The Indian connection with Mozambique is centuries old and has grown over a long time. Muslim traders from Malabar were a part of the commercial establishment long before the arrival of the Portuguese and there were also Hindu traders in Mozambique Island (Ilha de Moçambique) when Vasco da Gama visited it in 1499. The Indian community in Mozambique has seen many ups and downs during its stay of more than 500 years in Mozambique and in the recent past around 1960s when Indian Government took over Goa, Daman and Diu from the Portuguese, the Portuguese Government under the dictatorship of Mr. Antonio Salazar ordered the putting up of Indian nationals living in Mozambique in concentration camps for six months. Their properties were confiscated and all above the age of 18 years were repatriated to India. The Indian community, which is mostly engaged in trading business, also faced difficulties after independence of Mozambique under the socialist regime, which resulted in exodus of most of the community members to Portugal and other European and African countries. However, after return of peace in 1992 and liberalization of economy, the Indian community has started flourishing again.
Presently, there are approximately 20,000 persons of Indian origin, having Mozambican or Portuguese nationalities, and 1500 to 2000 Indian nationals. The majority of these have their origins in Gujarat, Goa, Daman and Diu. The community is basically involved in trading retail or wholesale business. There are some Indian experts working in different fields in Mozambique.
Persons of Indian origin are basically engaged in commercial and economic activities. However, a few of them also hold official positions.
The Indian Business Council in Maputo was set up in 2001. The main objectives of the Council are to promote business between India and Mozambique and also to project a positive image of the Indian community in Mozambique. The Indian community in Mozambique is mainly grouped under the Comunidade Hindu (Hindu Community) and the Comunidade Mohametana (Muslim Community). Both these associations have been set up with elected members from the community and celebrate all the major Indian festivals apart from organising various other cultural programmes. There are also socio-cultural associations of Indian communities from Kerala, West Bengal, Goa and Maharashtra.
The main office-bearers and contact details of the Indian associations are as follows:
Comunidade Hindu, Maputo (Hindu Community) President: Sr. Naguindas Manmoandas, Tel: +258-21407965 Address: Av. Guerra Popular, 699, Maputo, Mozambique E-mail: email@example.com Tel/Fax: +258-21428275; +258-21324101
Comunidade Mahometana, Maputo (Muslim Community) President: Sr. Salim Ahmed Karim Address: Av. Alberth Luthuli 291, Alto Mae, Maputo, Mozambique Tel: +258-21310955 and 21310958 Fax: +258-21312270