The Republic of Mozambique is situated in the south eastern part of Africa and covers an area of 799 380 square kilometres. The country was a Portuguese colony from the fifteenth century until it attained political independence in 1975 after 10 years of a bitter armed struggle. Peace was interrupted once again during the early 1980s when the country experienced a civil war which caused the loss of many lives and left in its wake a trail of destruction. As a result, a lot of infrastructure had to be rebuilt. Peace finally returned to Mozambique in 1992 and since then, the country has undergone rapid socio-economic development.