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 2012:


The 2012 prawn fishing season got off to a bad start. Many blamed the poor weather in February and March, caused by three tropical cyclones that hit the country for the drop in catches. The catches recorded amounted only to 2,500 tonnes of the granted quota of 4,000 tonnes. The National Fisheries Research Institute (INIP) conducted a special research to assess the recruitment and state of the prawn stock at the end of the year. According to the findings there was no reason to change the total quota that had been granted for the 2013 season. However, the stock is considered to be under too much strain from fishing and the catch has declined significantly since the turn of the century. Fisheries have been managed through a catch quota system based upon the Total Allowable Catch (TAC), but the INIP has proposed to change this to a Total Allowable Effort (TAE) management. Export of prawns to Europe is one of the most important sources of foreign exchange for the fisheries sector in Mozambique, but the revenues in 2012 were only USD 18.5 million and prawn is now ranked the 13th most important export commodity.

The National Institute for Aquaculture Development continued supporting small-scale farmers in rural areas. Productivity is still very low, however gradually increasing. In 2011, registered aquaculture production totalled 284 tonnes and it had increased to 409 tonnes in 2012. There is a strong willingness to commence aquaculture, but for some reason the final push is lacking and attracting investment is proving a challenge. There is a marked difference between the attitudes of men and women in fishing communities on how to access credit. Men are used to being able to access credit through the Fisheries Development Fund or get donor funding to finance the purchase of boats, etc., conversely women tend to save and lend money to each other.

A number of large aquaculture producers have started farming tilapia, but fingerlings and feed are still in short supply. To address this problem, it has been decided to build an aquaculture research and training station close to Maputo, in Chokwe district. The National Institute for Aquaculture Development and the National Fisheries Research Institute will work in partnership to manage the research station and its first task will be to find which strain of tilapia and feed are the most appropriate for aquaculture in Mozambique, , and subsequently ensure sufficient production of the fingerlings. Tender documents for the first phase, construction of fish ponds and laboratories, were prepared in October 2012.

Since 1997, ICEIDA provided support to strengthening quality control and quality assurance systems for marine products destined for export from Mozambique. This included the construction of laboratories and providing technical assistance. In 2012, a milestone was reached when INIP in Maputo became an accredited laboratory (for chemical research on prawns), the first of its kind in Mozambique.

The Government is very concerned about preventing illegal and unreported fishing, as well as encroachment from pirates in Mozambique's territorial waters which have to date not been patrolled. The rich fishing grounds in the deep-water basin that lies between Mozambique and Madagascar, in addition to prawn fishing in the Sofala shoal, have attracted the attention of the world's fishing fleet. Significant efforts have been made to establish fisheries enforcement system which consists of vessel monitoring and registration system for fishing vessels that have licence to fish (both domestic and foreign vessels), inspection of fishing vessels prior to starting fishing, and sea and air patrols. A milestone was reached in March 2012 when the Mozambican fisheries authorities started to operate their own patrol vessel. The patrol ships spent a total of 188 days at sea and conducted surveillance of 149 fishing boats which all proved to be legally licenced. The next step is to ensure the sustainability of operating of the vessels, but there are reservations about the financial capacity of the Ministry of Fisheries to run the patrol and relying on donor finance.  

A census on small-scale fisheries, normally conducted every five years, was carried out in 2012 to produce comprehensive socioeconomic and fisheries data for the sector. Preliminary findings note that there has been a 40% increase in landing sites and the number of fishermen has increased 33% since 2007. The census was conducted by the National Institute for the Development of Small Scale Fisheries (IDPPE) with support from the National Statistics Institute and the final findings are expected to be released in March 2013.

Catch statistics, based on samples taken at landing sites, indicate that catches from small-scale vessels in 2012 were 185,000 tonnes, 89% of the total registered fish catches. These fish were captured off the coastline that spans 2,700 kilometres. One of the major challenges in small-scale fisheries is the post-harvest fish losses due to insufficient cold storage facilities and lack of ice, as well as fish catches being unloaded at very basic landing sites. Efforts to improve this situation include the gradual establishment of a network of fish markets with minimum capacity for cold storage and production of ice. These markets are funded by both the Programme Based Support to the Fisheries Sector as well as other projects supporting the small-scale fisheries. In 2012, two ice machines were purchased that will be installed in fish markets and three new markets will be opened.

A mid-term review of the Programme Based Support to the Fisheries Sector, co-financed by Iceland and Norway through a common fund, was conducted. The findings of the review caused concern among the partners as the evaluation team claimed that the Programme's overall effectiveness could not be assessed because the objectives of the Programme Based Support were unclear, its scope ill-defined, and the indicators too many and not clearly measurable. The evaluation team also indicated that some achievements had been made, including the development of a fisheries enforcement system and a range of work on fisheries research, management and aquaculture.


The fight against poverty cannot be won unless ignorance due to the lack of education, especially illiteracy, is eradicated. The important role of education in advancing economic and social development and in reducing poverty cannot, therefore, be overemphasised”[1].

