Sida's work in Mozambique
Mozambique is changing rapidly. Poverty is declining and society has become more equal. However, nearly half of the population still lives in poverty. Sida’s collaboration with Mozambique focuses on environment and climate, democracy and human rights, and inclusive economic development.
Progress has been made
Criminalisation of child marriage
A new law that criminalises child marriage was passed in 2019, but nearly half of all girls are still married before they turn 18.1
More children survive
Between 2000 and 2019, child mortality (under 5 years) dropped from 167 to 74 per 1,000 live births.2
More trained teachers
The number of children in school has increased the last decades3 and the share of trained teachers has gone up from 57 percent in 2006 to 97 percent in 2019.4
Low levels of development
Mozambique ranks among the bottom 10 countries on the UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI), largely due to the population’s low level of education. The low education level especially among girls and women, is the main reason.5
Conflicts force people to flee
Conflicts between various armed terrorist groups and government troops have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.
Widespread gender-based violence
Inequality remains high and is on the rise,6 and gender-based violence is widespread.7
Development cooperation in Mozambique
Over the past 20 years, Mozambique has gone from a country whose economy had been left in tatters by a civil war to one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Progress has been made in several areas – for example, poverty has decreased, more children attend school, and access to water, sanitation and electricity has increased.
Recent years have been marked by weather-related disasters, a deteriorating security situation in the central and northern parts of the country, and widespread electoral fraud in the general elections. A peace agreement between the government and the opposition party was signed. The financial crisis of previous years has subsided, but the country continues to grapple with major economic difficulties.
Environment, climate and resilience
Mozambique is one of the countries in Africa that is most vulnerable and exposed to extreme weather, which is expected to increase as a result of climate change. In recent years, the country has been hit hard by drought, cyclones and floods.8
Low resilience to crises and the depletion of natural resources make it more difficult for people living in poverty to support themselves. This affects sectors such as agriculture, fishery, forestry, tourism and energy.
Access to sustainable energy
Since 2000, the proportion of the population that have access to electricity has increased from 6 percent to about 29 percent (2019).9 Despite this progress, access to electricity remains low, especially in rural areas. Sida supports the production and use of sustainable energy. This support contributes to increasing the availability of reliable and sustainable electricity and streamlining production, for example through the renovation of hydroelectric power stations.
Sustainable administration of natural resources
The country has major problems with deforestation.10 Support for Mozambique’s Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development, funded by the World Bank, strengthens the ability of authorities to manage the country’s natural resources in a sustainable way, to enforce environmental laws, and to implement rural planning. The intervention also improves opportunities for people whose livelihoods depend on nature reserves and protected areas and who rely on them to earn a sustainable income.
Democracy, gender equality and human rights
Mozambique’s public sector has several flaws that hamper effective and equitable public services. Several authorities are politically controlled, and corruption is rife at all levels of society.11 Legislation on the right to education and bodily integrity is relatively strong, but the laws are not always enforced.
There is a lack of political transparency and it is difficult for the population to hold decision-makers accountable. Women’s political participation has increased, but is still low.12
Stronger civil society
Civil society remains relatively weak, and it is difficult for the citizens to make their voices heard, have insight into political processes, and be able to hold decision-makers accountable. Extensive support is provided via Sida’s major civil society programme AGIR, which brings together nearly 60 local organisations. Inter alia, the support make it easier for people to scrutinise the state budget and provides the population with knowledge of their fundamental rights (e.g. education, health and clean water).
Safe abortions for women and girls
Many girls do not finish primary school, often because they are forced to marry or become pregnant when they themselves are still children. Sida strengthens the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women and girls through the Rapariga Biz and IPAS programmes, which offer safe abortions and various types of SRHR services, including mentoring and “safe spaces for dialogue”.
Inclusive economic development
Despite strong economic growth in recent decades, poverty has not decreased at the same rate. The big majority of the country’s population works in the informal sector.13 This means that they have neither job security nor a secure and adequate income. Most of the people who do have a job do not earn enough to cross the international poverty line of USD 3.20 per day.
Increased incomes of small-scale farmers
A large portion of the country’s labour force (70 percent)14 is employed in small-scale farming with low productivity. Sida supports several initiatives that promote employment and increase the incomes of small-scale farmers, among them MozTrabalha and SNV.
Improved business climate
It is difficult for companies to operate and create jobs, and this particularly affects women. Sida supports efforts to improve the business environment and increase access to financial services (e.g. through FSDMoç) so that more people are able to save or get loans. Support is also provided to TechnoServe Mozambique, which strengthens women’s economic power.
Despite great progress, access to higher education and good quality research remains a major challenge. Many of the skills needed for the country’s socio-economic development are lacking.
Sida supports the country’s largest university, Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM), as well as its cooperation with sixteen Swedish universities and nine South African ones. Inter alia, the support goes to postgraduate education at the doctoral and master’s level, as well as to infrastructure such as laboratories and libraries.
Conservation of marine environments
The country has highly limited resources for conducting research. Sida is contributing to the upgrade of the research station on the island of Inhaca, which is central to the country’s marine biology research and of great importance for the conservation of its marine environment.
Sources on this page
- Child marriages Mozambique on the UNICEF webpage
- Child mortality (under 5) Mozambique on the UNICEF webpage
- Children in school Mozambique on the World Bank webpage
- Trained teachers Mozambique on the World Bank webpage
- Mozambiques Human Development Index on the UNDP webpage
- Gender Inequality Index on the UNDPR webpage
- Child marriages and unions Mozambique on the UNICEF webpage
- Extreme weather events Mozambique on the UN News website (march 2021)
- Access to electricity Mozambique on the World bank webpage
- Deforestation Mozambique on the Global Forest Watch webpage
- Corruption Moçambique on the Transparency International webpage
- Women in politics in Mozambique on the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa´s webpage
- Informal firms in Mozambique, report from the World Bank on the Open knowledge repository (June 2021)
- Employed within agriculture Mozambique atTrading Economics
Updated: 10 September 2021