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 2009:
Mozambique is one of the world's poorest countries. Nonetheless, in the 17 years that have passed since the civil war ended, some progress has been made which can be attributed to economic and political changes. Economic growth has been stable since 1996 and in 2009 was around 6.2% and inflation has been at its lowest level in 10 years. The international financial crisis has not affected the economy in Mozambique to the same extent as in many other countries probably because the country's economy has few links with the global economy.
Despite some positive changes, Mozambique is still dependent on external funding and loans as around half of the state budget is funded by international aid and credit institutions. There is an evaluation currently underway on the impact of the Mozambique development strategy (PARPA II) for the period 2006-2009, the objectives of which are compatible with the UN Millennium Goals, as well as strategies to fight corruption and promote decentralisation. The evaluation indicates that progress has been made in many areas; school attendance is rising, children's health has improved, and more people have access to clean water.
Despite progress in health matters, malaria continues to be the disease that causes most deaths in Mozambique, especially amongst children, and the authorities intend to escalate their campaign to promote the use of mosquito nets. Around 12.7% of the population is infected with HIV, however, a new five year plan on actions against the spread of AIDS has been adopted by the authorities to be implemented in 2010. Furthermore, a pharmaceutical factory will be built in Mozambique to produce AIDS medications which will be subsidised by the state.
In recent years, the number of foreign investors in the country has increased, mostly in the aluminium sector and the mining sector, and large foreign enterprises buy most of the electricity produced in the country and enjoy tax privileges. Seven new energy projects are under preparation, the largest of which is the expansion of the Cahora Bassa power station. The new power stations are expected to produce around 6442 megawatts (MW) of electricity which will render Mozambique the largest exporter of energy in the area. Roads are being rebuilt and new roads constructed, in addition to which a Chinese company is expanding the international airport in Maputo, which will be ready next year. Foreign investment has had mixed influence. It has promoted economic growth to the benefit of many, in particular the inhabitants of the larger towns and cities. The general population in rural areas has not benefited from increased economic growth and attempts by the government to help farmers escape poverty and subsistence farming have failed. However, unemployment in the country has not declined as large companies, such as the aluminium company Mozal, do not create many new jobs.
Elections were held in October. The campaign was peaceful and EU observation missions and the SADC confirmed that the elections had been a success and without conflict. President Armandos Gebusas's party, the Liberation Front of Mozambique (FRELIMO), won a landslide victory with 72% of the vote. FRELIMO therefore has 192 seats out of a possible 250. The president was running for office for the second time and his victory was even more impressive with 77% of the vote. The party has been in power for 35 years or ever since the country gained its independence from Portugal in 1975.
The main opposition party, the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO), under the leadership of Alfonso Dhlakama, won 48 seats, losing support from previous elections when the movement received 90 seats. Conflict and a split within the party are believed to have affected the outcome. The Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), a new movement, was founded and its leader is Daviz Simango, Mayor of Beira. The movement received 9% of the vote. Although Mozambique has been praised for well-organised and peaceful elections, the state elections committee (CNE) was criticised for lack of clear and transparent procedures. In its report on the elections, the European Union points out that the legal framework for the elections had been lacking in clarity and given rise to miscellaneous interpretations. This entails inter alia difficulties in regard to the participation of new parties and candidacies.
Development Cooperation between ICEIDA and Mozambique
Two main areas, fisheries and education, have been the emphasis in the cooperation between ICEIDA and Mozambique. ICEIDA's support has been aimed, since it started in 1995, at fisheries. A turning point was reached in these nations' cooperation in 2009, when Norwegian and Icelandic authorities signed a trilateral agreement with the Mozambique authorities on support to the fisheries sector over a period of five years. This entails co-funding where funds are to be used for promoting fisheries management, research, capacity building in quality control, aquaculture, as well as assisting small-scale fishers and fishing communities along the Mozambique coast. This cooperation reduces administrative costs entailed in the programme-based approach where until that time, ICEIDA's support had been aimed at individual projects. ICEIDA's Director General visited the country office in November. He attended the general consultation meeting between ICEIDA and the Ministry of Fisheries in Mozambique and signed agreements on programme-based support provided by Iceland and Norway to the Ministry of Fisheries of Mozambique.
Anthropologist Dulce Mungoi replaced Marta Einarsdóttir, development studies specialist, at the beginning of 2009, as project manager of social projects. This is the first time a local employee has taken over as project manager.
