Below is a map of Mozambique.  I will be based in Maputo (look all the way south and on the coast) but will be working with communities from Tete (look near southern Malawi), Nampula (look inland but near the point where the coast juts out furthest east) and Lichinga (north and west near Lake Malawi).  I think covering all that area will be a challenge so I think one of our first tasks will be to come up with a strategy and geographic focus!

Bordering Countries: You can see from the map that Mozambique has lots of neighbors!  Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and South Africa and Swazilan to the southwest.

Capital: Maputo

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.[3]


  • 17,479,266 (July, 2003 est.)
  • 20,905,585 (July, 2007 est.)
  • 21,284,700 (July 2008 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years:

  • 44.7% (male 4,692,126; female 4,647,960) (2007 est.)
  • 43% (male 4,079,240; female 4,122,578) (2000 est.)

15-64 years:

  • 52.5% (male 5,345,618; female 5,633,511) (2007 est.)
  • 54% (male 5,123,178; female 5,262,618) (2000 est.)

65 years and over:

  • 2.8% (male 244,886; female 341,484) (2007 est.)
  • 3% (male 215,412; female 301,670) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate:

  • 1.803% (2007 est.)
  • 0.82% (2003 est.)
  • 1.47% (2000 est.)

Birth rate:

  • 38.54 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)
  • 38.2 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
  • 37.99 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate:

  • 20.51 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)
  • 30.04 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
  • 23.29 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate:

  • 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000, 2003 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female (2003 est.), 1.02 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
under 15 years: 0.98 male(s)/female (2003 est.), 1.01 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female (2003 est.), 0.949 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female (2003 est.), 0.717 male(s)/female (2007 est.)
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2003 est.), 0.968 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 109.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
female: 106.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)
male: 112.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: total population: 40.9 years (2007 est.), 31.3 years (2003 est.), 37.52 years (2000 est.)
male: male: 41.4 years (2007 est.), 30.98 (2003 est.), 38.34 years (2000 est.)
female: female: 40.4 years (2007 est.), 31.63 (2003 est.), 36.68 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate:

  • 5.24 children born/woman (2007 est.)
  • 5.29 children born/woman (2007 est.)
  • 4.87 children born/woman (2003 est.)
  • 4.93 children born/woman (2000 est.)

HIV/AIDS — people living with HIV/AIDS: 1.3 million (2003 est.), 1.1 million (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS — deaths: 110,000 (2003 est.), 60,000 (2001 est.)

noun: Mozambican(s)
adjective: Mozambican

Ethnic groups: indigenous tribal groups 99.4% (Shangana, Chokwe, Manyika, Sena, Makua, Ndau, and others), Euro-Africans 0.2%, Indians 0.1%, Arabs 0.1%, Chinese 0.1%, Europeans 0.1%

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

Languages: Portuguese language (official)
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)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 47.8% (2003 est.), 40.1% (1995 est.)
male: 63.5% (2003 est.), 57.7% (1995 est.)
female: 32.7% (2003 est.), 23.3% (1995 est.)

Where will I be working?

  1. Cabo Delgado Province
  2. Gaza Province
  3. Inhambane Province
  4. Manica Province
  5. Maputo City
  6. Maputo Province
  7. Nampula Province
  8. Niassa Province
  9. Sofala Province
  10. Tete Province
  11. Zambezia Province

My work will be in Nampula (7), Niassa (8), and Tete (10) provinces.

History (source – wikipedia)

Early Migrations and Settlements

Between the first and fifth centuries AD, waves of Bantu-speaking people migrated from the west and north through the Zambezi River valley and then gradually into the plateau and coastal areas. They established agricultural communities or societies based on herding cattle. They brought with them the technology for iron making, a metal which they used to make weapons for the conquest of their neighbors. Cities in Mozambique during the Middle Ages (5th to the 16th century) were not sturdily built, so there is little left of many medieval cities such as the trading port Sofala. Nevertheless several Swahili trade ports dotted the coast of the country before the arrival of Arabs and the Portuguese[13] which had been trading with Madagascar and the Far East.

