Chissano, Joaquim (Mozambique)

Reference work entry


One of the founding members of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO), Joaquim Chissano served as prime minister of the transitional government that led the country to independence in 1975, and was Mozambique’s second president from 1986–2005. He was credited with transforming Mozambique from a war-torn state into one of Africa’s more stable, modernising and democratic nations.

Early Life

Joaquim Alberto Chissano was born on 22 Oct. 1939 in the remote village of Malehice, Gaza Province, in the Portuguese colony of Mozambique. He was the first black student to enrol at the Liceu Salazar school in Lourenco Marque (later the capital city, Maputo). Chissano joined the African Secondary School Students’ Organization in Mozambique (NESAM), later becoming the group’s leader. He went on to study medicine at the University of Lisbon in Portugal, where he continued his involvement in politics. His opposition to Portuguese colonialism brought him to the attention of the Portuguese...

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