The World Bank says poverty levels in Mozambique remain high, noting that in 1996 about 96 percent of the population was poor, a figure that in 2015 changed to 65 percent.
Some economic and social analysts in Mozambique told VOA that until the factors that most influence the rise in poverty, including an uncontrolled increase in birth rates, low agricultural income and poor quality education are eliminated, the number of poor people will continue to rise in the country.
The World Bank (WB) said that poverty levels in Mozambique remain high, noting that in 1996 around 96 percent of the population was poor, a figure that in 2015 rose to 65 percent, an assessment with which economist Joao Mosca disagrees.
Mosca said that the World Bank only analysed the percentage of the population living in poverty, but said that if the assessment was in terms of the number of poor Mozambicans, the conclusion would be a little more serious, as the number of poor people continues to rise.
Mosca noted that “this happens because there are still no results about which are the factors that most influence the rise in poverty,” and added that these factors are low productivity in agriculture of most small producers, job creation, particularly in rural areas, and very high demographic growth.
For that economist, another factor is education, highlighting that although in quantitative terms, the number of people in schools is increasing significantly, “but the quality of education is very poor, the infrastructures are very poor and, above all, after the completion of each of the school degrees, people have no jobs.
Meanwhile, sociologist Francisco Matsinhe believes that the expected economic recovery, resulting from the start of liquefied natural gas exports and the resumption of TotalEnergies’ project activities, may contribute to reducing poverty levels in Mozambique.
But for economist Castro Camarah, in the context of the fight against poverty and of inclusive development, policies are needed to encourage those who live in rural areas, especially the youth, to get involved in the whole value chain of agricultural production.
The Government recognises that agricultural productivity is low and says that agricultural production is mostly dominated by small-scale, low-tech peasant producers, in addition to the fact that they are dispersed producers, which makes the assistance process difficult.
WB economist Fiseha Haile, presenting a report on Mozambique, said that the national economy creates almost 25,000 jobs in the formal sector, but the demand for employment is very high.
Meanwhile, the number of people entering the labour market in Mozambique each year is 500,000, a huge gap between the supply of jobs and demand.