Project: Support to the Fisheries Sector of Mozambique 2013-2017

Project: UNICEF - Mozambique WASH for Children in Zambézia Province : Water supply, sanitation and hygiene in rural communities and schools (2014-2017)


Iceland's co-operation with Mozambique dates back to 1995 and in the beginning, the focus was entirely on support to the fisheries sector. The co-operation has widened through the years and ICEIDA is now engaged in three sectors: Fisheries, Social and Health sectors. ICEIDA 's office in Maputo was opened on 1 June 1999.

From ICEIDA´s Annual Report 2014:

Mozambique has emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in Africa over the last decade. The year 2014 was no exception with GDP growth averaging at 7,5%. In spite of this, Mozambique remains the 10thlowest-ranking country on the UNDP Human Development Index. The country has seen the emergence of a dual economy due to significant foreign investment in extractive industries including coal, gas and oil, which has limited inter-linkage with the rest of the economy. Despite a growing number of wealthy and middle-class families, 80% of the population still live in rural areas and depend on low productivity subsistence farming for their livelihoods. Only a small proportion of Mozambicans are employed in the formal sector, the level of education is low, infrastructure is weak and poverty is widespread and deeply entrenched. Consequently, there continues to be a significant need for external support.  

The same political party, Frelimo, has governed for four decades. The Mozambican civil war went on from 1974 to 1992 with devastating consequences which explains to some extent the weak position the country still holds today. Since peace was restored considerable improvements benefiting the general public have been made. The country's infrastructure has been rebuilt, including the education system with most children now having access to school although the quality of education is still inadequate. Mozambique is a large country divided along political party lines which explains why efforts to lift the majority of the population out of poverty have so far not been more effective.  

Parliamentary and presidential elections were held on 15th October. The ruling party, Frelimo, won majority and the party's presidential candidate, Filipe Nyusi, was elected as Mozambique's new president. The elections were mostly peaceful despite some localised acts of violence in the Central and Northern regions of Mozambique which are the stronghold of the main opposition party Renamo. There are signs that the peace between the country's regions remains fragile.   

Development cooperation

During the two decades ICEIDA has worked in Mozambique, the Agency has primarily focused its efforts on supporting the strengthening of the fisheries sector with increased food security as the principal goal. In addition, emphasis has been placed on improving services for the poor, particularly in education and public health. In 2014, ICEIDA's main projects included: a tripartite fisheries project co-financed by Iceland, Norway and the Mozambican Ministry of Fisheries; an adult literacy and education project in Inhambane Province implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, which came to an end in 2014; and lastly, preparations for a water, sanitation and hygiene project in Zambézia province were initiated in collaboration with UNICEF Mozambique.

Nordic cooperation in Mozambique was active in 2014. In the end of August, Maputo hosted the Maputo International Trade Fair (FACIM). Even though there are no Icelandic companies currently operating in Mozambique, it was decided that Iceland would participate in the fair through joining the Embassies of the other four Nordic countries in running a joint Nordic stand where each country and their projects in Mozambique were presented. Nine Nordic companies also participated in the fair. This is not the first time the Nordic countries have participated in FACIM, however, this was the first time they took part through a joint Nordic participation which earned them an award in the category “Countries Participating for the First Time”. The evaluation criteria were based on the stand decor, display materials and activities carried out during the fair. The award recognises the cooperation between the Nordic Embassies and their institutions during the preparation and participation in FACIM.      

Other Nordic collaboration and cooperation included the preparation of a Nordic conference on inclusive economic growth in Mozambique scheduled in spring 2015. On November 27th, the Nordic countries also delivered a démarche to the Mozambican Government on the formulation of the new UN Millennium Development Goals.

The outgoing Country Director, Ágústa Gísladóttir, left Mozambique in mid-2014 and a new Country Director, Thórdís Sigurðardóttir, took post. Also, Dulche Mungoi, Project Manager of the Adult Literacy and Education Project, finished her assignment with the Agency. 

Fisheries: Programme Based Support to the Fisheries Sector 2013-2017 

At the end of 2013, an agreement was reached for the second phase of Norway and Iceland's support to the Fisheries Master Plan of the Mozambican Ministry of Fisheries which will continue until 2017. The total budget of the Project amounts to USD 30.2 million, with Iceland committing to contribute USD 4 million, Norway USD 25 million and Mozambique USD 1.2 million over a period of four years.

