Thanks to the water, we can support our families, says Margarita Losse Dzogo. The village where she lives is part of the Sida-funded Pungwe programme, which focuses on improving the management of water from the river Pungwe.
Our work in Mozambique
Since Sweden’s development partnership with Mozambique began in the mid-1970s, the country has taken several major steps in the development process. Several challenges remain, however, and around half of the population of Mozambique still live below the national poverty level.
Since Sweden’s development partnership with Mozambique began in the mid-1970s, the country has taken several major steps in the development process. After civil war and a one-party state, democracy was introduced at the beginning of the 1990s and five free elections have been held since. More people have access to education and health, and respect for human rights and freedom of the press has increased. From an economy in ruin in the wake of the conflict and a failed economic policy, the country now has a high economic growth.
The Swedish development cooperation has been one of several contributing factors to this positive development. One example is Sweden’s support of the expansion of the national power grid, which among other things has led to more than 23 per cent of the population in 2016 having direct access to electricity from the national grid compared with 8 per cent in 2005. Another is Sweden’s support for Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM), which has contributed to 21 per cent of the 1,800 teachers at the university now having a doctorate, compared with just a handful of university educated employees at independence in 1975.
Several challenges remain, however, and around half of the population of Mozambique still live below the national poverty level.
The Swedish development cooperation is channelled through the state, civil society, the private sector, research institutions, and multilateral organisations like the UN and the World Bank.
Environment and climate
Low resilience to crises and a depletion of natural resources makes it harder for people who live in poverty to support themselves and undermines the natural resources for important economic sectors, such as agriculture, fishing, forestry, tourism and energy. Access to electricity remains low, especially in the countryside. Land, forests and the sea are overexploited due to the subsistence needs of people living in poverty, unsustainable business models of companies, deficient implementation of laws and corruption.
Mozambique is the third most vulnerable country in Africa to extreme weather conditions such as droughts, floods and cyclones, and they are expected to become more frequent in the future as a result of the global climate changes.
The Swedish support aims to increase the production of and access to renewable energy, stronger land rights, support sustainable forestry, increase climate adaptation and contribute to the food supply becoming more sustainable. Sweden is also investigating the possibility of supporting societies in coastal areas so that they can better handle the climate changes. Around 60 per cent of the country’s population lives on the coast and is affected by the ecosystems there.
Democracy, gender equality and human rights
A weak state apparatus that is closely tied to a dominant party, corruption, deficient access to information, and an unfavourable climate for free and independent media make it difficult for the country’s citizens to get involved in public affairs, get insight and be able to demand accountability, which are fundamental requirements for a functioning democracy. The distance between citizens and decision makers is large and is made stronger by the political system’s centralisation. Civil society is relatively weak and its freedom to act is limited.
Swedish development assistance aims to strengthen public institutions and increase the capacity in public administration, not least by improving the systems for public financial management so that the country’s income is mobilised, used and reported in a way that benefits the entire population.
Extensive support is provided to civil society through a coordinated programme to nearly 70 local organisations. This involves, for example, providing suggestions on reforms and examining power, not least in important areas such as access to information and review of how the state’s resources are used.
The support shall also promote and protect girls’ and young women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Inclusive economic development
Despite strong economic growth in recent decades, poverty has not decreased at the same rate. The foremost reason for this is that the growth has been driven by capital intensive investments that primarily focus on raw material exports, which have not created many new jobs.
Today, around 80 per cent of the workforce works in small-scale agriculture where productivity is chronically low and where there are other income possibilities. There are around three million micro, small and medium-sized businesses, mainly in the informal sector, and many of them lack access to financial services, which particularly affects women entrepreneurs and makes it difficult for the businesses to develop. Social security systems exist, but still only reach a few.
To increase employment, Sweden supports the work of developing agricultural markets where more people can conduct more profitable and environmentally sustainable agriculture. Sweden is also working to improve access to financial services, both through guarantees and by developing the financial sector so that more people have the possibility of saving or borrowing, for example. Sweden also supports social security systems so that they will be able to expand and reach more people.
Research and higher education
Despite major progress since independence, access to quality higher education is still a major challenge and much of the expertise needed for the country’s socioeconomic development is in short supply.
The Swedish support aims to build up and strengthen the country's analysis and research capacity. Partly through education of researchers and teachers, and partly through local research that generates new knowledge that is relevant to the country’s development. Sida supports UEM in cooperation with 14 Swedish and nine South African universities. This support goes to research training at the doctoral and master’s level with an emphasis on science and technology, the establishment of local master’s programmes, infrastructure for research (such as laboratories and electronic journals) and research administration. Support also goes to the national research council (FNI), which distributes research and innovation grants.