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.Location: Southern Africa,
bordering the Mozambique Channel, between South Africa and Tanzania Climate: Tropical to
subtropical Borders: Malawi 1,569
km, South Africa 491 km, Swaziland 105 km, Tanzania 756 km, Zambia
419 km, Zimbabwe 1,231 km More... Mozambique
is located on the southeastern coast of Africa and is bordered
by Tanzania to the North, South Africa and Swaziland to the South,
Zimbabwe to the West and Zambia and Malawi to the northwest.
Mozambique is made up mainly of coastal lowlands, rising toward the west to
a plateau ranging from 500 to 2,000 ft above sea level and on the western border
to a higher plateau (6,000 to 8,000 ft), with mountains in the north reaching
a height of over 8,000 ft. The highest mountains are Namuli (7,936 ft), Binga
(7,992 ft) on the Zimbabwean border, and Serra Zuira (7,306 ft) in Sofala Province.
The most important rivers are the Zambezi flowing southeast across the centre
of Mozambique into the Indian Ocean, the Limpopo in the south, the Save in
the middle and the Lugfenda in the north. The most important lake is the navigable
Lake Niassa. In the river valleys and deltas, the soil is rich and fertile,
but southern and central Mozambique have poor and sandy soil, and parts of
the interior are dry.