Mozambique (Republic of Mozambique)
|Flag of Mozambique|
Notably Northern Mozambique lies within the monsoon trade winds of the Indian Ocean and is frequentely affected by disruptive weather. Between the 7th and 11th centuries, a series of Swahili port towns developed on that area, which contributed to the development of a distinct Swahili culture and dialect. In the late medieval period, these towns were frequented by traders from Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Arabia, Persia, and India.
The voyage of Vasco da Gama in 1498 marked the arrival of the Portuguese, who began a gradual process of colonisation and settlement in 1505. After over four centuries of Portuguese rule, Mozambique gained independence in 1975, becoming the People's Republic of Mozambique shortly thereafter. After only two years of independence, the country descended into an intense and protracted civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992. In 1994, Mozambique held its first multiparty elections and has since remained a relatively stable presidential republic, although it still faces a low-intensity insurgency distinctively in the farthermost regions from the southern capital and where Islam is dominant.
Mozambique is endowed with rich and extensive natural resources, notwithstanding the country's economy is based chiefly on fishery—substantially molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms—and agriculture with a growing industry of food and beverages, chemical manufacturing, aluminium and oil. The tourism sector is expanding. South Africa remains Mozambique's main trading partner, preserving a close relationship with Portugal with a perspective on other European markets.
Since 2001, Mozambique's GDP growth has been thriving, but the nation is still one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world, ranking low in GDP per capita, human development, measures of inequality and average life expectancy.
The country's population of around 30 million, as of 2022 estimates, is composed of overwhelmingly Bantu peoples. However, the only official language in Mozambique is the colonial language of Portuguese, which is spoken in urban areas as a first or second language by most, and generally as a lingua franca between younger Mozambicans with access to formal education. The most important local languages include Tsonga, Makhuwa, Sena, Chichewa, and Swahili. Glottolog lists 46 languages spoken in the country, of which one is a signed language (Mozambican Sign Language/Língua de sinais de Moçambique).
The largest religion in Mozambique is Christianity, with significant minorities following Islam and African traditional religions.
Mozambique is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Southern African Development Community, and is an observer at La Francophonie.
The country was named Moçambique by the Portuguese after the Island of Mozambique, derived from Mussa Bin Bique or Musa Al Big or Mossa Al Bique or Mussa Ben Mbiki or Mussa Ibn Malik, an Arab trader who first visited the island and later lived there. The island-town was the capital of the Portuguese colony until 1898, when it was moved south to Lourenço Marques (now Maputo).
Currency / Language
Map - Mozambique (Republic of Mozambique)