Mozambique is a country in the south east of Africa, bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the north west, Zimbabwe to the west and finally Swaziland and South Africa to the south west. Its capital and largest city is Maputo (formerly Lourenco Marques) with a population of 1.8 million. Mozambique has nearly 24 million inhabitants.
The first people to live in Mozambique were the Bantus who came up the Zambezi River from the north and west between 100 and 500 AD. Mozambique was a Portuguese colony for over 450 years (from 1505 to 1975). Two years after its independence, a civil war erupted that lasted 15 years, from 1977 to 1992. Elections were introduced in 1994 and the country is now a presidential republic.
Mozambique is the second fastest growing economy in Africa, with its gross national product rising by 6.88%. Malawi tops the list with a GNP growth of 7%. Angola and Rwanda are in third and fourth place.
The country offers a number of natural resources. Its economy is still mostly agricultural, but industry is developing fast (food, chemical production, aluminium and oil). The tourist sector is also growing. Read more >
Language, population and religion
The official language in Mozambique is Portuguese, mostly spoken as a second language by about half of the country´s population. Local languages include Swahili, Makhuwa and Sena. The large majority of the country’s 24 million residents are Bantus. The main religion is Christianity, followed by Islam and traditional African religions.