Introduction    Mozambique Top of Page
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 foreign investment. President GUEBUZA was reelected to a second term in October 2009. However, the elections were flawed by voter fraud, questionable disqualification of candidates, and Frelimo use of government resources during the campaign. As a result, Freedom House removed Mozambique from its list of electoral democracies.
   Geography    Mozambique Top of Page
Southeastern Africa, bordering the Mozambique Channel, between South Africa and Tanzania
Geographic coordinates:
18 15 S, 35 00 E
Map references:
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
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 (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
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
   People    Mozambique Top of Page
23,515,934 (July 2012 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:
2.442% (2012 est.)
Birth rate:
39.34 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Death rate:
12.79 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
Net migration rate:
-2.13 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 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: 1.02 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.85 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2012 est.)
Maternal mortality rate:
550 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 76.85 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 79.04 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 74.62 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 52.02 years
male: 51.26 years
female: 52.8 years (2012 est.)
Total fertility rate:
5.4 children born/woman (2012 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 the age of 5 years underweight:
21.2% (2003)
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%
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)
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)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47.8%
male: 63.5%
female: 32.7% (2003 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 9 years
male: 10 years
female: 8 years (2007)
Education expenditures:
5% of GDP (2006)
   Government    Mozambique Top of Page
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)
30 November 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
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for three terms); 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
   Economy    Mozambique Top of Page
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 in 2008 54% of the population remained 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. Real growth of 7.2% was achieved in 2011.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$23.87 billion (2011 est.)
$22.24 billion (2010 est.)
$20.81 billion (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$12.1 billion (2011 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
7.2% (2011 est.)
6.8% (2010 est.)
6.3% (2009 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$1,100 (2011 est.)
$1,000 (2010 est.)
$1,000 (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2011 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 28.4%
industry: 26.9%
services: 44.7% (2011 est.)
Labor force:
9.973 million (2011 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 81%
industry: 6%
services: 13% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate:
21% (1997 est.)
Population below poverty line:
54% (2008 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage 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):
28.4% of GDP (2011 est.)
revenues: $3.342 billion
expenditures: $3.986 billion (2011 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
27.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-5.3% of GDP (2011 est.)
Public debt:
43% of GDP (2011 est.) 46.3% of GDP (2010 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
11.7% (2011 est.) 13% (2010 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
3.25% (31 December 2010 est.) 9.95% (31 December 2009 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
16% (31 December 2011 est.) 16.263% (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$4.171 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $2.736 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of broad money:
$5.908 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $4.033 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$5.34 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $2.92 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
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 - 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.)
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 - proved reserves:
127.4 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)
Current account balance:
-$1.385 billion (2011 est.) -$999 million (2010 est.)
$2.646 billion (2011 est.) $2.243 billion (2010 est.)
Exports - commodities:
aluminum, prawns, cashews, cotton, sugar, citrus, timber; bulk electricity
$3.846 billion (2011 est.) $3.335 billion (2010 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:
$2.141 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $2.159 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Debt - external:
$5.437 billion (31 December 2011 est.) $4.81 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
Exchange rates:
meticais (MZM) per US dollar -28.5 (2011 est.),33.97 (2010 est.),26.28 (2009),24.125 (2008),26.264 (2007)
   Communications    Mozambique Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
88,100 (2010)
Telephones - mobile 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 35 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:
1 (2001)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
82,804 (2011)
Internet users:
613,600 (2009)
   Transportation    Mozambique Top of Page
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
   Military    Mozambique Top of Page
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)
   Transnational Issues    Mozambique Top of Page
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

This page was last updated on 14 May 2009


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