In Mozambique, the population is growing rapidly to a current (2017) 29,669,000 residents. According to directoryaah, most of the residents belong to the Bantu peoples native to southern Africa, whose languages are also established alongside the official Portuguese language. In addition, Indians, Pakistani, Chinese, Europeans (especially Portuguese) and South Africans live in the country. A not insignificant number of (foreign) Mozambicans also live in neighboring South Africa, in Zimbabwe and in Portugal. The repatriation of almost 7 million refugees from the civil war to their hometowns poses major challenges for the country.
Over 50% of the population belong to the Christian faith, of which almost 30% belong to the Roman Catholic Church. Muslims are represented with around 18% of the population. The remaining part of the population belongs to traditional religions or no religions or their affiliation is not recorded.
Politics and Economy in Mozambique
The country’s new constitution after the civil war was drawn up in 1990 after the incumbent Frelimo government officially distanced itself from Marxism the previous year. It guarantees free elections in a multi-party system and a free market economy. Although the still ruling Frelimo party is using every opportunity to exert influence, the elections that have taken place so far are described as fair under international observation. So far, however, none of the subordinate parties has managed to achieve even respectable successes in the elections, so that parliament is almost exclusively occupied by supporters of the ruling Frelimo and Renamo parties as the only opponents of the opposition.
The main state organs are the Parliament (the Assembly of the Republic of Mozambique), the President, who is elected for five years, and the two councils, that of the State of Mozambique and that of National Defense and Security.
The state administration is divided into eleven provinces.
The legal system is based on Portuguese law. The courts in Mozambique are understaffed and inefficient, the judges, some of whom are presidential-appointed, are insufficiently trained and have a reputation for being influenced by the ruling party. The conditions of detention are extremely harsh.
In 2009 serious human rights violations were reported in Mozambique. In addition, there are social problems such as domestic violence, discrimination against women, abuse, exploitation, forced labor of children and discrimination against sexual minorities. Freedom of the press and the media is restricted and hindered. Nonetheless, Mozambique maintains good foreign policy relations with the states of the European Union and the United States of America.
At the beginning of the 1990s, Mozambique was still one of the poorest countries in the world. Since then, the global interest in Mozambique’s mineral resources, in particular the raw material deposits of hard coal, gold, diamonds, industrial minerals and rare earths, has set in steady economic growth of up to 3% annually (2017).
According to ebizdir, Mozambique’s economy is largely based on agriculture and the majority of the population still lives in modest circumstances.
Due to the raw material deposits, its convenient location on the Indian Ocean and the growing economy, Mozambique is increasingly becoming the destination of large international, especially Chinese and Indian companies.
Mozambique transport network
Of the almost 31,100 km road network in Mozambique, only the national roads that are important for long-distance traffic are asphalted over a length of approx. 7,365 km. The other slopes are in poor condition and sometimes not passable during the rainy season. The national road EN4 to South Africa is toll from the border area to Maputo. There is left-hand traffic in Mozambique. In Mozambique there are enough buses for the overland connections. However, the bus routes do not operate according to fixed timetables, so longer waiting times have to be accepted.
Rail traffic in Mozambique takes place on several and unconnected rail networks with a total length of almost 4800 km, both under state and private control. The track side is the cape track common in southern Africa. Rail traffic is mainly used to transport goods, passenger trains only run at greater distances between the most important cities and ports.
International airports are located in Maputo, Beira, Pemba and Nampula, etc.
Culture and sights in Mozambique
Due to the decades of civil war, tourism in Mozambique is still relatively underdeveloped. This also has an impact on the former tourist destinations, many of which have either been destroyed or not yet rebuilt. Although tourism represents a poorly developed economic potential for Mozambique, even decades after the armed conflict, other and in particular social and economic problems are urging solutions.
Efforts are being made to restore and redesignate nature reserves that are absolutely worth seeing. The island of Ilha de Moçambique, located off the coast of Nampula, with the former capital of Portuguese East Africa still has a number of buildings in the style of colonial architecture that is worth seeing and is recognized as a Unesco World Heritage Site due to its cultural diversity.
Mozambique’s cultural wealth emerged from the centuries-long juxtaposition of traditional African and Portuguese-European culture, which is now developing anew years after the civil war. The government supports this process by sponsoring regional cultural festivals. Maputo with its pulsating cultural scene has meanwhile acquired the reputation of the cultural insider tip “Little Havana”. The Teatro Avenida is known for its excellent performances beyond the borders of Mozambique. The Associação Cultural Lhluvuka Arte, based in the north-west of Maputo, offers a forum for artists from different directions. Traditional dance and music styles are cultivated in Mozambique.