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Mozambique COUNTRY
Municipal-Council GOVERNMENT TYPE



Maputo , officially named Lourenço Marques until 1976, is the capital and most populous city of Mozambique. The city is named after chief Maputsu I of the Tembe clan, a subgroup of Tsonga people. It lies along the north bank of Espírito Santo Estuary of Delagoa Bay, an inlet of the Indian Ocean. Maputo derived its former name from the Portuguese trader who first explored the region in 1544. The town developed around a Portuguese fortress completed in 1787. Created a city town in 1887, it superseded the town of Moçambique as the capital of Portuguese East Africa in 1907.

Located near the southern end of the country, it is positioned within 120 km of the Eswatini and South Africa borders. The city has a population of 1,088,449 distributed over a land area of 347,69 km2 . The Maputo metropolitan area includes the neighbouring city of Matola, and has a total population of 2,717,437. The city consists of seven administrative divisions, which are each subdivided into quarters or bairros. The city is surrounded by Maputo Province, but is administered as a self-contained, separate province since 1998. Maputo City is the geographically smallest and most densely populated province in Mozambique.

Maputo is a cosmopolitan city, with Bantu, Tsonga languages being more common, Portuguese, and, to a lesser extent, Arabic, Indian, and Chinese languages and cultures present. The area on which Maputo stands was first settled as a fishing village by ancient Tsonga people.

It was soon named Lourenço Marques, after the navigator of the same name who first explored the area in 1544. The modern city traces its origins to a Portuguese fort established on the site in 1781. A town grew around the fort starting around 1850, and in 1877 it was elevated to city status. In 1898, the colony of Portuguese Mozambique relocated its capital there. When the war ended, the FRELIMO government launched a program to revive the city's economy, and to clean up the city by forcibly removing criminals, squatters, and undocumented residents. Since then, Maputo's economy has recovered and stability has returned, though crime remains a problem.Maputo has a number of landmarks, including Independence Square, City Hall, Maputo Fortress, the central market, Tunduru Gardens, and Maputo Railway Station. Maputo is known as an aesthetically attractive, if dilapidated, city. With wide avenues lined by jacaranda and acacia trees, it has earned the nicknames City of Acaciasand the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. The city is known for its distinct, eclectic architecture, with Portuguese colonial Neoclassical and Manueline styles alongside modern Art Deco, Bauhaus, and Brutalist buildings. The historic Baixa de Maputo district is the downtown area. Maputo has a vibrant cultural scene, with many restaurants, music and performance venues, and local film industry. Maputo's economy is centered around its port, through which much of Mozambique's imports and exports are shipped. The chief exports include cotton, sugar, chromite, sisal, copra, and hardwood.

Data and Facts

  • About 80% of the total population is engaged in agriculture
  • The majority of its population is under the age of 17 years
  • Women seem to be in haste to bear children and the reports on demography state that more than 50% women have their first child before the age of 19 years
  • The scientists discovered an unknown rainforest in 2005 on Mount Mabu with the help of Google Earth and named it the “Google forest”. It had a pristine environment and rich in diversity
  • There is a house in Maputo which is entirely made of iron. This house was imported as the home of the Governor Rafael Jàcome de Andrade in 1892
  • On 11 July 2003, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, better known as the Maputo Protocol, was adopted in the city by the African Union


Mozambique is divided into ten provinces (provincias) and one capital city (cidade capital) with provincial status. The provinces are subdivided into 129 districts (distritos). The districts are further divided in 405 "Postos Administrativos" (Administrative Posts) and then into Localidades (Localities), the lowest geographical level of the central state administration. Since 1998, 53 "Municípios" (Municipalities) have been created in Mozambique. The districts of Mozambique are divided into 405 postos.

Postos administrativos (administrative posts) are the main subdivisions of districts. This name, in use during colonial times, was abolished after independence and was replaced by localidades (localities). However, it was re-established in 1986.

Administrative posts are headed by a Secretários (secretaries), which before independence were called Chefes de Posto (post chiefs). Administrative posts can be further subdivided into localities, also headed by secretaries.

The city is divided into seven main administrative divisions. Each of these consists of several smaller city quarters or bairros. Maputo City Hall is the seat of the local government of the capital of Mozambique. The neoclassical building is located at the head of Independence Square, and was erected in 1947. The Maputo City Hall was added to the list of cultural monuments of Maputo in 2011. Furthermore, it is listed in the Portuguese heritage database Sistema de Informação para o Património Arquitectónico (SIPA) under the number 31708.


