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mozambique_mapPopulation: 25,203,395

HDI ranking: 185/187

HDI score: 0.327

Mozambique has achieved social and economic transformation including the implementation of a decentralization policy (UNDP, 2004). However, Mozambican democracy’s improvements are slow. Mobilizing action by Mozambicans and transforming mechanisms of citizen participation into more than consultative processes may be necessary to establish truly participatory democracy (OSIS, 2009).


Local governance at a glance

  • Mozambique is a democratic republic with national and local governments, and only a part of Mozambique has local government. There are 33 municipalities, covering 23 cities and 20 of the 128 towns in the districts (CLGF, 2013).
  • “The constitution now defines two types of local authority: municipalities in the cities and town and village councils in rural areas, which cover the areas of the administration” (CLGF, 2013).
  •  “The Ministers of State Administration is responsible for the administration of the laws overseeing local government” (CLGF, 2013).
  • Mozambique does not have legislated gender quota at the sub-national level (IDEA, 2009).

Civil society actors include

  • Center for Public Integrity (CIP), a civil society organization, aims at promoting transparency, good governance and integrity.
  • Forum Mulher is a network of women’s organizations for achieving gender equal participation and formulating policies through raising awareness to women in political posts and women community leaders.
  • Human Rights League (LDH) promotes human rights through advocacy, civic education, pressure and legal assistance and capacity building targeting Civil Society Organizations, Consultative Council members and local leaders.
  • Mozambican Association for the Promotion of Citizenship (AMOPROC) is a national NPO and promotes actions that will increase participation by citizens.

Capacity building institutions

  • National Association of Municipalities in Mozambique (ANAM) created by municipalities promotes cooperation and solidarity among all municipalities and contributes to training and professionalization of municipal staff (UCLG, 2008).

Fiscal control

  • Local authorities’ revenue comes from municipal incomes (from municipal source of revenues) and the central government transfers (Municipal Compensation Funds + Local Investment Funds). Under Law NO 11/97, municipal authorities can raise revenues, approve and manage budget within the framework of the central government budget (UCLG, 2008; CLGF, 2013).
  • “Municipalities are responsible for collecting taxes and use fees, and have the autonomy to set their own user charges and to decide what levies are most important” (UCLG, 2008).

Key initiatives for participatory local governance

  • In the Independence Day, 25 June 1975, universal adult suffrage at age 18 was established (UCLG, 2008).
  • Mozambique became a multi-party democracy under the 1990 constitution (UCLG, 2008).
  • Decentralization started when 33 municipalities, covering 25% of Mozambique, were established in 1997 (OSIS, 2009).
  • In 2000, Decree no. 15/2000 defined the principles by which the local state bodies should interact with community authorities which included traditional leaders, secretaries of suburban neighborhoods or other legitimate leaders (OSIS, 2009).
  • The right of citizens to information was fully recognized by the Action Plan for the Reduction of Absolute Poverty, adopted by Mozambican government in 2006 (OSIS, 2009).

Challenges for participatory local governance

  • Municipalities depend on funds allotted by the central government. The government and the deputies need to transfer tax powers to the municipalities or provide a greater share of taxes collected in central (OSIS, 2009).
  • Citizen participation in local governance is still low with lack of resources, services, and information provided locally. Greater publicity for the activities undertaken and more intensive contact between municipal departments and voters are necessary (OSIS, 2009).

Recent posts on this website about this country:


List of sources (in order of citation):

UNDP, 2004: “The Process of Decentralization and Local Governance in Mozambique”

Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSIS), 2009: “Mozambique: Democracy and Political Participation”

CLGF, 2013: “Country Profile: Mozambique”

IDEA, 2009: “Mozambique”

UCLG, 2008: “Republic of Mozambique”