Mozambique (Mozambeek'), the collective name for the northern section of Portuguese East Africa, extending from the Rovuma to the Zambesi, and bordering on German East Africa, Lake Tanganyika, and British Central Africa. The coast-belt is low and swampy; but the interior rises into well-wooded plateaus, which furnish valuable timber. The soil is naturally fertile, and yields, in addition to maize, rice, manioc, etc, an abundance of natural products, such as cotton, sesame, cocoa-nut, medicinal plants, and india-rubber, but very little is done to cultivate them. The imports are cotton goods, beads, hardware, arms and gunpowder, coals, spirits, and provisions. The shipping is mostly (seven-tenths) in British hands. Customs duties are exceptionally heavy ; agriculture does not flourish ; mining is little prosecuted, although the country is rich in minerals; and pearls abound on the reefs. The pop. of the province is estimated at one million.
Mozambique, the capital, stands on a small coral island lying close to the mainland, and has a fine government house, a cathedral, an arsenal, etc. Pop. 7380, of whom 6800 are natives, 280 Banyans, and 300 Europeans. It was once a centre of the slave-trade; now its total trade ranges annually between £250,000 and £320,000. - The Mozambique Channel lies between Madagascar and the east coast of Africa.