Born in 1939, 22 October in Malehice – Gaza province of Mozambique, which was at the time a Portuguese colony, Joaquim became politically active at a pivotal time in the nations history. When he went to Portugal to study medicine in 1961, he was forced to flee because of his affiliations and sought refuge in France. In 1962, he traveled to Tanzania and became a founding member of the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO). Chissano played a fundamental role in the 1974 negotiations on the independence of Mozambique, between FRELIMO and the Portuguese Government, taking office as prime minister of the transitional government. When Mozambique became independent on 25 June 1975, Chissano was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. With the tragic death of President Samora Machel in 1986, Chissano was elected as his successor.
Currently, he is the Chairperson of the Joaquim Chissano Foundation (aims: peace promotion, social and economic development and culture), and of the Africa Forum of Former African Heads of State and Government. Chissano is member of the board of Club of Madrid, The Hunger Project, International Crisis Group, Peace Parks Foundation, Goodwill Ambassador for CPLP (Portuguese Spoken Countries Community) and Global Partnership Initiative Youth Ambassador.