Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique (Portuguese: Moçambique or República de Moçambique, pronounced [ʁɛˈpublikɐ di musɐ̃ˈbiki]), is a country in southeastern 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. It was explored by Vasco da Gama in 1498 and colonized by Portugal in 1505. By 1510, the Portuguese had virtual control of all of the former Swahili sultanates on the east African coast. From about 1500, Portuguese trading posts and forts became regular ports of call on the new route to the east. Mozambique became independent in 1975, to which it became the People's Republic of Mozambique shortly after, and was the scene of an intense civil war from 1977 to 1992. The country is a member of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries and the Commonwealth of Nations and an observer of the Francophonie. Mozambique (Moçambique) was named by the Portuguese after Msumbiji, the Swahili name of Mozambique Island and port-town. Mozambique's life expectancy and infant mortality rates are both among the worst ranked in the world. Its Human Development Index is one of the lowest on earth.
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