Tuesday, August 25, 2015

US$1-billion budget will fund youth-led projects in rural

A sum of US$1 billion is available to fund development initiatives proposed by finalists and young university graduates, according to Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development, Celso Correia, speaking during a discussion meeting on rural development."The Government will provide, in partnership with commercial banks, a one billion dollar line of credit at an average interest of five percent, for the implementation of private sector anchor projects in rural areas."
clubofmozambiqueThe discussion was organized by the University Finalists Student Association of Mozambique (AEFUM), and was attended by academic Filipe Couto, former dean of Eduardo Mondlane University, and by the president of AEFUM, Osvaldo Mauaie.Minister Correia pointed to agri-food, renewable energy and micro-finance sectors as having the potential for young people to leverage the development of districts over the next five years.
The Stimulus Package for the Rural Economy, part of Project Star (Projecto Estrela), focuses on areas of the country with untapped potential and relies on structured and rigorous financing for anchor projects in rural areas.Although efforts are being made by the government to attract financial institutions, it is estimated that 50 percent of districts in Mozambique are not serviced by commercial banks. This opens opportunities for microfinance institutions to fill the gap.In the agri-food sector, Correia argues that the aim should be to improve production and productivity and so use less land, although a high percentage of fertile land is uncultivated.Couto emphasises that income generation and local development initiatives should not always rely on government funding, which is not available for all projects."We should always look out for examples that can help us develop our initiatives. It is important to value local knowledge, learn from experiences – like 'xitique' – and not always wait for help from the government," he stressed.Speaking on behalf of the students, Osvaldo Mauaie cited some of the challenges facing the districts, such as lack of infrastructure or qualified personnel to ensure the provision of quality services and attract investment."Limited local capacity and high levels of unemployment, especially among youngsters and graduates, are also challenges," he added.
The 150 districts

Mozambique has 150 districts, distributed among 11 provinces: Cabo Delgado province (districts of Ancuabe, Balama, Chiúre,Ibo, Macomia, Mecúfi, Meluco, Metuge, Mocímboa da Praia,Montepuez, Mueda,Muidumbe, Namuno, Nangade, Palma, Pemba and Quissanga); Niassa province (districts of Cuamba, Lago, Lichinga, Majune, Mandimba, Marrupa, Maúa, Mavago, Mecanhelas, Mecula, Metarica, Muembe, N'gauma, Nipepe and Sanga), Nampula province (districts of Angoche, Eráti, Lalaua, Malema, Meconta, Mecubúri, Memba, Mogincual, Mogovolas, Moma, Monapo,Mossuril, Muecate, Murrupula, Nacala-a-Velha, Nacarôa, Nampula and Ribaué); Tete ( districts of Angónia, Cahora-Bassa, Changara, Chifunde, Chiuta, Macanga, Magoé, Marávia, Moatize, Mutarara, Tsangano and Zumbo); Zambezia province (districts of Alto Molócue, Chinde, Gilé, Gurué, Ile, Inhassunge, Lugela, Maganja da Costa, Milange, Mocuba, Mopeia, Morrumbala, Namacurra, Namarroi, Nicoadala, Pebane, Derre, Luabo, Mulumbe and Mucubela), Manica province (districts of Bárue, Gondola, Guro, Machaze, Macossa, Manica, Mossurize, Sussundenga and Tambara), Sofala (districts of Búzi, Caia, Chemba, Cheringoma, Chibabava, Dondo, Gorongosa, Machanga, Maringué, Marromeu, Muanza and Nhamatanda); Gaza province (districts of Bilene, Chibuto, Chicualacuala, Chigubo, Chókwè, Guijá, Mabalane, Manjacaze, Massangena, Massingir and Xai-Xai); Inhambane province (districts of Funhalouro, Govuro, Homoíne, Inhambane, Inharrime, Inhassoro, Jangamo, Mabote, Massinga, Morrumbene, Panda, Vilanculos and Zavala); Maputo Province (districts of Boane, Magude, Manhiça, Marracuene, Matutuíne, Moamba and Namaacha); and Maputo City.

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