Mozambique is in Southeastern Africa, bordering the Mozambique Channel, between South Africa and Tanzania.
Malawi 1,569 km, South Africa 491 km, Swaziland 105 km, Tanzania 756 km, Zambia 419 km, and Zimbabwe 1,231 km.
Size 801,590 sq km slightly less than twice the size of California, US. Mozambique has a tropical to sub-tropical climate. Mozambique's terrain consists of mostly coastal lowlands, with uplands in center, high plateaus in northwest, and mountains in west. Its lowest point is the Indian Ocean at 0 m and its highest point is Monte Binga which stands at 2,436 m. The Zambezi flows through the north-central and most fertile part of the country.
Just under 21 million people live in Mozambique. Life expectancy is around 40 years. Birth rate is on average 5.29 per woman. Literacy rate is just over 47%.
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%, and unspecified 1.3%.
African 99.66% (Makhuwa, Tsonga, Lomwe, Sena, and others), Europeans 0.06%, Euro-Africans 0.2%, and Indians 0.08%.
Catholic 23.8%, Muslim 17.8%, Zionist Christian 17.5%, other 17.8%, and none 23.1%
Brief Political History:
Almost five centuries as a Portuguese colony came to a close with independence in 1975. 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 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 newly elected successor, Armando Emilio Guebuza, has promised to continue the sound economic policies that have encouraged foreign investment.
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. Inflation was reduced to single digits during the late 1990s although it returned to double digits in 2000-06. 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 much 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. In late 2005, and after years of negotiations, the government signed an agreement to gain 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.
Source: CIA World Factbook