The Master Plan is ambitious and consists of six pillars, each divided into components:

•      Increasing fish production through small-scale fisheries and aquaculture

•      Sustainable management of fisheries resources at a local and national level

•      Planning and monitoring of the fisheries sector through data collection and monitoring

•      Fisheries surveillance and patrolling at a local and national level

•      Cross-cutting issues in fishing communities: history and culture of the fisheries sector, prevention of HIV/AIDS, gender equality and the environment

•      Coordination of programme implementation and project management

Technical and management personnel of the fisheries sector will benefit from the Master Plan through improved facilities, training and education. External advice will be sought when necessary and, in addition to the collaboration with Norway and Iceland, an emphasis will be placed on promoting South-South cooperation, particularly with Asian countries and Brazil which have a long tradition of aquaculture. It is expected that such a holistic plan will deliver a more systematic implementation of the Government's plans in the fisheries sector, increase food security, and reduce poverty in the targeted communities.

Project implementation started in late 2014 as the work plan and budget were not approved until in the end of the first quarter. This was mainly due to Norway having to reduce its commitments for 2014 by 30%. Subsequently, the annual work plan had to be revised accordingly and activities prioritised. Contracts which had been made with consultants and service providers for the running of a patrol vessel, the construction of an aquaculture research and training station as well as the building of a fisheries museum were prioritised in addition to some other smaller contracts. The implementation proceeded smoothly as the year 2014 progressed, with almost all activities carried out according to plan.       

Progress of specific project components:

Fisheries surveillance and patrolling, project managed by the National Institute of Fisheries Inspection: In February, an external evaluation of the surveillance and of the operation of the patrol ship Antillas Reefer was conducted. The evaluation team consisted of Einar H. Valsson, Captain in the Icelandic Coast Guard, and Kato Stokkan, a Norwegian security expert. The key findings included:  

•        The running of the vessel, which was tendered to a private company, is well managed but costly so it would be advisable to put it up for re-tendering. 

•         The preparation and organisation of the patrolling, i.e. where and when the ship goes out, needs to be improved. It is also highlighted that one patrol vessel will never be able to adequately patrol the Mozambican territorial waters for illegal fishing. The use of a maritime patrol aircraft is also recommended –especially during the tuna fishing season. 

•        The patrolling of fishing vessels out on sea is carried out according to international standards although the implementation of a number of technical elements could be improved.

•        It is recommended that it will be made compulsory for all fishing ships with licence to fish in the country's territorial waters to install VMS/AIS systems on board (vessel duty reporting system and providing data) as well as increasing cooperation with neighbouring countries for patrolling of illegal fisheries, particularly of tuna fishing vessels as tuna is a migratory fish stock.

•        Finally, the evaluation team recommended increasing significantly patrolling of inshore fishing.

The The Fisheries Museum: In 2014, the final phase of the construction of a museum displaying the culture and history of the fisheries sector was concluded. The Museum was officially opened to the public by the Mozambican President on the 13th of November. The Museum marks a certain milestone in the cultural history of Mozambique as this is the first museum built since the country gained independence. The first exhibition was set up instantly and a number of events were held. In 2015, the Project will support developing a business management plan for the Museum and promotional materials as well as training of personnel, which will be the final phase of supporting the Fisheries Museum. The management of the Museum has been given in entirety to the Mozambican Government.   

The Mapapa Aquaculture Research Centre (CEPAQ): While the construction of the Centre was ongoing In 2014 considerable delays occurred due to rainfall in the beginning of the year and it became clear that the first phase of the building would not be completed in November as planned. It is now estimated that the construction works will be finished by mid-2015. Sourcing fingerlings – both locally and from Thailand (Mossambicus and Niloticus Broodstock) – for trial production commenced. The first ponds were operational in time for the next rainy season and the production began. Six technicians who will work on the expansion and development of the Centre were trained. The training was organised by Norwegian consultants from CDCF and took place both in the field and in Brazil. One of the greatest risk factors of the project is the lack of local knowledge and experience to develop the Centre and thereby ensure the quality of the production. Substantial delays occurred in the development of the Centre which can be attributed to Mozambique's heavy bureaucracy. Monitoring and evaluation of the project has been strengthened and continuous efforts are made to work towards making the Centre a self-sufficient operational unit to increase its efficiency and competence.

In the second Partnership Committee meeting of 2014 which was held in November, it was decided to narrow the focus of the project through taking out certain components and emphasising those contributing directly to the project's key objective of increasing food security. These changes are primarily due to Norway not being able to offset last year's budget cuts in 2015. Support to fisheries surveillance and patrolling will cease in mid-2015 and the Mozambican authorities will take over the operation of the patrol vessel. The key focus areas will be the Aquaculture Research Centre (CEPAQ), research and quality control, database, and fisheries catch data.

