Mozambique Country Facts

By | June 23, 2024
Mozambique
Capital city Maputo
Surface 801,590 km²
Population 30,067,000
Road network length 6.950 km
Length of highway network 8km
First highway ?
Motorway name Auto-Estrada
Traffic drives Left
License plate code MOC

Mozambique (Portuguese: Moçambique), formally the Republic of Mozambique (República de Moçambique), is a large country in southern Africa. The country is located on the east coast and is approximately 20 times the size of the Netherlands and has a population of 30 million. The capital is Maputo.

Geography

Mozambique is located in southern Africa and occupies much of the east coast of this region, located on the Indian Ocean. The country borders Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Swaziland. The Comoros and Mayotte lie east of Mozambique, as well as the giant island of Madagascar. Mozambique is a large country, measuring a maximum of 1,700 kilometers from north to south and 1,100 kilometers from west to east, although quite a large part of the country is narrower than that. The capital Maputo is located in the south.

The country has a varied landscape, the coastal plain changes into plateaus and low and higher mountain ranges. The 2,440 meter high Monte Binga on the border with Zimbabwe is the highest point in Mozambique. Numerous rivers drain from the highlands to the Indian Ocean, the largest of which is the Zambezi.

Mozambique has a tropical climate with a wet and dry season. Precipitation is heaviest along the coast, decreasing to the north and south. The interior of southern Mozambique has a desert climate. The average maximum temperature in the capital Maputo ranges from 24 to 30°C, with higher temperatures during the summer, which is also the wet season. In Maputo there is approximately 800 mm of precipitation per year, largely in the period from November to March.

Demographics

Mozambique has a rapidly growing population, from 6 million in 1950 to 30 million today. The capital Maputo has 1.1 million inhabitants, but the suburb Matola is larger than the capital itself with 1.6 million inhabitants. In addition, there are 11 cities with between 100,000 and 700,000 inhabitants.

There are many ethnicities in Mozambique, with Bantu tribes making up almost the entire population, there are small groups of Europeans and Asians. In the country, Portuguese is the official language and the most widely spoken language, by approximately 50% of the population. In the cities, Portuguese is the most widely spoken first language. Swahili is widely spoken in northern Mozambique.

Economy

Mozambique is a poor country, still recovering from the civil war. Economic growth is mainly interrupted by periods of natural disasters, often floods after cyclones, such as in 2000 and 2019. The economy is mainly based on agriculture, often for its own food supply. Agriculture is on a small scale, the land has considerable agricultural potential, but a large part of the land is uncultivated. The limited infrastructure is an obstacle to economic development. A large part of the population outside the major cities has no access to clean drinking water.

History

Bantu tribes migrated to what is now Mozambique over a period of centuries. In the north, a culture of its own was developed by the Swahili. The Swahili coast of northern Mozambique was frequented by traders from the Arabian Peninsula and South Asia. The journey of the Portuguese Vasco da Gama in 1498 marked the start of Portuguese influence in this region. Beginning in the 16th century, the Portuguese began to displace Arab influence in the region. Mozambique became a Portuguese colony and was under Portuguese rule for centuries.

In the 1960s, communist and anti-colonial forces grew in Africa, including Mozambique. In 1964, an armed uprising that led to a war of independence began. During this period, the Portuguese army kept control of the cities and rebels held power over the countryside. Mozambique became independent in 1975 after the fall of the Estado Novo in Portugal . Immediately after independence, a socialist one-party state was established. Shortly after independence, a civil war broke out that must be seen in the context of the Cold War. In 1990, a new constitution was enacted in which Mozambique became a democracy. The civil war ended in 1992. The first free elections were held in 1994. In the mid-1990s, many refugees returned to their home areas.

Years of civil war and a cyclone in 2000 destroyed the already limited infrastructure. During the Portuguese colonial era, only a limited road network was developed in the country. In 2019, Mozambique was again hit hard by a cyclone.

 

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