Photos of Mozambique

The location, widespread nature, and number of fires (outlined in red) in this satellite image suggest that these blazes were deliberately set to manage land. Farmers often use fire to return nutrients to the soil and to clear the ground of unwanted plants. While fire helps enhance crops and grasses for pasture, the fires also produce smoke that degrades air quality. In Mozambique and Madagascar, the growing season runs from the first rains in October-November. Thus, the clearing of lands in this early September image heralds the new growing season. Much of the once-green isle of Madagascar has been deforested via a combination of slash and burn agriculture for rice cultivation and doro-tanetry, a less intensive burning used to augment grass growth for cattle grazing. The fires mostly burn in grass or cropland, which is tan in this image. Photo courtesy of NASA.



In the first half of the second millennium A.D., northern Mozambican port towns were frequented by traders from Somalia, Ethiopia, Egypt, Arabia, Persia, and India. The Portuguese were able to wrest much of the coastal trade from Arab Muslims in the centuries after 1500 and to set up their own colonies. Portugal did not relinquish Mozambique until 1975. Large-scale emigration, economic dependence on South Africa, a severe drought, and a prolonged civil war hindered the country's development until the mid-1990s. The ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) 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 between FRELIMO and rebel Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) forces ended the fighting in 1992. In 2004, Mozambique underwent a delicate transition as Joaquim CHISSANO stepped down after 18 years in office. His elected successor, Armando GUEBUZA, served two terms and then passed executive power to Filipe NYUSI in 2015. RENAMO’s residual armed forces intermittently engaged in a low-level insurgency after 2012, but a late December 2016 ceasefire eventually led to the two sides signing a comprehensive peace deal in August 2019. Elections in October 2019, challenged by Western observers and civil society as being problematic, resulted in resounding wins for NYUSI and FRELIMO across the country. Since October 2017, violent extremists - who an official ISIS media outlet recognized as ISIS's network in Mozambique for the first time in June 2019 - have been conducting attacks against civilians and security services in the northern province of Cabo Delgado.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.



Southeastern Africa, bordering the Mozambique Channel, between South Africa and Tanzania

Geographic coordinates

18 15 S, 35 00 E


total: 799,380 sq km

land: 786,380 sq km

water: 13,000 sq km

country comparison to the world: 36

Area - comparative

slightly more than five times the size of Georgia; slightly less than twice the size of California

Area comparison map.

Land boundaries

total: 4,783 km

border countries (6): Malawi 1498 km, South Africa 496 km, Eswatini 108 km, Tanzania 840 km, Zambia 439 km, Zimbabwe 1402 km


2,470 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm


tropical to subtropical


mostly coastal lowlands, uplands in center, high plateaus in northwest, mountains in west


highest point: Monte Binga 2,436 m

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m

mean elevation: 345 m

Natural resources

coal, titanium, natural gas, hydropower, tantalum, graphite

Land use

agricultural land: 56.3% (2018 est.)

arable land: 6.4% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 49.6% (2018 est.)

forest: 43.7% (2018 est.)

other: 0% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

1,180 sq km (2012)

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Indian Ocean drainage: Zambezi (1,332,412 sq km)

Population distribution

three large populations clusters are found along the southern coast between Maputo and Inhambane, in the central area between Beira and Chimoio along the Zambezi River, and in and around the northern cities of Nampula, Cidade de Nacala, and Pemba; the northwest and southwest are the least populated areas as shown in this population distribution map

Natural hazards

severe droughts; devastating cyclones and floods in central and southern provinces

Geography - note

the Zambezi River flows through the north-central and most fertile part of the country

People and Society


30,888,034 (July 2021 est.)

note: estimates for this country explicitly take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected

country comparison to the world: 46


noun: Mozambican(s)

adjective: Mozambican

Ethnic groups

African 99% (Makhuwa, Tsonga, Lomwe, Sena, and others), Mestizo 0.8%, other (includes European, Indian, Pakistani, Chinese) .2% (2017 est.)


