Quelimane | Mozambique

Quelimane (Portuguese pronunciation: [keliˈmani]) is a seaport in Mozambique. It is the administrative capital of the Zambezia Province and the province's largest city, and stands 25 km (16 mi) from the mouth of the Rio dos Bons Sinais (or "River of the Good Signs"). The river was named when Vasco da Gama, on his way to India, reached it and saw "good signs" that he was on the right path. The town was the end point of David Livingstone's west-to-east crossing of south-central Africa in 1856. Portuguese is the official language of Mozambique, and many residents of the areas surrounding Quelimane speak Portuguese. The most common local language is Chuabo. Quelimane, along with much of Zambezia Province, is extremely prone to floods during Mozambique's rainy season. The most recent bout of severe flooding took place in January 2007.

Mozambique became independent from Portugal in 1975, after the April 1974 Carnation Revolution at Lisbon. Although its location on the Rio dos Bons Sinais is less important today than in the past, Quelimane remains a major town with a large hospital, two cathedrals, a mosque, and a public university for teachers. Due to its heat, humidity, and distance from the beach, Quelimane is not among Mozambique's major tourist destinations. However, its status as a provincial capital and the fourth-largest city in Mozambique and the increasing ease of access by plane (Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique runs flights) and road contribute to a small but relatively steady stream of visitors. In addition, Quelimane is home to branches of many NGOs, including World Vision International, Heifer International, and Save the Children UK. Frequent visits from foreign aid consultants, workers, and government officials also contribute to the economy, and the city received a further boost when Quelimane hosted the Ninth Annual Frelimo Party Convention in November 2006. After decades of municipal decline, the current mayor, Manuel de Araujo, is reportedly overseeing a renewed civic effort at economic and infrastructural restoration .

On 19 October 1986, Samora Machel was on his way back from an international meeting in Zambia in the presidential Tupolev Tu-134 aircraft when the plane crashed in the Lebombo Mountains near Mbuzini. There were ten survivors, but President Machel and thirty-three others died, including ministers and officials of the Mozambique government. The United Nations' Soviet delegation issued a minority report contending that their expertise and experience had been undermined by the South Africans. Representatives of the Soviet Union advanced the theory that the plane had been intentionally diverted by a false navigational beacon signal, using a technology provided by military intelligence operatives of the South African government.

Machel's successor Joaquim Chissano implemented sweeping changes in the country, starting reforms such as changing from Marxism to capitalism, and began peace talks with RENAMO. The new constitution enacted in 1990 provided for a multi-party political system, market-based economy, and free elections. The civil war ended in October 1992 with the Rome General Peace Accords, first brokered by the Christian Council of Mozambique (Council of Protestant Churches) and then taken over by Community of Sant'Egidio. Peace returned to Mozambique, under supervision of the ONUMOZ peacekeeping force of the United Nations.

By 1993, more than 1.5 million Mozambican refugees had returned who had sought asylum in neighbouring Malawi, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Zambia, Tanzania, and South Africa as a result of war and drought, as part of the largest repatriation witnessed in sub-Saharan Africa.

At 309,475 sq mi (801,537 km2), Mozambique is the world's 36th-largest country. It is comparable in size to Turkey. Mozambique is located on the southeast coast of Africa. It is bound by Swaziland to the south, South Africa to the southwest, Zimbabwe to the west, Zambia and Malawi to the northwest, Tanzania to the north and the Indian Ocean to the east. Mozambique lies between latitudes 10° and 27°S, and longitudes 30° and 41°E.

The country is divided into two topographical regions by the Zambezi River. To the north of the Zambezi River, the narrow coastal strip gives way to inland hills and low plateaus. Rugged highlands are further west; they include the Niassa highlands, Namuli or Shire highlands, Angonia highlands, Tete highlands and the Makonde plateau, covered with miombo woodlands. To the south of the Zambezi River, the lowlands are broader with the Mashonaland plateau and Lebombo Mountains located in the deep south.

The country is drained by five principal rivers and several smaller ones with the largest and most important the Zambezi. The country has four notable lakes: Lake Niassa (or Malawi), Lake Chiuta, Lake Cahora Bassa and Lake Shirwa, all in the north. The major cities are Maputo, Beira, Nampula, Tete, Quelimane, Chimoio, Pemba, Inhambane, Xai-Xai and Lichinga.

In May 2009, the government approved a new general elections law that contained innovations based on the experience of the 2003 municipal elections. Presidential and National Assembly elections took place on 1–2 December 2004. FRELIMO candidate Armando Guebuza won with 64% of the popular vote. His opponent, Afonso Dhlakama of RENAMO, received 32% of the popular vote. FRELIMO won 160 seats in Parliament. A coalition of RENAMO and several small parties won the 90 remaining seats. Armando Guebuza was inaugurated as the President of Mozambique on 2 February 2005.

RENAMO and some other opposition parties made claims of election fraud and denounced the result. These claims were supported by international observers (among others by the European Union Election Observation Mission to Mozambique and the Carter Centre) to the elections who criticised the fact that the National Electoral Commission (CNE) did not conduct fair and transparent elections. They listed a whole range of shortcomings by the electoral authorities that benefited the ruling party FRELIMO.

According to EU observers, the elections shortcomings have probably not affected the final result in the presidential election. On the other hand, the observers have declared that the outcome of the parliamentary election and thus the distribution of seats in the National Assembly does not reflect the will of the Mozambican people and is clearly to the disadvantage of RENAMO.

After clashes between RENAMO guards and the police in Muxungue and Gondola in April 2013, RENAMO said it would boycott and disrupt local elections in November 2013. Since the end of the civil war in 1992, about 300 RENAMO guards had remained armed and refused to join the national army or the police force.

The resettlement of civil war refugees and successful economic reform have led to a high growth rate: the country enjoyed a remarkable recovery, achieving an average annual rate of economic growth of 8% between 1996 and 2006 and between 6–7% from 2006 to 2011. The devastating floods of early 2000 slowed GDP growth to 2.1% but a full recovery was achieved in 2001 with growth of 14.8%. . Rapid expansion in the future hinged on several major foreign investment projects, continued economic reform, and the revival of the agriculture, transportation, and tourism sectors. In 2013 about 80% of the population was employed in agriculture, the majority of whom were engaged in small-scale subsistence farming which still suffered from inadequate infrastructure, commercial networks, and investment. However, in 2012, more than 90% of Mozambique's arable land was still uncultivated.

In 2013, a BBC article reported that, starting in 2009, Portuguese had been returning to Mozambique because of the growing economy in Mozambique and the poor economic situation in Portugal.

Water supply and sanitation in Mozambique is characterised by low levels of access to an improved water source (estimated to be 51% in 2011), low levels of access to adequate sanitation (estimated to be 25% in 2011) and mostly poor service quality. In 2007 the government has defined a strategy for water supply and sanitation in rural areas, where 62% of the population lives. In urban areas, water is supplied by informal small-scale providers and by formal providers.

Beginning in 1998, Mozambique has reformed the formal part of the urban water supply sector through the creation of an independent regulatory agency called CRA, an asset-holding company called FIPAG and a Public-private partnership (PPP) with a company called Aguas de Moçambique. The PPP covered those areas of the capital and of four other cities that had access to formal water supply systems. However, the PPP ended when the management contracts for four cities expired in 2008 and when the foreign partner of the company that serves the capital under a lease contract withdrew in 2010, claiming heavy losses.

While urban water supply has received considerable policy attention, the government has no strategy for urban sanitation yet. External donors finance about 87.4% of all public investments in the sector. The main donors in the water sector are the World Bank, the African Development Bank, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States.

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