The Carter Center has been working in Mozambique since 1998, providing international election observation, support for citizen observers, review of the political finance structure, support for a national consensus-building process, and improvement of agricultural production.
The Carter Center partnered with the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) to deploy a team of 87 observers during Mozambique's Oct. 15 presidential, national, and provincial assembly elections. These elections took place after a new peace agreement signed by the ruling party, FRELIMO, and the opposition militia party, RENAMO, on Sept. 5, 2014. The joint Carter Center-EISA mission concluded that the electoral campaign was conducted in a generally peaceful and tolerant atmosphere and that voting was orderly and peaceful. Some isolated security incidents during counting were observed. Although they were serious in nature, they were localized and did not affect the credibility of the process and its outcome. The mission found that the tabulation processes lacked clear and consistent procedures, which, in some instances, affected the transparency of the process.
The Carter Center deployed long-term observers who visited more than 50 districts and all provinces in advance of election day. They reported a mostly calm pre-election environment, although some isolated signs of intimidation were observed. The Center deployed a delegation of 60 observers across the country, co-led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and former Benin President Nicephore Soglo. The delegation noted the generally peaceful environment and the genuine commitment of most Mozambicans to the legal electoral requirements but expressed concerns about a number of irregularities observed during the provincial tabulation of results. While these irregularities did not alter the overall outcome of the presidential election, they did undermine the credibility of Mozambique's electoral authorities.
Mozambique held its second multiparty municipal elections in 2003, following municipal elections in 1998 that were marred by a RENAMO boycott, flawed voter rolls, and voter turnout of less than 15 percent.
The Carter Center conducted a pre-election assessment in 25 of 33 municipalities in advance of the elections and deployed seven teams of observers on election day. They visited 60 polling sites and 130 polling tables in 11 municipalities across six provinces and Maputo City. The Center found the elections to be generally well-conducted and peaceful but was concerned about low turnout, challenges with the voter register, and a problematic results tabulation process. Nevertheless, these elections showed a will to consolidate multiparty competition in Mozambique's municipalities, with the participation of candidates from nine smaller parties and six civic groups in addition to those of the FRELIMO and the RENAMO-Electoral Union coalition.
The 1999 elections were Mozambique's second elections after its transition from civil war. The Carter Center sent a delegation of 13 observers to the 1999 voter registration and concluded that the process was well-managed and implemented. Ten medium-term observers were deployed in October of that year, and a 50-person delegation co-led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and former President Ketumile Masire of Botswana deployed around the three-day election. The voting was peaceful and orderly throughout the country, and the Center commended Mozambicans for their high turnout. The Carter Center observed some problems in the processing of electoral complaints – electoral institutions did not function as effectively as they might have. The failure of the electoral body to address these issues undermined the potential effectiveness and credibility of the electoral institutions.
The Carter Center initiated a number of activities to broaden the role of civil society organizations in Mozambique democratic processes in 2003 and 2004. These activities included building capacity, providing technical assistance and training for domestic observers, fostering civic dialogue with Mozambique's political parties, and sharing experiences from previous Carter Center election observation missions. The Center helped civil society conduct parallel vote tabulations in 10 of 33 municipalities in the 2003 local elections and another in 2004 for the presidential and legislative elections.
In 1998, the government of Mozambique asked the Carter Center's Global Development Initiative (1993-2006) to support a national consensus-building initiative known as the Agenda 2025 National Vision and National Development Strategy Process. The process brought together Mozambicans from across the social and political spectrum to develop a shared, long-term vision and strategy for future development. The Agenda 2025 process helped Mozambique identify policy options to inform the country's Poverty Reduction Strategy, a short-term action plan required for foreign loans and grant aid from the international donor community. The Agenda 2025 vision and strategy process was completed in July 2003, and the final agenda was publicly disseminated and then unanimously approved by parliament in December 2003.
Like many countries in Africa, Mozambique has long suffered from inadequate rainfall, which affected food production in the main agricultural areas of the country, the Central and Northern regions. Thus, The Carter Center began working with Mozambique's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in 1995 to increase food security. Led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Norman Borlaug, a joint venture between The Carter Center and the Sasakawa Africa Association helped more than 8 million small-scale sub-Saharan African farmers improve agricultural production.
The program provided farmers with credit for fertilizers and seeds to grow test production plots. Following successful harvests, the farmers taught their neighbors about the new technologies, creating a ripple effect to stimulate food self-sufficiency in the nation.
In addition, crop diversification was implemented, expanding from the staple crops of maize and rice to include peanuts, cowpeas, beans, paprika, onions, potatoes, sesame, garlic, millet, cotton, and tobacco. Farmers were trained to raise the new crops with the use of proper fertilizers. During a 2001-2002 program in the Nampula province, these efforts led to as much as triple crop yields.Adopting new technologies to improve crop yields was only half the battle. Because Mozambique lacked a commercial system to make supplies available; only large commercial farms used supplies. To promote development of a retail supply system, The Carter Center and its partners fostered contacts among major chemical companies and potential fertilizer suppliers. Projects also focused on post-harvest technologies, including methods for processing and storing. Neighboring countries in the program were encouraged to foster cooperative efforts.
The government of Mozambique, encouraged by the Carter Center's successes, increased its agricultural development budget from 3 percent allocated in 1999 to 6 percent in 2004.
The Carter Center ended its agricultural activities in Mozambique in 2005.
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Size: 799,380 square kilometers
Population below poverty line: 52 percent
Life expectancy: 53 years
Ethnic groups: African (Makhuwa, Tsonga, Lomwe, Sena, and others), Europeans, Euro-Africans, Indians
Religions: Roman Catholic, Muslim, Zionist Christian, Protestant (includes Pentecostal and Anglican), other
Languages: Emakhuwa, Portuguese (official), Xichangana, Cisena, Elomwe, Echuwabo, other Mozambican languages, other
Source: U.S. Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook 2016