Mozambique <<MOH zuhm BEEK>> is a country in southeastern Africa. It is bordered by Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The country lies along the Indian Ocean. It has many fine harbors, or places where boats can dock. Maputo is the country’s capital and largest city.
Almost half of Mozambique is covered by flat, open land. This plain stretches inland from the coast of the Indian Ocean. The land gets higher farther inland. High, flat lands, called plateaus <<pla TOHZ>>, and mountains rise along the western border. Grasslands and tropical forests cover much of the country. The many rivers that flow through Mozambique help make the soil near them rich.
Almost all Mozambicans come from African families. Most speak a language in the Bantu family of languages. Most cannot speak Portuguese, the official language. Other groups, including Arabs, Europeans, and Pakistanis, make up a small part of the population.
Most Mozambicans are farmers, and much of Mozambique’s money comes from farming. The country grows cashews, cassava, corn, cotton, and sugar cane. Farmers raise cattle, goats, and hogs. Some people catch fish and shrimp in the Indian Ocean.Factories manufacture food products and other items.
People lived in what is now Mozambique 6,000 years ago. The first Europeans to arrive there were the Portuguese. They set up a trading post there in 1505. Portugal governed Mozambique from the late 1800′s until 1975. Mozambique became independent in 1975.
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