Wealth and poverty
Mozambique’s development has been hampered by natural disasters and civil war and it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Most Mozambicans are subsistence farmers and about 55% of people live on less than US$1.25 a day. There are big disparities in income distribution and consumption. The wealthiest 10% of the population has 37% of income and consumption while the poorest 10% share just 2%.
Education and work
While most children enrol in primary school only 53% progress to secondary school. Only 56% of the population can read and only 1% is enrolled in tertiary education. Eighty-five per cent of the country’s labour force is employed.
Industries and products
The principal cash crops are cashews, sugarcane, cotton, copra, sunflowers, potatoes, coconuts, citrus and tropical fruits, beef, poultry and tea. The main industries are food processing, chemicals (fertiliser, soap, paints), aluminium and petroleum-product production, and textiles, cement, glass, asbestos and tobacco manufacture. Electricity from the Cabora Bassa hydroelectric project is exported to South Africa.
The Mozambique economy is heavily dependent on foreign aid. In 2013 Mozambique exported more than US$3.9 billion in aluminium, prawns, cashews, cotton, sugar, citrus, timber and electricity to South Africa (31%), Belgium (13%) and China (9%). In 2013 machinery and equipment, vehicles, chemicals, metals, food, and textiles were imported from South Africa (30%), China (12%) and India (11%).