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 Mozambique: 7 interesting facts

On 25 June Mozambique proudly celebrates its independence as a multi-cultural nation, after having resisted and defeated 470 years of Portuguese influence and colonialism.

Here are seven intersting facts about Mozambique which we hope will inspire you to learn  more about this fantastic country.

Speaking many tongues

Most Mozambicans are multi-lingual and speak more than one language.
More than 40 languages are spoken in Mozambique. Some of the biggest languages are Emakhuwa, Cisena, Xitsonga, Elomwe, Cishona, Chichewa, Xichangana and Makonde.

Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique. Approximately 50% of the Mozambicans speak it fluently, especially residents in urban areas. Swahili is spoken by some people along the coast. “Swahili” literally means “coast” and it has been the lingua franca in eastern central Africa for centuries.

A luta continua!

Mozambique is the only country in the world which sports a firearm on their flag, namely an AK-47 Kalashinkov. It symbolises defence, vigilance and not least the long struggle for freedom and independence. The Mozambican people were occupied by the Portuguese in 1505 and suffered colonialisation for 470 years.

It wasn’t until 1975 that FRELIMO (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique / the Mozambican Liberation Front), under the leadership of Eduardo Mondlane and Samora Machel, managed to defeat the Portuguese army and finally win independence.

The liberation wars in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea Bissau – all Portuguese colonies – weakened the authoritarian dictatorship in Portugal and was an important factor in the downfall of that regime. The Carnation Revolution took place in April 1974 and Portugal could finally become a modern democracy.

“A luta continua!” – the struggle continues – was the rallying cry of the liberation movement in Mozambique during the fight for independence and that slogan is still used by activist movements fighting for equal rights today.

A young and vital population

Mozambique has a young and dynamic population. Almost half of the 30 million strong Mozambican citizens – that is 45% – are under the 15 years of age*. However, more focus needs to be placed on supporting adolescents, who are indeed the fastest growing population group in Mozambique. In the words of UNICEF:

”Mozambique has some of the world’s worst social indicators on children and adolescents, particularly girls, largely due to limited access to resources and services as well as harmful socio-cultural practices.”

With adequate education and equitable opportunities the Mozambican youth are an immense force that can build a strong and prosperous nation.

*Source: worldometers.info, 2020

Ancient kingdoms

The Kingdom of Mutapa Empire or ”Wene we Mutapa” (Shona) or ”Monomotapa” (Portuguese) was a medieval kingdom (approx. 1450-1629) which stretched between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers of what is now the modern states of Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Its founders were culturally and politically related to the Shona kingdom of Great Zimbabwe. The empire was mostly peaceful and built their wealth through trade. Imports included such luxury goods as silk, ceramics and glassware. Exports included cotton cloth, gold, copper, salt and silver. Trade was centrally regulated, with weights and measures controlled by the court. The Mutapa also regulated “the volume of local produce on the international market” to maintain “a favorable balance of trade.”

Because the Mutapa had access to gold, they were able to buy livestock and luxury goods like beads. They mostly traded with the Portuguese, who had a growing presence on the coasts of Africa. To protect their trade network and growing economy, the Mutapa relied on a well-trained military force to maintain the security of the empire.

Read more about Mozambican history and ancient kingdoms here.

The climate crisis is here

​Unprecedentedly fierce cyclones Idai and Kenneth struck Mozambique a few weeks apart in 2019, causing massive destruction of infrastructure as well as disruption of harvests and livelihoods for more than two million people. Climate scientists were not in doubt that the warming climate played a significant part in creating these mega-storms which the Mozambicans had never ever experienced before. Torrential rains and flash floods caught many people by surprise and more than 1000 people died as a consequence.

Mozambique will bear the brunt of the climactic changes that come with global warming. The sad truth is that the people who have contributed the least to the climate crisis – are the ones who will suffer the most from it.

