Mozambique

Mozambique
Maputo
Portuguese
Mozambican metical (Mtn) (MZN)
+258

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Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique, is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest. The capital city is Maputo, formerly known as Lourenšo Marques.

Between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, Bantu-speaking peoples migrated from farther north and west. Swahili, and later also Arab, commercial ports existed along the coasts until the arrival of Europeans. The area was explored by Vasco da Gama in 1498 and colonized by Portugal in 1505. Mozambique became independent in 1975, and became the People's Republic of Mozambique shortly after. It was the scene of an intense civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992.

Endowed with rich and extensive natural resources, Mozambique's present day economy is considered one of huge potential. The country's economy is based largely on agriculture but with industry, mainly food and beverages, chemical manufacturing, and aluminium and petroleum production, growing fast. The country's tourism sector is also growing. Since 2001 Mozambique is one of the world's top ten for annual average GDP growth. South Africa is Mozambique's main trading partner and source of FDI. Belgium, Spain, and Portugal are also among the country's most important partners. Mozambique is one of the most poverty stricken and underdeveloped countries of the World according to several peer-reviewed publications.

The only official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, with roughly half of the population speaking it as a second language and few as a first language. Languages widely spoken natively include Swahili, Makhuwa, and Sena. The largest religion in Mozambique is Christianity, with significant Muslim and African traditional minorities. Mozambique is a member of the African Union, Commonwealth of Nations, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Latin Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Southern African Development Community.