Most young Mozambicans can expect to work in informal sector

9 May 2006

Maputo, Mozambique, 09 May – The future of the vast majority of Mozambique’s urban young population lies in working in the country’s informal labor sector, according to an international study to which Macauhub had access.

“Young people in Maputo are facing difficulties, if not the impossibility, of finding a formal and decent job,” the document said.

“The majority is focused on the informal job market, which clearly dominates the Mozambican economy,” the study, entitled “Economic inclusion of youth in the urban environment,” said.

Street selling and unstable jobs in restaurants and stores are the main job available to young people in Mozambique’s informal sector, especially in the South, where half of all economic activity is centered, and in Maputo, which accounts for 36.9 percent of national production.

The survey, which was the result of questioning over 500 young people in the Mozambican capital between the ages of 15 and 29 was carried out by the International labor Organization, the Labor Ministry and the Eduardo Mondlane University, the French Embassy in Maputo and Essor, a French non-governmental organization.

“It can reasonably be stated that difficulty accessing training and the job market are, for many young people, the consequence of deeper problems of inequality in terms of economic, but also social, resources,” the survey showed.

One of the most important conclusions drawn is that the informal economy, which provides work to 2.4 million young people all over the country between the ages of 15 and 24, has “the role of social security and political safety valve which prevents Maputo, like many other African metropolitan areas, from exploding socially.”

Figures published in May by the country’s national statistics institute (INE) showed that around 12 million Mozabicans are employed in the informal sector, which represents over half the population, and around 87 percent of the population over the age of seven..

“The informal urban sector us growing at a rate of 7 to 8 percent per year; represented 60 percent of the workforce in 1997 and 76 percent in 2003,” said the study.

In order to alter the situation, the study’s promoters propose combating absolute poverty by improving the education system and re-classifying the entire chain of professional training. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH