Sida's work in Mozambique
Sida's cooperation in Mozambique focuses on the environment and climate, as the country is severely affected by climate change. Human rights, economic development and peace are other important areas. After a long period of positive development, poverty has increased. Humanitarian needs are also increasing, mainly due to the conflict in the north of the country.
Sida’s support in Mozambique 2021
Progress has been made
Independent judicial system
Under the previous president, the government took out illegal secret loans of USD 2.2 billion using the state as collateral. A legal process against the accused has been launched, which shows that the judicial system is independent and functioning.
More people have access to electricity
About 1.5 million more people have gained access to electricity in the last five years, but still only 30 percent have access.1
Social protection increases
The government is working to develop social protection systems so that more people have access to health, education, food and clean water, for example. One challenge is to include those who work in the informal economy as they are not connected to the social security system.
Low level of education
Mozambique ranks among the bottom ten countries on the UN Human Development Index. This low ranking is largely due to the low level of education of the population, especially among girls and women.2
Conflict and climate-related crises force people to flee
The violent conflict between armed terrorist groups and government troops in northern Mozambique has led to a growing humanitarian disaster and fewer businesses investing. Many hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee within the country due to the conflict and climate disasters.
Increased violence against women
The pandemic has increased gender-based violence and reduced access to sexual counselling and contraception. The armed conflict in the north is also increasing violence against women in close relationships and within the community.
Development cooperation in Mozambique
Twenty years ago, Mozambique was a country with an economy left in tatters after a civil war. Now the country is one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Progress has been made in several areas – more children attend school, and access to water, sanitation and electricity has increased. Progress was also made in reducing poverty, a trend that has reversed.
Recent years have been marked by weather-related disasters and deteriorating security in the northern parts of the country. A peace agreement between the government and the opposition party was signed in 2019 and the subsequent process of reconciliation and reintegration has been successful. The financial crisis of previous years has subsided, but the country is still grappling with major financial difficulties.
Environment, climate and sustainable use of natural resources
Mozambique is one of the most vulnerable countries in Africa and is prone to extreme weather. This is expected to increase as a result of climate change. In recent years, the country has been severely affected by droughts, cyclones and floods.3
Natural resources are being depleted and the country is struggling to cope with climate change and natural disasters. This makes it difficult for people to make a living and particularly affects sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, forestry, tourism and energy. Poverty in the country has increased and deepened.
More people have access to sustainable energy
In the last five years, the proportion of people with access to electricity has increased from 25 % to 30 %.4 Sida contributes to these results through its support to the World Bank’s Energy for All Fund. In 2021, this led to improved electricity access for 140,000 households, 3,800 businesses and several public institutions.
Other projects supported by Sida are also contributing to increased electricity access, such as the Vilanculos electrification project. It has given 10 000 households better access to electricity and is making it easier for people to start businesses.
Sustainable management of natural resources
Mozambique has major problems with deforestation.5 Sida supports the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development through the World Bank, to strengthen the authorities’ ability to manage the country’s natural resources in a sustainable manner, monitor environmental laws and implement rural planning. The support also improves the sustainable income opportunities for many people, especially those who depend on protected nature for their livelihoods.
Increasing production and access to food
It is important that the new land policy is duly supported by the population. Sida is supporting We Effect, which through the Forum of Non-Governmental organizations of Niassa (FONAGNI) is involving people to actively participate in the preparatory work for implementing the new land policy and land law. Improved land rights and agricultural practices have increased production and access to food.
Adapting public facilities to climate change
Mozambique’s infrastructure needs to adapt to a changing climate with extreme weather. Sida is supporting the United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) LoCAL initiative, which develops and adapts to climate public facilities, in water management, health and education. The aim is also to develop rural production.
Making agriculture climate smart and efficient
The majority of people depend directly on agriculture for their survival, but many lack secure access to food, especially in the north. Sida is supporting teams and the SNV organisation to contribute to food security, entrepreneurship and strengthened local market systems. More than 50,000 small farmers are reached by the interventions, which has increased their productivity. The majority of farmers now practice more climate-smart and efficient farming.
Democracy, gender equality and human rights
Mozambique’s public sector is failing to provide citizens with access to effective and equitable public services such as health care and schools. Legislation on the right to schooling and the right to one’s own body is relatively strong, but the laws are not always enforced. Corruption is widespread 6 and it is difficult to hold to account those who are responsible. Decision-making is centralised. 42 % of members of parliament are women, which is a high figure.7
Well-functioning government is the foundation of a democratic society. Keeping track of statistics on the population is important for the efficient functioning of public administration. Sida is funding a partnership between Statistics Sweden and the Mocambique Statistics Authority, which has strengthened the authority.