Makhuwa 26.1%, Portuguese (official) 16.6%, Tsonga 8.6%, Nyanja 8.1, Sena 7.1%, Lomwe 7.1%, Chuwabo 4.7%, Ndau 3.8%, Tswa 3.8%, other Mozambican languages 11.8%, other 0.5%, unspecified 1.8% (2017 est.)


Roman Catholic 27.2%, Muslim 18.9%, Zionist Christian 15.6%, Evangelical/Pentecostal 15.3%, Anglican 1.7%, other 4.8%, none 13.9%, unspecified 2.5% (2017 est.)

Demographic profile

Mozambique is a poor, sparsely populated country with high fertility and mortality rates and a rapidly growing youthful population – 45% of the population is younger than 15. Mozambique’s high poverty rate is sustained by natural disasters, disease, high population growth, low agricultural productivity, and the unequal distribution of wealth. The country’s birth rate is among the world’s highest, averaging around more than 5 children per woman (and higher in rural areas) for at least the last three decades. The sustained high level of fertility reflects gender inequality, low contraceptive use, early marriages and childbearing, and a lack of education, particularly among women. The high population growth rate is somewhat restrained by the country’s high HIV/AIDS and overall mortality rates. Mozambique ranks among the worst in the world for HIV/AIDS prevalence, HIV/AIDS deaths, and life expectancy at birth.

Mozambique is predominantly a country of emigration, but internal, rural-urban migration has begun to grow. Mozambicans, primarily from the country’s southern region, have been migrating to South Africa for work for more than a century. Additionally, approximately 1.7 million Mozambicans fled to Malawi, South Africa, and other neighboring countries between 1979 and 1992 to escape from civil war. Labor migrants have usually been men from rural areas whose crops have failed or who are unemployed and have headed to South Africa to work as miners; multiple generations of the same family often become miners. Since the abolition of apartheid in South Africa in 1991, other job opportunities have opened to Mozambicans, including in the informal and manufacturing sectors, but mining remains their main source of employment.

Age structure

0-14 years: 45.57% (male 6,950,800/female 6,766,373)

15-24 years: 19.91% (male 2,997,529/female 2,994,927)

25-54 years: 28.28% (male 3,949,085/female 4,564,031)

55-64 years: 3.31% (male 485,454/female 509,430)

65 years and over: 2.93% (male 430,797/female 449,771) (2020 est.)

This is the population pyramid for Mozambique. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. <br/><br/>For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 88.4

youth dependency ratio: 83

elderly dependency ratio: 5.4

potential support ratio: 18.5 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 17 years

male: 16.3 years

female: 17.6 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 219

Birth rate

38.03 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 10

Death rate

10.59 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 26

Net migration rate

-1.62 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 160

Population distribution

three large populations clusters are found along the southern coast between Maputo and Inhambane, in the central area between Beira and Chimoio along the Zambezi River, and in and around the northern cities of Nampula, Cidade de Nacala, and Pemba; the northwest and southwest are the least populated areas as shown in this population distribution map


urban population: 37.6% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 4.24% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

1.748 million Matola, 1.122 million MAPUTO (capital), 887,000 Nampula (2021)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.87 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female

total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2020 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

19.2 years (2011 est.)

note: median age at first birth among women 20-49

Maternal mortality ratio

289 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 39

Infant mortality rate

total: 63.03 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 65.06 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 60.94 deaths/1,000 live births (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 10

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 56.49 years

male: 55.09 years

female: 57.94 years (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 224

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 93.2% of population

rural: 58.3% of population

total: 70.7% of population

unimproved: urban: 6.8% of population

rural: 41.7% of population

total: 29.3% of population (2017 est.)

Physicians density

0.08 physicians/1,000 population (2018)

Hospital bed density

0.7 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 61.8% of population (2015 est.)

rural: 18.8% of population

total: 34.1% of population

unimproved: urban: 38.2% of population

rural: 81.2% of population

total: 65.9% of population (2017 est.)

