USAID Deputy Administrator Isobel Coleman concluded a six-day trip to Mozambique, where she met with government officials, civil society actors and private sector representatives to highlight long-standing U.S. support to the country, especially in the central and northern provinces.
After arriving in Maputo on January 25, Deputy Administrator Coleman met with Mozambique’s Minister of Public Works, Housing, and Water Resources Carlos Alberto Fortes Mesquita and Vice Minister of Economy and Finance Amilcar Tivane and local government officials in central and northern Mozambique to discuss opportunities to strengthen the U.S.- Mozambique partnership. Their conversation focused on promoting stability in the North and emphasized the importance of a free, fair, and transparent democratic process as the government prepares for presidential elections in October 2024. The Deputy Administrator congratulated government officials on the passage of legislation establishing a sovereign wealth fund and emphasized the importance of its use for inclusive development and sustainable economic growth.
On January 26, Deputy Administrator Coleman traveled to Beira, where she met with the Secretary of State for the Province of Sofala Cecília Chamutota, the Governor of Sofala Lourenço Bulha, and the mayor of Beira Albano Carige, before visiting a USAID-funded UN-Habitat Resilient Reconstruction program that is building resilience against climate hazards. She also met with the Commercial Association of Beira, one of the most active business associations in the country, to discuss constraints and opportunities for private-sector development.
The Deputy Administrator spent the two following days visiting USAID projects in and around Gorongosa National Park and saw how projects improve human well-being in communities outside of the park – known as the buffer zone – and conserve biodiversity within the National Park. Deputy Administrator Coleman spoke with smallholder farmers and engaged with Community-Based Natural Resource Management Committees, which promote conservation and economic development through the sustainable use of natural resources. The Deputy Administrator also learned about Gorongosa’s conservation activities and met with the leadership of the Master’s in Conservation Biology Program operated from inside the park, the only one of its kind in Africa.
Deputy Administrator Coleman then traveled to the Ilha de Moçambique, where she met with a women’s group participating in the Feed the Future Resilient Coastal Communities program to learn about the role women play in the fishery sector, and how USAID is helping address challenges faced by women in coastal communities.
In nearby Monapo, she met with community members and the Associação Nova Aliança, a savings group of 30 women, to learn about their role in financing sanitation solutions and improving sanitation in local communities . The Deputy Administrator then met with local journalists and youth at Community Radios Assistance for Greater Empowerment of Mozambicans to discuss freedom of press and youth civic engagement. She also convened key civil society organizations to hear their perspectives on civic space in Mozambique and recommendations for promoting a more democratic society.
The Deputy Administrator was a guest of honor at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between USAID and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). This MOU will leverage $6.7 million in SDC funding for complementary activities that will expand the footprint of USAID’s $25.5 million Feed the Future PREMIER program and increase income and employment for farmers and agribusinesses in Northern Mozambique. In advance of the signing, the Deputy Administrator visited a local chicken producer that is receiving one of nine local grants to local businesses that are creating local jobs and increasing agricultural productivity.
Before departing Mozambique, Deputy Administrator Coleman met with USAID staff to express appreciation for their hard work delivering on USAID’s mission.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of U.S. Embassy in Mozambique.