In 1975 the republic of Mozambique won its independence after nearly 500 years as a Portuguese colony. The following decades were filled with civil war (1977–92), massive emigration by the white population, economic dependence on South Africa, and severe drought. After Marxism was discarded and a new constitution adopted in the late 1980s, Mozambique began to move toward democracy and the development of a market economy. The United Nations brokered a peace settlement in 1992.

Although Mozambique is still a poor country and remains heavily dependent on foreign aid, the economy has grown dramatically since peace was declared. The size of the foreign debt has been reduced through participation in the International Monetary Fund's Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) and Enhanced HIPC initiatives. The Mozambican government ...

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