17 April 2018

Mozambique: Nyusi Delivers Lecture to Chatham House

London — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Tuesday gave a keynote lecture in London at the prestigious Royal Institute of International Affairs - also known as Chatham House - on the subject of fostering sustainable peace, democracy, and inclusive development.

The President stressed that inclusive development is at heart of his political agenda, and that economic benefits must reach the most vulnerable. For this to happen, all citizens should participate equally in the economy. However, he pointed out that this requires tackling structural inequality and securing a high rate of economic growth.

Nyusi pointed out that the Mozambican work force is growing at an annual rate of 500,000 with few finding employment in the formal sector. He lamented that the strong economic growth over the past twenty years has not resulted in significant poverty reduction, which he said was due to growth being driven by large capital-intensive projects in the mining and oil and gas sectors with limited linkages to the rest of the economy.

Nyusi argued that democracy is an evolving platform, not a perfect model, stating “we need to find a balance between internationally shared values and traditional African values”.

While confirming that Mozambique's current system of democracy allows for divergent views and that public officials are accountable for their actions, the President argued “we are continually working to improve this system through strengthening institutions and deepening popular decision making”.

The President told the invited audience of his commitment to national reconciliation through dialogue, which he considered a sign of increased trust and strength rather than weakness.

Nyusi confirmed that as a result of the dialogue with Afonso Dhlakama, leader of the rebel movement Renamo, “we intend to decentralise and devolve power to first the provincial level, then the district level”.

The President concluded that education is a priority for the government, which is now focusing on the quality of education, not just the quantity.

Nyusi is in Britain to attend the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which opens on Thursday. The Commonwealth is made up of 53 countries with 2.4 billion citizens. Mozambique joined the group in 1995.

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