Mozambique

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

Environment

  • 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

Agriculture

  • 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

Water

  • 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

Energy

  • 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

Livelihoods

  • 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

Sources:

[1] http://www.mz.undp.org/content/mozambique/en/home/countryinfo/

[2]http://wwf.panda.org/who_we_are/wwf_offices/mozambique/environmental_problems_in_mozambique/

[3] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mz.html

[4] http://www.mz.undp.org/content/mozambique/en/home/countryinfo/

[5] http://www.irinnews.org/report/76611/mozambique-commercial-overfishing-threatens-coastal-livelihoods

[6] http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/countries_regions/mozambique/index.stm

[7] http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/395363/Mozambique#toc43963

[8] http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/countries_regions/mozambique/index.stm

[9] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13890416

[10] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13890416

[11] http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/countries_regions/mozambique/index.stm

[12] https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mz.html

[13] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13890416

[14] http://www.mz.undp.org/content/mozambique/en/home/countryinfo/

[15] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13890416

[16] http://www.mz.undp.org/content/mozambique/en/home/countryinfo/