Mozambique

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Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique (Portuguese: Moçambique or República de Moçambique, pronounced [ʁɛˈpublikɐ di musɐ̃ˈbiki]), is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest.

The area was explored by Vasco da Gama in 1498 and colonized by Portugal in 1505. Mozambique became independent in 1975, and became the People's Republic of Mozambique shortly after. It was the scene of an intense civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992. The country was named Moçambique by the Portuguese after the Island of Mozambique, derived from Musa Al Big or Mossa Al Bique or Mussa Ben Mbiki, an Arab trader who first visited the island and later lived there.[citation needed]

Mozambique is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries and an observer of the Francophonie.

Since 1990, the Mozambican economy has been among the fastest-growing in the world, with an average annual GDP growth of about 8%.[citation needed] The cyclone and devastating floods of early 2000 reduced growth for that year to 2.1%, but the country bounced back--GDP growth approximated 8-14% annually since 2001.

Endowed with rich and extensive natural resources, Mozambique's present day economy is considered one of huge potential. The country's economy is based largely on agriculture, which employs roughly 80% of the country's population in mostly subsistence operations. Agriculture makes up around 25% of GDP, with fast-growing industry (mainly food and beverages, chemical manufacturing, and aluminium and petroleum production) contributing 35% and services almost 40%. Imports still slightly overshadow exports, but the gap is closing. The country's tourism sector is growing, but still performing well below its potential. Sound economic management, massive international debt relief and great investment in human capital have been quite successful in alleviating poverty in the country

The government has taken steps to make Mozambique as attractive as possible to foreign direct investment, upon which it is heavily dependent. South Africa is Mozambique's main trading partner and source of FDI, but Belgium, Spain and Portugal also figure among the country's most important partners.

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