Mozambique History

Mozambique History and Politics

The Republic of Mozambique is a country located in southeastern Africa, on the shores of the Indian Ocean. It is bordered to the north by Tanzania and Malawi, to the northwest by Zambia, to the west by Zimbabwe, to the southwest by Swaziland, to the south and southwest by South Africa, and to the east by the Indian Ocean. It was explored by Vasco da Gama in 1498 and colonized by Portugal in 1505. It acceded to independence in 1975, soon after becoming the People’s Republic of Mozambique. Maputo is the capital city of Mozambique according to allpubliclibraries.


The first residents of Mozambique were San hunters and gatherers, ancestors of the Khoikhoi peoples. Although not many hominid fossil remains have been found, it is reasonable to think that due to its location in the place where modern humans could have originated (from an evolutionary point of view), the current territory of Mozambique has been in existence for many thousands of years. populated.

Several archaeological finds allow the study of crucial events in Mozambique’s prehistory, such as the establishment of the Bantu peoples in the 3rd century BC. C., which introduced metallurgy between the 1st and 4th centuries during its third phase of expansion. In addition to their expertise in ironworking, the Bantu were good farmers, resulting in a population explosion and consequent expansion. The best known of its administrative organizations was the one-tier Empire.

In the late 10th century, groups of nyika emerged in central Mozambique. A settlement known as Mapungubwe, which included many nyikas, developed in the upper Limpopo River.

Arab and Asian explorers

In the 10th century, the explorer Al-Masudi described an important commercial activity in the Persian Gulf and in Bilad as Sofala.

For his part, the geographer Al Idrisi says that in the 12th century the current province of Sofala was an important source of iron, gold and furs, also pointing out that at that time China and India already had stable commercial relations with East Africa. Commercial activity in these towns dates back to at least the 9th century.

By the thirteenth century there were thirty to forty Swahili city-states on the East African coast. In Mozambique, its extreme southern extension was the town of Angoche. Many modern ports such as Isla de Mozambique, Ibo, and probably Inhambane, were built in former Swahili trading towns.

The Mozambique Channel is considered to have been the farthest (western) point visited in the 1420s by the explorer Zheng He.

European colonization

Vasco da Gama’s voyage around the Cape of Good Hope in 1498 marked Portugal’s entry into Indian Ocean commerce, politics, and society. Indeed, from 1500 the Portuguese trading posts became permanent ports on the new route to the east, so that in 1505 the decision was made to occupy East Africa. Furthermore, in 1507 a permanent settlement was founded on the island of Mozambique, achieving around 1530 the objective of having the area under Portuguese control. Vasco da Gama’s first voyage, which defined the history of East Africa in the 15th century. Catholic temple on the island of Mozambique, inherited from the Portuguese colonization.

Controlled the port of Sofala at the beginning of the 16th century, groups of Portuguese merchants and gambusinos entered in search of gold, organizing garrisons and trading posts in Vila de Sena and Tete on the Zambezi river, seeking to establish a monopoly.

During that period, the greatest threat to Portuguese hegemony was posed by the Turks, who between 1538 and 1553 launched several attacks from the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. These advances, however, could not prosper due to the difficulties of supplying wood to build ships, and due to the Portuguese defensive efforts, which had the consequence of weakening their naval power to open a gap used by the British and Dutch to extend towards East. For their part, the French only began their explorations at the beginning of the seventeenth century, founding their French East India Company in 1664.. In their eagerness to preserve their commercial monopoly and their strategic interests in the area, the Portuguese did not hesitate to spread all kinds of fears to create an atmosphere of extreme hostility towards other Europeans.

Peace was signed with the English (in 1635) and the Dutch (in 1640), prompted among others by the three Dutch defeats in the 1600s, in their attempts to establish themselves in the area, as well as by the navigation difficulties it presents. the Mozambique Channel.


Mozambique is a presidential republic, whose political party with a parliamentary majority composes and organizes the government. Elections are held every five years.

Frelimo was the movement that fought for national liberation since the beginning of the sixties. After independence, on June 25, 1975, the former guerrilla group came to control power. In 1978 it became a Marxist-Leninist political party and its leader, Samora Machel, held the presidency of the country in a one-party regime. He held the position from the country’s independence until his death in 1986. Since then his successor Joaquim Chissano ruled until 2005.

Mozambique suffered a fifteen-year civil war, between 1977 and 1992, which was resolved with the peace agreement signed by then-president Joaquim Chissano, and Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo).

In 1990 a new constitution was approved that transformed the state into a multiparty republic. Frelimo remains in power to this day, having won the multi-party elections held in 1994, 1999 and 2004 three times. Renamo is the main opposition party.

Mozambique History