The economy of Mozambique has developed since the end of the Mozambican Civil War . In 1987, the government embarked on a series of macroeconomic reforms designed to stabilize the economy. These steps, combined with donor assistance and with political stability since the multi-party elections in 1994, have led to dramatic improvements in the country's growth rate. Inflation was brought to single digits during the late 1990s although it returned to double digits in 2000–02. Fiscal reforms, including the introduction of a value-added tax and reform of the customs service, have improved the government's revenue collection abilities. In spite of these gains, Mozambique remains dependent upon foreign assistance for much of its annual budget. Subsistence agriculture continues to employ the vast majority of the country's workforce. A substantial trade imbalance persists although the opening of the MOZAL aluminium smelter, the country's largest foreign investment project to date has increased export earnings. Additional investment projects in titanium extraction and processing and garment manufacturing should further close the import/export gap. Local industries include brewing, shipbuilding and repair, fish canning, iron working, and the manufacture of cement, textiles, and other goods.

Today, the economy of Mozambique continues to be dominated by agriculture. Major exports include prawns, cotton, cashew nuts, sugar, citrus, copra and coconuts, and timber. Export partners, in turn, include Spain, South Africa, Portugal, the United States, Japan, Malawi, India, and Zimbabwe. Imports, such as farm equipment and transport equipment, are capital goods that are worth more than agricultural products, hence Mozambique's large trade deficit. The country also imports food, clothing, and petroleum products. Import partners include South Africa, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, the United States, Japan, and India. In the past several years, the value of imports outweighed the value of exports by 5 to 1 or more—a factor that obliges Mozambique to depend heavily on foreign aid and loans by foreign commercial banks and the Bretton Woods Institutions . In 1995 alone, Mozambique received $1.115 billion in aid. Recent oil and gas discoveries across East Africa, most notably in Mozambique and Tanzania, have seen the region emerge as a new player in the global oil and gas industry.

The discoveries have driven billions of dollars in annual investment to the region.

According to BMI estimates, the finds in the last few years are more than that of any other region in the world, and the discoveries are expected to continue for the next few years.In Mozambique, agriculture is the mainstay of the economy and the country has a great potential for growth in the sector. Agriculture employs more than 80 percent of the labour force and provides livelihoods to the vast majority of over 23 million inhabitants. Agriculture contributed 31.5 percent of the GDP in 2009, while commerce and services accounted for 44.9 percent. By contrast, 20 percent of the total export value in 2009 originated from the agriculture sector, mostly through the export of fish , timber, copra, cashew nuts and citrus, cotton, coconuts, tea and tobacco.Agricultural potential is high, particularly in the fertile northern regions, which accounts for the bulk of the country's agricultural surplus. The main cash crops are sugar, copra, cashew nuts, tea, and tobacco.

Business Environment

The resettlement of war refugees and successful economic reform have led to a high growth rate: the average growth rate from 1993 to 1999 was 6.7%; from 1997 to 1999, it averaged more than 10% per year. The devastating floods of early 2000 slowed GDP growth to a 2.1%; estimates point to a full recovery in 2001. The government projects have caused the economy to continue to expand between 7%-10% a year for the next 5 years, although rapid expansion in the future hinges on several major foreign investment projects, continued economic reform, and the revival of the agriculture, transportation, and tourism sectors. More than 75% of the population engages in small scale agriculture, which still suffers from inadequate infrastructure, commercial networks and investment. Yet 88% of Mozambique's arable land is still uncultivated; focusing economic growth in this sector is a major challenge for the government.The government's tight control of spending and the money supply, combined with financial sector reform, successfully reduced inflation from 70% in 1994 to less than 5% from 1998–99. Rates spiked in 2000, however, to a rate of 12.7% due to economic disruptions stemming from the devastating floods.

Over 1,200 state-owned enterprises have been privatized. Preparations for privatization and/or sector liberalization are underway for the remaining parastatals, including telecommunications, electricity, water service, airports, ports, and the railroads. The government frequently selects a strategic foreign investor when privatizing a parastatal. Additionally, customs duties have been reduced, and customs management has been streamlined and reformed. The government introduced a highly successful value-added tax in 1999 as part of its efforts to increase domestic revenues. Plans for 2001-02 include Commercial Code reform; comprehensive judicial reform; financial sector strengthening; continued civil service reform; improved government budget, audit, and inspection capability; and introduction of the private management of water systems in major cities. The process of liberalization in Mozambique was an initiative from the World Bank. In the Mid 1990s, World Bank made it necessary for the nation to liberalize their cashew sector. This policy of liberalization has been one of the most contentious policies. In recent years, the value of imports has surpassed that of exports by almost 2:1, an improvement over the 4:1 ratio of the immediate post-war years. In 2000 imports were $1,217 million, and exports were $723 million. Support programs provided by development partners have largely compensated for balance of payments shortfalls. The medium-term outlook for exports is encouraging, since a number of foreign investment projects should lead to substantial export growth and a better trade balance. MOZAL, a large aluminum smelter that commenced production in mid-2000, has greatly expanded the nation's trade volume. Traditional Mozambican exports include cashews, shrimp, fish, copra, sugar, cotton, tea, and citrus fruits.


