Mozambique lies on the east coast of Africa and “looks out” toward Madagascar and the Indian Ocean. It is a member of the Southern African Development Community, a group of nations with a combined population of 250 million people. According to demographics experts this will become almost half a billion in the next 20 years. Mozambique’s ports provide a trade gateway for several sub-Saharan African nations, making it very important in the region from a strategic-commercial point of view.
Until 1975 Mozambique was a Portuguese colony. Even today the official language of the country is Portuguese. They arrived on the coast of Mozambique at the end of the 15th century and settled in the coastal areas during the next century, using the ports as bases for ships bound to and from India and Asia. Portugal maintained a limited control of the territory – especially the interior, which it considered difficult to govern – and often entrusted its government to people of different nationalities.
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