Education: Adult Literacy and Life Skills Project in Jangamo District

ICEIDA has provided support to the National Adult Literacy and Education (ALE) Programme in Jangamo District in Inhambane province since 2008. The project agreement for this scope of work stated that the second phase of the project was to conclude at the end of 2012 and an evaluation of the project recommended extending its focus to new districts in the province. At the annual project meeting towards the end of 2012, the Ministry of Education proposed utilising the investment made in Jangamo to eradicate illiteracy in the district over the next three years, thereby maximising results. The request was approved and it was decided to dedicate 2013 to preparing this effort. In addition, a decision was made to explore supporting similar initiative in Vilankulo district which education authorities had previously identified as one district likely to be able to achieve similar results. 

Government plans expected that literacy rates would increase by 30% over the period 2010-2015. In view of ICEIDA's support to Jangamo and the current level of literacy in Vilankulo, the Ministry and the provincial authorities estimated that the adult literacy rate in the two districts had increased by 20-30% from 2007 when the last population census was conducted by the Statistical Institute of Mozambique. Subsequently, the authorities considered it realistic to achieve over 90% literacy in the span of two to three years through a special project initiative.

Over the last years, the Government's focus in the education sector in Mozambique has been on increasing access to primary education. A push for the construction of class rooms and equipping them with school furniture has resulted in increased number of children enrolling in the country's primary schools. However, dropout rates and students' performance in primary education have not improved. The findings of a study on the reading and writing skills of primary school pupils who have completed Grade 3 reveal that only 6.3% of the pupils know how to read and write at the national level. The northern provinces of Mozambique are the worst affected.

A comprehensive baseline survey on the status of adult literacy in Jangamo and Vilankulo districts was conducted in preparation for the proposed adult literacy project. Competence in literacy, writing and numeracy by age and gender was tested and confirmed through examinations. The Statistical Institute of Mozambique carried out the study which covered approximately 11% of the population aged 15 years and over. The final report was submitted in March 2014 and the findings showed that the literacy rate in both districts had decreased by 10% since the 2007 survey. In Jangamo, the adult literacy rate had dropped from 58% to 48% and in Vilankulo it went from 56% to 46%. Only 60% of young adults (16-20 years old) turned out be literate. It is therefore likely that the current education system which has so far focused mainly on “access for all” is inadequate to combat illiteracy and adult education efforts will not be sufficient to change this situation.

The assumptions for continued support, which were based on the current adult literacy rate that has now dropped from 70-80% below 50%, do therefore not hold anymore. Consequently, the prerequisites for the project initiative intended to eradicate illiteracy in the two districts over such a short timespan are unfounded. After discussions with the Mozambican Government in the beginning of 2014, ICEIDA decided to wait for the findings of a scheduled mid-term evaluation of the National Adult Literacy and Education (ALE) Programme before entering into further cooperation agreements in this area. The Working Group for the Adult Literacy and Non-Formal Education sub-sector drafted the Terms of Reference for the evaluation of the ALE Programme (2001-2015). The evaluation is funded by UNESCO, DVV-International and ICEIDA and the findings are expected to be ready in the first half of 2015.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Zambézia Province

In autumn, ICEIDA and UNICEF Mozambique entered into collaboration to implement a 3-year water and sanitation project in Zambézia which is one of Mozambique's poorest provinces. UNICEF has strong expertise in this area and ICEIDA's support is based on a commitment to collaborate, harmonise efforts and reduce administration costs – with focus on results, efficiency and sustainability. 

Only 26% of the 4.7 million population of Zambézia have access to drinking water and merely 6% have access to improved sanitation. The project aims to provide adequate sanitation facilities to 300,000 people in five districts of Zambézia, improve access of 48,000 people to protected water sources, and ensure that 14,000 school children have access to improved water and sanitation facilities in 40 primary schools. In addition, the project will strengthen the institutional capacity of district authorities to provide and manage rural WASH services. Strong emphasis is placed on sanitation due to the lack of facilities in rural Zambézia. The project will also have impact on other sectors such as health, education and human rights.

According to the agreement which was in the final draft stage in the end of the year 2014, ICEIDA will contribute USD 3.5 million to this project which has an overall estimated budget of USD 8.1 million. ICEIDA's contribution therefore comprises 43% of the total budget with UNICEF and two other donor agencies, the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), contributing the rest.

