World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
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Mozambique Travelling Guide
Mozambique Travelling Guide

General background: Almost five centuries as a Portuguese colony came to a close with independence in 1975. Large-scale emigration by whites, economic dependence on South Africa, a severe drought, and a prolonged civil war hindered the country's development. The ruling party formally abandoned Marxism in 1989, and a new constitution the following year provided for multiparty elections and a free market economy. A UN-negotiated peace agreement with rebel forces ended the fighting in 1992.

Area comparative: Slightly less than twice the size of California.

Climate: Tropical to subtropical

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

Population: 19,607,519

Ethnic groups: Indigenous tribal groups 99.66% (Shangaan, Chokwe, Manyika, Sena, Makua, and others), Europeans 0.06%, Euro-Africans 0.2%, Indians 0.08%

Religions: Indigenous beliefs 50%, Christian 30%, Muslim 20%

Language: Portuguese (official), indigenous dialects

Government type: Republic

Capital: Maputo

Legal system: Based on Portuguese civil law system and customary law.

Economic overview: At independence in 1975, Mozambique was one of the world's poorest countries. Socialist mismanagement and a brutal civil war from 1977-92 exacerbated the situation. In 1988, the government embarked on a series of dramatic macroeconomic reforms designed to stabilize the economy and reduce government participation. These steps combined with the political stability that has prevailed since the 1994 multi-party elections have led to dramatic improvements in the country's growth rate fuelled by foreign and domestic investments and donor assistance. Inflation was brought to single digits during the same period, although it has returned to double digits in 2000 and 2001. Foreign exchange rates have remained relatively stable. Fiscal reforms, including the introduction of a value-added tax and reform of the customs service, have improved the government's revenue collection abilities. In spite of these gains, Mozambique remains dependent upon foreign assistance for much of its annual budget, and the majority of the population remains below the poverty line. Subsistence agriculture continues to employ the vast majority of the country's workforce. A substantial trade imbalance persists, although it has diminished with the opening of the MOZAL aluminium smelter, the country's largest foreign investment project. Additional investment projects in titanium extraction/processing and garment manufacturing should further close the import/export gap. Mozambique's once substantial foreign debt has been reduced through forgiveness and rescheduling under the IMF's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Enhanced HIPC initiatives, and is now at a manageable level.

Communication/Telephone system: Fair system but not available generally.

Places of interest: Pristine beaches and lush plant growth on coastal areas.

Travel tips: It has been estimated that more than one million land mines - laid by both sides during the war - remain unexploded in Mozambique.