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History

The first inhabitants of what is now Mozambique were the San hunters. Between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, waves of Bantu-speaking peoples migrated from the north through the Zambezi River valley and then gradually into the plateau and coastal areas. The Bantu were farmers. Swahili and Arab settlements existed for many centuries along the coast and outlying islands. Political control of the coast was in the hands of a few local sultans. They traded with Madagascar and the Far East countries.

Vasco de Gama, reached the coast of Mozambique in 1498 marking the Portuguese entry to trade and they achieved control of the country in the beginning of 16thcentury. However, it’s only after the division of Africa by the European leading states that Mozambique becomes a colonial administration.

During the 19th century British companies became increasingly involved in trade as well as the politics. By the 20thcentury there were large private companies: the Mozambique Company, Zambezia Company and Niassa Company, which were controlled and financed by Britain. They were in charge of setting railroads to neighboring countries. In September 1964, The Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (FRELIMO) began a guerilla war against the Portuguese rule. This conflict became part of the Portuguese Colonial War (1961 – 1974). 

After over 10 years of warfare for the right to self determination FRELIMO gained control of the country. Mozambique becomes independent on June 25th 1975 and Samora Machel is elected president. The new Popular Republic of Mozambique is socialist until 1987. 

From 1976 to 1992 Mozambique endured a civil war between the RENAMO rebels’ armed force and the FRELIMO government that devastated the country.

In 1994 a General Peace Agreement is signed by the presidents of Frelimo and Renamo (the 2 main political parties). A multi-party system is then adopted with the first multi-party elections taking place the same year. 

Nowadays Mozambique enjoys a period of political and social stability with strong economic development. Mozambique is also becoming a leading luxury touristic destination.