|Portuguese name: Moçambique, Also called (until 1975): Portuguese East Africa a republic in SE Africa: colonized by the Portuguese from 1505 onwards and a slave-trade centre until 1878; made an overseas province of Portugal in 1951; became an independent republic in 1975; became a member of the Commonwealth in 1995. Official language: Portuguese. Religion: animist majority. Currency: metical. Capital: Maputo. Pop: 19 183 000 (2004 est). Area: 812 379 sq km (313 661 sq miles)|
Republic in southeastern Africa on the Indian Ocean, bordered by South Africa to the south, Swaziland to the southwest, Zimbabwe to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Tanzania to the north. It was a possession of Portugal from 1505 until 1975. Its capital and largest city is Maputo.