Country Profile

Country Profile - Mozambique

Country Profile of Mozambique

Almost five centuries as a Portuguese colony came to a close with independence in 1975. The first president at independence is Samora Machel. After his death in a plane crash in 1986, Joaquim Chissano became president.  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. Heavy flooding in both 1999 and 2000 severely hurt the economy.

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

Head of State: President Armando Guebuza (2 February 2005)

Capital: Maputo

Population: 23,515,934 (July 2012 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.442 % (2012 est.)

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

Languages: Portuguese (official), indigenous dialects

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

Independence: 25 June 1975 (from Portugal)

Currency: Metical (MZM)

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