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You educate a woman, you educate a whole community, a whole village- Ruth O’niango

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Strengthening Democratic Institutions in Mozambique

A woman tends to her market stall in Maputo. AWEPA's programme in Mozambique aims to ensure that the net benefit of the extractive industry reaches all citizens. Photo: Iam/Flickr

A woman tends to her market stall in Maputo. AWEPA's programme in Mozambique aims to ensure that the net benefit of the extractive industry reaches all citizens. Photo: Iam/Flickr

Background

AWEPA has been supporting the democratic process in Mozambique since 1992, when the organisation first established a partnership with the Mozambique Parliament. Following the signing of the Rome Peace Agreement, AWEPA shifted its focus to capacity building programmes for elected organs, ranging from the National Assembly to the newly established provincial assemblies, municipalities and political parties with one or more seats in the Parliament. This shift started with the implementation of major civic education programmes and election observation projects.

In 2013, AWEPA began to implement its current three-year programme funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs entitled “Towards Sustainable Natural Resource Management for Inclusive Growth – Parliamentary Capacity Building”.

In 2015, the new Government and Parliament were inaugurated following the general elections (presidential, legislative and provincial elections). The Parliament and the Provincial Assemblies received new members from the Frelimo, Renamo and MDM parties. AWEPA organised a number of introductory seminars for parliamentarians, which focused on recently approved laws on natural resources such as the Petroleum Law.

Objectives

The main aim of the “Towards Sustainable Natural Resource Management for Inclusive Growth” programme is to engage elected officials at the national, provincial, and municipal levels in oversight of the ways in which the extractive process is managed in Mozambique. The project is based upon the principle that citizens should be left with a net benefit from the extractive processes underway; that the government must assure such benefits; and that extractive industry must be compelled to comply with national and international regulations on this issue.

Type of activities

AWEPA has facilitated several public hearings at the local level with the municipalities and provincial assemblies. An emphasis is placed on training parliamentary staff on natural resources, with a focus on the extractive industry. Efforts are also made to bring together and establish coordination mechanisms among elected organs. This is achieved through the facilitation of consultation meetings at three levels, namely Parliament, Provincial Assemblies and Municipal Assemblies, with the engagement of civil society organisations.

AWEPA has also organised evaluation seminars with the Parliament and elected members of provincial and municipal assemblies.

Impacts

The main outcomes so far of the work carried out under the Natural Resource Management programme is the approval of the new Petroleum Law (Law 21/2014), on 18 August 2014, which includes long-awaited amendments in this area.

AWEPA contributed to the approval of these legislative amendments by informing the MPs about concepts relating to natural resources, with an emphasis on the extractive industry (through the National Assembly Introductory Workshop); and by holding discussions with MPs and experts from Mozambique and Norway on petroleum management, the Petroleum and Mines Legislation and environmental consequences.

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