Female: 280,008 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 0.8% of GDP (2006)

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Illicit Drugs:

 Southern African transit point for South Asian hashish and heroin, and South American cocaine probably destined for the European and South African markets; producer of cannabis (for local consumption) and methaqualone (for export to South Africa); corruption and poor regulatory capability make the banking system vulnerable to money laundering, but the lack of a well-developed financial infrastructure limits the country's utility as a money-laundering center

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Last Updated: December 2011

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