Support to the Education Sector
ICEIDA´s support to the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) continued in 2009. A part of that support was towards the adult literacy project Expanding Adult Literacy and Life-skills in Jangamo District, Inhambane Province, implemented from May 2008.
Within the administration, ICEIDA has mostly supported the ministry, in particular the National Directorate of Adult Literacy and Education (DINAEA). The activities of the project are focused on institutional capacity building of the employees of the ministry and its institutions. ICEIDA supported the construction of a new office for the local government in Jangamo. The office was equipped with furniture and all necessary modern equipment and provided with a motorcycle to enable the specialists to perform surveillance and consultancy out in the villages.
Two students received scholarships to study at the National Institute of Adult Education (INEA) in Beira. Around 90 instructors from Jangamo district were trained to teach adults to read and write and teach various LAE programmes. In the district there are 32 LAE centres with recorded 2,616 literacy students in 2009 participating in the courses offered. Within the scope of the life-skills component, three courses were implemented: Organic Vegetable Gardening (OVG), Small Business Management (SBM), and Low-Cost Construction (LCC). These courses benefited over 220 people, thereof 177 participated in the OVG course, 15 in SMB, and 30 in LCC.
In the context of the implementation of the Jangamo project, a baseline study for the district was conducted by a consultant. Also, two external evaluations were carried out, one of which was commissioned by ICEIDA´s head office. The evaluations concluded that there was significant progress in the project. Yet, a review of the project was recommended and that training of life-skills teachers would be changed and improved. The alignment of the project with the plans of the SDEJT was also recomended. That way the activities would best meet the Paris Declaration with regard to harmonisation and ownership.
Support to the Health Sector
ICEIDA has been cooperating with the Icelandic Red Cross (IRC) and the Mozambique Red Cross Society (CVM) in the health sector since 2000. The health care projects in Maputo Province are carried out in the seven communities in Chibucutso in Manchia District and Hindane in Matutuine District. These are rural areas where transport is difficult and medical services long distances away.
The CVM is responsible for the implementation of the project and the IRC gives in this regard technical support, as well as financial support, along with ICEIDA. The objectives of the projects are threefold: to facilitate access to health services, to develop community-based health care activities with the help of trained volunteers, and to strengthen the local structures and operations of the CVM.
The health centres and their outposts constructed to date operate according to plan. Health volunteers and traditional birth attendants in both locations continued to render their services to the communities. The health volunteers provide instruction on hygiene, modes of transmission, and treatment of the most common diseases, such as diarrhoea, malaria, TB and AIDS. In order to further contain malaria, mosquito nets were distributed and instruction provided concerning their use. Follow-up of the work of health volunteers and traditional birth attendants was improved. Furthermore, a small maternity house was built, mostly by local volunteers. The construction of latrines was continued, as well as the construction of an office for the local committee in Chibucutso.
Work on the basis of the recommendations put forward in the evaluation of 2008 was continued. Preventive HIV work was increased considerably, i.a. through peer instruction. The sustainability of the project was promoted through the development of income-yielding activities and through guidelines, or other work criteria, for the national society concerning various aspects of the projects and their conclusion.
Other Support to Social Infrastructure
ICEIDA´s support to the Ministry of Women's Affairs and Social Welfare (MMAS) came to an end in August 2009. Emphasis was placed on completing contractual activities regarding infrastructure development. One of those was a project implemented by the MMAS's Human Resources Department (HRD) in cooperation with Maputo County Office, and included policy formulation and training of employees. Another main activity was to complete the work of the Gaza DPMAS. An external evaluation of the MMAS-ICIEDA partnership covering the period from 2004 to 2008 was also carried out, and the project's final report for the two years of its execution (2007/2008) was drafted.
In this context, various workshops for capacity building in several areas were carried out in Maputo City. The first workshop addressed human rights, gender, violence, and HIV/AIDS in two municipal districts (Inhaca and Distrito Municipal N1). The second was related to planning and reporting for staff members of this directorate, whereas the last addressed the management of small businesses for women's associations of the Distrito Municipal N1, reaching a total of 77 women and 25 men. The Gaza DPMAS also trained activists in human rights in the Manjacaze District, and supervised their activities.
Other activities included participation in gender working groups and in social welfare and evaluation of the Poverty Reduction Action Plan (PARPA). ICEIDA was also represented in seminars and important events organized by the MMAS and the MMAS's Coordinating Council. One of the main events in this sector was the Parliament's approval of the Law against Domestic Violence and the introduction of a pocket card with a list of addresses of those places sponsored by ICEIDA which provide assistance to victims of violence. Although now ending its support of the partnership agreement, ICEIDA still maintains links with the MMAS by participating in the above-mentioned working groups and events related to women and gender issues.
Support to the Fisheries Sector
The year 2009 brought considerable changes to ICEIDA's support concerning fish-related projects in Mozambique. Around the time the financial crisis hit in 2008, two projects were close to completion (support to the Fisheries School and support to the National Institute for Fish Inspection (INIP)), one project had recently started (support to the ministry's new Aquaculture Institute (INAQUA)) and three new Project Documents were almost ready to be submitted to the ICEIDA board for its consideration and acceptance or refusal. The support was for:
1. The quality control institute INIP. The main aspects of the project are the development of infrastructure and of a database to promote publication and the processing of authorisations and certificates, as well as to facilitate supervision.
2. The Institute of Marine Research in Mozambique for the purpose of the installation of research facilities for aquaculture.
3. The Fisheries School under the auspices of the Ministry of Fisheries.
Downsizing following the financial crisis meant that none of these projects could be launched which left two projects to be continued in 2009.
The main emphasis in ICEIDA's fisheries activities in Mozambique in 2009 was placed on preparing and launching cooperation between the Icelandic, Norwegian and Mozambique authorities on programme-based support to the Ministry of Fisheries in Mozambique. In January, a decision was made to start preparations for this cooperation, although at that time it did not entail any commitments. The ICEIDA Director General signed a bilateral agreement in the middle of November 2009 with the Ministry of Fisheries and a trilateral Memorandum of Understanding with the authorities in Mozambique and the Norwegian Embassy on trilateral cooperation. The prelude to this was that both these institutions (ICEIDA and the Norwegian Embassy in Mozambique) have long been the principal and largest donors in regard to fisheries in Mozambique. At this point, Norway had ended a four-year Programme support to the fisheries sector and a new period was due to commence at the beginning of 2009. The amendment to the Regulation on ICEIDA opened up new possibilities to adopt new approaches and a different kind of support to projects in the partner countries. For this reason, it was decided that Iceland would enter into a joint programme-based support with Norway and, therefore, the three aforementioned projects, under preparation at ICEIDA at the end of 2008, were incorporated.
The programme-based support places emphasis on reducing poverty and increasing food security in fishing communities. Therefore it can be stated that this entailed support to fisheries in the country, with emphasis on developing infrastructure, on education, research, inspection and control, fish processing, fisheries management, as well as developing the coast guard with the focus on halting illegal fishing. Furthermore, emphasis was placed on continuing the development of aquaculture through a contribution which is triple that of Norway's former programme-based support in the years 2004-2008. Around 25% of the total contributions will be used directly or indirectly to support fishing communities along the Mozambique coast and on the lakes. The population of these communities is estimated at around 350-450 thousand. Emphasis will be placed on increasing their quality of life, i.a. by strengthening the various parts of the value chain, from fishing to retailing. This will be done by supporting, amongst other things, the so-called community councils, which have been established in most communities, in regard to various construction projects and events. These include: to provide courses in quality control, provide access to micro-credit, support the councils in acquiring ice machines and installing cold stores, as well as procuring insulated boxes for transportation, and in this way reach a much larger market than was possible before.
Cross-Cutting Issues - Gender
Gender equality activities undertaken concern women's social, economic, and political empowerment. Laws relating to women's human rights have enabled women to acquire and defend their rights. The primary target in the area of LAE is to reduce the high levels of illiteracy in Mozambique (50.5%), mainly among women, estimated to be 64.2% against 34.2% among men (2007 Population Census). Likewise, due to the chronic problem of poor involvement of men in LAE programmes, there is an attempt to mobilize and stimulate their participation as a way to enable them to be actively involved in the country's social and economic development, but until now they have been reluctant to participate. Thus, in regard to the implementation of the project, the assumption is made that by enhancing the quality of the LAE programmes (e.g. through qualified literacy teachers and equipped centres) and by implementing life-skills courses, women's and girl's access and retention in these programmes, particularly in the rural areas, and more specifically in the Jangamo District, can be improved. The reduction of illiteracy among men is considered to be the key to a change of attitude to the perceived inferior role of women in society. Many women either do not join or drop the courses because of demands made by their husbands and their social obligations as women. Most of the households are headed by women due to the tradition of migration of men to South African cities and mining areas.