1. Their flag has a gun on it

The flag of Mozambique has an image of an AK-47 on it, symbolising the country’s fight for independence, and was adopted in 1983. Other images on the flag include a star, a hoe and an open book. The only other two countries whose flags have a firearm on them are Guatemala and Haiti. In 2005, the country considered changing its flag, but it was decided to keep the current design.

Mozambique is one of only three countries that has a firearm on its flag.

2. It has a thriving resources sector

Mozambique is the fourth-biggest producer of titanium in the world and has the 14th-largest reserves of natural gas. The South African company, Sasol, has been developing Mozambican gasfields since 2004. In Africa, only Nigeria has bigger reserves of natural gas. Mozambique also produces aluminium, gemstones, coal and small amounts of gold.

3. Democracy is fairly young in Mozambique

After gaining its independence from Portugal in 1975, Mozambique was run as a one-party communist state for nearly two decades; it was only in 1994 that the first multi-party elections were held. There have been regular elections since, although the Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO) has won all of them fairly comfortably.

4. The country is named after an Arab trader

The name Mozambique is derived from Mussa Bin Bique, an Arabian trader who lived on an island off the country’s northern coast. The island became Mozambique Island, and the name was later given to the country itself by Portuguese explorers. Mozambique Island was the capital of Mozambique until 1898, when it was moved south to what is today Maputo.

5. Nando’s special chilli came originally from Mozambique

The world-famous fastfood outlet, Nando’s, uses a special chilli from Mozambique as an essential ingredient in its peri-peri chicken. The bird’s-eye chilli was introduced to Mozambique by Portuguese explorers, who had brought it from South America. The African variety is now unique, and grows both wild and is cultivated by farmers. Nando’s started in Johannesburg, and now has outlets in 24 countries, including Zambia.

See also: Five things you didn’t know about…Angola