The central area of Maputo corresponds to a planned city with square blocks and wide avenues, with Portuguese traces and their typical architecture of the 1970s. After the Carnation Revolution military coup in Lisbon, Portuguese refugees fled in massive numbers close to the date of independence , and the resultant lack of skills and capital, in the context of a fierce civil war and government mismanagement, contributed to its state of dereliction in the years following these events. Nevertheless, the city itself was never damaged, since it was tacitly considered neutral ground during both the colonial and the civil war.

Recovery of the older infrastructure has been slow and most property developers in recent years have decided to invest in the construction of new properties rather than rehabilitating any of the existing ones. The rates for property in the city are high as investment increases, larger numbers of businesses are hoping to locate within easy reach of the airports, banks and other facilities. The infrastructure is expected to spread out across vacant areas of the city hopefully easing property prices within the next couple of years.

Maputo faces many challenges, such as poor transport and drainage infrastructure, which have profound implications on people’s livelihoods, particularly in informal settlements. Inadequate planning regulation and law enforcement, as well as perceived corruption in government processes, lack of communication across government departments and lack of concern or government coordination with respect to building codes are major impediments to progressing the development of Maputo’s infrastructure, according to the Climate & Development Knowledge Network.

As a coastal city, Maputo is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise, and population growth is putting increasing pressure on the coastal areas.Despite its Portuguese heritage, all vehicles are right-hand drive and drive on the left hand side of the road.

Another more general impediment is often attributed to land which is legally not for sale in Mozambique. All land is property of the state for which the state grants the rights to use the land. This presupposition combined with historical problems in managing inheritance and documentation have led to complications which discourage investment and expansion of the city.

In 2011, PROMAPUTO2, the second phase of the project began. This phase was to last until 2015 and a total of USD 105 million was spent. The plan called for an IT systems, Integrated Financial Management Information System together with Geographic Information System . These systems would supposedly help the municipality control its budgets and manage tenders, while the GIS would allow for precise information about land location and titling to be kept. Several roads should have been expanded and improved and the Avenida Julius Nyerer finally completed. Financial sustainability for the project was to be guaranteed through the improved collection of property tax . The project also coincided with the recent overhaul of the Road Safety and Traffic Regulations which was an antiquated system that had not seen changes since the 1950s. Amongst the new regulations, heavy penalties and fines would now apply to many detrimental actions done by automobiles, such as pollution, loud noises, and illegal maneuvers.

Electronic parking meters have now been installed in some areas of the CBD to curb a chronic shortage and wrongful use of parking space.

In spite of its previous instability, Mozambique is experiencing one of the fastest growth rates for a developing country in the world.The projected growth rate for 2011 is expected to be around 7.5%, some of it centered on the construction of several capital intensive projects in Maputo. Some of the more notable developments include Edificio 24, a mixed-use development that will be located at the center of the city along Avenida 24 Julho and Avenida Salvador Allende. The Maputo Business Tower is a 47-story building that, at its expected completion in 2013 or 2014, will be considered the tallest building in the country at 190 metres . The Radisson Blu Hotel has begun construction of a 12-story building with 154 rooms in one of the city's trendiest spots on the marginal along the beach. The hotel is due to open in the first quarter of 2013. Maputo International Airport is the main international airport of Mozambique. The new terminal was opened in 2010 with a capacity for 900,000 passengers per year. Work has begun on the construction of a new domestic terminal which will have a capacity for many more passengers at any given time. The construction work will require the current building to be demolished. Maputo's transportation needs are mainly served by minibus taxis called chapas, which are believed to transport the majority of the city's commuters. In an effort to resolve a public transport crisis in the city, the state-owned company, Transporte de Moçambique has recently acquired a new fleet of 270+ buses. There are three major bus terminals in the city: at Baixa , Museu , and at Junta .Ferry boats departing from Maputo to the district of KaTembe are available during the week. A ferry can carry approximately 20 vehicles per trip.The city of maputo is the end of three railway lines: Goba railway, Limpopo railway and Pretoria–Maputo railway.Maputo was home to one of the first electric tramway systems in Africa, commencing in February 1904. At first the lines ran from the Central Railway Station to the City Municipality building. It is said that the establishment of the tram system caused some protests from the general public as certain classes had limited access to its use. Trams lost favor in the second half of the 20th century as cars and buses became more common, and they have not been in use at all since 1936, although parts of some of the tracks can still be seen coming up through the tar in certain streets, like Av. 24 de Julho.The main port of Maputo handled 17 million tons of cargo in 1971, at its peak. It was part of the trio of Mozambique's main ports for the Nacala-Beira-Maputo route. Today, it is managed by the Maputo Port Development Company , a joint venture of Grindrod and DP World. The government has allowed the firm to manage the port until 2030 in order to upgrade much of its infrastructure that has been destroyed after years of stagnation.


Upon the appointment of the new Minister responsible for science and technology , UNESCO addressed, in December 2012, an official letter to determine the areas of cooperation within the project and based on the main ministerial priorities in STI policy. In March 2013, the Director of the Division of Science Policy and Capacity-Building at UNESCO held a consultation meeting with the minister where it was agreed upon that the project activities for Mozambique would focus on the development of the Global Observatory of Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Instruments country profile. It was also decided that the country would host a sub-regional training workshop on developing instruments for analysis, and monitoring of STI policies and policy instruments, which was intended for the lusophone countries in Africa. According to Andreas Perez Fransius, special political and economic advisor to the Sweden Embassy in Maputo, Mozambique’s challenge lies in the expansion of information and communication technology and its ability to turn these tools into factors of economic development and democratic debate.

In parallel to a meeting with Mozambicans who took part to the Stockholm Internet Forum 2017 between 16 and 18 May last month, he said to journalists that Mozambique still faces obstacles that it must overcome in this respect.

The advisor considers that a greater inclusion of society into information technology and communication should result in more economic opportunities and enhance the democratic process dynamics of the country.

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved an additional financing in the amount of US$45 million to support the implementation of the Government of Mozambique’s Higher Education, Sciences and Technology project.

From 2004 to 2012, the number of upper secondary graduates increased from less than 8,000 to 41,500. The Government of Mozambique estimates that the number of graduates of secondary education will increase to over 140,000 in 2016 and further double to 280,000 by 2020.

While the HE system in Mozambique expanded from only three institutions in 1992 to 48 in 2014, and evolved from an entirely public system to a mixed one including private providers, the level of resources is inadequate to meet the system’s growing needs.

Social Wellness and Human Resources

Maputo is a melting pot of several cultures. The Bantu and Portuguese cultures dominate, but the influence of Arab, Indian, and Chinese cultures is also felt.

Mozambique’s current population is 31.26 million. Based on current projections, Mozambique’s population will surpass 100 million by 2078 and will reach 122.8 million by the end of the century. This means that over the next 80 years, Mozambique is projected to almost quadruple its current population.

Mozambique is growing at a rate of 2.93% every year. The fertility rate is high at 4.89 births per woman, caused by early first pregnancies and the low use of contraceptive methods.

Most of the note-worthy buildings are former colonial administrative buildings or current government buildings. Among the places of worship, they are predominantly Christian churches and temples : Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Maputo , Reformed Church in Mozambique , Igreja Presbiteriana de Moçambique , Convenção Baptista de Moçambique , Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, Assemblies of God, Zion Christian Church. There are also Muslim mosques. Maputo offers several options for education with pre-schools, primary, secondary schools and higher education institutions. The quality of the syllabus is said to differ greatly depending on whether an institution is private or public.

Mozambique's largest higher education institution is the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane which was established in 1968 as the Universidade de Lourenço Marques. Most of the universities faculties and departments are located in the city of Maputo with nearly 8,000 students attending 10 faculties. Some faculties also exist in Beira, Quelimane, Nampula and Inhambane.

Other hospitals include the public Hospital Geral José Macamo, and the private Clinica Sommerschield, the Clínica Cruz Azul in baixa and Hospital Privado located across the Portuguese School.

The construction of Hospital Miguel Bombarda began in 1900. In 1976, Samora Machel renamed the hospital as Hospital Central de Maputo . The hospital has 1500 beds for in-patients and has an estimated staff number of 3000. It is made of a multi-block structure with 35 separate buildings spanning an area of 163,800 m2. The hospital has six departments: Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Orthopedics, Gynaecology and Obstetrics. It also has divisions for Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology and a morgue. The hospital provides services for an average 700 out-patients a day and over 1,000 kg of washing is done daily. In the early 1990s, a section of the hospital was divided and turned into a private clinic offering higher quality services for those who could afford it called the Clínica Especial de Maputo. The residence for the head of medicine is on the corner of Avenida Eduardo Mondlane and Avenida Salavador Allende.










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Established (town)
9 December 1876
Elevated (city)
10 November 1887
Elevated (capital)
 • Municipal Council President
 • Governor
 • City and Province
347.69 km2 (134.24 sq mi)
47 m (154 ft)
 (2017 census)
 • City and Province
 • Density
3,100/km2 (8,100/sq mi)
 • Metro
Postal code
Area Code & Prefix
(+258) 21-XX-XX-XX
HDI (2017)
medium · 1st
Sourced by wikipedia