The current Mozambiquan flag. Photo: Shutterstock

One of the main organisations that focuses on the proper functioning of the African continent is the African Union formerly the Organisation of African Unity which was formed by 32 African states in 1963. The main aim of the organisation is to create a platform for African countries to bring about change and restore the dignity of African people.

Today (May 25), we celebrate African Freedom Day or simply Africa Day to mark each year of the ongoing liberation of the African continent from foreign domination and exploitation. In keeping with this spirit, our focus turns onto African countries and in this piece we bring you five facts about the history of Mozambique.

A country based in the southern region of the continent, Mozambique is widely known for it's beautiful beaches, lively music and delicious food. Here are some things to know that made it the country it is today:

  1. Because of the country’s colonial past, one of its most widely spoken languages is Portuguese

One of the country’s main languages at the moment is Portuguese. This is attached to the country’s colonial history. Mozambique was a colony of Portugal during the 20th Century before they achieved independence in 1975.

2. The country had a civil war period that lasted from 1977 to 1992.

The war, which lasted for about 15 years was fought over the ruling of the country. It is believed that the government of Apartheid South Africa sponsored arms to an anti-communist Renamo, seeking to destabilise the region and in order to secure the rule of a White minority government.

           Former Frelimo rebel soldier Abdul Momed Gofulof, clears land mines in Hnadane, 62 miles south of Maputo, Mozambique, in this Dec. 3, 2001 photo. Mozambique is a             nation ravaged by civil war and stark poverty, and it is rebuilding itself. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

3. Mozambique had it’s democratic elections in 1994

The democratic era of Mozambique is said to have begun in 1993, with the first democratic elections of the country being held in 1994. The elections were won by the party that was believed to have been the liberator of the people, Frelimo. Renamo also contested these elections, but as the official opposition.

4. Mozambique joined the Commonwealth in 1995

The Commonwealth of Nations, an association of nations that are mostly former colonies of the British Empire. However when Mozambique joined in 1995, they were one of the only countries in the commonwealth that were not a former British colony. Countries of the Commonwealth are voluntarily joined together by a set of goals they want to achieve like world peace, individual liberty, the pursuit of equality and the opposition to racism to name a few.