Mozambique is a former Portuguese colony located in the Southeast of Africa along the Indian Ocean. After a short war for independence in 1964, Mozambique was left with a very strong infrastructure and an abundance of natural resources. As a result, the country was poised to be one of the greatest nations in Africa. They made the mistake of adopting a communist government, a decision which was violently opposed by the surrounding countries and led to the country being ravished by 18 years of devastating civil war. During the war, some of the people who were most targeted and persecuted were the educated. Teachers and doctors were gunned down on sight. As the smoke cleared and they tried to regain their footing, Mozambicans found they knew very little about how to run a country, an economy, or even a company. As a result, many business people from all over the world flooded in to take advantage of the weak market, set up shop, and began siphoning the resources of this already impoverished nation into their own economies.
While the people of Mozambique are happy, friendly, and outgoing on the surface, there is a deep undercurrent of sadness and discontent. The culture is an intricate blend of African traditions with definite vestiges of its Portuguese and communist history. While Mozambique has many natural resources, little of this wealth reaches the local populace; the vast majority of business owners are expatriates from China, India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, or South Africa.
Over twenty years after the end of the war, Mozambique is still one of the poorest nations in the world--it sits third from the bottom of the list on the Human Development Index (which combines GDP per capita, life expectancy, and literacy rates to determine how "developed" a country is). There are few jobs, and the ones that do exist often don't pay well or don't pay on time. Education is also a major weakness; teachers in the public school often don't show up to class and they let the students do basically whatever they want. We've met multiple university professors who have lamented that many of their students--who are top-of-their-class high school graduates--can't even read or write.
But there is hope! Many of the churches in Mozambique have been waking up to the importance of making an impact in education and business, and they are realizing the tools that the Word of God gives them to that end. The Mozambican economy is increasing at the rate of 8% per year.