Mozambique Geography and Population

Mozambique – Geography

Mozambique – Geography, The country extends nearly 2000 km from north to south; naturally it can be divided into three regions, separated by the two major rivers Zambezi and Save. Common to the regions is a wide coastal plain, which only slowly crosses into the highlands to the west, highest in the northern part. The capital Maputo, with its economic and political center of gravity, lies furthest to the south. Large parts of the northern provinces have little connection to the capital and to each other.


The whole country lies in the tropical belt and the natural vegetation is savanna. There is often a high pressure over southern Africa, thus preventing damp winds from the Indian Ocean from reaching overland. This means that the rainfall varies greatly from year to year and partly that the annual rainfall is greatest in the northern regions, where the highlands get up to 1800-2200 mm, while Maputo only gets on average. 750 mm. At intervals the country is affected by actual drought, including in 1992, and some years floods occur when large amounts of rainfall cause rivers to cross their banks.


Mozambique has significant natural resources in the form of agricultural land, forests, minerals and fishy coastal waters, but all forms of exploitation are severely hampered by the very limited infrastructure. The country has only a few railways and roads, and based on its history they are predominantly oriented towards neighboring countries; Thus, the Nacala corridor is connected to Malawi, and the Beira corridor to Zimbabwe, while Maputo was expanded as a port city for South Africa’s gold mines in Witwatersrand. A further deterioration in transport conditions occurred during the protracted liberation struggle and the ensuing unrest during which roads, railways and mains were destroyed. However, a comprehensive reconstruction of the road network has been initiated. The work is supported by several foreigners, among others. Chinese and Swedish donors.

Agriculture. Large parts of the soil are formed by bedrockand is not particularly fertile. Cultivation is therefore concentrated to fertile deposits in the river valleys. approximately 4% of the area is under plow, roughly equivalent to Denmark’s agricultural area. In addition, many millions ha of grazing land of varying quality. The conditions in the countryside still bear the influence of Portuguese colonial policy until 1975. Here, the farmers ‘opportunities for market production were deliberately limited, as the colonial government focused on white settlers’ plantation use for export and production of food for the local market. In the river valleys sugar plantations were planted, on the drier coastal plains coconut and sisal plantations and in the rainy mountains to the north tea plantations. Settler farms with grain and fruit crops were located mainly south of the Save River. The only money crop of African peasants was cotton; In 1935, the forced cultivation of cotton was introduced, and during periods became 700.1/2 ha each. The cotton was exported to Portugal’s textile industry, which obtained cheap raw materials. One possibility of secondary income was the collection of cashews. Mozambique was and remains one of the main producers of this delicacy. For the self-sufficiency of the farmers, maize, cassava and peanuts, which are still the most important crops, were mainly grown.

By independence, most settlers left the country and food supply to the cities was greatly reduced. The majority of the private plantations were also closed. In addition, there was internal turmoil and extensive destabilization from Rhodesia and South Africa, and many peasants fled to the cities and neighboring countries. During the same period, the Marxist-oriented government sought to build collective and state farming according to Eastern European pattern, but with disastrous results. After the peace settlement in 1992, agriculture has resumed, but the industry is severely hampered by the broken infrastructure; even in the early 1990’s a large part of the grain supply had to be imported. In the early years of 2000-t. the export-oriented agricultural production, especially cotton and sugar, started.

Fishing and forestry. During the colonial period, fishing was of only local importance, and after independence, the development has been slow. The rich fishery resources are mainly exploited by foreign fishermen under license. Most important is shrimp fishing, which is mainly exported. Despite a slight decline, shrimp is still one of the country’s most important export goods. The forest resources are considerable, but are usually located in roadless areas and are used only sparingly.

Mining. This sector is also hampered by the lack of infrastructure, but is developing. The exploitation of coal and iron ore deposits began during the colonial period, but much was destroyed when the Portuguese left the country. The overall potential for mining is still unknown, but the first oil and natural gas fields have been found and the exploitation of a gas field has begun in the Inhambane region. The world’s largest occurrence of the rare metal tantalum used in the electronics industry has also been found.

Industry. By 1975, Mozambique had a fairly well-developed industry in Africa. It was mainly based on the processing of agricultural products and aimed at exports. cement manufacture for the local market and neighboring countries. The companies were mainly located in Maputo (then Lourenço Marques) and Beira with their transport corridors to the hinterland. After independence, big plans were made to expand the heavy industry, but much remained on the drawing board, and generally industrial production fell year by year until the mid-1990’s. During the crisis years, there was a great growth in informal, local small businesses in industry, crafts and service, the so-called informal sector. Liberals and the removal of import controls have meant that this sector has grown further after 1994. International support has meant that several large industrial projects could be implemented, including: the building of the Mozal aluminum smelter at Maputo. The projects utilize the country’s own resources and the advantageous location between the sea and the resource-rich hinterland. The value of exports in 2003 amounted to DKK 911 million. dollars; Of these, aluminum from Mozal accounted for 62.5%.


The geographical distribution of the population reflects the importance of the river valleys, especially the Zambezi Valley, and of the transport corridors. The majority of the residents live here and generally in the coastal region. During the Civil War, there was great migration to the relative safety of cities. The ethnic composition is characterized by Bantu-immigration from the north and later immigration from the SV, prompted by the expansion of the Zulu kingdom. A majority now belong to various Bantu groups. The immigration of Portuguese people only really started in the 1950’s, when the Salazar regime in Portugal promoted emigration to reduce social problems at home. In 1974, the Portuguese population reached 150,000, corresponding to 4% of Mozambique’s residents. The vast majority traveled home immediately after independence. Especially in the 1970’s, many Mozambicans worked legally and illegally in South Africa and other neighboring countries, but with independence this traffic was severely restricted by South Africa, and the lost currency income was another contribution to Mozambique’s deep crisis during this period.

  • Countryaah: Do you know how many people there are in Mozambique? Check this site to see population pyramid and resident density about this country.

During the colonial period, several of the coastal cities were targets for white tourists in particular from South Africa and Rhodesia. With the reconstruction of roads and railways, Maputo, Beira and Nacala-Mozambique to the north are again becoming tourist destinations.

Mozambique – language

Mozambique – language, official language is Portuguese, which is only mother tongue for approximately 30,000 (1998). Among the country’s more than 30 bantu languages, makhuwa-makhuwana (about 2.5 million), makhuwa-metto (about 1.5 million), tsonga (about 1.5 million), lomwe (about 1, 3 million) and sena (about 1 million) the largest; none of them act as lingua franca. English is the most widely used foreign language. For culture and traditions of Mozambique, please check allunitconverters.

Mozambique – religion

Mozambique – religion, The traditional African religions are still strong, especially in the northern part of the country. Islam is with approximately 15% especially prevalent in the north, while Christianity, especially the Catholic Church, has followers in the south, also approximately 15% of the population. During the first years of independence, Frelimo pursued a strongly anti-religious policy.