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies


definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 60.7%

male: 72.6%

female: 50.3% (2017)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 10 years

male: 11 years

female: 10 years (2017)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 7.4%

male: 7.7%

female: 7.1% (2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 152


Environment - current issues

increased migration of the population to urban and coastal areas with adverse environmental consequences; desertification; soil erosion; deforestation; water pollution caused by artisanal mining; pollution of surface and coastal waters; wildlife preservation (elephant poaching for ivory)

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 19.44 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 7.94 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 16.26 megatons (2020 est.)


tropical to subtropical

Land use

agricultural land: 56.3% (2018 est.)

arable land: 6.4% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 0.3% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 49.6% (2018 est.)

forest: 43.7% (2018 est.)

other: 0% (2018 est.)


urban population: 37.6% of total population (2021)

rate of urbanization: 4.24% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 4.17% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

Major infectious diseases

degree of risk: very high (2020)

food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever

vectorborne diseases: malaria and dengue fever

water contact diseases: schistosomiasis

animal contact diseases: rabies

Food insecurity

severe localized food insecurity:

due to economic downturn, localized shortfalls in staple food production, and insecurity in northern areas - an estimated 1.65 million people require humanitarian assistance at least up until September 2021; populations in Cabo Delgado are experiencing the severest levels of acute food insecurity, where an estimated 227,000 people are facing "Emergency" levels of food insecurity, reflecting the effects of the conflict on livelihoods and rainfall deficits that caused a drop in cereal production in 2021


Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 2.5 million tons (2014 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 25,000 tons (2014 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 1% (2014 est.)

Major watersheds (area sq km)

Indian Ocean drainage: Zambezi (1,332,412 sq km)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 372 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 25 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 1.076 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

217.1 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Mozambique

conventional short form: Mozambique

local long form: Republica de Mocambique

local short form: Mocambique

former: Portuguese East Africa, People's Republic of Mozambique

etymology: named for the offshore island of Mozambique; the island was apparently named after Mussa al-BIK, an influential Arab slave trader who set himself up as sultan on the island in the 15th century

Government type

presidential republic


name: Maputo

geographic coordinates: 25 57 S, 32 35 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

etymology: reputedly named after the Maputo River, which drains into Maputo Bay south of the city

Administrative divisions

10 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia), 1 city (cidade)*; Cabo Delgado, Gaza, Inhambane, Manica, Maputo, Cidade de Maputo*, Nampula, Niassa, Sofala, Tete, Zambezia


25 June 1975 (from Portugal)

National holiday

Independence Day, 25 June (1975)


history: previous 1975, 1990; latest adopted 16 November 2004, effective 21 December 2004

amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or supported by at least one third of the Assembly of the Republic membership; passage of amendments affecting constitutional provisions, including the independence and sovereignty of the state, the republican form of government, basic rights and freedoms, and universal suffrage, requires at least a two-thirds majority vote by the Assembly and approval in a referendum; referenda not required for passage of other amendments; amended 2007, 2018

Legal system

mixed legal system of Portuguese civil law and customary law; note - in rural, apply where applicable predominantly Muslim villages with no formal legal system, Islamic law may be applied

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt


citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Mozambique

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Filipe Jacinto NYUSI (since 15 January 2015, re-elected 15 Oct 2019); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Filipe Jacinto NYUSI (since 15 January 2015); Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho DO ROSARIO (since 17 January 2015; reconfirmed DO ROSARIO 17 January 2020)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president elected directly by absolute majority popular vote (in 2 rounds, if needed) for a 5-year term (eligible for 2 consecutive terms); election last held on 15 October 2019 (next to be held on 15 October 2024); prime minister appointed by the president (2019)

election results: Filipe NYUSI elected president in first round; percent of vote - Filipe NYUSI (FRELIMO) 73.0%, Ossufo MOMADE (RENAMO) 21.9%, Daviz SIMANGO (MDM) 5.1% (2019)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Assembly of the Republic or Assembleia da Republica (250 seats; 248 members elected in multi-seat constituencies by party-list proportional representation vote and 2 single members representing Mozambicans abroad directly elected by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms) (2019)

elections: last held on 15 October 2019 (next to be held on 15 October 2024) (2019)

election results: percent of vote by party - FRELIMO 71%, RENAMO 23%, MDM 4%; seats by party - FRELIMO 184, RENAMO 60, MDM 6; composition - men 151, women 99, percent of women 39.6% (2019)