Education and safe abortion for girls and women
Many girls do not finish primary school, often because they are forced to marry or become pregnant. Sida empowers women and girls through the Rapariga Biz and IPAS programmes, which provide safe abortions and a range of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, including support, safe spaces and education. Of the more than 90,000 adolescent girls who participated in training in 2021, virtually none entered into child marriage or became pregnant. Half of the adolescent girls and young women who attended the clinics started using contraception to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies.
Economic development for all
Despite strong economic growth in recent decades, poverty has not declined at the same rate. The vast majority of people work in the informal economy. This means that they often lack job security and a secure and adequate income. The vast majority of those who work do not earn enough to rise above the international poverty line of US$3.20 a day.
The effects of the pandemic, the conflict in northern Mozambique and recurring natural disasters are adversely affecting small-scale farmers, businesses and families alike. However, the agricultural sector has been doing well with the pandemic’s trade restrictions halting imports. This is believed to have a positive impact on poor people.
More jobs and better incomes in agriculture
The vast majority of the country’s workforce, around 70 %,8 is employed in agriculture, often on a small scale. Sida supports several projects that increase small-scale farmers’ incomes, such as SNV, Teams, and We Effect. In addition, Sweden supports increased employment and decent work through the MozTrabalha programme implemented by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). An important result of MozTrabalha is increased knowledge about more environmentally friendly and cheaper materials in the construction and road industries.
Improving the business climate
It is difficult to run a business in Mozambique, which affects women to a greater extent. Sida is supporting several projects to improve the business environment and increase access to financial services, especially for women. One example is the support to Women in Business (WIN), which supports women-owned businesses to increase their income through better access to products, finance and services.
Increasing social protection
Mozambique is drafting new labour legislation to provide more secure conditions. Sida is supporting workers’ organisations in responding to the government’s proposals. One of them received support to develop service centres to provide increased social security to people in the informal economy in poor parts of the capital Maputo. For example, support is being provided to enable people to register their businesses with the authorities, access social security schemes and join trade unions. The work is a collaboration between government agencies and other organisations in the country.
Peaceful and inclusive communities
In August 2019, the Mozambican government and the former Renamo guerrilla signed a new peace agreement, the Maputo Accord. Renamo is now the main opposition party.
The process is progressing slowly, for example in reintegrating those who fought. There is also active conflict in the north of the country, where Mozambican troops, with the help of international forces, are fighting an armed group with links to Islamist extremism. The conflict is due, among other things, to unequal distribution of resources within the country, lack of access to basic social services, lack of jobs and poor democracy.
Reconciliation and reintegration of ex-combatants
In cooperation with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), Sida is supporting the Mocambique Peace Secretariat to implement the so-called Maputo Agreement for peace, reconciliation and disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration of ex-combatants. The aim is to contribute to a peaceful future, free of military hostilities between the country’s government and the former guerrilla group Renamo.
Sida also cooperates with the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA), which provides technical expertise in the peace process.
Despite significant progress, access to quality higher education and research remains a major challenge. Much of the expertise needed for the country’s socio-economic development is missing.
Better postgraduate education
Sida supports the country’s largest university, Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM), and their collaboration with sixteen Swedish and nine South African universities. The support includes doctoral and master’s level education and infrastructure such as laboratories and libraries.
Protection of marine natural resources
The country’s research resources are limited. Sida is contributing to the upgrading of the research station on Inhaca Island, which is the centre of the country’s marine biology research and is of great importance for the conservation of the marine environment.
How Sida's work in Mozambique is governed
Strategy for Sweden’s development cooperation with Mozambique 2022 – 2026 is currently only available in Swedish
Sources on this page
- Access to electricity in Mozambique on the Instituto National de Estatistica’s website
- Mozambique Human Development Index on UNDP’s website
- Extreme weather events in Mozambique on UN News’ website (March 2021)
- Increasing energy access in Mozambique on the World Bank’s website
- Deforestation Mozambique on Global Forest Watch’s website
- Corruption Mozambique on Transparency International’s website
- Women in Parliament in Mozambique on the World Bank’s website
- Agricultural workers Mozambique on Trading Economics’s website
Updated: October 25, 2022