Mozambique is endowed with rich and extensive natural resources. The country's economy is based largely on agriculture, but with industry, mainly food and beverages, chemical manufacturing, aluminium and petroleum production, is growing. The country's tourism sector is also growing. South Africa is Mozambique's main trading partner and source of foreign direct investment. Portugal, Brazil, Spain and Belgium are also among the country's most important economic partners.
The only official language of Mozambique is Portuguese, which is spoken mostly as a second language by about half of the population. Common native languages include Swahili, Makhuwa, and Sena. The country's population of around 24 million is composed overwhelmingly of Bantu people. The largest religion in Mozambique is Christianity, with significant minorities following Islam and African traditional religions. Mozambique is a member of the African Union, Commonwealth of Nations, the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Latin Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, Southern African Development Community and La Francophonie.
The Mozambique Channel is a portion of the Indian Ocean located between Madagascar and Mozambique. The channel is approximately 460 km (286 miles) across at its narrowest point between Angoche, Mozambique, and Tambohorano, Madagascar. The channel reaches a depth of 3,292 m (10,800 feet) about 230 km (143 mi) off the coast of Mozambique. A warm current flows in a southward direction in the channel, leading into the Agulhas Current off the east coast of South Africa. It is around 1000 miles (1600 km) long and the width of it varies from 250–600 miles (400–950 km). Thane Williams and Jonno Proudfoot will each attempt to simultaneously cross the Mozambique Channel from Mozambique to Madagascar in March-April 2014 in a 500 km stage swim.