Forgotten World (106): Mozambique

On 21 occasions now, I’ve had a week-long feature devoted to parts of the world that tend to be under-reported or even forgotten. It’s some time since I did so, but this week I am going to run another series of postings on this theme.
Mozambique is a country in South-East Africa with almost 20M people which has been battered by colonial rule, civil war, floods and famine. Between 1977 and 1992 up to a million Mozambicans died from fighting and famine in a war that ruined the economy and much of the countryside. The country has been left with a legacy of land mines and amputees.
However, since a peace deal ended 16 years of civil conflict, the country has made big strides, becoming a magnet for foreign investment. Progress has been slower than hoped because in 2000 and 2001 the country was hit by floods, which affected about a quarter of the population, and then in 2002 a severe drought hit many central and southern parts of the country, including previously flood-stricken areas.
The country’s politics are still dominated by political parties that are the successors of the rival armies in the fight for independence: Frelimo (which forms the government) and Renamo (which is a substantial opposition grouping).