Mozambique is a country found in southeastern Africa that borders Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, eSwatini, and South Africa. The country also has a coastline on the Indian Ocean, and the Mozambique Channel separates the country from Madagascar, Mayotte, and Comoros. The country's capital city is known as Maputo, and between 1876 and 1976 the city was known as Lourenco Marques. The country has been affected by the Civil War between 1977 and 1982 and reduced the country to the level of among the poorest nations in the world. Beginning in 1987, the government adopted different macroeconomic reforms to stabilize the economy, which included donor assistance, resulting in a positive change in the country. Some of the largest industries in Mozambique include agriculture which accounts for 29.5% of the total GDP, manufacturing which accounts for 23.9% of the GDP and the services industry accounting for 46.5% of GDP.
Agriculture is one of the leading industries in Mozambique, and the country's economy relies heavily on agriculture, which has a great potential of even further growth. Agriculture employs about 80% of the country's labor force, and it is the source of livelihood for most of the population in the country. In 2009, agriculture contributed approximately 31.5% of the GDP and about 20% of the total value of all exports from the country. Most of the agricultural exports from the country include cashew nuts, cotton, citrus, coconut, tobacco, sugar, and tea. The country has a huge potential for agriculture because of the fertile soils, particularly in the northern part of the country.
Mozambique has deposits of minerals which have not been fully exploited, and this is partly because of the Civil War, which affected the country for several decades and underdevelopment of infrastructure. According to the World Bank the country had a potential of the exporting minerals worth more than $200 million in 2005, but the country exported minerals valued at 130 million dollars which were less than 2% of the GDP. Some of the minerals mined in Mozambique include coal, bentonite, marble, bauxite, gold, titanium, granite, and gemstones. In 2011, Mozambique made its first export of coal, and the country is anticipating to one of the major emerging exporters of the coal.
Mozambique has the lowest tourist numbers compared to its neighboring countries like South Africa, despite having huge tourism assets. Before independence, tourism was a vibrant industry in Mozambique, but after independence in 1975, the country was plunged into a civil war that almost destroyed the tourism industry as well as the wildlife conservation in the country. After the civil war confidence of tourist, operators have been on the rise, and the country has the opportunity to develop and revamp its tourism industry; however, inadequate budget, lack of marketing, and lack of tour operators have limited the growth of tourism in the country.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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