Mozambique

The Mozambique government estimates that 80 per cent of its citizens use charcoal to cook. Almost everyone buys it on the informal market (here's an in-depth look at how that works), where it's the cheapest and most readily available cooking fuel. And it's that demand for charcoal that's feeding the plague of deforestation in Mozambique, where thick forests are razed at an increasingly alarming rate.

Experts predict that in the next decade there will be 4 million chronically malnourished children in Mozambique, which despite recent, rapid economic growth and the discovery of large natural gas deposits remains one of the world's poorest countries.

There is still much poverty in Mozambique and president Armando Emilio Guebuza has twice had to deal with outbreaks of social unrest. Since the end of the 16-year civil war, the country has been ruled by his Frelimo party - the main opposition are their former enemies Renamo, led by Alfonso Dlkhama. The relationship between the two has become uneasy in recent times - Mr Dlkhama recently threatened to overthrow the government. In this BBC podcast, Guebuza in interviewed by Audrey Brown.

This OSISA and AfriMAP report argues that Mozambique’s commitment to providing access to education in a country scared by years of conflict, with an illiteracy rate of 90 per cent in the 1970’s, has yielded strong results. However the sector still faces several difficulties that it must tackle urgently if it is to attain the MDG goal on education and gender parity.

A policy paper is to be presented to the annual World Bank conference on land and poverty in Washington DC in the United States, which focuses on the confrontation between peasant producers and investors in the Mozambican province of Zambezia. Written by Simon Norfolk and Joseph Hanlon, the paper looks at divisions in the Mozambican government over whether it should support foreign investment to promote a technological leap in agriculture, or if it should support small scale farming to increa...read more

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