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An independent state in southern africa, south of tanzania and east of zambia, on the indian ocean. Its capital is maputo. It was formerly called portuguese east africa, the town of mozambique having been a portuguese trading fort early in the 16th century. Organised as a colony in 1907, it became an overseas province of portugal in 1951 and became independent in 1975. The name is a portuguese corruption of the arabic musa malik: musa (the name of an early african ruler) _ malik (king).