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Background: Almost five centuries as a Portuguese colony came to a close with independence in 1975. Large-scale emigration by whites, economic dependence on South Africa, a severe drought, and a prolonged civil war hindered the country's development. The ruling 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 with rebel forces ended the fighting in 1992.


Location: Southern Africa, bordering the Mozambique Channel, between South Africa and Tanzania

Geographic coordinates: 18 15 S, 35 00 E

Map references: Africa

  total: 801,590 sq km
  land: 784,090 sq km
  water: 17,500 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

Coastline: 2,470 km

Maritime claims
  exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
  territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical to subtropical

Terrain: 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

Land use
  arable land: 4%
  permanent crops: 0%
  permanent pastures: 56%
  forests and woodland: 18%
  other: 22% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,180 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: severe droughts and floods occur in central and southern provinces; devastating cyclones

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

Environment - international agreements
  party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
  signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements


Population: 19,104,696 (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 and death rates, lower population and 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 (July 2000 est.))

Age structure
  0-14 years: 43% (male 4,079,240; female 4,122,578)
  15-64 years: 54% (male 5,123,178; female 5,262,618)
  65 years and over: 3% (male 215,412; female 301,670) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.47% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 37.99 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 23.29 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio
  at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
  under 15 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
  15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
  65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female
  total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 139.86 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth
  total population: 37.52 years
  male: 38.34 years
  female: 36.68 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 4.93 children born/woman (2000 est.)

  noun: Mozambican(s)
  adjective: Mozambican

Ethnic groups: indigenous tribal groups 99.66% (Shangaan, Chokwe, Manyika, Sena, Makua, and others), Europeans 0.06%, Euro-Africans 0.2%, Indians 0.08%

Religions: indigenous beliefs 50%, Christian 30%, Muslim 20%

Languages: Portuguese (official), indigenous dialects

  definition: age 15 and over can read and write
  total population: 40.1%
  male: 57.7%
  female: 23.3% (1995 est.)


Country name
  conventional long form: Republic of Mozambique
  conventional short form: Mozambique
  local long form: Republica de Mocambique
  local short form: Mocambique

Data code: MZ

Government type: republic

Capital: Maputo

Administrative divisions: 10 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Cabo Delgado, Gaza, Inhambane, Manica, Maputo, Nampula, Niassa, Sofala, Tete, Zambezia

Independence: 25 June 1975 (from Portugal)

National holiday: Independence Day, 25 June (1975)

Constitution: 30 November 1990

Legal system: based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch
  chief of state: President Joaquim Alberto CHISSANO (since 6 November 1986); note - before being popularly elected, CHISSANO was elected president by Frelimo's Central Committee 4 November 1986 (reelected by the Committee 30 July 1989)
  head of government: Prime Minister Pascoal MOCUMBI (since NA December 1994)
  cabinet: Cabinet
  elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 3-4 December 1999 (next to be held NA 2004); prime minister appointed by the president
  election results: Joaquim Alberto CHISSANO reelected president; percent of vote - Joaquim Alberto CHISSANO 52.29%, Afonso DHLAKAMA 47.71%

Legislative branch: unicameral Assembly of the Republic or Assembleia da Republica (250 seats; members are directly elected by popular vote on a secret ballot to serve five-year terms)
  elections: last held 3-5 December 1999 (next to be held NA 2004)
  election results: percent of vote by party - Frelimo 48.54%, Renamo-UE 38.81%; seats by party - Frelimo 133, Renamo-UE 117 (Note: Renamo-UE ran as a multiparty coalition; none of the other opposition parties received the 5% required to win parliamentary seats)

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges appointed by the president and judges elected by the Assembly

Political parties and leaders: Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frente de Liberatacao de Mocambique) or Frelimo [Joaquim Alberto CHISSANO, chairman]; Mozambique National Resistance - Electoral Union (Resistencia Nacional Mocambicana - Uniao Eleitoral) or Renamo-UE [Afonso DHLAKAMA, president]

International organization participation: ACP, AfDB, C, CCC, ECA, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, SADC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNTAET, UPU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO

Diplomatic representation in the US
  chief of mission: Ambassador Marcos Geraldo NAMASHULUA
  chancery: Suite 570, 1990 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
  telephone: [1] (202) 293-7146
  FAX: [1] (202) 835-0245

Diplomatic representation from the US
  chief of mission: Ambassador Bryan Dean CURRAN
  embassy: Avenida Kenneth Kuanda 193, Maputo
  mailing address: P. O. Box 783, Maputo
  telephone: [258] (1) 492797
  FAX: [258] (1) 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


