Nambia & Mozambique

Namibia is located on the southwestern coast of the continent

Diogo Cao, from Portugal, became the first European to set foot on Namibian soil in 1485, with Bartholomeu Dias the second; however, due to the inhospitable Namib Desert neither went too far inland, according to World Atlas. In the 19th century, the German trader Adolf Luderitz bought a portion of the region for 10,000 marks and 260 guns. Relations between the natives and German settlers deteriorated as the new government encouraged the settlers to take land from the natives. In 1904 the rebellion escalated into the Herero and Namaqua Wars. Under the leadership of chief Samuel Maharero, the Hereros had the upper hand, and had little problem with defending themselves due to their knowledge of the terrain. In response, Germany sent 14,000 additional troops to subdue the situation, and at the Battle of Waterberg the Hereros were issued an ultimatum to leave the country or be killed.

What followed was the Herero and Namaqua Genocide, as Hereros escaped into the waterless Omaheke region in the Kalahari Desert where many died of thirst, and the rest were at the mercy of German forces whose orders were to shoot any male Herero on sight. An estimated 50-70% of the total Herero population, and approximately 50% of the Nama population perished. On October 7, 2007, descendants of Lothar von Trotha, the General who led the German attacks on the Hereros and Namas, issued an apology for the actions of their ancestors. South Africa occupied the German colony of South-West Africa during World War I and administered it as a mandate until after World War II, when it annexed the territory. The South-West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) guerrilla group launched a war of independence in 1966 for the area that was soon named Namibia, but it was not until 1988 that South Africa agreed to end its administration in accordance with a UN peace plan for the entire region. Namibia gained independence from South Africa on March 21st 1990. Hifikepunye Pohamba was elected president in November 2004 in a landslide victory replacing Sam Nujoma who led the country during its first 14 years of self-rule. Pohamba was re-elected in the 2009 elections by an overwhelming vote.

Mozambique is located in Southeast Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest

Mozambique gained independence from Portugal on June 25th 1975. Soon after gaining independence, followed a sixteen year civil conflict that concluded in 1992. Although, the civil war is over, tension still remains between the ruling Frelimo party and the opposition the former Renamo rebel movement, according the BBC. During the civil conflict era Frelimo was Mozambique’s sole political party. However, multiparty elections was introduced in 1994 and the first president Frelimo and Renamo continue to be the major parties, but there are many others as well. The current president Filipe Nyusi, from the Frelimo party became president on January 2015.​

Mozambique has vast natural resources and minerals, but also remained underdeveloped

Although the 1992 resource-development projects has led to an increased investment. Key metallic resources such as high-quality iron ore and the rare and important mineral tantalite (the principal ore of tantalum), of which Mozambique has what may be the world’s largest reserves. Gold, bauxite (the principal ore of aluminum), graphite, marble, bentonite, and limestone are mined and quarried, and sea salt is extracted in coastal areas. Also, Mozambique’s other mineral deposits include manganese, graphite, fluorite, platinum, nickel, uranium, asbestos, diamonds, coal and natural gas. The centerpiece of Mozambique’s energy potential is the Cahora Bassa Dam on the upper Zambezi. Originally, designed in cooperation with South Africa’s national power company to produce electricity largely for South Africa, not Mozambique. Portugal long held the majority share of ownership in the company that operates Cahora Bassa. After much negotiation, an agreement between Portugal and Mozambique that increased Mozambique’s share of ownership to 85 percent was implemented in 2006 and Portugal agreed in 2012 to relinquish its final share of ownership over the next two years. The Cahora Bassa is continent’s fourth-largest artificial lake. Mozambique’s most important exports by value include aluminum, shrimp, and cotton.

The people of Mozambique are ethnically diverse, but ethnic categories are fluid and reflect the country’s colonial history. 99% of Mozambicans descended from such indigenous tribes as the Makua, Tonga, Chokwe, Manyika, and Sau. The Makua people are the largest ethnic group. Portuguese is the official and most widely spoken language of the nation.

Landmarks and major tourist sites

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