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