Mozambique today: Major issues and challenges

MArmando Guebuzaozambique or the republic of Mozambique is a Portuguese-speaking country located at the Southeastern part of Africa bordering the republic of Zimbabwe to the west, the republics of Zambia and Malawi to the Northwest and the republics of South Africa and Swaziland to the southwest. Mozambique also borders the Indian Ocean at the east.

Mozambique or the republic of Mozambique has a total land area of about 799,380 squared kilometers and a population of about 23 million people with the population growth rate around 2.4%

Unlike South Africa its neighboring country, Mozambique is predominantly African with ethnic groups such as the Makhuwa, the Tsonga, the Lomwe, the Sena, etc. making up about 99.7% of the total population. Europeans, Euro-Africans and Indians make up the remaining 0.3% of the total population.

About 38% of the total population of Mozambique live in urban areas in cities such as Maputo (the capital town of Mozambique with a population of about 1.6 million people), Matola (another major city with a population of about 800,000 people). Mozambique has an annual urbanization rate of about 4%.

Mozambique just like its neighboring countries is a naturally rich country blessed with abundance of natural resources such titanium, natural gas, coal, hydropower, tantalum, graphite, etc.

Despite the abundance of natural resources and the beauty of Mozambique however, Mozambique is one of the poorest countries on earth according to the new UNDP Human Development multidimensional Poverty Index. About 81% of the total population of Mozambique is into agriculture meanwhile agriculture makes up just around 29% of the total GDP. The reason is that, most of the 81% are poor subsistence farmers who grow crops and rear animals just to feed themselves and their families. These poor families mostly live in rural areas most untouched by modern technology.

The official unemployment rate in Mozambique today is around 21% meanwhile about 70% of the total population lives below poverty line according to the new poverty index. The reason once again is that, majority of poor farmers who make up the 81% of the total population live below poverty line.

The literacy rate (total population: 47.8%, Female: 32.2%) in Mozambique today is among the worst on the continent. The poor girl-child education in Mozambique is another major reason for the high level of teenage pregnancy cases in Mozambique today. It is also another reason for the high HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate in Mozambique today. In 2009, about 1.4 million people were living with HIV/AIDS in Mozambique with about 74,000 deaths recorded in the same year.

Water and food borne diseases such as schistosomiasis, protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, yellow fever, vectorborne diseases such as Malaria and animal contact diseases such as rabies are very common in this part of Africa.

Just like in most other African countries, corruption and poor governance continues to tear Mozambique into pieces.