armando guebuzaThe Republic of Mozambique or ‘Mozambique’ for short is a beautiful country located at the South-eastern part of Africa bordering the Republic of Zimbabwe to the west, the Republics of Zambia and Malawi to the Northwest and the People’s Republic of South Africa and Swaziland to the southwest. Mozambique also borders the Indian Ocean to the east.

The Republic of Mozambique has a total land area of about 799,380sqkm about 13,000sqkm of which is covered by water. Just about 6.5% of the total land area of Mozambique remains arable (land good for farming). Mozambique has a total population of about 27 million people with the population growth rate around 2.5%. Mozambique is mostly rural with about 62% of the population living in rural areas. Those living in rural areas are mostly subsistence farmers who grow crops and rear animals just to feed themselves and their families.

The remaining 38% of the total population of Mozambique lives in urban areas in major cities and towns such as Maputo (the capital of Mozambique. Maputo contains about 2 million people), Matola (another major city with a population of about 1.2 million people). Mozambique’s annual urbanization rate hovers around 4%.

 Mozambique is predominantly black African with the major ethnic groups Makhuwa, Tsonga,  Lomwe,  Sena, etc. making up about 99.7% of the total population. Europeans, Euro-Africans and Indians make up the remaining 0.3% of the population.

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

However, despite the abundance of ‘fertile’ land and natural resources, Mozambique remains one of the poorest countries in Africa today with at least 65% of its population living below poverty line. A recent UNDP Human Development multidimensional Poverty Index developed by Oxford University put this number around 70% of the total population. The multidimensional poverty index viewed poverty from several different angles rather than just the usual GDP figures.  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.

Although, the “official” unemployment rate in Mozambique today hovers around 21%, about 65% of the total population lives below poverty line which implies the employed are either inadequately employed or underemployed.

Mozambique has a literacy rate of about 47.8% for the entire population. This implies, only about 47.8% of the total population above age 15 can read and write. The female literacy rate hovers around 32.2% which implies just about 32.2% of the total population of females above the age 15 can read and write in Mozambique today. This is one of the worst literacy rates in Africa today. The poor literacy rate in Mozambique today is a major contributing factor to the high level of teenage pregnancy cases and the very high HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate in Mozambique today. Mozambique has an HIV/AIDS adult prevalence rate of 11.1% which is one of the worst in the world today. In 2009, about 1.4 million people were living with HIV/AIDS in Mozambique with about 74,000 deaths recorded within the same year. Water and food borne diseases such as schistosomiasis, protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, yellow fever, vector-borne diseases such as the deadly Malaria and animal contact diseases such as rabies, etc. continue to destroy several lives in Mozambique today. 

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