CMX Quarterly Bulletin


Between the 1st and 5th centuries AD, Bantu-speaking peoples migrated from farther north and west. Swahili, and later also Arab, commercial ports existed along the coasts until the arrival of Europeans. The area was explored by Vasco da Gama in 1498 and colonized by Portugal from 1505. After over four centuries of Portuguese rule, Mozambique gained independence in 1975, becoming the People’s Republic of Mozambique shortly thereafter. After only two years of independence, the country descended into an intense and protracted civil war lasting from 1977 to 1992. In 1994, Mozambique held its first multiparty elections and has remained a relatively stable presidential republic since.

Key Milestones

3rd Century Iron Age Bantu-speaking tribes move into area from west-central Africa.
11th Century Shona empire develops between Limpopo and Zambezi rivers.
1498 Portuguese expedition led by explorer Vasco da Gama drops anchor off Mozambican coast.
1500s-1600s Portuguese venture into interior. Following military campaigns, colonists set up trading posts and mining enterprises and parcel-out land to European settlers.
1700s-1800s Mozambique becomes major slave-trading centre..
1842 Portugal outlaws slave trade from Mozambique, but clandestine trade continues for decades.
1891 Portugal and Britain define Mozambique’s western and southern borders.
1902 Lourenco Marques becomes colonial capital.
1932 Portugal breaks up trading companies and imposes direct rule over colony.
1950s-1960s Colonial economy thrives, attracting thousands of new Portuguese settlers to Mozambique.
1962 Exiled activists opposed to Portuguese colonial power meet in Tanzania to form Mozambique Liberation Front – Frelimo – headed by Eduardo Mondlane.
1964 Frelimo forces begin war of independence. Guerrilla tactics frustrate Portuguese and Frelimo take control of much of north.
1974 Military coup in Portugal. New government supports autonomy for colonies; start of departure of 250,000 Portuguese inhabitants.
1974 Portugal and Frelimo sign Lusaka Accord; transitional government is established.
1975 Mozambique becomes independent. Frelimo rules under single-party system with leader Samora Machel as president.
1976 Lourenco Marques is renamed Maputo.
1976 Renamo – an anti-Frelimo resistance group – is set up by white Rhodesian officers as clashes with Frelimo forces escalate and Mozambique imposes economic sanctions against Rhodesia.
1990 Government amends the constitution to allow a multi-party political system. Initial talks take place between government and Renamo.
1992 President Chissano and Renamo leader Afonso Dhaklama sign peace deal in Rome.
1995 Mozambique becomes Commonwealth member.
2005 Frelimo’s Armando Guebuza inaugurated as president after defeating his main rival, Afonso Dhlakama of Renamo, in November’s presidential poll.
2005 Work starts on a long-planned “Unity Bridge” over the Ruvuma river, intended to link Mozambique and neighbouring Tanzania..
2009 President Guebuza wins re-election with more than 75% of the vote. Main opposition Renamo party alleges widespread fraud, while monitors accuse election commission of lacking independence.
2011 Italian energy company Eni says it’s made a giant gas discovery off the coast.
2014 September – Renamo leader Afonso Dhlakama emerges from hiding to sign a peace agreement with President Guebuza, ending a two-year insurgency. Mr Dhlakama says he is running for president..
2014 October -The ruling Frelimo party and its candidate Filipe Nyusi win presidential and legislative elections.

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