Former President of Mozambique
Description of Work:
Joaquim Alberto Chissano was born on 22 October 1939
in the remote village of Malehice, district of Chibuto, in Gaza
province, and was the second President of Mozambique, having served
from 6 November 1986 until 2 February 2005. Joaquim Chissano became the
first black student enrolled at Liceu Salazar, where he completed his
secondary education. He was a member and leader of the African
Secondary School Students Organization in Mozambique (NESAM).
He studied medicine in Portugal. However, due to his
political convictions, he was forced in 1961 to flee to Paris, en route
to Dar-es-Salaam, where he joined in 1962 the Mozambique Liberation
Front (FRELIMO), as a founding Member. In 1963 he became a Member of
FRELIMOs Central Committee, having also held various important posts
in the party, including Private Secretary of the President and Head of
the Departments of Education and Security.
Joaquim Chissano played a fundamental role in the
Lusaka Accord negotiations, signed on 7 September 1974 between FRELIMO
and the Portuguese Government on the Independence of Mozambique. On 20
September 1974, he took office as Prime Minister of the Transition
Government that led Mozambique to the proclamation of its National
Independence on 25 June 1975.
After the proclamation of the Independence, Chissano
was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. In his capacity as head of
Mozambican diplomacy, he helped the country to acquire respect and
admiration all over the world. Chissano was also part of the team of
President Samora Machel that prepared, negotiated and signed in 1985
the NKomati Accord between the Governments of Mozambique and South
With the tragic death of President Samora Machel, in
1986, Joaquim Chissano was elected President of the Peoples Republic
of Mozambique. As Head of State, Chissano successfully led the deep
socio-economic reforms in the country, which culminated with the
adoption of the 1990 Constitution that led Mozambique to the
multi-party system and to an open market.
Chissano also led the successful negotiations with
the former Renamo rebel movement that ended 16 years of destabilising
war, which had devastated the social and economic tissue of the
country. The peace agreement was signed on 4 October 1992, having made
the people kindly consider him as a Peace Maker. In 1994 he won the
first multiparty elections in the history of the country, having been
re-elected President of the Republic in 1999. Despite the fact that
number 5 of Article 118 of the Mozambican Constitution allowed him to
stand in the 2004 presidential elections, Joaquim Chissano decided
voluntarily not to do so.
As Head of the Mozambican State, Chissano occupied
high posts in several international organisations, including
Chairperson of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP);
Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC);
Chairperson of the SADC Organ for Cooperation in the fields of
Politics, Defence and Security; and Chairperson of the African Union.
After retiring from office, he was appointed by Kofi
Annan in 2005 Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for the September 2005
Summit to Review the Implementation of the Millennium Declaration, as
well as Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General to Guinea-Bissau.
He has received the highest awards from many
countries, namely Mozambique, Angola, Portugal, South Africa, Brasil,
Cabo Verde, Nicaragua, France, Bulgaria, Madagascar, Cuba, Benin,
Romania, Uganda, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and Lesotho.
He received several Prizes and Awards including the
Hunger Project Prize, the Together for Peace Award and the Kellog
Foundation Award. He has been awarded the Title of Dr. Honoris Causa by
the following Universities: St. Johns University in New York;
Université Libre de Brussels, Universidade de Coimbra University in
Portugal, University of Macau, University of Malawi, University of
Batton Rouge in the USA, and Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in
Mozambique. He was awarded the Title of Professor Emeritus by the
following universities: Beijing University for International Affairs of
the Popular Republic of China, The Higher Institute for International
Relations of Mozambique (which he founded in 1986) and by Instituto
Politécnico e Universitário of Mozambique.
He is member of the Club of Madrid, The Hunger
Project (Board of Directors) and the Nelson Mandela Institution (for
Science and Technology). He is also an Honorary Member of the Maputo
Rotary Club, The Organization of the Mozambican Workers (OTM), The
National Organization of Mozambican Teachers, and Mozambican
Association of Economists. He is further the Patron of the Mozambique
National Song and Dance Company and of The Mozambique Institute of
Information and Communication Technology.
Currently, he is the Chairperson of the Joachim Chissano Foundation and of the Africa Forum of Former African Heads of State and Government.Source: International Crisis Group
(At a Glance)
Place of Origin: Mozambique