The implementation of the project, which is managed by UNICEF, is aligned with the Mozambican Government's National Rural Water and Sanitation Programme and carried out in cooperation with relevant government institutions at national, provincial and district levels. The private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the target communities will also be involved in the project. UNICEF will undertake monitoring of specific activities and their implementation while ICEIDA will oversee that funding is disbursed in accordance with work plans and follow up regularly on project progress.

In October, UNICEF recruited a technical expert in water and sanitation who will be based in Quilemane, the capital of Zambézia province, at the Provincial Directorate of Public Works and Housing (DPOPH). The first assignment of the expert is to conduct mapping of water points and sanitation facilities in the province in collaboration with the provincial and district authorities. The purpose of the mapping is to assess the water and sanitation situation in the area and accordingly select five districts to be targeted by the project. Two of the five districts have already been identified, Gurué and Gile, which are located in the northeastern part of the province. These districts were given priority due to their extremely poor water and sanitation coverage and hygiene conditions.

In November, ICEIDA and UNICEF representatives undertook a five-day field visit to Zambézia. The purposes of the visit was to introduce ICEIDA to the partners, in particular the DPOPH and the Provincial Directorates of Health and Education. The delegation visited schools and villages in the target area to look at the water and sanitation situation. ICEIDA's Head of Public Relations took part in the trip to collect material to promote the project in Iceland. Presentation of this new collaborative project began in December through ICEIDA's website and web journal.

Other Support: National Forum of Community Radio Stations in Mozambique (FORCOM) - An Umbrella Organisation for Independent Radio Stations

One of the values of Icelandic development cooperation is respect for democracy. In Mozambique – as in many places – independent radio stations play an important role in promoting democracy. These stations are often seen as a cause of controversy when expressing public concerns and asking authorities difficult questions. Many radio stations in Mozambique have been closed down and their staff have even received threats, especially in the lead-up to the elections. The umbrella organisation FORCOM has 45 radio broadcasters from all over Mozambique under its wing and their support includes providing the radio stations and their staff legal support.      

In July, ICEIDA in Mozambique disposed of one of its vehicles and decided to support FORCOM through donating the used vehicle to the organisation and support the running of it for one year. The purpose behind this is to support independent media through a forum of community radio stations which serve as a platform for the dissemination of information and discussion for the poor rural population, thereby strengthening civil society to hold government to account and safeguard democracy. Independent radio stations affiliated with FORCOM actively covered news related to the presidential and parliamentary elections in October, both prior and after the elections. The car donated by ICEIDA was assigned to Zambézia province where there were fears of intense political clashes breaking out in the lead-up to the elections and after the results had been declared.

Cross-cutting issues: Mainstreaming of Gender and the Environment

In the project description of the Programme Based Support to the Fisheries Sector there is a specific component on cross-cutting issues which emphasises that gender perspectives should be integrated in policy making, practices and decision-making relevant to the management of the fisheries sector. It is expected that trainings on gender equality, increased participation of women in management roles, and regular monitoring will be conducted. In addition, it is anticipated that women's share in small-scale enterprises and participation in trainings within the sector will increase. In the budget cuts of 2014, funding allocated to this issue was decreased with the rationale behind being that the Ministry of Fisheries and its affiliated institutions were working on gender mainstreaming according to their policies and that there were also large projects by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and World Bank providing support. The Norwegian Embassy is planning to support a special pilot project on value chain analysis in aquaculture through the Norwegian organisation Norges Vel which is external to the Programme Based Support. This project focusing on women working in aquaculture will be implemented in close collaboration and coordination with the National Aquaculture Research Centre (CEPAQ).

The Programme Based Support also expects to integrate environmental issues in all policy, plans and implementation in the fisheries sector. Utilisation of natural resources and prevention of soil contamination caused by construction works is highlighted. A special checklist is applied to monitor the environmental impact of the project activities. 

Gender and environment considerations are highlighted in the water and sanitation project. Approximately 70% of the population in rural Zambézia have to walk more than 500 metres to fetch water. The collection of water is generally undertaken by girls and women requiring a great amount of time which could be used for other tasks, including income generation and education. In addition, traveling to and from water points can be risky and there are many examples of girls and women being attacked while collecting water. Access to safe water in schools will be ensured by installing separate sanitation facilities for girls and boys which often makes a great difference for girls. Safe drinking water and improved sanitation is also an important environmental concern and a checklist will be used to assess potential environmental impact.