Mozambique, still one of the 10 poorest countries in the world, is slowly recovering from the fallout of the debt scandal in 2016. The disclosure of secret loans amounting to USD 2 billion resulted in the suspension of all general budget support operations and threw the country into a deep financial and economic crisis. After a long period of silence, a start was recently made on bringing the alleged perpetrators to justice.
Significant progress has been made on the political front: after years of hostilities, Frelimo (the ruling party since independence in 1975) and Renamo (the main opposition party) reached a peace agreement and municipal elections appeared to be largely free and credible.
Economic growth was picking up, until tropical cyclone Idai severely damaged infrastructure and production facilities in the most important agricultural region of the country. The discovery of major gas fields could make Mozambique the third-largest gas exporter in the world after 2021. However, regular attacks on civilians in the north of the country by unknown assailants, possibly linked to Muslim extremism, remain a major concern and could jeopardise the development of the gas reserves.
Being a delta country, Mozambique offers great potential for partnerships with the private sector and knowledge institutes. The Netherlands works with strong local partners and focuses its efforts and resources on areas in which Mozambican and Dutch interests coincide and our ambition to contribute to a stronger private sector in Mozambique can be translated into concrete results.