Catch 22: Fossil fuels 

Ironically, fossil fuels have now been discovered off the northern coast of Mozambique and big oil companies are now scrambling to secure rights to extract gas (LNG, liquid natural gas) there to make a pretty penny. The projects are still in the exploration phase, but already thousands of people are being forcibly relocated. Important habitats like the Quirimbas National Park, a UNESCO biosphere reserve that includes areas of pristine coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds are under severe threat.

With their farmland and fishing grounds being taken by multinational corporations, entire communities will lose their homes, land, and livelihoods. Coastal communites in Cabo Delagdo will receive very few jobs, and an influx of workers from overseas and other parts of Mozambique will most probably bring an increase in diseases and place a strain on already limited health-care and education resources, as well as result in higher living costs.

The so-called Area 1 LNG project will generate about $38 billion in revenue for Mozambique’s government over its lifetime, according to a Finance Ministry forecast. That will be supplemented by sales from an even bigger project led by Exxon Mobil Corporation in the neighbouring Area 4 offshore block.

This is clearly a “Catch 22” situation: Mozambique desperately needs funds to develop the country on one hand. On the other hand, extracting fossil fuels and thereby contributing to more emissions of carbon into the atmosphere will accelerate the climate crisis – which Mozambique will suffer severely from: droughts, floods, rising sea levels, cyclones and people having to relocate because their lands and livelihood have been destroyed.

Four decades of development: ADPP Moçambique

ADPP Moçambique – Ajuda de Desenvolvimento de Povo para Povo – was established in 1982 as a Mozambican non-governmental association. In the almost four decades of their existence ADPP Moçambique has implemented over 60 projects all over Mozambique, benefitting more than 2,5 million people in 2019.

For example, more than 20.000 schoolteachers have been educated during the years, most of whom work in rural communities where the need is the greatest.

ADPP was founded on the concept of strong belief that change happens in the minds and hearts of people and is inspired by social and cultural interaction with others. A concept which has not changed but instead proved its power and relevancy over the years.

ADPP works in alignment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as adopted by the Government of Mozambique. Thus, ADPP Moçambique works to eradicate poverty by contributing to the achievement of universal primary education through the establishment of community schools and teacher training programmes, ending hunger by improving food security in rural areas through Farmers’ and Producers’ Clubs and improve health and wellbeing through epidemic control programmes (tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and now also COVID-19), as well as to combat malaria and malnutrition in vulnerable groups, with special emphasis on girls and women in vulnerable situations.

To achieve the goals described above, ADPP’s staff of 3000 people work closely together with committed volunteers – all in all 17,800 men and women. A small fraction of these are international volunteers, and we are proud to announce that ADPP Mozambique is one of our partners in the southern hemisphere.

Solidarity work in Mozambique

We hope that by 2021 that it will again be possible for international volunteers to join forces with ADPP Mozambique to support the ongoing efforts of the Mozambican people to develop their communities and country.

Please follow us on our social media to learn about new developments. 

Useful things to do during quarantine

International solidarity is not an act of charity: It is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objective. The foremost of these objectives is to aid the development of humanity to the highest level possible.”

Samora Machel

COVID-19 Safety measures

Artwork by icon Malangatana

Mozambique is a multi-cultural country where more than 40 languages are spoken. 

Online courses and free books

The Mozambican flag

Family games to play at home

45% of the population are younger than 15 years of age.

Easy to make food at home

Read more about the history of the Mutapa Empire.

Easy to make food at home

The carbon footprint of Mozambique is tiny, but the impact of the climate crisis huge. 

Easy to make food at home

Cabo Delgado province environment under threat

Fossil fuels have been discovered in northern Mozambique. Is that good or bad for the country?

Beneficial thigns to do at home during quarantine
things to do during lockdown

ADPP Moçambique

Read more about our partner in Mozambique

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10 things to do instead of shopping

Buy Nothing Day is an international day of protest against consumerism. A great way to save money and an opportunity to tune into life instead of shopping. Find 10 tips here.

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Many countries are taking measures against the COVID-19 outbreak by announcing lockdown and quarantine. So how can you utilize your time at home?

The Call to Action of 2020

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The outbreak of COVID-19 is a world crisis. While it is important to take the right measures we also need to remember the other threats of our world.

