In 1992, after 17 years of civil war, it was one of the world's poorest nations. But over the last decade it has made an impressive recovery through successful macroeconomic reforms and a more stable political environment.
Political difficulties loom. The government is corrupt and lacks transparency. The 2004 elections were marred by allegations of fraud. Armando Guebuza succeeded long-time ruler Joaquim Chissano, who had ruled since 1986.
The economy was hit by major flooding and drought 2000-2002. Much of the population was affected, and much infrastructure was destroyed.
Land is only open for lease for up to 50 years. All land is state-owned. But the inefficient nature of the Mozambican judicial system makes protection of property rights extremely problematic.