Financial Data
Updated 23 Feb 2017


Mozambique

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Overview

Mozambique is situated in Southeast Africa. Its capital and largest city is Maputo.

After nearly five centuries of Portuguese rule, Mozambique gained independence in 1975. Two years into independence, the country descended into civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992 and in 1994, Mozambique held its first multi-party elections and has since remained a relatively stable democracy.

The country boasts rich and abundant natural resources, however, poor infrastructure development hasn’t allowed the country to capitalise on these natural resources. Mozambique’s economy is based largely on agriculture, but several industries, including food and beverages, chemical manufacturing, aluminium and petroleum production is growing.

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Social overview

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Mozambique has a large, young, population totalling more than 25 million people, which presents a good opportunity for businesses looking to embark on labour intensive operations in the country.

Its large population and high rate of poverty also means there’s lots of people that desire access to affordable products and services. A significant increase in living standards is crucial to the country’s growth, and a key ingredient remains access to education.

Education in Mozambique has not kept up with its population growth and the country lacks sufficient schools, infrastructure and teachers to guarantee adequate education for the youth.

The population’s level of education and slow-paced skills development means the labour force has few skills, while a high rate of HIV/ AIDS has reduced its efficiency. These factors can undermine the development of the manufacturing and services sectors if not addressed.

Approximately 32% of the total population is urbanised, however, concern remains that leisurely progress in implementing government employment programmes will add to public discontent and labour unrest. It’s important that you carefully consider the social challenges of the region before embarking on any venture into the republic.

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Mozambique’s people
  • Population: 25 303 113 people.
  • Language: Portuguese
  • The country is plagued by extremely high poverty levels.
  • Education in the country has not kept up with its population increases. Mozambique still lacks sufficient school infrastructure and teachers to guarantee sufficient education for the country’s youth.
Environmental overview

Its 15-year long civil war and droughts have resulted in Mozambicans migrating to urban and coastal areas in search of employment. This migration contributes to adverse environmental consequences such as desertification and the pollution of inland and coastal waters.

Natural hazards such as droughts, cyclones and floods in central and southern provinces can present challenges for businesses looking to establish a presence in the country.

In terms of environmental agreements, Mozambique is a signatory, but not ratified, party to the Kyoto Protocol. Its focus, although proving challenging to achieve, is to protect biodiversity, address climate change, prevent desertification, protect endangered species, reduce hazardous waste, improve the laws of the sea, contribute to ozone layer protection, reduce ship pollution and protect its wetlands.

Measuring in at 801 537km2, Mozambique is the world's 36th-largest country and is comparable in size to Turkey. The country is divided into two topographical regions by the Zambezi River.

To the north of the Zambezi River, its narrow coastal strip gives way to inland hills and low plateaus, ideal for agriculture. Its rugged highlands are further west, which is sparsely populated compared to the northern regions.

Mozambique offers a tropical climate with two seasons, a wet season from October to March and a dry season from April to September. Climatic conditions, however, can vary depending on altitude; as rainfall is heavy along the coast and decreases in the north and south. 

The environment
  • A long civil war and recurrent droughts have resulted in more and more people migrating to urban and coastal areas, with adverse environmental consequences.
  • Natural hazards: Severe droughts; devastating cyclones and floods in central and southern provinces.
Technology overview

Mozambique’s government has a strong interest in improving the country’s telecommunications sector. The sector is regulated by the Instituto Nacional das Comunicações de Moçambique (INCM), which falls under the authority of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

  • Demand for telecommunications services is growing rapidly at both corporate and individual levels. This offers excellent business opportunities for telecommunications businesses with regard to both network infrastructure development and service deployment in regions of the country that have been poorly developed in the past.
  • Since 2014, Mozambique’s mobile market has shown strong growth on the back of the launch of the country’s third mobile operator (Movitel). Before the arrival of Movitel there was limited competition between mCel and Vodacom.
  • The country stands out as one of the dynamic and higher-performing markets, in Africa, in terms of mobile penetration and 3G/4G developments. It showed an estimated year-on-year growth of 32.5% in the number of 3G and 4G phone subscribers in 2014, with this sector making up 10.3% of the mobile market.
  • Fixed-line telecoms, however, is lagging behind. The country has one of the smallest fixed-line markets in Southern Africa and not much progress is expected in this sector due to the cost implications and the existing high rate of mobile substitution. Experts believe that the only way faster growth in the fixed-line market could be achieved is through a rival entrant.
  • Because of the lack of investment and development in Mozambique’s fixed-line market, the country’s Internet sector depends more on wireless access technologies. Mobile operators in the country are taking advantage of this and attracting data users to their mobile broadband networks.
  • It is expected that the country’s fixed-line broadband penetration rates will remain below 1% to the end of 2019, as people will keep using mobile to access voice and data services.
Tech outlook
  • The low penetration levels in the country's large mobile market leave room for significant growth.
  • Mozambique has one of the smallest fixed-line markets in Southern Africa.
  • The country’s internet sector depends more on wireless access technologies. Mobile operators in the country are taking advantage of this and attracting data users to mobile broadband networks.
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