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The impact of democracy in Mozambique: assessing political, social and economic developments since the dawn of democracy
João C. G. Pereira
Source of the information:
The Centre for Policy Studies
Civil war, sabotage from neighbouring states, and economic collapse characterised the first decade of Mozambican independence. During most of the civil war, the government was unable to exercise effective control outside of urban areas, many of which were cut off from the capital. An estimated 1 million Mozambicans perished during the civil war, 1.7 million took refuge in neighbouring states, and several million more were internally displaced. This report aims at finding out whether citizens in Mozambique consider their standard of living and economic security has improved since the end of the civil war.
Mozambique has been classified by the international community as a success story of economic reform and political transition. However, there is increasing economic inequality, and a household survey shows that the incidence of absolute poverty is 69.4 percent, indicating that more than two-thirds of the Mozambican population is living below the poverty line.
The government began to introduce various economic and political reforms aimed at transforming Mozambique into a more pluralistic society, and the pace of reform accelerated after 1987. Those efforts culminated in the enactment of a new constitution in November 1990 which provided for a multiparty political system, a market based economy, and free elections. Political accountability is enforced through formal processes like elections, and through institutions for community participation and consultation at district and sub-district levels, and also through different informal institutions at the local level. With regard to the organisation of political power, the Constitution of the Republic of Mozambique defines the President of the Republic, the National Parliament, the Cabinet, the Courts and the Constitutional Council as the sovereignty bodies, which relate among themselves based upon the principle of separation and interdependence of power.
The report analyses different types of data and finds that democratic institutions are not supplying what the citizens want where socioeconomic benefits are concerned. The economy is growing but this is not reflected in rising standards of living for the majority of Mozambicans citizens. Other findings include:
Despite the positive shifts in the expansion of education and health systems, the quality of the services provided by state institutions remains very poor.
While many forms of accountability relationship mechanisms exist (for example formal and informal accountabilities, social, political and electoral accountabilities between different public institutions), most of these are weak.