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lauantai 18. huhtikuuta 2015

Mozambique, Cool Facts #26

25. Sao Tome & Principe <=                                                                                       => 27. Cape Verde

1. Weapon in the flag

Mozambique is the only state which has a modern gun in its flag. The gun is the AK-47 Kalashnikov.  It was adopted from the leading political party FRELIMO. In 2005 the FRELIMO-led parliament rejected 169 proposals of the new flag including the current flag without the rifle. 

Green: riches of the land
White: peace
Black: the African content
Yellow: the country's minerals
Red: the struggle for independence
Star: Marxism and internationalism
Hoe: the country's agriculture
Book: importance of education
Rifle: defense and vigilance

2. Where did Mozambique get its name ?

The Arab trader Mussa Ben Mbiki visited an island which was named after him Mozambique. In 1498 the Portuguese Vasco da Gama sailed to the coast and met the Arab sheik Mussa Ben Mbiki who lived on the island named after him. This island-town was actually the capital of the Portuguese colony until 1898 and the name of the whole country derived from the island of Mozambique.

Vasco da Gama

3. Beginning of Independence

Mozambique became independent from Portugal in 1975, it was the result of revolution in Portugal. Portugal had returned to democracy after a leftist military coup in Lisbon in 1974.

In the beginning of the independence, the leader of the FRELIMO party ordered all the Portuguese to leave the country in 24 hours with only 20 kilograms of luggage. Most of the people returned to Portugal penniless because of this. When the Portuguese left they also destroyed a lot of the infrastructure that they owned including factories and equiment. This was a very bad thing for the future of the country.

Portuguese Revolution 1974

4. Communism

Mozambique became a one-party Marxist state in 1977 under president Samora Michel. Their government got support from Cuba and the Soviet Union. The anti-communist rebels from RENAMO started fighting against the FRELIMO led government. This caused the Civil War which lasted until 1992.

During this time the economy collapsed, the infrastructure was bad, there war famines and failed central planning. It didn't help when Rhodesia and South Africa sabotaged Mozambique after this all. The cause of the sabotage was that Mozambique supported the anti-apartheid movements of Rhodesia and South-Africa.

Samora Machel

5. Economy 

About 30% of Mozambique's exports comprise aluminium products. This is the most important thing to know about the country's exports.

In the colonial times there were produced sugar cane, copra, cashew nuts and tea. Since the year 2001 the economy has grown in a fast pace in Mozambique. Actually BBC reported that since 2009 some people returned back to Mozambique from Portugal because the economy in Portugal was getting so bad.

Mozambique is famous for

Cashew nuts
Unspoilt sandy beaches

Mozambique Mountain


0-1000 Bantu tribes inhabit the area
800s Arab traders set trading posts to sell ivory, gold and slaves
1498 Portuguese Vasco da Gama sails to the coast, Mozambique becomes checkpoint going towards India
1600s The Maravi kingdom spreads to northern Mozambique
1752 Mozambique becomes a Portuguese colony
1878 Portugal abolishes slavery
1885 Berlin Conference, the country is declared as Portuguese East Africa
1907 Maputo becomes the capital
1917 Rebellion, Portugal loses the power of its colony for 3 years
1951 Mozambique becomes a Portuguese province
1964 Freedom movement Frelimo starts the fight for freedom
1975 Independence
1977 Civil War begins
1980 Severe droughts and violence, 2 million people escape to Malawi
1984 Nkomati contract, South-Africa and Mozambique agree on not letting their area to be used against each other. The South African anti-apartheid party ANC has to leave Mozambique then
1990 Planned economy is abandoned, Mozambique shifts to multi-party system
1992 Civil War ends

Maailman liput maat ja historia - Kimmo Kiljunen

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