Africa :: Mozambique
page last updated on August 3, 2010
Flag of Mozambique
Map of Mozambique
Introduction ::Mozambique
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 1990's. 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.
Geography ::Mozambique
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
country comparison to the world: 35
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
Current Weather
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 (2003)
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
country comparison to the world: 53
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 (July 2010 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 44.1% (male 4,891,581/female 4,832,593)
15-64 years: 53% (male 5,746,820/female 5,954,815)
65 years and over: 2.9% (male 263,291/female 372,351) (2010 est.)
Median age:
total: 17.5 years
male: 17.1 years
female: 17.9 years (2010 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.797% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 68
Birth rate:
37.8 births/1,000 population (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
Death rate:
19.83 deaths/1,000 population (July 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 3
Net migration rate:
urban population: 37% of total population (2008)
rate of urbanization: 4.1% annual rate of change (2005-10 est.)
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 (2010 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 103.82 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 6
male: 106.53 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 101.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2010 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 41.37 years
country comparison to the world: 222
male: 42.05 years
female: 40.68 years (2010 est.)
Total fertility rate:
5.13 children born/woman (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 19
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
12.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
1.5 million (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 5
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
81,000 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 8
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)
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 23.8%, Muslim 17.8%, Zionist Christian 17.5%, other 17.8%, none 23.1% (1997 census)
Emakhuwa 26.1%, Xichangana 11.3%, Portuguese 8.8% (official; spoken by 27% of population as a second language), Elomwe 7.6%, Cisena 6.8%, Echuwabo 5.8%, other Mozambican languages 32%, other foreign languages 0.3%, unspecified 1.3% (1997 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: 8 years
male: 9 years
female: 7 years (2005)
Education expenditures:
5% of GDP (2005)
country comparison to the world: 72
Government ::Mozambique
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:
based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
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
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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, 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
Economy ::Mozambique
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. Monetary reforms have reduced inflation. 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. 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 power 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% for most of the past decade, 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.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$20.17 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 123
$19.34 billion (2008 est.)
$18.1 billion (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$9.767 billion (2009 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
4.3% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 38
6.8% (2008 est.)
7.4% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$900 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 218
$900 (2008 est.)
$900 (2007 est.)
note: data are in 2009 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 28.7%
industry: 25.4%
services: 45.9% (2009 est.)
Labor force:
9.77 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 49
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 81%
industry: 6%
services: 13% (1997 est.)
Unemployment rate:
21% (1997 est.)
country comparison to the world: 169
Population below poverty line:
70% (2001 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 2.1%
highest 10%: 39.2% (2003)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
47.3 (2002)
country comparison to the world: 33
39.6 (1997)
Investment (gross fixed):
17.4% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 121
revenues: $2.271 billion
expenditures: $2.772 billion (2009 est.)
Public debt:
3.7% of GDP (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
3.4% of GDP (2008 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.3% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
10.3% (2008 est.)
Central bank discount rate:
9.95% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 46
9.95% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
18.31% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 16
19.52% (31 December 2007)
Stock of money:
$1.406 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 102
$1.261 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of quasi money:
$1.752 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 104
$1.467 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of domestic credit:
$1.315 billion (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 108
$877.2 million (31 December 2007)
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:
5.2% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 21
Electricity - production:
15.91 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 78
Electricity - consumption:
10.16 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 85
Electricity - exports:
11.82 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports:
8.278 billion kWh (2007 est.)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 145
Oil - consumption:
18,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 163
Oil - imports:
13,760 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 132
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 155
Natural gas - production:
3.3 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 52
Natural gas - consumption:
100 million cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 101
Natural gas - exports:
3.2 billion cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 32
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 152
Natural gas - proved reserves:
127.4 billion cu m (1 January 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 50
Current account balance:
-$926 million (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 129
-$975.3 million (2008 est.)
$1.965 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 128
$2.653 billion (2008 est.)
Exports - commodities:
aluminum, prawns, cashews, cotton, sugar, citrus, timber; bulk electricity
Exports - partners:
Netherlands 47.62%, South Africa 11.6% (2009)
$3.096 billion (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 137
$3.458 billion (2008 est.)
Imports - commodities:
machinery and equipment, vehicles, fuel, chemicals, metal products, foodstuffs, textiles
Imports - partners:
South Africa 33.54%, Netherlands 8.42%, India 5.93%, China 4.24% (2009)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$1.855 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
$1.578 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Debt - external:
$4.159 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
$3.826 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
Exchange rates:
meticais (MZM) per US dollar - 27.4 (2009), 24.125 (2008), 26.264 (2007), 25.4 (2006), 23,061 (2005)
note: in 2006 Mozambique revalued its currency, with 1000 old meticais equal to 1 new meticais
Communications ::Mozambique
Telephones - main lines in use:
78,300 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 150
Telephones - mobile cellular:
4.405 million (2008)
country comparison to the world: 92
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 20 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
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 13, FM 17, shortwave 11 (2001)
Television broadcast stations:
4 (2008)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
21,388 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 103
Internet users:
350,000 (2008)
country comparison to the world: 119
Transportation ::Mozambique
105 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 55
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 (2009)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 82
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 33
under 914 m: 39 (2009)
gas 918 km; refined products 278 km (2009)
total: 4,787 km
country comparison to the world: 37
narrow gauge: 4,787 km 1.067-m gauge (2008)
total: 30,400 km
country comparison to the world: 97
paved: 5,685 km
unpaved: 24,715 km (2000)
460 km (Zambezi River navigable to Tete and along Cahora Bassa Lake) (2008)
country comparison to the world: 85
Merchant marine:
total: 2
country comparison to the world: 145
by type: cargo 2
foreign-owned: 2 (Belgium 2) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Beira, Maputo, Nacala
Military ::Mozambique
Military branches:
Mozambique Armed Defense Forces (FADM): Mozambique Army, Mozambique Navy (Marinha Mocambique, MM), Mozambique Air Force (Forca Aerea de Mocambique, FAM) (2006)
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: 4,787,832 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,448,161
females age 16-49: 2,269,562 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 272,922
female: 272,062 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
0.8% of GDP (2006)
country comparison to the world: 148
Transnational Issues ::Mozambique
Disputes - international:
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 makes 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

Source: The World Factbook (CIA)