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Court (consists of the court president, vice president, and 5 judges); Constitutional Council (consists of 7 judges); note - the Higher Council of the Judiciary Magistracy is responsible for judiciary management and discipline

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court president appointed by the president of the republic; vice president appointed by the president in consultation with the Higher Council of the Judiciary (CSMJ) and ratified by the Assembly of the Republic; other judges elected by the Assembly; judges serve 5-year renewable terms; Constitutional Council judges appointed - 1 by the president, 5 by the Assembly, and 1 by the CSMJ; judges serve 5-year nonrenewable terms

subordinate courts: Administrative Court (capital city only); provincial courts or Tribunais Judicias de Provincia; District Courts or Tribunais Judicias de Districto; customs courts; maritime courts; courts marshal; labor courts; community courts

Political parties and leaders

Democratic Movement of Mozambique (Movimento Democratico de Mocambique) or MDM [Daviz SIMANGO]
Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frente de Liberatacao de Mocambique) or FRELIMO [Filipe NYUSI]
Mozambican National Resistance (Resistencia Nacional Mocambicana) or RENAMO [Ossufo MOMADE]
Optimistic Party for the Development of Mozambique or Podemos [Helder Mendonca]

International organization participation


Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Carlos DOS SANTOS (since 28 January 2016)

chancery: 1525 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036

telephone: [1] (202) 293-7147

FAX: [1] (202) 835-0245

email address and website:

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Dennis Walter HEARNE (since 3 April 2019)

embassy: Avenida Kenneth Kaunda, 193, Caixa Postal, 783, Maputo

mailing address: 2330 Maputo Place, Washington DC  20521-2330

telephone: [258] (21) 49-27-97

FAX: [258] (21) 49-01-14

email address and website:

Flag description

three equal horizontal bands of green (top), black, and yellow with a red isosceles triangle based on the hoist side; the black band is edged in white; centered in the triangle is a yellow five-pointed star bearing a crossed rifle and hoe in black superimposed on an open white book; green represents the riches of the land, white peace, black the African continent, yellow the country's minerals, and red the struggle for independence; the rifle symbolizes defense and vigilance, the hoe refers to the country's agriculture, the open book stresses the importance of education, and the star represents Marxism and internationalism

note: one of only two national flags featuring a firearm, the other is Guatemala

National symbol(s)

national colors: green, black, yellow, white, red

National anthem

name: "Patria Amada" (Lovely Fatherland)

lyrics/music: Salomao J. MANHICA/unknown

note: adopted 2002


Economic overview

At independence in 1975, Mozambique was one of the world's poorest countries. Socialist policies, economic mismanagement, and a brutal civil war from 1977 to 1992 further impoverished the country. In 1987, the government embarked on a series of macroeconomic reforms designed to stabilize the economy. These steps, combined with donor assistance and with political stability since the multi-party elections in 1994, propelled the country’s GDP, in purchasing power parity terms, from $4 billion in 1993 to about $37 billion in 2017. Fiscal reforms, including the introduction of a value-added tax and reform of the customs service, have improved the government's revenue collection abilities. In spite of these gains, about half the population remains below the poverty line and subsistence agriculture continues to employ the vast majority of the country's work force.

Mozambique's once substantial foreign debt was reduced through forgiveness and rescheduling under the IMF's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Enhanced HIPC initiatives. However, in 2016, information surfaced revealing that the Mozambican Government was responsible for over $2 billion in government-backed loans secured between 2012-14 by state-owned defense and security companies without parliamentary approval or national budget inclusion; this prompted the IMF and international donors to halt direct budget support to the Government of Mozambique. An international audit was performed on Mozambique’s debt in 2016-17, but debt restructuring and resumption of donor support have yet to occur.

