Population: 29 million (World Bank, 2014)
Languages: Portuguese (Official), Swahili, Makhuwa
Monetary unit: Mozambiqua metical (MZN)
Main exports: Aluminum, prawns, cashews, cotton, sugar, citrus, timber; bulk electricity
GNI per capita: US $630 (World Bank, 2014)
ODA received: $3.9 billion (World Bank, 2013)
Human Development Index ranking: 185/187 (UN, 2014)
Estimated GDP growth: 7.4% (World Bank, 2014)
Twenty years after a brutal civil war that left one million people dead and five million displaced, more than half of Mozambique’s people still live below the poverty line. The recent macro-economic growth in Mozambique has not been inclusive, and the promise of broad-based, private-sector-led economic and social development is not being realized. The vast majority of Mozambicans work in subsistence agriculture and in informal or non-competitive, low skilled services sectors. With limited formal-sector jobs on offer, the 9-million-strong labor force is growing rapidly as the country’s young population (45% are under 15) matures and those benefitting from expanded access to secondary education seek employment.
The Mozambican labor force is expected to increase by more than 300,000 per year, to 15 million in 2030 and 20 million in 2040. This calls for effective strategies that would ensure that the private sector is geared to absorb this human capital as it comes into the marketplace.
Building Markets has built a network of over 800 SMEs in the country, 53% of which are owned or managed by women. This information helps connect local businesses to new opportunities, identifies trends and challenges, and informs the design and development of services and partnerships:
Building Markets provides training to SMEs to enhance their management capacity in areas such as business planning, customer service, marketing, financial management, record keeping, and procurement. Credit advisory services are also offered to help SMEs through the loan application cycle.
Through our local and international partnerships, Building Markets arranges and puts in place financial instruments, such as credit guarantees, that improve the risk profile of qualifying businesses:
Women are a vital component to the success of a country’s economic development and this is particularly the case in Mozambique, where women account for over 87% of the labor force in agriculture.
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