Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mozambique

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Mozambique
AREA
799,380 sq km (308,641 sq miles).
POPULATION
15,740,000 (1997).
POPULATION DENSITY
19.7 per sq km.
CAPITAL
Maputo
CAPITAL POPULATION
966,000 (1997).
GEOGRAPHY
Mozambique borders Tanzania to the north, Zambia and Malawi to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and South Africa and Swaziland to the southwest. To the east lies the Indian Ocean and a coastline of nearly 2500km (1550 miles) with beaches bordered by lagoons, coral reefs and strings of islands. Behind the coastline a vast low plateau rising towards mountains in the west and north accounts for nearly half the area of Mozambique. The landscape of the plateau is savannah – more or less dry and open woodlands with tracts of short grass steppe. The western and northern highlands are patched with forest. The Zambezi is the largest and most important of the 25 main rivers which flow through Mozambique into the Indian Ocean. The major concentrations of population (comprising many different ethnic groups) are along the coast and in the fertile and relatively productive river valleys, notably in Zambezia and Gaza provinces. The Makua-Lomwe, who belong to the Central Bantu, live mainly in the area north of Zambezia, Nampula, Niassa and Cabo Delgado provinces. The Tsonga, who are the predominant race in the southern lowlands, provide a great deal of the labour for the South African mines. In the Inhambane coastal district are the Chopi and Tsonga, while in the central area are the Shona. The Makonde inhabit the far north. Mestizos and Asians live in the main populated area along the coast and in the more fertile river valleys.
GOVERNMENT
Republic since 1990. Gained independence from Portugal in 1975. Head of State: President JoaquĆ­m Alberto Chissano since 1986. Head of Government: Prime Minister Pascoal Manuel Mocumbi since 1994.
LANGUAGE
Portuguese is the official language. Many local African languages, such as Tsonga, Sena Nyanja, Makonde and Macua, are also spoken.
RELIGION
Christian (mainly Roman Catholic), Muslim and Hindu. Many also follow traditional beliefs.
STANDARD TIME
GMT + 2.
ELECTRICITY
240 volts AC, 50Hz.

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