Saturday 7 October 2023

Quick facts about Mozambique, a country in Southeastern Africa

Languages: Mozambique's official language is Portuguese, but various indigenous languages are spoken, including Makhuwa, Tsonga, and Sena. There are more than 40 languages spoken in the country and the majority of Mozambicans speak more than one language.

Ethnicities: Mozambique is culturally diverse, with numerous ethnic groups, including the Makhuwa, Tsonga, Shona, and Lomwe.

Administrative Divisions: Mozambique is divided into 10 provinces, each with its own provincial government.

Coastal Cities: Maputo, the capital city, is Mozambique's largest coastal city, located along the Indian Ocean. Maputo is also known as the City of Acacias, due to acacia trees commonly found along its avenues. Other notable coastal cities include Beira and Nampula.

Presidents Since Independence: Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975 and has had several presidents, with Filipe Nyusi serving as the current president.

Main Exports: Mozambique's primary exports include natural resources like coal, natural gas, and minerals, along with agricultural products such as cashews and sugar.

Literacy Levels: Mozambique faces educational challenges, with a literacy rate of around 47%, and lower rates in rural areas.

Economic Status: Mozambique's per capita income is relatively low, estimated at about $502 per year as of 2022.

Independence: Mozambique achieved independence from Portuguese colonial rule in 1975 after a long struggle for freedom.

Flag: Mozambique's flag features vibrant colors and unique symbolism, representing its history of resistance and progress. The flag of Mozambique stands out because it shows an AK-47 rifle. The rifle symbolizes defence and vigilance.

Civil War: Mozambique endured a protracted civil war that lasted from 1977 to 1992, causing significant hardships and infrastructure damage.

Female Leadership: Mozambique has seen prominent female leaders, with Graรงa Machel, the former first lady, and Joana Chissano, who served as Minister of Health.

Wildlife Diversity: Mozambique boasts diverse wildlife, including elephants, lions, and rhinoceroses, making it an attractive destination for safaris.

Cultural Heritage: Traditional customs and rituals remain integral to Mozambican culture, reflecting the country's rich history and heritage.

National Holidays: Independence Day on June 25th and Heroes' Day on February 3rd are celebrated as national holidays.

Religion: Predominantly, Mozambique practices Christianity, Islam, and indigenous African religions.

Name: The country got its name from an Arab sheikh who ruled over the northern part of the island when the Portuguese arrived in the area. The sheik’s name was supposedly Mussa bin biki, Ali Musa Mbiki, or Musa Al Big.

Quiz trivia: Mozambique is the only one-word country name to feature all 5 vowels.

Beaches: Mozambique has a long Indian Ocean coastline dotted with popular beaches like Tofo, as well as offshore marine parks. In the Quirimbas Archipelago, a 250km stretch of coral islands, mangrove-covered Ibo Island has colonial-era ruins surviving from a period of Portuguese rule. The Bazaruto Archipelago farther south has reefs which protect rare marine life including dugongs.

Tourism Potential: Mozambique's stunning beaches, historical sites, and natural beauty hold great potential for tourism development.

Lakes: Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa is spreads into three countries- Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. The lake is known as Lake Niassa in Mozambique and is famous for containing more species of fish than any other lake on the planet.

Coral reefs: The country is home to some of the world’s best coral reefs. There are over 1,200 species of fish that have been identified in the coastal waters of Mozambique.

Neighbours: Mozambique borders six countries:

• Tanzania

• Zambia

• Zimbabwe

• Malawi

• Eswatini (formerly called Swaziland)

• South Africa

Distances: Mozambique is an 11 hours flight from Dubai and 14 hours flight from London/UK, 16 hours flight from New York/USA. 

Size: Mozambique is roughly twice as big as the state of California/ USA. Mozambique is more than twice the size of Germany or more than three times the size of the UK and slightly smaller than Pakistan.

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