Mozambique is continually among the lowest-ranking countries on the UN Human Development Index. In 2012, the country was the third lowest-ranking despite having made considerable improvements in many areas over past decades. Over the last 32 years, life expectancy at birth has increased by eight years, primary school attendance has improved by four years and GNI per capita has doubled. However, educational attainment of the population aged over 25 has only increased by 0,5 years during this period and is among the lowest in the world, or merely 1,2 years in general. It is estimated that only 10% of people active in the labour market has completed grade 5 of lower primary school. 

Even though significant investments have been made in the education sector over the previous decades, there is still a considerable lack of qualified teachers. Indeed in 2012, there were on average 63 students for every teacher. The quality of education is also inadequate, which contributes to substantial student drop-outs, among other things.

Mozambique has one of the world's highest illiteracy rates and gender disparities are apparent. Only 30% of women aged 15 and above are literate, compared to 60% of men.

During this period of economic transformation, the Mozambican Government had given high importance to adult education because an uneducated or illiterate labour force is obviously not competitive. According to Government plans, approximately one million learners are expected to attend adult literacy classes annually until 2015, thereby reducing the levels of illiteracy by 30%. Furthermore, eradicating illiteracy in at least one district in each province has been set as an objective. However, local authorities are facing significant challenges in achieving these targets and few donor countries are involved in this sector.  

ICEIDA has provided support to the national adult literacy and education (ALE) programme since 2008, with geographical focus on Inhambane province and Jangamo district. Strong emphasis has been placed on improving the quality of teaching and ensuring provision of text books.

In 2012, the total number of learners in Inhambane province was approximately 35,000 (82% women), or about half of the number the educational authorities (the Ministry) had hoped for. 2,300 learners (91%) were enrolled in the programme in Jangamo.

In 2012, significant efforts were made to provide training to literacy teachers in Inhambane province, with 407 teachers, all volunteers, from 14 provinces receiving basic training in adult learning methods and general teaching. Over 80 of their supporting teachers, who are public school teachers, also received training in planning and management.

The improved training the literacy teachers receive has already started to show results. Learners‘ pass rates appear to have improved; the rate in Inhambane province went from 68% in 2011 to 79% on average, and in Jangamo district it increased from 83% to 91%. The drop-out rate of learners also declined from one year to the next, in Inhambane province it went from 18% in 2011 to 7% in 2012.

The learners‘ drop-out rate in the province supported by ICEIDA might not be very high in terms of percentage, but the educational authorities are concerned about the high drop-out of female learners at national level and the limited participation of men. Therefore, a comprehensive study was conducted to find out why women enrol in the ALE programme but often drop out halfway through, and also why adult men are reluctant to participate in the classes at all. The study was carried out at a national level and preliminary findings were published at the end of the year, noting that the programme is considered to be too formal and class schedules are inflexible. Men and/or women who live off farming have to take time off during harvesting and then they fall behind the other learners. In addition, the teaching and learning materials do not respond sufficiently to the learners' needs, and older men are reluctant to take part in classes with women who have “lower status”. The findings of the study will provide a better understanding of the learners' needs; thereby enabling authorities to improve the programme/service to respond better to the needs of the users/clients.

The major “new” challenge in the Jangamo project is how to ensure the management and sustainability of the Community Resource Centre which was opened in April 2012. The first classes that were offered through the Centre in computer literacy and tailoring seem promising, but the staff still have limited capacity and knowledge to advance activities. Short-term consultants were hired to provide technical support to the staff and they are supposed to submit a report with recommendations on training, management arrangements and plans for the Centre in the beginning of 2013.

A mid-term evaluation of the Adult Literacy and Education Programme in Inhambane/Jangamo was conducted. The evaluation team strongly recommended that ICEIDA continues to support the adult literacy in Inhambane province as significant impact has already been made, particularly with regard to improving the authorities' institutional capacity and competence to administer the adult literacy programme.

Cross-cutting issues

The Department of Adult Literacy and Education of the Ministry of Education will use the findings of the study on the drop-out of women from adult literacy classes and low participation of men conducted as part of the Inhambane project, to produce a special equality plan for adult literacy programmes at a national level. 

The project activities in Inhambane include holding special lectures on gender to promote increased community awareness and discussions on the importance of girls'/women's opportunity to education. The lectures have also generated discussions about the reasons for men's reluctance to participate in adult literacy classes.   Preparations for the third phase of the Fisheries Development Project in the Cahora Bassa reservoir were carried out in 2012. Emphasis was placed on making the logical framework more gender-responsive and subsequently ensuring that gender was accordingly reflected in budget and activities. Furthermore, due to the increase in coal extraction in Tete province, focus included identifying ways to enhance the capacity and competence of the province's fisheries sector staff to contend with environmental considerations and environmental impact assessments.

[1] African Peer Review Mechanism, Report on Mozambique 2012. (page 19)