Things to do during quarantine

On 25 June Mozambique proudly celebrates its independence as a multi-cultural nation, after having resisted and defeated 470 years of Portuguese influence and colonialism.

Here are seven intersting facts about Mozambique which we hope will inspire you to learn  more about this fantastic country.

Things to do during quarantine

Speaking many tongues

Most Mozambicans are multi-lingual and speak more than one language.

More than 40 languages are spoken in Mozambique. Some of the biggest languages are Emakhuwa, Cisena, Xitsonga, Elomwe, Cishona, Chichewa, Xichangana and Makonde.

Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique. Approximately 50% of the Mozambicans speak it fluently, especially residents in urban areas. Swahili is spoken by some people along the coast. “Swahili” literally means “coast” and it has been the lingua franca in eastern central Africa for centuries.

COVID-19 Safety measures

Artwork by icon Malangatana

Mozambique is a multi-cultural country where more than 40 languages are spoken. 

Things to do during quarantine
Online courses and free books

The Mozambican flag

A luta continua!

Mozambique is the only country in the world which sports a firearm on their flag, namely an AK-47 Kalashinkov. It symbolises defence, vigilance and not least the long struggle for freedom and independence. The Mozambican people were occupied by the Portuguese in 1505 and suffered colonialisation for 470 years.

It wasn’t until 1975 that FRELIMO (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique / the Mozambican Liberation Front), under the leadership of Eduardo Mondlane and Samora Machel, managed to defeat the Portuguese army and finally win independence.

The liberation wars in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea Bissau – all Portuguese colonies – weakened the authoritarian dictatorship in Portugal and was an important factor in the downfall of that regime. The Carnation Revolution took place in April 1974 and Portugal could finally become a modern democracy.

“A luta continua!” – the struggle continues – was the rallying cry of the liberation movement in Mozambique during the fight for independence and that slogan is still used by activist movements fighting for equal rights today.

International solidarity is not an act of charity: It is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objective. The foremost of these objectives is to aid the development of humanity to the highest level possible.”

Samora Machel

Things to do during quarantine

A young and vital population

Mozambique has a young and dynamic population. Almost half of the 30 million strong Mozambican citizens – that is 45% – are under the 15 years of age*. However, more focus needs to be placed on supporting adolescents, who are indeed the fastest growing population group in Mozambique. In the words of UNICEF:

”Mozambique has some of the world’s worst social indicators on children and adolescents, particularly girls, largely due to limited access to resources and services as well as harmful socio-cultural practices.”

With adequate education and equitable opportunities the Mozambican youth are an immense force that can build a strong and prosperous nation.

*Source: worldometers.info, 2020

Family games to play at home

45% of the population are younger than 15 years of age.

Things to do during quarantine

Ancient kingdoms

The Kingdom of Mutapa Empire or ”Wene we Mutapa” (Shona) or ”Monomotapa” (Portuguese) was a medieval kingdom (approx. 1450-1629) which stretched between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers of what is now the modern states of Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Its founders were culturally and politically related to the Shona kingdom of Great Zimbabwe. The empire was mostly peaceful and built their wealth through trade. Imports included such luxury goods as silk, ceramics and glassware. Exports included cotton cloth, gold, copper, salt and silver. Trade was centrally regulated, with weights and measures controlled by the court. The Mutapa also regulated “the volume of local produce on the international market” to maintain “a favorable balance of trade.”

Because the Mutapa had access to gold, they were able to buy livestock and luxury goods like beads. They mostly traded with the Portuguese, who had a growing presence on the coasts of Africa. To protect their trade network and growing economy, the Mutapa relied on a well-trained military force to maintain the security of the empire.

Read more about Mozambican history and ancient kingdoms here.

Easy to make food at home

Read more about the history of the Mutapa Empire.

Things to do during quarantine

The climate crisis is here

​Unprecedentedly fierce cyclones Idai and Kenneth struck Mozambique a few weeks apart in 2019, causing massive destruction of infrastructure as well as disruption of harvests and livelihoods for more than two million people. Climate scientists were not in doubt that the warming climate played a significant part in creating these mega-storms which the Mozambicans had never ever experienced before. Torrential rains and flash floods caught many people by surprise and more than 1000 people died as a consequence.

