The first people to settle in Mozambique about 2000 years ago were the Bantu, they set up the great Mwenemutapa Empire in the central and southern region of the country. At around 900AD the trading links with India, China,Persia and the Arab world had been forged, with gold being the major lure for the merchants. The Portuguese landed in 1498 when Vasco Da Gama was on his way to India, the first Portuguese trading post was set-up in the province of Sofala in 1505, its role was to export gold from the Mutapas Empire and challenging Arab domination. Trading posts were then set up along the coast and banks of the Zambezi River, the interior of the country was penetrated by the Portuguese in 1629. By the 17th century, ivory had replaced gold as the main export commodity, while some 50 years later, slaves became the major attraction for traders. Mozambique was governed by Portuguese Goa until 1752, when it was brought under direct control from Lisbon the Portuguese capital. Portugal's colonial role was ratified by the Berlin Conference, in the early part of the 20th century vast tracts of land were rented to and administered by private companies, but rule by Lisbon was consolidated by the Colonial Act of 1930. Repression and exploitation provoked a backlash which led to the growth of independence on the 25th of June 1975, a 17 year long civil war broke out between government forces and Renamo, the conflict was resolved in 1992 by the Treaty of Rome. Mozambique now enjoys a democratic rule, with exceptional potential, it has already under gone the 2nd General Elections, which were conducted democratically. Mozambique joined the commonwealth in 1995 and is now enhancing its governmental and economic stability, and promoting foreign investment and tourism.