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Maputo is the capital of Mozambique. A port on the Indian Ocean, its economy is centered around the harbour. It has an official population of approximately 966,837 (1997), but the actual population is estimated to be much higher due to slums and other unofficial settlements. Coal, cotton, sugar, chrome, sisal, copra, and hardwood are the chief exports. The city manufactures cement, pottery, furniture, shoes, and rubber. There is also a large aluminum smelting plant, Mozal. The city is surrounded by Maputo Province, but is administered as its own province. Maputo is located at 25░54'55" South, 32░34'35" East (-25.915278, 32.576389). [1]

Maputo is located on the west side of Maputo Bay, at the mouth of the Tembe River. The bay is 95 km (50 mi) long and 30 km (20 mi) wide. The Maputo River empties into the southern end of the bay.

Founded in the late 18th century, the city was named Lourenšo Marques for Lourenšo Marques, the Portuguese trader who first explored the area in 1544. In 1895, construction of a railroad to Pretoria, South Africa caused the city's population to grow. In 1898, Lourenšo Marques became the capital of Mozambique. During the Boer war, Winston Churchill, after being captured by the Boers, made a daring escape to Lourenšo Marques by slipping past the sentries. After independence, the city's name was changed to Maputo.

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