• English

Sweden & Mozambique

Country context

Mozambique is one of the world’s ten poorest countries. Inequalities are widening.

Implementation of the 2019 peace agreement on disarmament,
reintegration and decentralisation between the Government and Renamo,
the largest opposition party, is ongoing but has been delayed. The COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in the province of Cabo Delgado have resulted
in increased poverty and vulnerability. The population is increasing rapidly,
posing serious challenges to access to productive employment, decent work
and social services. Formal education levels are amongst the lowest in the
world. Approximately forty per cent of children under the age of five are
chronically malnourished.

Mozambique is considered to be one of the world’s most vulnerable
countries to climate change, with recurring floods, droughts and cyclones.
Climate change and impacts of environmental damage reduce the ability of
households to cope with pressures. The majority of Mozambique’s
population living in poverty derive their main income from the use of
natural resources, primarily in the agricultural sector. At the same time,
natural resources are a source of conflict, and the risk of corruption related
to rights to use natural resources is significant. Mozambique’s humanitarian
needs have increased rapidly due to both conflicts and natural disasters.
Approximately 2.5 million Mozambicans are in need of humanitarian
support and an estimated 800 000 people are internally displaced. Only one
in three Mozambicans have access to electricity.

The human rights situation is concerning and the democratic space is
reportedly shrinking. Corruption is widespread in all sectors of society and
poses a serious obstacle to development and people’s opportunities for
security and influence. In 2016, it came to light that the Mozambican State
had guaranteed loans worth USD 2.2 billion through government guarantees
that had neither been made public nor approved by Parliament. Gender
equality remains weak. Child marriage and sexual and gender-based violence
remain commonplace in Mozambican society. Women’s and girls’ enjoyment
of human rights and sexual and reproductive health and rights is weak.
Moreover, the participation of women and young people in political and
decision-making processes is limited.

The country’s investment and business climate is weak partly because of the
high level of corruption. The country’s indebtedness is high. The
investments in Mozambique’s natural gas reserves and coal mines that many
regarded as the solution to some of the economic problems have stalled due to the reduced global demand for coal and the conflict in areas near gas
deposits. The lack of productive employment and decent work is
considerable and many experience food insecurity. Women and young
people are underrepresented in the formal labour market.

Mozambique is facing a number of challenges that have a negative impact on
human security. During the two years following the 2019 peace agreement,
scattered attacks were carried out in the affected parts of the country by a
breakaway faction of Renamo that declared its opposition to the agreement.
Although this group has now disbanded, many of the problems that led to
its emergence remain. During the same period, the conflict in Cabo Delgado
escalated and became very violent. State capacity and local presence are weak and basic public services are substandard.

Last updated 01 Aug 2022, 2.55 PM