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MozambiqueCountry profile

    • Area: 799,380 square kilometres (as of 2012)
    • Population:  approx. 22 million (as of 2012)
    • Population density: 28 per square kilometre (compared to Germany: approx. 229 inhabitants per square kilometre)
    • Official language:  Portuguese
    • Independence: since 1975
    • Capital: Maputo
    • Form of government: presidential republic, constitution from 2004
    • Average life expectancy: 50.2 years (as of 2011)
    • Percentage of rural population: 63 %
    • Illiteracy rate: 55.1 % (as of 2011)
    • Top 3 exports: aluminium, electricity, natural gas
    • Number of cotton farmers: around 235,000 (as of 2012)
    • Number of “Cotton made in Africa” farmers: 75,000 (as of 2012)
    Benin map
    Mozambique society is primarily shaped by smallholder farmers from a wide range of population groups. While the greatest share of the population lives in rural areas, the capital Maputo numbers among the most rapidly growing cities in Africa. Here an urban lifestyle is developing, European and African influences are intensely mixing, and a vital cultural scene pulses.






    Located on the south-eastern coast of Africa, Mozambique stretches from Tanzania to Maputo on the border of South Africa and Swaziland. Its western neighbours are Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. The east coast is opposite the island of Madagascar. The largest river in the region, the Zambezi, empties into the “Strait of Mozambique” in the Indian Ocean.
    Africa map

          Vegetation zones of Africa with CmiA growing areas

    The country is noted for its breathtaking biodiversity and endless stretches of attractive sandy beaches. The individual provinces in the interior offer fascinating contrasting landscapes with highlands and savannas on the one hand, and the endless mangrove swamps of central Mozambique on the other. With 2,800 kilometres of coastline and the important ports of Maputo, Beira and Nacala, Mozambique plays an important role in sub-Saharan Africa with respect to transport.


    Following independence, the government made a comprehensive restructuring effort by effecting macroeconomic reforms. Mismanagement and the long civil war had set the country’s development back considerably and thrown it into poverty. Despite attempts to stabilize the economy at the end of the 1980s, the country ranks number 184 of 187 on the Human Development Index (HDI) in the United Nation’s Human Development Report (HDR). Roughly 55 percent of the population live in absolute poverty. HIV/Aids, which affects 11.5 percent of the population, frequent droughts and crop failure are the primary reasons for the country’s position at the bottom of the prosperity index.
    Africa map


    Though Mozambique has achieved substantial successes in schooling through a high rate of school enrolment, the edcational sector is still not sufficiently developed; the rate of pupils who complete primary schooling is low and Mozambique only ranks 184 of 187 on the HDI Education Index.
    Around 80 percent of the population of Mozambique works in agriculture. The most important agricultural market products are cotton, cashew nuts, sugar, sisal, copra and tea along with shrimp and crayfish. Because Mozambique’s smallholder farmers primarily practice subsistence farming to meet their own needs for staple foods, the agricultural sector, with 22.3 percent, contributes less to Gross National Product (GNP) than industry (29.8 percent). The service sector continues to constitute the greatest proportion of GNP (47.9 percent), which means that economic growth passes the majority of the population by. This is why fighting poverty – which affects over half the population – is one of the government’s greatest challenges. The country depends strongly on development aid. This is where Cotton made in Africa comes in. In accordance with the social business principle, regional development is to be strengthened and the rural population is to be helped to help themselves improve their own living standards through their own capacity.

    Sources: The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited Country Report Mozambique January 2012; Human Development Report (UN) Mozambique 2011; The World Bank Data; Central Intelligence Agency – The World Factbook 2012; LIPortal Mozambique 2012.

    Teaser Milestones

    Albert Watson: Visions feat. Cotton made in AfricaThe exhibition and the project behind it

    This exceptional collaboration with fashion and commercial photographer Albert Watson will provide insight into the cotton farmers' worlds and transport a better awareness of CmiA's work.

    The photos will illustrate the initiative's goal to improve social conditions in the smallholder farmers’ lives without visual stereotypes. The aim is in contrast to show a new image of African living environments – through the eyes of Albert Watson. In addition to the cotton harvest, that was underway during the journey, Watson has also visited traditional markets and a regional king in Benin to get an impression of the diversity of life in Benin and its people.

    African cottonIn demand worldwide

    African cotton is almost exclusively grown by smallholder farmers, using sustainable growing methods with harmony between agriculture, the natural environment and human beings. About 8% of the cotton traded in the world market is harvested in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Africa cotton is almost exclusively grown by smallholder farmers, and there are only very few large plantations. ...