Maputo — President Armando Guebuza on Monday hit back at critics of his government who claim that Mozambicans are living in worse conditions than during the colonial period.
The President was speaking during celebratios of the 37th anniversary of Mozambican independence, which coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the country ruling party, the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo).
Answering his critics, President Guebuza said that "there is a growing awareness of the progress made since 25 June 1962, and since 25 June 1975, which by far exceeds what was recorded during five hundred years of foreign domination".
According to the President, the most important change is that Mozambicans are no longer foreigners in their own country. In addition, Mozambicans are in charge of making their own decisions about the country's wealth and its foreign policy.
For the President, Mozambique is rapidly changing for the better, with improvements in schools, higher education, health and the provision of electricity.
He gave as an example the fact that in 2004 the electricity network only covered seven per cent of the country. By 2011 that figure had increased to 32 per cent and the network is still expanding.
In addition, all districts now have at least one doctor. Now the Frelimo government is focusing on placing physicians at a more local level.
The President added that having clean water was an exception during colonial times. Today, the network of clean water is spreading in both urban and rural areas.
The head of state recognised that much remains to be done, adding "the challenge for Frelimo over the next 50 years is to remain cohesive, visionary and keep its support".
Other challenges for the party include strengthening internal democracy, continuous renovation, self-improvement and adapting to new developments in Mozambique and the world.
President Guebuza stated that Frelimo also needs to consolidate the Mozambican state by making its institutions increasingly relevant to the people.
The Mozambican leader also stressed the need to increase human capital through training. "It is with this human capital that we will develop more effectively and efficiently the abundant natural resources that we are gifted", he said.
The President concluded his speech by expressing his appreciation of the assistance provided by the country's international cooperating partners.