The Mozambican economy has undergone robust and stable growth in recent years, despite the adverse effects of the international financial crisis, according to the outgoing Central Committee of the ruling Frelimo Party.
The Central Committee’s report to the Frelimo Tenth congress, now in its second day in the northern city of Pemba, claimed “significant advances in social and economic development”, since the last Congress, in 2006.
“This progress was driven by macro-economic stability and the accelerated growth of the economy”, said the report, read out by President Armando Guebuza.
Since 2006, Mozambique’s Gross Domestic Product had grown at an average annual rate of 7.1 per cent. Per capita income had risen from 362.9 US dollars in 2006 to 535.5 dollars in 2011 – an increase of almost 48 per cent.
The report claimed that over the past five years 1.6 million jobs were created – of which 658,954 were occupied by women and 1,018,759 by men. 304,000 citizens, 34 per cent of them women, received professional training in the country’s various training centres.
There had also been substantial advances in the prevention and management of natural disasters, resulting in reduced vulnerability of many thousands of households living in areas prone to disasters.
Guebuza said that about 800 local disaster risk management committees had been set up, and 99 resettlement areas had been established along the Zambezi, Buzi and Save river basins. About 25,900 households now live in the resettlement areas, and this, the report argued, has reduced the number of victims of the frequent floods on these rivers.
The Central Committee warned that “the challenges for the fight against poverty and its causes still persist and remain a priority for all of us”.
These challenges include food production, since the country remains dependent on imports of some basic foodstuffs, including rice.
Guebuza said that, after the 2006 congress, Frelimo had instructed the government to put into operation the Food Production Action Plan (PAPA), in order to stimulate growth in agricultural production and productivity.
“We note with satisfaction the increased production of grain, particularly of maize”, he added. “Today Mozambique is self-sufficient in maize and produces more cassava than it consumes”.
“But there are still major challenges with other products such as rice”, said Guebuza. “Our annual consumption of rice is about 534,000 tonnes, and the country only produces 350,000 tonnes. We have to continue our efforts to increase agricultural productivity”.