An Indian Ocean port city, Maputo is the capital of Mozambique littered with Portuguese colonial architecture in the downtown neighborhood with jacaranda and acacia trees lining its streets. Sitting in the south of the country, it's 120km from the South Africa and Swaziland borders with a population of around the 1,101,170 souls. Known for its vibrant cultural scene and distinctive architecture, up until 1976 it was known by the name of Lourenco Marques. Its economy is based around its port with exports including cotton, sugar, chromite, copra, hardwood and sisal plus it has a robust manufacturing and service sector. Home to numerous education institutions such as the Pedagogical University and the Eduardo Mondlane University that is the oldest in the country, Maputo has a wealth of energetic tech savvy souls hanging out in the coworking spaces in its streets.
Once a small fishing village in the 1500s, it was in 1781 when a Portuguese fort was established. Maputo is perched on a large natural bay where the Tembe, Mbuluzi, Matola and the Infulene Rivers all converge. Geographically the smallest and most densely populated province in Mozambique, it's a cosmopolitan city of melding cultures with the locals chatting in Bantu or Portuguese plus a smattering of Indian, Chinese and Arabic being spoken. Affectionately referred to as the "City of Acacias" or the "Pearl of the Indian Ocean", Maputo has numerous restaurants, cafes and a wealth of landmark sites to poke around.
Despite some daunting socio-economic hurdles to overcome, Mozambique has quite a few local entrepreneurs hitting the tech startup world with innovative products and services aimed at improving the lives of their fellow countrymen. One of the fastest growing cities in sub-Saharan Africa, Mozambique's government is attempting to consolidate and coordinate support resources for startups by giving access to micro-credit plus training and development programs. This is an emerging hub with an ecosystem that is in its infancy. Corporate and angel investors are beginning to sit up and take notice with some forming syndicates and initiatives to finance and support startups.
Known more for its white sand beaches and clear aquamarine waters, Mozambique has many intrepid minds getting creative in coworking venues where they can mingle with seasoned IT souls, collaborate and bring their innovative ideas into reality.
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