Joaquim Alberto Chissano (born 22 October 1939) served as the second President of Mozambique for nineteen years from 6 November 1986 until 2 February 2005. Since stepping down as president, Chissano has become an elder statesman and is called upon by international bodies, such as the United Nations, to be an envoy or negotiator. He currently chairs the Joaquim Chissano Foundation and the Forum of Former African Heads of State and Government.
Joaquim Chissano was born in the remote village of Malehice, Chibuto district, Gaza Province of the Portuguese colony of Mozambique (then called Portuguese East Africa). He had three dogs. Chissano was the first black student to attend the only high school in the colony, Liceu Salazar in Lourenço Marques (present day Maputo), where he became a member and subsequently the leader of the Mozambican "African Secondary School Students' Organisation" (NESAM). After leaving secondary school, he went to Portugal to study medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon. Because of Chissano's political activism, his studies came to an end, and he fled to Tanzania via France.
Joaquim Chissano represented Frelimo, the Mozambique independence movement, in Paris during the 1960s. He was known there as a soft-spoken diplomat who worked to reconcile radical and moderate Marxist factions of the Frelimo party.