Below is the BMS World Mission factfile for Mozambique:
|Area||801,590 sq km|
|Population||23,515,934 (est 2012)|
|Languages||Emakhuwa, Portuguese and other Mozambican languages|
|Religions||Catholic 28%. Protestant 28%. none 19%. Muslim 18%. other 7%.|
|Life expectancy||52.02 (est 2012)|
The land of smiles, Mozambique is a country of exceptional beauty and variety. Described as a country ‘ripe for rediscovery’, the nation is putting its divided past behind it and looking forward to a future of promise.
In the 20th century, growing resentment amongst the locals against the Portuguese colonisers led to calls for independence. A guerrilla warfare campaign began and by 1969 a fifth of the country was under the control of rebel leader, Eduardo Mondlande.
Peace was short-lived and civil war broke out between the government and the newly formed black independence movement, Renamo. For the next 16 years Renamo waged a terror campaign, crippling the country and claiming the lives of over a million people.
In 1990 the government renamed itself the Republic of Mozambique, abandoning its commitment to Marxism and implementing many of the changes demanded by Renamo.
Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world with around 50 per cent of the population living on less than 60 pence a day and a further 70 per cent of the population living in poverty.
More than a million of Mozambique’s 19 million people are HIV-positive. The virus has orphaned approximately half a million children.
Mozambique is situated on the south east coast of Africa beside the Indian Ocean. The coastal lowlands rise to the central uplands, to the northwest are high plateaus and to the west mountains. There are three types of vegetation: savannah, dense forest and open forest.
The country’s fertile land has the potential to produce enough food for its own people and for export. Amongst the main agricultural products are maize, sugar cane, tobacco, rice, tea and citrus fruits.
According to the 1997 census about 50 per cent of the population is Christian; ten per cent Muslim and five per cent animist. In 1982 religious freedom was established causing an increase in church membership. Today there are 130 Baptist churches in Mozambique with about 41,000 members.
- Click for the latest news headlines regarding Mozambique
- For further info from BMS on Mozambique click here
- See the Wikipedia entry for Mozambique
The following video provides an interesting summary of some of the challenges currently facing Mozambique: