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 2013:

The ICEIDA Country Office had good cooperation with the other Nordic countries and regular consultation meetings were held, mainly covering challenges in development cooperation and politics. The countries agreed for instance to urge their home offices to lobby the World Bank through the office of the Nordic constituency in Washington to support the G-19 donor group in their efforts to get answers about the loans granted to EMATUN.

A booklet, disseminating the findings of the NoMoz conference (2012) on inclusive economic growth, was published in March.

ICEIDA became a participant in a cooperation group of “new” donor countries (under the guidance of the United Nations) which submitted for example observations regarding the Development Aid Effectiveness and Action Plan of the Mozambican Government that was produced following the Busan conference in 2012.

The Country Office participated in the European Union Election Observation Mission of the municipal elections. Lilja Dóra Kolbeinsdóttir, Programme Manager, was assigned to duty in Mafala, a neighbourhood of the capital Maputo, and Hjördís Guðmundsdóttir, intern, went to Sussundenga in Manica state which is one of the ten new municipalities that were approved in 2013.

Lilja Dóra Kolbeinsdóttir was employed in July as a Programme Manager. Hjördís Guðmundsdóttir worked as an intern from 15th August to 15th December and subsequently as an advisor for programme preparation. Laura Matule was employed as an office assistant in May. Olinda Tina Manuel became a full-time receptionist from May.


Unlike in Iceland, the purpose of the Mozambican fishing industry and the fisheries sector more generally is not only to run a sustainable and profitable industry, but also to provide social protection. In addition, the sector is expected to increase food security on the domestic market and provide source of protein to battle endemic malnourishment of children as well as adults.

From 2008, Iceland and Norway have provided programme based support to the fisheries sector (2008-2013) through co-financing a common fund that provides integrated support to regular operation of the Ministry of Fisheries and affiliated institutions.

The progress of specific activities in 2013 were mainly that the National Institute for Aquaculture Development continued its efforts to expand aquaculture in rural areas through supporting the construction of 300 m² fish ponds, basic training in aquaculture, and the provision of free tilapia fingerlings for two growing periods. Feed for the tilapia farming is produced locally; fertilizer is applied to the ponds to stimulate the growth of algae and other vegetation and available agricultural products are ground to be also used as feed. Efforts are being made to establish the most appropriate combination for each province, based on the farm products grown in each location. Productivity is currently relatively low, however gradually increasing. In the end of December, aquaculture production totalled 514 tonnes compared to 409 tonnes in 2012, an increase of 26%. The aquaculture industry is not yet well established in Mozambique and only a very few small-scale fish farms are up and running, such as tilapia farming in pens in the Cahora Bassa Reservoir. Domestic feed for aquaculture is still not available in the market and supply of good fingerlings is limited. There was a total collapse in prawn farming in 2012 due to viral infection.    

Following a tendering process, construction of the Mapapa aquaculture research and training station in Chokwe district in Gasa province commenced in November. The Mapapa Station will be managed jointly by the National Institute for Aquaculture Development and the National Fisheries Research Institute, with focus on international cooperation and the best available technical assistance. The main objectives are to find which strain of tilapia is the most appropriate for aquaculture in Mozambique, which feed is the most suitable, ensure sufficient production of good quality fingerlings to expand farming nationwide as well as providing practical training in aquaculture.

Following research conducted on the shrimp stocks in the Sofala Bank, the National Fisheries Research Institute issued a warning about their unhealthy state. The reasons are not entirely clear; however, illegal fishing and strain from fishing caused by a growing number of inshore fishermen in the area are considered to play a role. Also, it is possible that the 2012 outbreak of the “white spot” virus disease in aquaculture in the area, and subsequently in Madagascar, has also infested the wild shrimp stock.

Research and operations for fisheries management in the Cahora Bassa Reservoir continued as planned. This activity started in May 2013 and is a direct continuation of the bilateral support provided by ICEIDA to the Fisheries Research Institute in Tete province. The underpinning of a fishery management plan for the lake has been developed through a participatory approach and mobilisation of consultative groups at all levels of the administration. In addition, preparations began for training of the District Departments of Labour which are now issuing fishing permits.

Challenges persisted in improving the quality of catches from small fishing vessels and strengthening the value chain. Two ice machines were purchased that will be installed at district level. Construction of a fish market in Niassa province was completed and the building of two markets in Tete and Manica commenced.

The National Institute of Fish Inspection, which is a competent authority administering exports of marine products to the European Union, continued working towards the accreditation of laboratories and converting export certificates to electronic formats, with technical support from an Icelandic expert.

The Museum of Fisheries in Maputo was readied for further constructions and an official opening is planned for June next year. The Fisheries Development Fund has collected artefacts related to fisheries along the Mozambican coast for many years so the establishment of the Museum is welcomed. The Museum of Fisheries will be the first museum constructed by the Government after independence.

In mid-2013, Mozambique introduced a plan of starting the utilisation of tuna stocks within its jurisdiction, a kind of ‘nationalisation' of the stocks, but currently 130 foreign vessels have licences for tuna fishing in the country's territorial waters (a fleet from the European Union and Japan). The Government emphasises that a domestic tuna fishing fleet and fish processing will create many jobs and significantly increase the benefits of this fishing for the national economy. In addition, the Government wants to ensure that Mozambique will have the knowhow of tuna fishing when and if the IOTC (Indian Ocean Tuna Commission) reaches an agreement on setting a tuna catch quota to be allocated between the member countries.

Patrol ships spent 125 days at sea and inspected 116 fishing vessels of which 18 were reported for illegal fishing and/or fishing equipment. Development of a fisheries enforcement system continued, both in the control station in Maputo as well as in the districts. Efforts were made to patrol small fishing boats and illegal inshore fishing using seine and cast nets. Fisheries surveillance inspectors in four provinces received training in monitoring shrimp fishery, which is now managed through a catch quota system based on a total allowable effort, and in how to use turtle excluder devices.

In 2013, the first phase of a consultancy for the development of a database for the Ministry of Fisheries which plays an important role in supporting fisheries management was completed. Final draft of a gender strategy for the fisheries sector was ready in December and will be reviewed by the Ministry's advisory board in the first quarter of 2014. A human resource policy was also developed and work was initiated on designing a continuing education and lifelong learning plan for employees of the Ministry and its affiliated institutions.

The cooperation agreement came to an end in October which put its mark on the year 2013. Considerable time, money and efforts were spent on preparing a new programme document. This work commenced in March when the Ministry hired a team of national consultants. Following discussions and meetings with the Ministry and its institutions, a project proposal had been developed in May. In June, a group of experts from NORAD and ICEIDA conducted an appraisal of the proposal in Iceland. The recommendations of the evaluation team, as well as the project proposal, were subsequently used to design a new programme document.  

In November, a Framework Agreement on the arrangement of the tripartite collaboration between Iceland, Norway and Mozambique was signed, which will include support to the plans of the Mozambican Ministry of Fisheries until 2017. The cooperation is described in more detail within a particular programme based support. The total budget for the next four years amounts to USD 30,2 million, of which Iceland contributes 4 million, Norway 25 million and Mozambique 1,2 million.

The objective of the programme based support is to strengthen the capacity of the fisheries authorities to develop and manage small-scale fisheries and expand aquaculture to enhance its role in ensuring food security, increasing employment and reducing malnourishment. In addition, the aim is to ensure the sustainable and efficient use of marine and fresh water resources. The primary beneficiaries are the women and men who rely, directly or indirectly, on small-scale fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. This applies to the whole value chain; from fishing, aquaculture and processing, to marketing and sale of fish products.

ICEIDA is the lead of the fisheries sector donor group. Two donor meetings on fisheries were held in August. The Ministry called together a regular coordination meeting where a new ToR for the group was agreed upon and the Ministry declared its willingness to interact more actively with donors in the sector. In the end of August, the Minister invited all major partners, Mozambican as well as foreign, to a meeting where the agencies affiliated to the Ministry presented their key topics and issues at the top of the agenda. 


ICEIDA has provided support to the National Adult Literacy and Education (ALE) Programme since 2008. The support has mostly focussed on institutional capacity building of the Department of Adult Literacy and Education of the Ministry of Education and on the implementation of the ALE Programme at sub-national level, more specifically in Inhambane province and Jangamo district. The agreement between ICEIDA and the Government (2010-2012) was extended for one year and during 2013 loose ends were tied up and preparations for continuing cooperation were initiated.

The main activities implemented in 2013 included an awareness raising campaign conducted by the District Education Office in Inhambane province and Jangamo district which focussed on mobilising local government members and village leaders. Adult literacy facilitators are primarily responsible for promoting the classes and ensuring participation, but more active engagement from local authorities was considered essential. In the beginning of the year, the Ministry of Education introduced a recently published report on gender and adult literacy, as well as the National Adult Literacy and Education Strategy. The report and the Strategy were disseminated to district authorities in the northern provinces of Mozambique (Cabo Delgado, Zambézia and Nampula) where adult literacy rates are among the lowest in the country. It is hoped that the district authorities will prioritise adult literacy and education in their development plans in the forthcoming planning process. First draft of a social-marketing strategy for adult literacy and education at national level was developed and approved. In addition, a manual for adult literacy supervisors and facilitators was developed and printed.

In Jangamo, 70 adult literacy facilitators from PROFASA participated in a seven-day course on the adult literacy curriculum and pedagogy. The Community Resource Centre in Cumbane, Jangamo district offered classes in tailoring and computer literacy. The library served adult literacy learners, facilitators, primary school teachers and supervisors of education centres who made frequent visits to the library, as well as children and teenagers at the upper levels of a nearby primary school who also benefitted from the facilities.

It was decided to equip the primary school located next to the Community Resource Centre in Cumbana village in Jangamo district with school furniture and thereby support the plans of the Inhambane Education Office to “get the students off the floor”. The Education Office administered the procurement; 230 school desks with attached seats were purchased which will benefit at least 460 students as the school operates in two shifts, and 44 teacher desks and 44 teacher chairs for classroom use.

Teachers from Inhambane province together with experts from the Department of Adult Literacy and Education of the Ministry of Education attended training courses on producing native-language teaching materials as well as textbooks in the Xitswa and Guitonga languages. This is a positive step as the Government has thus far only provided adult literacy classes in Portuguese, the country's official language which is spoken by merely half of the population and only 10% have as a native language, according to the Population Census 2007.

Preparations started for a new project for the next three years (2014-2016) at the request of the Government for support to “eradicate illiteracy” in two districts of Inhambane province, Jangamo and Vilankulo. A comprehensive situation analysis was conducted in two steps as project preparation is a crucial component of a successful project and of setting measurable objectives and implementation plan. Firstly, a needs assessment was conducted to collect information on the needs and capacity of the Department of Adult Literacy and Education (in the Ministry, at provincial level and in the two target districts) to implement this type of project. Human resources and the infrastructure of the implementing partners were assessed for this purpose. Secondly, a comprehensive baseline study was conducted to find out the level of adult literacy (15 years and older) in the two target districts according to gender, age, residence and socio-demographic status of the residents. The study was carried out by the Statistical Institute of Mozambique (Instituto Nacional de Estatística de Moçambique (Opens in new window)). Both quantitative and qualitative questionnaires were used to collect information from a random sample of residents in both districts. 1,960 households in Jangamo and 2,440 households in Vilankulo were selected and a total of 10,500 individuals, or 9% of adults living in the two districts, were interviewed. A sample of this size is considered to be sufficiently large to produce significant results to be able to set objectives for the project. Preliminary results were ready in the beginning of December. According to the main results, the adult literacy rate in Jangamo district is 49%, including 39.8% for women and 58.7% for men. The adult literacy rate in Vilankulo is 43.3%, including 32.4% for women and 58.7% for men. The final baseline report will be presented to the project stakeholders in February 2014. The adult literacy rate in these two districts was believed to be considerably higher than has been revealed and continuing the project preparation with the aim of “eradicating illiteracy” in the two districts during the period of 2014-2016 is thus not realistic any more. Discussions with the education authorities on whether and how to continue the collaboration will take place in the beginning of 2014.

ICEIDA participated actively in the donor education and gender equality coordination group.

Cross-cutting issues

Gender mainstreaming and the environment

Two days training on gender mainstreaming was conducted by the United Nations University Gender and Equality Studies and Training Programme (UNU-GEST) in November. There were a total of 13 participants, both ICEIDA staff from the Country Office in Maputo and partners from the Ministry of Fisheries, the Department of Adult Literacy and Education of the Ministry of Education, and the Nordic Embassies in Mozambique. The objective of the training was to increase the participants' knowledge of concepts such as gender and gender mainstreaming in the preparation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects.

One of the six pillars in the new Fisheries Master Plan highlights gender and environmental issues. Support will be provided to the implementation of the gender equality policy for the fisheries sector in addition to supporting a pilot project focusing on women in the aquaculture value chain. Efforts will be made to ensure that the fisheries sector will have a voice in discussions and decisions in the area of environment and climate-related issues relevant to the sector.