Economy - overview: Before the peace accord of October 1992, Mozambique's economy was devastated by a protracted civil war and socialist mismanagement. In 1994, it ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world. Since then, Mozambique has undertaken a series of economic reforms. Almost all aspects of the economy have been liberalized to some extent. More than 900 state enterprises have been privatized. Pending are tax and much needed commercial code reform, as well as greater private sector involvement in the transportation, telecommunications, and energy sectors. Since 1996, inflation has been low and foreign exchange rates stable. Albeit from a small base, Mozambique's economy grew at an annual 10% rate in 1997-99, one of the highest growth rates in the world. Still, the country depends on foreign assistance to balance the budget and to pay for a trade imbalance in which imports outnumber exports by five to one or more. The medium-term outlook for the country looks bright, as trade and transportation links to South Africa and the rest of the region are expected to improve and sizable foreign investments materialize. Among these investments are metal production (aluminum, steel), natural gas, power generation, agriculture (cotton, sugar), fishing, timber, and transportation services. Additional exports in these areas should bring in needed foreign exchange. In addition, Mozambique is on track to receive a formal cancellation of a large portion of its external debt through a World Bank initiative.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $18.7 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: 10% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $1,000 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector
  agriculture: 34%
  industry: 18%
  services: 48% (1998 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share
  lowest 10%: NA%
  highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 4% (1999 est.)

Labor force: NA

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture 81%, industry 6%, services 13% (1997 est.)

Unemployment rate: NA%

  revenues: $402 million
  expenditures: $799 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1997 est.)

Industries: food, beverages, chemicals (fertilizer, soap, paints), petroleum products, textiles, cement, glass, asbestos, tobacco

Industrial production growth rate: 39% (1997)

Electricity - production: 1.2 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source
  fossil fuel: 25%
  hydro: 75%
  nuclear: 0%
  other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 1.018 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 483 million kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 385 million kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: cotton, cashew nuts, sugarcane, tea, cassava (tapioca), corn, rice, tropical fruits; beef, poultry

Exports: $300 million (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: prawns 40%, cashews, cotton, sugar, copra, citrus, coconuts, timber (1997)

Exports - partners: Spain 17%, South Africa 16%, Portugal 12%, US 10%, Japan, Malawi, India, Zimbabwe (1996 est.)

Imports: $1.6 billion (c.i.f., 1999 est.)

Imports - commodities: food, clothing, farm equipment, petroleum, transport equipment (1997)

Imports - partners: South Africa 55%, Zimbabwe 7%, Saudi Arabia 5%, Portugal 4%, US, Japan, India (1996 est.)

Debt - external: $4.8 billion (1999)

Economic aid - recipient: $1.115 billion (1995)

Currency: 1 metical (Mt) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: meticais (Mt) per US$1 - 13,392.0 (January 2000), 12,775.1 (1999), 11,874.6 (1998), 11.543.6 (1997), 11,293.8 (1996), 9,024.3 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Telephones - main lines in use: 60,000 (1995)

Telephones - mobile cellular: NA

Telephone system: fair system of tropospheric scatter, open-wire lines, and microwave radio relay
  domestic: microwave radio relay and tropospheric scatter
  international: satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 14, FM 4, shortwave 17 (1998)

Radios: 730,000 (1997)

Television broadcast stations: 1 (1997)

Televisions: 90,000 (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 2 (1999)


  total: 3,131 km
  narrow gauge: 2,988 km 1.067-m gauge; 143 km 0.762-m gauge (1994)

  total: 30,400 km
  paved: 5,685 km
  unpaved: 24,715 km (1996 est.)

Waterways: about 3,750 km of navigable routes

Pipelines: crude oil 306 km; petroleum products 289 km (Note: not operating)

Ports and harbors: Beira, Inhambane, Maputo, Nacala, Pemba, Quelimane

Merchant marine
  total: 3 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,125 GRT/7,024 DWT
  ships by type: cargo 3 (1999 est.)

Airports: 170 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways
  total: 22
  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: 4 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways
  total: 148
  2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
  1,524 to 2,437 m: 16
  914 to 1,523 m: 39
  under 914 m: 92 (1999 est.)


Military branches: Army, Naval Command, Air and Air Defense Forces, Militia

Military manpower - availability
  males age 15-49: 4,536,132 (2000 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service
  males age 15-49: 2,617,720 (2000 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $72 million (FY97)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 4.7% (FY97)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international: none

Illicit drugs: Southern African transit hub for South American cocaine probably destined for the European and US markets; producer of hashish and methaqualone

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Site Version 1.75 - Last updated December 20, 2006

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