Mozambique grew at an average annual rate of 6%-8% in the decade leading up to 2015, one of Africa's strongest performances, but the sizable external debt burden, donor withdrawal, elevated inflation, and currency depreciation contributed to slower growth in 2016-17.

Two major International consortiums, led by American companies ExxonMobil and Anadarko, are seeking approval to develop massive natural gas deposits off the coast of Cabo Delgado province, in what has the potential to become the largest infrastructure project in Africa. . The government predicts sales of liquefied natural gas from these projects could generate several billion dollars in revenues annually sometime after 2022.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$38.42 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$38.91 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$38.04 billion note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 122

Real GDP growth rate

3.11% (2018 est.)

3.7% (2017 est.)

4.07% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 94

Real GDP per capita

$1,200 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2020 est.)

$1,300 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2019 est.)

$1,300 note: data are in 2017 dollars (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 224

GDP (official exchange rate)

$14.964 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

2.7% (2019 est.)

3.9% (2018 est.)

15.4% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 137

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: CCC (2019)

Moody's rating: Caa2 (2019)

Standard & Poors rating: CCC+ (2019)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 23.9% (2017 est.)

industry: 19.3% (2017 est.)

services: 56.8% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 69.7% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 27.2% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 21.7% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 13.9% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 38.3% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -70.6% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

sugar cane, cassava, maize, milk, bananas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, sorghum, potatoes


aluminum, petroleum products, chemicals (fertilizer, soap, paints), textiles, cement, glass, asbestos, tobacco, food, beverages

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 74.4%

industry: 3.9%

services: 21.7% (2015 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.9%

highest 10%: 36.7% (2008)


revenues: 3.356 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 4.054 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

102.1% of GDP (2017 est.)

121.6% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 15

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$3.025 billion (2019 est.)

-$4.499 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 172


$4.35 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2020 est.)

$5.6 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2019 est.)

$5.97 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 130

Exports - partners

South Africa 16%, India 13%, China 12%, Italy 7%, United Arab Emirates 5%, Germany 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

coal, aluminum, natural gas, tobacco, electricity, gold, lumber (2019)


$8.38 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2020 est.)

$9.57 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2019 est.)

$10.52 billion note: data are in current year dollars (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 116

Imports - partners

South Africa 31%, India 18%, China 17% (2019)

Imports - commodities

refined petroleum, chromium, iron, bauxite, electricity (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$3.361 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$2.081 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 106

Debt - external

$10.91 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$10.48 billion (31 December 2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 112

Exchange rates

meticais (MZM) per US dollar -

74.12 (2020 est.)

63.885 (2019 est.)

61.625 (2018 est.)

39.983 (2014 est.)

31.367 (2013 est.)


Electricity access

electrification - total population: 35% (2019)

electrification - urban areas: 57% (2019)

electrification - rural areas: 22% (2019)


Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 80,791

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 143

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 14,773,364

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 50.38 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 68

Telecommunication systems

general assessment:

one of the first countries in the region to reform telecom market and open it to competition; the mobile segment has shown strong growth; poor fixed-line infrastructure means most Internet access is through mobile accounts; DSL, cable broadband, 3G, and some fiber broadband available; LTE tests underway; roll out of national fiber backbone and upgrades to infrastructure; submarine cables reduced the cost of bandwidth; importer of broadcasting equipment from China (2021)


domestic: extremely low fixed-line teledensity contrasts with rapid growth in the mobile-cellular network; operators provide coverage that includes all the main cities and key roads; fixed-line less than 1 per 100 and 48 per 100 mobile-cellular teledensity (2019)

international: country code - 258; landing points for the EASSy and SEACOM/ Tata TGN-Eurasia fiber-optic submarine cable systems linking numerous east African countries, the Middle East and Asia ; satellite earth stations - 5 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 3 Indian Ocean); TdM contracts for Itelsat for satellite broadband and bulk haul services (2020)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

