Mozambique is the 52nd most populous country and the 36th largest in the world, with a population of nearly 21 million people, and an area of 801,590 km². For comparative purposes, its population corresponds to half that of Colombia, and its total area to that of Turkey, or broad lines, twice that of Paraguay or California.
According to bridgat, the country is located on the East African coast, on the continent’s largest coastal plain (half of the country’s territory is at 230 meters above sea level). The mountain chain known as Inyanga is located in the west of the country. The highest mountain elevations are found near Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi. Mount Binga, in the province of Manica, with its 2,436 m altitude, is the 26th highest mountainous territory in Africa, and the highest point in all of Mozambique. Other relevant mountains are Gorongosa (with 1862 m, located in a 4,000 km² natural park in Sofala), Mount Domue (with 2,095 m in Tete), Mount Chiperone (with 2,052 m), and Mount Namuli (with 2,419 m in the western border region of Zambezia).
Due to the civil war, its flora and birdlife are little known, and it is also in a critical state of conservation due to logging and the uncontrolled extension of the agricultural frontier and grazing areas. Several ecoregions are included in the Global 200 list.
The Inhambane Coastal Mosaic Forest is an umbrophilous forest, which extends from the Lukuledi River, in southern Tanzania, to the Changane River, near the mouths of the Limpopo, thus occupying a large part of the national coastline in the Cape provinces. Delgado, Nampula and Zambezia, as well as a section of Inhambane. Nestled in this ecoregion are sections of mangrove swamp from East Africa, its largest area being in the delta of the Zambezi River, as well as brackish from the Zambezi, in the Changane Valley, in the southern provinces of Gaza and Inhambane.
The colonial economy was characterized by private monopolies, state planning, as well as the commercialization of basic products, in order to promote the accumulation of capital, the Portuguese settlements, and in general, their industries and commerce, excluding Africans from qualified and managerial jobs.
After independence, the Frelimo government nationalized the properties, and promoted the education and training of Africans. The economy was characterized by the fact that large-scale agricultural crops run by the state, and agrarian and communal cooperatives, replaced the plantations of the colonists and the Companies. But their results were poor, which combined with the abandonment of crops by their former owners and the instability of the civil war, led to the collapse of agricultural production, trade, and the distribution system. Seeking to rebuild the economy, the state followed the guidelines of the International Monetary Fund, which emphasized decentralization and privatization.
Remittances from Mozambican workers in South Africa, income from tourism, as well as from the port and rail sectors, have historically been important sources of foreign trade. Although these sectors were very depressed during the 1980s and early 1990s due to the armed confrontation, they became operational again after the 1992 agreements, seeing the industrial sector also relaunched, in particular the exploitation of resources, the processing of aluminum. and the production of electricity. At the beginning of the 21st century, the country had achieved some economic growth.
Mozambique’s economy, developing and highly indebted, was one of the main beneficiaries of the HIPC initiative (for highly indebted developing countries, with which it hopes to devote its resources to improving the conditions of the population, which in 70 % live below the poverty line, as well as reverse their commercial imbalance).
Almost 45% of Mozambique’s territory can be used for agriculture, since 80% of agricultural production is subsistence. Similarly, although about a fifth of the national labor force is devoted to agriculture, this sector only represents 20% of the national gross domestic product. Most of the agricultural production is due to small family farms, which produce the two main crops of corn, cassava, beans, rice, vegetables, and vegetable oil from peanuts, sesame, and sunflower seeds.
Although agricultural production declined in most rural areas in the 1970s and 1980s, greater social and political stability and favorable climatic conditions helped improve in the 1990s. Production is highly vulnerable to droughts and floods. In 2000, for example, heavy flooding in the center and south caused serious problems.
Some products from the colonial era that have continued to be cultivated are sugar cane, tea, copra and sisal; Cotton, cashew, cassava, citrus fruits, potatoes, sunflowers, cattle, pigs, and more and more poultry have been added to the usual ones.
Traditional fishing in the Mozambique Channel.
The forests near the Beira railway in Zambezia have been exploited as a source of fuel and paper pulp. Deforestation (which has decreased without logging being sustainable) and the planting of eucalyptus trees are environmental concerns.
Mozambican waters are home to lobsters, tuna, mackerel, sardines and anchovies, but they are mostly known for their shrimp and shellfish, which are export products.
Fishing is an area of the economy immune to rural insecurity, so that since 1973 the production and marketing of seafood has been a stable market with products on the rise.