The national flag was adopted in 1983. It is horizontally striped in green, black and yellow, narrow white stripes separate the colored stripes from one another. From the leech there is a red triangle over the stripe; in the middle of it is an open book on a yellow five-pointed star, on which the pick and the rifle cross. The constitution describes the meaning of the colors: green symbolizes the fertile soil, black the continent and its population, yellow the mineral resources, red the struggle for freedom and white the will for peace and order. – The coat of arms introduced in 1975 (modified in 1982) shows a gold gear. In the middle of it lies an open book in front of a red sun. A hoe and an assault rifle cross in front of it; the water waves below symbolize the Indian Ocean. The frame is formed by a sugar cane plant and a corn cob, with a gold-rimmed red star between the top tips. A red ribbon with the official country name holds the plants together below.
National holiday: June 25th commemorates the gaining of independence in 1975.
There is general compulsory schooling for ages 6 to 13 with free tuition. However, there is a great shortage of qualified teachers. The size of the individual school classes usually comprises more than 70 children. There are big differences between the sexes. The literacy rate (15-year-olds and older) is 43% for women and 71% for men.
According to topschoolsintheusa, the school system is divided into a seven-year primary level, a two-year secondary level I and a two-year upper secondary level (requirement for university studies). At secondary level there are general, technical and agricultural schools. The languages of instruction are Portuguese and the regional languages. There are several universities including the University of Mozambique (founded in 1962) in Maputo.
State media have the greatest circulation. Reporting critical of the government is often hindered.
Press: The largest daily newspapers are “Notícias” (founded in 1926, state-owned), “O País” (founded in 2002) of the Soico Media Group in Maputo and “Diário de Moçambique” (founded in 1950) in Beira. There are also daily newspapers that can only be obtained by fax, and a dozen weekly newspapers and magazines, including “Verdade” (free), “Savana”, “Canal de Moçambique” and “Zambeze”.
The news agency is the Agência de Informação de Moçambique (AIM; founded in 1975, state-owned).
Broadcasting: The state “Rádio Moçambique” broadcasts the only nationwide radio program (Portuguese) as well as regional programs in local languages. There are also private radio stations, especially in Maputo. In addition to the state-run “Televisão de Moçambique (TVM and TVM 2)” there is the private broadcaster “Soico Televisão” (STV). TV programs from Portugal (»RTP África«), Brazil (»TV Miramar«) and South Africa (pay TV) are also received.
Guebuza from FRELIMO won the presidential elections in December 2004, in which Chissano was no longer allowed to stand under the constitution, which also won the parliamentary elections that were held at the same time. Like most countries in southern Africa, Mozambique suffered from the drought that had persisted for four years in 2005. According to the food authority SETSAN, at the beginning of November 2005 800,000 people were dependent on food aid.
In the presidential election on October 28, 2009, incumbent A. Guebuza won a clear victory with around 75% of the vote. A. Dhlakama, the candidate of RENAMO, ended up in second place with around 16% of the votes. In the parliamentary elections held at the same time, the FRELIMO won 191 seats, the RENAMO had 51 and the MDM had 8 seats. Dissatisfied with the political dominance of FRELIMO, the RENAMO leadership intensified the dispute with the government. From April 2013, there were repeated armed clashes. After government units had taken their headquarters at the end of October 2013, RENAMO terminated the peace made in 1992 with the FRELIMO socialist government and also boycotted the local elections in November 2013. RENAMO leader A. Dhlakama retired underground. A peace agreement was signed on September 5th, 2014. A. Dhlakama returned to the political stage. In the presidential elections on 10.15.2014 in which incumbent Guebuza could not run constitutionally to two terms, the population chose the FRELIMO candidate and former Defense Minister F. Nyusi in the first round with 57% of votes as the new Head of State, A. Dhlakama came in second place with 36.6% of the vote. FRELIMO won 55.9% of the vote and 144 seats in the parliamentary elections that were held at the same time. Compared to the 2009 elections, she had to accept a loss of 47 seats. RENAMO was able to gain 89 seats and thus improved by 38 seats. The MDM had 17 seats. Nyusi was sworn in as the new president on January 15, 2015.
Increasing tensions between the government and RENAMO subsequently escalated into violent conflicts. A. Dhlakama went underground again. Tens of thousands of Mozambicans were not only on the run in their own country, but also fled to neighboring Malawi and South Africa. International mediators initiated peace talks in 2016 to prevent a renewed outbreak of civil war. A ceasefire agreed in early January 2017 was extended indefinitely in May. After the death of A. Dhlakama in May 2018, Ossufo Momade (* 1961) was elected as the new chairman of RENAMO. The historical enmity between the ruling party Frelimo and RENAMO was settled by a peace agreement on August 6, 2019.
In March 2019, Mozambique was hit by the tropical cyclone »Idai«, which led to severe flooding, claimed around 700 lives and wreaked havoc on the port city of Beira. Just five weeks later, another cyclone struck the coast of Mozambique and caused considerable damage.
On October 15, 2019, the National Parliament, the Provincial Assemblies and the President were elected. Since a constitutional reform, the provincial parliaments have the power to elect the provincial governors, previously they were appointed by the president. According to official statements, the election was “calm and peaceful,” and critics attested that the election was neither free nor fair. Problems before and during the election were violence against the opposition, violence by the opposition party RENAMO and election manipulation. F. Nyusi was confirmed in office with 73.5% of the votes. FRELIMO won 71.3% of the votes (144 of 250 seats), RENAMO 22.3% (89 seats).