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Country of Mozambique Flag

Capital: Maputo

Population: 30,366,036

Brief History of Mozambique:

Mozambique was first inhabited by the San people. They were tribal people and hunter-gatherers. Starting in the first century AD, Bantu tribes people migrated to the area. Later the Arabs would arrive and establish trading settlements along the coast.

The first Europeans to arrive were the Portuguese in 1498. The Portuguese built forts and trading posts along the coast as well. After World War II, when many other European countries were granting independence to their colonies, Portugal hung on to Mozambique. Many people immigrated to Mozambique from Portugal. Finally, in 1975 Mozambique was granted its independence. There were around 250,000 Portuguese in the country at the time.

After independence Mozambique has been mired in civil war and military takeovers. Millions of people fled the country as a result of war and famine. By 1995 many of them had returned.

Country of Mozambique Map

The Geography of Mozambique

Total Size: 801,590 square km

Size Comparison: slightly less than twice the size of California

Geographical Coordinates: 18 15 S, 35 00 E

World Region or Continent: Africa

General Terrain: mostly coastal lowlands, uplands in center, high plateaus in northwest, mountains in west

Geographical Low Point: Indian Ocean 0 m

Geographical High Point: Monte Binga 2,436 m

Climate: tropical to subtropical

Major cities: MAPUTO (capital) 1.589 million; Matola 761,000 (2009)

The People of Mozambique

Type of Government: republic

Languages Spoken: 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)

Independence: 25 June 1975 (from Portugal)

National Holiday: Independence Day, 25 June (1975)

Nationality: Mozambican(s)

Religions: Catholic 23.8%, Muslim 17.8%, Zionist Christian 17.5%, other 17.8%, none 23.1% (1997 census)

National Symbol:

National Anthem or Song: Patria Amada (Lovely Fatherland)

Economy of Mozambique

Major Industries: food, beverages, chemicals (fertilizer, soap, paints), aluminum, petroleum products, textiles, cement, glass, asbestos, tobacco

Agricultural Products: cotton, cashew nuts, sugarcane, tea, cassava (tapioca), corn, coconuts, sisal, citrus and tropical fruits, potatoes, sunflowers; beef, poultry

Natural Resources: coal, titanium, natural gas, hydropower, tantalum, graphite

Major Exports: aluminum, prawns, cashews, cotton, sugar, citrus, timber; bulk electricity

Major Imports: machinery and equipment, vehicles, fuel, chemicals, metal products, foodstuffs, textiles

Currency: metical (MZM)

National GDP: $24,000,000,000

** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.

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