1 state-run TV station supplemented by private TV station; Portuguese state TV's African service, RTP Africa, and Brazilian-owned TV Miramar are available; state-run radio provides nearly 100% territorial coverage and broadcasts in multiple languages; a number of privately owned and community-operated stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available (2019)

Internet users

total: 2,855,670

percent of population: 10% (July 2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 100

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 69,975

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 131


National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 2 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 11

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 540,124 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 4.78 million mt-km (2018)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 21

over 3,047 m: 1

2,438 to 3,047 m: 2

1,524 to 2,437 m: 9

914 to 1,523 m: 5

under 914 m: 4 (2017)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 77

2,438 to 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 9

914 to 1,523 m: 29

under 914 m: 38 (2013)


972 km gas, 278 km refined products (2013)


total: 4,787 km (2014)

narrow gauge: 4,787 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)

country comparison to the world: 41


total: 31,083 km (2015)

paved: 7,365 km (2015)

unpaved: 23,718 km (2015)

country comparison to the world: 97


460 km (Zambezi River navigable to Tete and along Cahora Bassa Lake) (2010)

country comparison to the world: 85

Merchant marine

total: 29

by type: general cargo 9, other 20 (2020)

country comparison to the world: 136

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Beira, Maputo, Nacala

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Armed Defense Forces of Mozambique (Forcas Armadas de Defesa de Mocambique, FADM): Mozambique Army, Mozambique Navy (Marinha de Guerra de Mocambique, MGM), Mozambique Air Force (Forca Aerea de Mocambique, FAM)

Ministry of Interior: National Police (PRM), the National Criminal Investigation Service (SERNIC), Rapid Intervention Unit (UIR; police special forces), Border Security Force (2020)

note: the FADM and Ministry of Interior forces are referred to collectively as the Defense and Security Forces (DFS)

Military expenditures

1% of GDP (2020 est.)

0.9% of GDP (2019 est.)

1% of GDP (2018 est.)

1% of GDP (2017 est.)

1% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 127

Military and security service personnel strengths

information varies; approximately 11,000 personnel (10,000 Army; 200 Navy; 1,000 Air Force) (2020)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the FADM's inventory consists primarily of Soviet-era equipment, although since 2010 it has received limited quantities of more modern equipment from a variety of countries, mostly as aid/donations (2020)

Military service age and obligation

registration for military service is mandatory for all males and females at 18 years of age; 18-35 years of age for selective compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary service; 2-year service obligation; women may serve as officers or enlisted (2019)

Military - note

the Government of Mozambique is facing a growing insurgency driven by militants with ties to the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS-Mozambique, which was declared a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the US State Department in March 2021) in the northern province of Cabo Delgado, an area known for rich liquid natural gas deposits; insurgent attacks in the province began in 2017 and as of late 2021, the fighting had left an estimated 2,500 dead and approximately 700,000 displaced; the FADM is widely assessed as lacking the training, equipment, and overall capabilities to address the insurgency; as of late 2021, several countries from the Southern Africa Development Community and the European Union, as well as Rwanda and the US are providing various forms of military assistance


Terrorist group(s)

Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham - Mozambique (ISIS-M)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

South Africa has placed military units to assist police operations along the border of Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique to control smuggling, poaching, and illegal migration

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 10,515 (Democratic Republic of Congo) (refugees and asylum seekers), 8,948 (Burundi) (refugees and asylum seekers) (2021)

IDPs: 668,000 (violence between the government and an opposition group, violence associated with extremists groups in 2018, political violence 2019) (2021)

Illicit drugs

southern African transit point for South Asian hashish and heroin, and South American cocaine probably destined for the European and South African markets; producer of cannabis (for local consumption) and methaqualone (for export to South Africa); corruption and poor regulatory capability make the banking system vulnerable to money laundering, but the lack of a well-developed financial infrastructure limits the country's utility as a money-laundering center