Mozambique

Mozambique

Facts & figures

  • Full name: The Republic of Mozambique
  • Population: 24.5 million (via UN, 2012)
  • Capital: Maputo
  • Area: 812,379 sq km (313,661 sq miles)
  • Major languages: Portuguese (official), several indigenous languages
  • Major religions: Christianity, indigenous beliefs, Islam
  • Life expectancy: 50 years (men), 52 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: 1 metical (plural meticais) = 100 centavos
  • Main exports: Seafood, cotton
  • GNI per capita: US $460 (World Bank, 2011)
  • Internet domain: .mz
  • International dialling code: +258

Map



 

Leader

 

Armando Guebuza, from the ruling Frelimo party, succeeded Mozambique's long-time leader Joaquim Chissano in February 2005.

He won another term in office in the October 2009 elections with a landslide majority.

Travel


Visa & travel advice

ALL APPLICANTS MUST SUBMIT THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENTS:

1. Passport valid for at least 6 (six) months, with a minimum of 3 (three) blank pages;

  1. Visa Request Form Completed and SIGNED. The application form can be downloadable from this website or obtainable at the Consular Section;

Note: Please include a contact number or an e-mail address.

  • Best period:

The best time to visit Mozambique is between May and October, when it’s pleasantly sunny and dry and temperatures average 66 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celcius.) The country’s rainy season generally lasts from October to April, with temperatures jumping up to the 80s (20s.) Overall, the southern part of the country is cooler and drier than the north.

  • Safety:

Owing to poor road conditions and frequent incidences of vehicle hijacking, tourists should not travel by land after dark. Residual land mines left over from the country’s civil war also remain, so travellers are advised to stick to main roads.

Always be aware of your surroundings. Important items like passports and excess cash should be kept in a safe place.

History

Almost five centuries as a Portuguese colony came to a close with independence in 1975. Large-scale emigration by whites, economic dependence on South Africa, a severe drought, and a prolonged civil war hindered the country's development. The ruling party formally abandoned Marxism in 1989, and a new constitution the following year provided for multiparty elections and a free market economy. A UN-negotiated peace agreement with rebel forces ended the fighting in 1992. Heavy flooding in both 1999 and 2000 severely hurt the economy. Political stability and sound economic policies have encouraged recent foreign investment.

Arts & Culture

 

  • Music:

The native folk music of Mozambique has been highly influenced by Portuguese forms. The most popular style of modern dance music is marrabenta. Mozambican music also influenced another Lusophone music in Brazil, like maxixe (its name derived from Maxixe in Mozambique), and Cuban music like Mozambique.

Culture was an integral part of the struggle for independence, which began in 1964. Leaders of the independence movement used cultural solidarity to gain support from the common people, while the Portuguese colonialists promoted their own culture. By the time independence came in 1975, Mozambican bands had abandoned their previous attempts at European-style music, and began forging new forms based out of local folk styles and the new African popular music coming from Zaire, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa.

In 1978, the Ministry of Education and Culture organized a National Dance Festival that involved more than half a million people, and led to the creation of numerous organizations and festivals promoting Mozambican music.

 

  • Literature:

Periodisation and classification: in his chapter on Mozambican literature in the book The Post-Colonial Literature of Lusophone Africa (Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press, 1996), Patrick Chabal argues that there are four strands to contemporary Mozambican literature in Portuguese. These are, he says, first assimilado culture, that is the literature of black and mestiço Mozambicans, up to 1940 or so. The second strand is the writing of white colonial settlers; the third, the nationalist literature fostered especially by Frelimo in such publications as Poesia de Combate. Last of all is the literature of «moçambicanidade», contemporary work by Mozambicans who are self-consciously seeking a national literary identity

 

 

  • Film industry:

Mozambique was one fo the last Lusophone countries in Africa to become independent of motherland Portugal in 1975. The fist government after 1975 was of a socialist signature. The first cultural act of the nascent Mozambique Government after independence in 1975 was to create the National Institute of Cinema (INC). The new president Samora Machel had a strong awareness of the power of the image, and understood he needed to use this power to build a socialist nation. INC's goal was to film the people, and to deliver these images back to the people. 

One of the founders of the INC,Ruy Guerra, directed Mueda, Memoria E Massacre (Death, Memory And Massacre) (1979) which is the first Mozambique feature film Before the escalation of the now ended war, in the middle of the 80s Mozambique had one of the more exciting and promising developing film industries in Southern Africa. The National Film Institute (INC) created a strong base with the training of production professionals. It became the biggest producer with the weekly newsreel "Kuxa Kanemo", documentaries and some features. The government stopped film financing in 1986 and many film practitioners became jobless. 

Private production companies came up after the new 1990 constitution that allowed press freedom. Although the companies are very young, their crews are often of an older age and very experienced. Ebano Multimedia was the first to start in 1991, and now there are as many as 6 independent production houses. Not quite a big industry, but the productions breathe international quality. Most companies sustain themselves by making a mix of productions from corporate videos for international development agencies to own projects.

 

 

  • Famous places:

 

Garden of Memory monument, Mozambique

 

The coast of Mozambique

 

  • Architecture history:

All the main cities are located on the coast. Maputo was constructed on a European model and has wide streets, public gardens, and paved sidewalks inlaid with mosaic tiles. The city has two parts: the older residential area on a cliff overlooking the harbor and the newer industrial area below, where the factories, port facilities, and most office buildings are located. In the 1950s, the Portuguese architect Amancio d'Alpoim Guedes designed many of the city's office and apartment buildings, which combine shapes and symbols from traditional African art with a modern sensibility.

 

 

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