[Country map of Mozambique]



Location: Southern Africa, bordering the Mozambique Channel, between South Africa and Tanzania

Map references: Africa

total area: 801,590 sq km
land area: 784,090 sq km
comparative area: slightly less than twice the size of California

Land boundaries: total 4,571 km, Malawi 1,569 km, South Africa 491 km, Swaziland 105 km, Tanzania 756 km, Zambia 419 km, Zimbabwe 1,231 km

Coastline: 2,470 km

Maritime claims:
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

International disputes: none

Climate: tropical to subtropical

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

Natural resources: coal, titanium

Land use:
arable land: 4%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 56%
forest and woodland: 20%
other: 20%

Irrigated land: 1,150 sq km (1989 est.)

current issues: civil strife and recurrent drought in the hinterlands have resulted in increased migration to urban and coastal areas with adverse environmental consequences; desertification; pollution of surface and coastal waters
natural hazards: severe droughts and floods occur in central and southern provinces; devastating cyclones
international agreements: party to - Endangered Species, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Law of the Sea


Population: 18,115,250 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 45% (female 4,069,117; male 4,078,429)
15-64 years: 53% (female 4,882,292; male 4,630,193)
65 years and over: 2% (female 260,057; male 195,162) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 2.87% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 44.6 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 15.94 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: NA migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)
note: by the end of 1994, an estimated 1.6 million Mozambican refugees, who fled to Malawi, Zimbabwa, and South Africa in earlier years from the civil war, had returned; an estimated 100,000 refugees remain to be repatriated from those countries

Infant mortality rate: 126 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 48.95 years
male: 47.04 years
female: 50.92 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 6.19 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Mozambican(s)
adjective: Mozambican

Ethnic divisions: indigenous tribal groups, Europeans about 10,000, Euro-Africans 35,000, Indians 15,000

Religions: indigenous beliefs 60%, Christian 30%, Muslim 10%

Languages: Portuguese (official), indigenous dialects

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1990)
total population: 33%
male: 45%
female: 21%

Labor force: NA
by occupation: 90% engaged in agriculture


conventional long form: Republic of Mozambique
conventional short form: Mozambique
local long form: Republica Popular de Mocambique
local short form: Mocambique

Digraph: MZ

Type: republic

Capital: Maputo

Administrative divisions: 10 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Cabo Delgado, Gaza, Inhambane, Manica, Maputo, Nampula, Niassa, Sofala, Tete, Zambezia

Independence: 25 June 1975 (from Portugal)

National holiday: Independence Day, 25 June (1975)

Constitution: 30 November 1990

Legal system: based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Joaquim Alberto CHISSANO (since 6 November 1986)
head of government: Prime Minister Pascoal MOCUMBI (since December 1994)
cabinet: Cabinet

Legislative branch: unicameral
Assembly of the Republic (Assembleia da Republica): draft electoral law provides for periodic, direct presidential and Assembly elections
note: as called for in the 1992 peace accords, presidential and legislative elections took place during 27-29 October 1994; fourteen parties, including the Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) participated; Joaquim Alberto CHISSANO was elected president and his FRELIMO party gathered a slim majority in the 250 seat legislature

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), Joaquim Alberto CHISSANO, chairman; the ruling party since independence, FRELIMO was the only legal party before 30 November 1990 when the new Constitution went into effect establishing a multiparty system


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Hipolito Pereira Zozimo PATRICIO
chancery: Suite 570, 1990 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 293-7146
FAX: [1] (202) 835-0245

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Dennis Coleman JETT
embassy: Avenida Kenneth Kuanda, 193 Maputo
mailing address: P. O. Box 783, Maputo
telephone: [258] (1) 492797
FAX: [258] (1) 490114

Flag: three equal horizontal bands of green (top), black, and yellow with a red isosceles triangle based on the hoist side; the black band is edged in white; centered in the triangle is a yellow five-pointed star bearing a crossed rifle and hoe in black superimposed on an open white book


Overview: One of Africa's poorest countries, Mozambique has failed to exploit the economic potential of its sizable agricultural, hydropower, and transportation resources. Indeed, national output, consumption, and investment declined throughout the first half of the 1980s because of internal disorders, lack of government administrative control, and a growing foreign debt. A sharp increase in foreign aid, attracted by an economic reform policy, resulted in successive years of economic growth in the late 1980s, but aid has declined steadily since 1989. Agricultural output is at only 75% of its 1981 level, and grain has to be imported. Industry operates at only 20%-40% of capacity. The economy depends heavily on foreign assistance to keep afloat. Peace accords signed in October 1992 improved chances of foreign investment, aided IMF-supported economic reforms, and supported continued economic recovery. Elections held in 1994 diverted government attention from the economy, resulting in slippage and delays in the economic reform program. Nonetheless, growth in 1994 was solid and can continue into the late 1990s given continued foreign help in meeting debt obligations.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $10.6 billion (1994 est.)

National product real growth rate: 5.8% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $610 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 50% (1994 est.)

Unemployment rate: 50% (1989 est.)

revenues: $252 million
expenditures: $607 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1992 est.)

Exports: $150 million (f.o.b., 1994 est.)
commodities: shrimp 40%, cashews, cotton, sugar, copra, citrus
partners: Spain, South Africa, US, Portugal, Japan

Imports: $1.14 billion (c.i.f., 1994 est.)
commodities: food, clothing, farm equipment, petroleum
partners: South Africa, UK, France, Japan, Portugal

External debt: $5 billion (1992 est.)

Industrial production: growth rate 5% (1989 est.)

capacity: 2,360,000 kW
production: 1.7 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 58 kWh (1993)

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

Agriculture: accounts for 50% of GDP and about 90% of exports; cash crops - cotton, cashew nuts, sugarcane, tea, shrimp; other crops - cassava, corn, rice, tropical fruits; not self-sufficient in food

Economic aid:
recipient: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-89), $350 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-89), $4.4 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $37 million; Communist countries (1970-89), $890 million

Currency: 1 metical (Mt) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: meticais (Mt) per US$1 - 5,220.63 (1st quarter 1994), 3,874.24 (1993), 2,550.40 (1992), 1,763.99 (1991), 1,053.09 (1990)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 3,288 km
narrow gauge: 3,140 km 1.067-m gauge; 148 km 0.762-m gauge

total: 26,498 km
paved: 4,593 km
unpaved: gravel, crushed stone, stabilized earth 829 km; unimproved earth 21,076 km

Inland waterways: about 3,750 km of navigable routes

Pipelines: crude oil (not operating) 306 km; petroleum products 289 km

Ports: Beira, Inhambane, Maputo, Nacala, Pemba

Merchant marine:
total: 3 cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 4,533 GRT/8,024 DWT

total: 192
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 5
with paved runways under 914 m: 112
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 15
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 44

note: highway traffic impeded by land mines not removed at end of civil war


Telephone system: NA telephone density; fair system of troposcatter, open-wire lines, and radio relay
local: NA
intercity: microwave radio relay and tropospheric scatter
international: 5 INTELSAT (2 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean) earth stations

broadcast stations: AM 29, FM 4, shortwave 0
radios: NA

broadcast stations: 1
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Naval Command, Air and Air Defense Forces, Militia; note - by late 1994, the army and former RENAMO rebels had demobilized; under UN supervision and training, recruits from both the army and rebel forces joined an integrated force that is still forming

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 4,061,109; males fit for military service 2,331,793 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $110 million, 7.3% of GDP (1993)