Education is an essential requirement for people to improve their economic situation. The focus of German development cooperation with Mozambique is on primary education and vocational training.

Mozambique Working together to emerge from crisis

When Mozambique's civil war ended in 1992, the political and economic situation began to improve continuously, albeit very moderately.

In 2015, however, the situation began to worsen again and the country is currently mired in crisis and facing deepseated challenges. Opposing political sides are engaged in frequently violent conflict, the country is in dire economic straits and there is widespread corruption and high public debt.

What is more, Mozambique has been repeatedly hit by extreme weather events such as flooding, drought and cyclones. In 2016, the El Niño phenomenon inflicted on the country the worst drought in decades. Experts predict that Mozambique will be badly hit by climate change.

Extreme poverty

Despite significant overall economic growth between 1992 and 2015, Mozambique remains one of the poorest countries in the world. World Bank figures show 46 per cent of the population living below the national poverty line. Around 30 per cent of the population are undernourished and life expectancy is just 58 (in Germany it is 81).

Mozambique currently ranks 185th out of 191 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI).

Development cooperation

The main aim of German development cooperation with Mozambique is to support the country in its efforts to reduce poverty. The focus is on sustainable economic development that benefits the entire population. One major aspect is providing access to education and training and job prospects for all young people. It is also important to ensure that citizens gain trust in public institutions and can access public services.

Germany is working with Mozambique on three priority areas: basic and vocational education, sustainable economic development, and decentralisation and public finance.

It is also supporting efforts to improve Mozambique's energy supply, help it to adapt to climate change and conserve natural resources.

Street scene in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique

Difficult transition to democracy Internal link

Independence, when it came to Mozambique, got off to a difficult start. Following centuries of colonial rule under the Portuguese, the liberation movement known as FRELIMO (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique) fought for independence and eventually won it for the country in 1975.

Fruit seller in Mozambique

Great challenges, good progress Internal link

Poverty is rife in Mozambique. Gross national income per capita is just 460 US dollars (2018 figures). Annual population growth stands at around three per cent.

A construction worker carries steel pipes across a construction site in Mozambique's capital Maputo.

Problems despite great potential Internal link

Between 2011 and 2014, Mozambique experienced economic growth of over seven per cent each year. Beginning in 2015, growth began to fall, reaching 3.7 per cent in 2017.

Tree nursery in Beira

Adapting to climate change, conserving resources Internal link

Climate change is set to hit Mozambique hard. Already, extreme weather events are growing in frequency.

Development potential

Only a fraction of Mozambique's fertile cropland is being used productively. Although 73 per cent of the population work in the agricultural sector, it generates only about 22 per cent of the country’s overall economic output. Most farmers are engaged primarily in subsistence agriculture. So far, only a few crops are being grown for export, for instance tobacco, sugar, tea, cotton and cashew nuts.

Tourism is another sector with a great deal of potential. Mozambique’s coastline stretches for over 2,700 km along the Indian Ocean and it offers a huge diversity of flora and fauna. Germany is supporting the Transfrontier Conservation Area Great Limpopo (External link), which also offers opportunities for socially and ecologically sustainable tourism.

Mozambique also has great potential in the field of renewable energy. Renewables like solar and wind power, biomass and geothermal energy could be used to serve rural areas which currently have no real access to electric power. Germany and other donor countries are supporting Mozambique within the scope of the regional Energising Development programme, which is pushing ahead with the use of renewable energy at local level.

Vegetable cultivation in Mozambique

Vegetable cultivation in Mozambique

Vegetable cultivation in Mozambique

German development cooperation with Mozambique

Germany and Mozambique have been cooperating since 1977 in the field of development. The overarching aim is long-term poverty reduction. Cooperation therefore concentrates on the major obstacles to Mozambique's development. These are the very poor quality of basic education and vocational training and the poor environment for private sector activity. Geographically, cooperation concentrates on the provinces of Inhambane and Sofala.

At government negotiations held in Berlin in October 2018, the German government pledged 90.4 million euros for development cooperation with Mozambique. Of this amount, 59.7 million euros will be made available for financial cooperation projects and 30.7 million euros for technical cooperation projects. In 2017, 24 million euros had been pledged for financial cooperation.

The two countries' cooperation focuses on the following priority areas:

  • basic and vocational education
  • decentralisation and public finance
  • sustainable economic development.

Other important areas of cooperation include conserving natural resources such as biodiversity, improving the supply of sustainably generated energy and adapting to climate change.

As part of its Special Initiative “Transformation of Agricultural and Food Systems”, the BMZ is also supporting Mozambique through a Green Innovation Centre, which promotes innovation in the agricultural and food sector. The aim of the centre is to increase the productivity of small farms in a sustainable way and boost small farmers' income, to create new jobs in rural areas and to improve local food supply.

Children in a school class in Mozambique

Training teachers, building classrooms Internal link

Education is vital in enabling people to improve their own economic prospects. Yet Mozambique – a country in which 45 per cent of the population are below the age of 15 – lacks sufficient schools and teaching materials.

A technician repairs street lighting in Chimoio, Mozambique.

Making public authorities more efficient Internal link

Mozambique's population is distributed sparsely across a large territory. It is therefore difficult for government institutions to maintain a presence at local level and deliver public services. The government of Mozambique has launched a process of decentralisation, whereby responsibility is devolved to districts and local authorities.

Bicycle workshop in Mozambique

Promoting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises Internal link

Every year 300,000 young people come onto the labour market in Mozambique. Very few of them find work in the formal sector. If the country is to achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth and create more jobs in the formal sector, it needs to give a boost to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).