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Mozambique:
Geography

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Background
Definition
Almost five centuries as a Portuguese colony came to a close with independence in 1975. Large-scale emigration by whites, economic dependence on South Africa, a severe drought, and a prolonged civil war hindered the country's development until the mid 1990's. The ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) party formally abandoned Marxism in 1989, and a new constitution the following year provided for multiparty elections and a free market economy. A UN-negotiated peace agreement between FRELIMO and rebel Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO) forces ended the fighting in 1992. In December 2004, Mozambique underwent a delicate transition as Joaquim CHISSANO stepped down after 18 years in office. His elected successor, Armando Emilio GUEBUZA, promised to continue the sound economic policies that have encouraged foreign investment. Mozambique has seen very strong economic growth since the end of the civil war largely due to post-conflict reconstruction.
Location
Definition
Southeastern Africa, bordering the Mozambique Channel, between South Africa and Tanzania
Geographic coordinates
Definition
18 15 S, 35 00 E
Map references
Definition
Africa
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 801,590 sq km
land: 784,090 sq km
water: 17,500 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly less than twice the size of California
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 4,571 km
border countries: Malawi 1,569 km, South Africa 491 km, Swaziland 105 km, Tanzania 756 km, Zambia 419 km, Zimbabwe 1,231 km
Coastline
Definition
2,470 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
tropical to subtropical
Terrain
Definition
mostly coastal lowlands, uplands in center, high plateaus in northwest, mountains in west
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Monte Binga 2,436 m
Natural resources
Definition
coal, titanium, natural gas, hydropower, tantalum, graphite
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 5.43%
permanent crops: 0.29%
other: 94.28% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
1,180 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
216 cu km (1992)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 0.63 cu km/yr (11%/2%/87%)
per capita: 32 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
severe droughts; devastating cyclones and floods in central and southern provinces
Environment - current issues
Definition
a long civil war and recurrent drought in the hinterlands have resulted in increased migration of the population to urban and coastal areas with adverse environmental consequences; desertification; pollution of surface and coastal waters; elephant poaching for ivory is a problem
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
the Zambezi flows through the north-central and most fertile part of the country


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