Despite a 16-year civil war and two devastating floods, Mozambique’s economy is rapidly expanding; attaining equitable growth and improving social development will be a challenge in the coming decade.1


  • The terrain transitions from coastal lowlands in the east to high plains and mountains in the west.
  • The climate is predominately tropical and influenced by the Indian Ocean monsoon rains.
  • From open forest to brush and savanna, the country is host to diverse plant and animal species.
  • Habitat loss, overfishing and pollution are threats.2


  • Four-fifths of the working population depend on agriculture, which contributes to one quarter of GDP.3
  • Nearly half of the land is fertile but mostly unproductive.4
  • In addition to maize and cassava, the two staple crops, farmers grow groundnut, beans, rice and vegetables.
  • Small-scale fishing is a significant source of food and income for thousands of Mozambicans.5


  • The country has 104 river basins, which drain into the Indian Ocean.6
  • The Zambezi River flows 509 miles through Mozambique to the ocean, draining 87,000 sq. miles of the central region.7
  • Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi) and Lake Chirua (Lake Chilwa) are both shared with Malawi.
    Potential to expand groundwater use is high.8


  • The country is expected to become one of the world’s largest producers of coal and natural gas.9
  • Foreign investors are also interested in its oil reserves.10
  • The Cahora Bassa Dam on the Zambezi River is the largest hydroelectric dam in southern Africa.11
  • Almost all of the country’s electricity comes from hydropower.12


  • Over half of the population lives on less than $1 a day.13
  • 70% of the population is rural, the majority of which depends on subsistence farming.14
  • Severe flooding in 2000 and 2001 affected 1/4th of the population and destroyed much of the infrastructure.15
  • A long coastline and three major ports provide opportunities to expand fisheries, tourism and trade.16

Photos:1,2,3,5-Stevie Mann/ILRI; 4-Rich Beilfuss/Creative Commons