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World Factbook (1990) Mozambique.jpg

See regional map VII


Total area: 801,590 km²; land area: 784,090 km²

Comparative area: slightly less than twice the size of California

Land boundaries: 4,571 km total; 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:

Extended economic zone: 200 nm
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical to subtropical

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

Natural resources: coal, titanium

Land use: 4% arable land; NEGL% permanent crops; 56% meadows and pastures; 20% forest and woodland; 20% other; includes NEGL% irrigated

Environment: severe drought and floods occur in south; desertification


Population: 14,565,656 (July 1990), growth rate 2.6% (1990)

Birth rate: 47 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 18 deaths/ 1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: -3 migrants/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 138 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 45 years male, 49 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 6.5 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Mozambican(s); adjective—Mozambican

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

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

Language: Portuguese (official); many indigenous dialects

Literacy: 38%

Labor force: NA, but 90% engaged in agriculture

Organized labor: 225,000 workers belong to a single union, the Mozambique Workers' Organization (OTM)

Note: there are 800,000 Mozambican refugees in Malawi (1989 est.)


Long-form name: People's Republic of Mozambique

Type: people's republic

Capital: Maputo

Administrative divisions: 10 provinces (províncias, singular—província); Cabo Delgado, Gaza, Inhambane, Manica, Maputo, Nampula, Niassa, Sofala, Tete, Zambézia

Independence: 25 June 1975 (from Portugal)

Constitution: 25 June 1975

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

National holiday: Independence Day, 25 June (1975)

Executive branch: president, prime minister, Cabinet

Legislative branch: unicameral People's Assembly (Assembléia Popular)

Judicial branch: People's Courts at all levels

Leaders: Chief of State—President Joaquím Alberto CHISSANO (since 6 November 1986);

Head of Government—Prime Minister Mário da Graça MACHUNGO (since 17 July 1986)

Political parties and leaders: Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) is the only legal party and is a Marxist organization with close ties to the USSR

Suffrage: universal adult at age 18

Elections: national elections are indirect and based on mass meetings throughout the country

Communists: about 60,000 FRELIMO members


Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Valeriano FERRAO; Chancery at Suite 570, 1990 M Street NW, Washington DC 20036; telephone (202) 293-7146; US—Ambassador Melissa F. WELLS; Embassy at 3rd Floor, 35 Rua Da Mesquita, Maputo (mailing address is P. O. Box 783, Maputo); telephone 743167 or 744163

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, with a per capita GDP of little more than $100, 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, has resulted in successive years of economic growth since 1985. Agricultural output, nevertheless, is only at about 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.

GDP: $1.6 billion, per capita less than $110; real growth rate 5.0% (1988)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 81.1% (1988)

Unemployment rate: 40.0 (1988)

Budget: revenues $186 million; expenditures $239 million, including capital expenditures of $208 million (1988 est.)

Exports: $100 million (f.o.b., 1988); commodities—shrimp 48%, cashews 21%, sugar 10%, copra 3%, citrus 3%; partners—US, Western Europe, GDR, Japan

Imports: $764 million (c.i.f., 1988), including aid; commodities—food, clothing, farm equipment, petroleum; partners—US, Western Europe, USSR

External debt: $4.4 billion (1988)

Industrial production: growth rate 7% (1989 est.)

Electricity: 2,265,000 kW capacity; 1,740 million kWh produced, 120 kWh per capita (1989)

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

Agriculture: accounts for 50% of GDP, over 80% of labor force, 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

Aid: US commitments, including Ex-Im (FY70-88), $282 million; Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF bilateral commitments (1970-87), $3.1 billion; OPEC bilateral aid (1979-89), $37 million; Communist countries (1970-88), $887 million

Currency: metical (plural meticais); 1 metical (Mt) = 100 centavos

Exchange rates: meticais (Mt) per US$1—800 (September 1989), 528.60 (1988), 289.44 (1987), 40.43 (1986), 43.18 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 3,288 km total; 3,140 km 1.067-meter gauge; 148 km 0.762-meter narrow gauge; Malawi-Nacala, Malawi-Beira, and Zimbabwe-Maputo lines are subject to closure because of insurgency

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

Inland waterways: about 3,750 km of navigable routes

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

Ports: Maputo, Beira, Nacala

Merchant marine: 5 cargo ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 7,806 GRT/12,873 DWT

Civil air: 5 major transport aircraft

Airports: 203 total, 153 usable; 27 with permanent-surface runways; none with runways over 3,659 m; 6 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 29 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: fair system of troposcatter, open-wire lines, and radio relay; 57,400 telephones; stations—15 AM, 3 FM, 1 TV; satellite earth stations—1 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT and 3 domestic

Defense Forces

Branches: Mozambique Armed Forces (including Army, Border Guard, Naval Command, Air Defense Forces)

Military manpower: males 15-49, 3,295,067; 1,892,699 fit for military service

Defense expenditures: 8.4% of GDP (1987)