Mozambique will bear the brunt of the climactic changes that come with global warming. The sad truth is that the people who have contributed the least to the climate crisis – are the ones who will suffer the most from it.

Easy to make food at home

The carbon footprint of Mozambique is tiny, but the impact of the climate crisis huge. 

Things to do during quarantine

Catch 22: Fossil fuels 

Ironically, fossil fuels have now been discovered off the northern coast of Mozambique and big oil companies are now scrambling to secure rights to extract gas (LNG, liquid natural gas) there to make a pretty penny. The projects are still in the exploration phase, but already thousands of people are being forcibly relocated. Important habitats like the Quirimbas National Park, a UNESCO biosphere reserve that includes areas of pristine coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds are under severe threat.

With their farmland and fishing grounds being taken by multinational corporations, entire communities will lose their homes, land, and livelihoods. Coastal communites in Cabo Delagdo will receive very few jobs, and an influx of workers from overseas and other parts of Mozambique will most probably bring an increase in diseases and place a strain on already limited health-care and education resources, as well as result in higher living costs.

The so-called Area 1 LNG project will generate about $38 billion in revenue for Mozambique’s government over its lifetime, according to a Finance Ministry forecast. That will be supplemented by sales from an even bigger project led by Exxon Mobil Corporation in the neighbouring Area 4 offshore block.

This is clearly a “Catch 22” situation: Mozambique desperately needs funds to develop the country on one hand. On the other hand, extracting fossil fuels and thereby contributing to more emissions of carbon into the atmosphere will accelerate the climate crisis – which Mozambique will suffer severely from: droughts, floods, rising sea levels, cyclones and people having to relocate because their lands and livelihood have been destroyed.

Easy to make food at home

Cabo Delgado province environment under threat

Fossil fuels have been discovered in northern Mozambique. Is that good or bad for the country?

Things to do during quarantine
Useful things to do during quarantine

 

Four decades of development: ADPP Moçambique

ADPP Moçambique – Ajuda de Desenvolvimento de Povo para Povo – was established in 1982 as a Mozambican non-governmental association. In the almost four decades of their existence ADPP Moçambique has implemented over 60 projects all over Mozambique, benefitting more than 2,5 million people in 2019.

For example, more than 20.000 schoolteachers have been educated during the years, most of whom work in rural communities where the need is the greatest.

ADPP was founded on the concept of strong belief that change happens in the minds and hearts of people and is inspired by social and cultural interaction with others. A concept which has not changed but instead proved its power and relevancy over the years.

ADPP works in alignment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as adopted by the Government of Mozambique. Thus, ADPP Moçambique works to eradicate poverty by contributing to the achievement of universal primary education through the establishment of community schools and teacher training programmes, ending hunger by improving food security in rural areas through Farmers’ and Producers’ Clubs and improve health and wellbeing through epidemic control programmes (tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and now also COVID-19), as well as to combat malaria and malnutrition in vulnerable groups, with special emphasis on girls and women in vulnerable situations.

To achieve the goals described above, ADPP’s staff of 3000 people work closely together with committed volunteers – all in all 17,800 men and women. A small fraction of these are international volunteers, and we are proud to announce that ADPP Mozambique is one of our partners in the southern hemisphere.

 

things to do during lockdown

ADPP Moçambique

Read more about our partner in Mozambique

Solidarity work in Mozambique

We hope that by 2021 that it will again be possible for international volunteers to join forces with ADPP Mozambique to support the ongoing efforts of the Mozambican people to develop their communities and country.

Please follow us on our social media to learn about new developments. 

International volunteer opportunities in India.
International volunteer positions and comprehensive training.
International volunteer opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Take 10 Gap Year structure

3 months:
Preparation – training, practical skills, teamwork, setting goals

6 months:
Project work – in Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique or India

1 month:
Conclusion and information activities – reflection, bringing the good message out