Colonialism – Swahili, Arab, and Portuguese Rule

When Portuguese explorers reached East Africa in 1498, Swahili and Arab[13] commercial settlements had existed along the coast and outlying islands for several centuries. From about 1500, Portuguese trading posts and forts displaced the Arabic commercial and military hegemony becaming regular ports of call on the new European sea route to the east.

The voyage of Vasco da Gama around the Cape of Good Hope into the Indian Ocean in 1498 marked the Portuguese entry into trade, politics, and society in the Indian Ocean world. The Portuguese gained control of the Island of Mozambique and the port city of Sofala in the early 16th century, and by the 1530s small groups of Portuguese traders and prospectors penetrated the interior regions seeking gold, where they set up garrisons and trading posts at Sena and Tete on the Zambezi River and tried to gain exclusive control over the gold trade. The Portuguese attempted to legitimize and consolidate their trade and settlement positions through the creation of prazos (land grants) tied to Portuguese settlement and administration. While prazos were originally developed to be held by Portuguese, through intermarriage they became African Portuguese or African Indian centres defended by large African slave armies known as Chikunda. Historically within Mozambique there was slavery. Human beings were bought and sold by African tribal chiefs, Arab traders, and the Portuguese. Many Mozambican slaves were supplied by tribal chiefs who raided warring tribes and sold their captives to the prazeiros.[14]

Although Portuguese influence gradually expanded, its power was limited and exercised through individual settlers and officials who were granted extensive autonomy. The Portuguese were able to wrest much of the coastal trade from Arabs between 1500 and 1700, but, with the Arab seizure of Portugal’s key foothold at Fort Jesus on Mombasa Island (now in Kenya) in 1698, the pendulum began to swing in the other direction. As a result, investment lagged while Lisbon devoted itself to the more lucrative trade with India and the Far East and to the colonisation of Brazil. During the 18th and 19th centuries the Mazrui and Omani Arabs reclaimed much of the Indian Ocean trade, forcing the Portuguese to retreat south. Many prazos had declined by the mid-19th century, but several of them survived. During the 19th century other European powers, particularly the British (British South Africa Company) and the French (Madagascar), became increasingly involved in the trade and politics of the region around the Portuguese East African territories.[citation needed]

By the early 20th century the Portuguese had shifted the administration of much of Mozambique to large private companies, like the Mozambique Company, the Zambezia Company and the Niassa Company, controlled and financed mostly by the British, which established railroad lines to neighbouring countries. Although slavery had been legally abolished in Mozambique, at the end of the 19th century the Chartered companies enacted a forced labor policy and supplied cheap – often forced – African labor to the mines and plantations of the nearby British colonies and South Africa. The Zambezia Company, the most profitable chartered company, took over a number of smaller prazeiro holdings, and established military outposts to protect its property. The chartered companies built roads and ports to bring their goods to market including a railroad linking present day Zimbabwe with the Mozambican port of Beira.[15][16]

Because of their unsatisfactory performance and because of the shift, under the Estado Novo regime of Oliveira Salazar, towards a stronger Portuguese control of Portuguese empire‘s economy, the companies’ concessions were not renewed when they ran out. This was what happened in 1942 with the Mozambique Company, which however continued to operate in the agricultural and commercial sectors as a corporation, and had already happened in 1929 with the termination of the Niassa Company’s concession. In 1951, the Portuguese overseas colonies in Africa were rebranded as Overseas Provinces of Portugal.[15][16][17]

A Movement for Independence

As communist and anti-colonial ideologies spread out across Africa, many clandestine political movements were established in support of Mozambican independence. These movements claimed that since policies and development plans were primarily designed by the ruling authorities for the benefit of Mozambique’s Portuguese population, little attention was paid to Mozambique’s tribal integration and the development of its native communities.[18] According to the official guerrilla statements, this affected a majority of the indigenous population who suffered both state-sponsored discrimination and enormous social pressure. Many felt they had received too little opportunity or resources to upgrade their skills and improve their economic and social situation to a degree comparable to that of the Europeans. Statistically, Mozambique’s Portuguese whites were indeed wealthier and more skilled than the black indigenous majority. As a response to the guerrilla movement, the Portuguese government from the 1960s and principally the early 1970s, initiated gradual changes with new socioeconomic developments and equalitarian policies for all.[citation needed]

The Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO), initiated a guerrilla campaign against Portuguese rule in September 1964. This conflict, along with the two others already initiated in the other Portuguese colonies of Angola and Portuguese Guinea, became part of the so-called Portuguese Colonial War (1961–1974).[citation needed] From a military standpoint, the Portuguese regular army maintained control of the population centres while the guerrilla forces sought to undermine their influence in rural and tribal areas in the north and west. As part of their response to FRELIMO the Portuguese government began to pay more attention to creating favourable conditions for social development and economic growth.[19]

After 10 years of sporadic warfare and Portugal’s return to democracy through a leftist military coup in Lisbon which replaced Portugal’s Estado Novo regime for a military junta (the Carnation Revolution of April 1974), FRELIMO took control of the territory. Within a year, most of the 250,000 Portuguese in Mozambique had left – some expelled by the government of the nearly independent territory, some fleeing in fear – and Mozambique became independent from Portugal on June 25, 1975.[20] Within a few years, almost the entire ethnic Portuguese population which had remained at independence had also departed.[citation needed]

Civil War

Main article: Mozambican Civil War

The new government, under president Samora Machel, gave shelter and support to South African (African National Congress) and Zimbabwean (Zimbabwe African National Union) liberation movements while the governments of first Rhodesia and later South Africa (at that time still operating the Apartheid laws) fostered and financed an armed rebel movement in central Mozambique called the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO). Starting shortly after the independence, the country was plagued from 1977 to 1992 by a long and violent civil war between the opposition forces of anti-Communist RENAMO rebel militias and the Marxist FRELIMO regime – the Mozambican Civil War. Hence, civil war, combined with sabotage from the neighbouring white-ruled state of Rhodesia and the Apartheid regime of South Africa, ineffective policies, failed central planning and the resulting economic collapse, characterized the first decades of Mozambican independence. Marking this period were the mass exodus of Portuguese nationals and Mozambicans of Portuguese heritage,[21] a collapsed infrastructure, lack of investment in productive assets, and government nationalisation of privately owned industries. During most of the civil war, the FRELIMO-formed central government was unable to exercise effective control outside of urban areas, many of which were cut off from the capital. In one time RENAMO proposed the peace agreement based on secession of their controlled northern and western territories for found an independent Republic of Rombesia, but FRELIMO refused considering to stand own power in whole country. An estimated one million Mozambicans perished during the civil war, 1.7 million took refuge in neighbouring states, and several million more were internally displaced.[22]

On October 19, 1986 Samora Machel was on his way back from an international meeting in Zambia in the presidential Tupolev Tu-134 aircraft when the plane crashed in the Lebombo Mountains, near Mbuzini. There were ten survivors but President Machel and thirty-three others died, including ministers and officials of the Mozambique government. The United NationsSoviet Union delegation issued a minority report contending that their expertise and experience had been undermined by the South Africans. Representatives of the Soviet Union advanced the theory that the plane had been intentionally diverted by a false navigational beacon signal, using a technology provided by military intelligence operatives of the South African government.[23]

Machel’s successor, Joaquim Chissano,did the big changes in the country, starting the reforms, changing from Marxism to Capitalism and began peace talks with RENAMO. The new constitution enacted in 1990 provided for a multi-party political system, market-based economy, and free elections.[citation needed] The civil war ended in October 1992 with the Rome General Peace Accords, first brokered by the CCM, the Christian Council of Mozambique (Council of Protestant Churches) and then taken over by Community of Sant’Egidio. Under supervision of the ONUMOZ peacekeeping force of the United Nations, peace returned to Mozambique.[citation needed]

By mid-1995 more than 1.7 million Mozambican refugees who had sought asylum in neighbouring Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Zambia, Tanzania, and South Africa as a result of war and drought had returned, as part of the largest repatriation witnessed in sub-Saharan Africa.[citation needed]


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