Mozambique’s international donors show signs of “concern,” says Swiss Peace

31 July 2006

Berne, Switzerland, 31 July – Mozambique is going through a period of “very good” relations with its external donors, but there are signs of concern amongst them, Swiss Peace said in its latest report on the East African country.

“Donors are concerned about Mozambique’s commitment to democracy. There are fears that external aid could be helping Frelimo to cement its power, thus weakening the opposition,” Swiss Peace said in its FAST report on the first half of the year, to which Macauhub had access.

Donor reticence, it added, came in “a very good year for the government, in terms of international cooperation.”

“Donor after donor has reiterated its commitment to provide aid. Almost every month had brought news of donor support, particularly from the G-18. They recognize that Mozambique, with Guebuza [prime-minister] seems more capable of making decisions, finding its own solutions instead of waiting for donors to suggest measures to be taken,” Swiss Peace said.

According to Swiss Peace, “it seems difficult to understand the reasons for this apparent commitment in relation to Mozambique, especially considering that donors have many reservations in terms of the country’s commitment to good governance.”

In the short term Swiss Peace expects the country’s situation to be “stable,” and that the government will be watching for potential reservations on the part of donors in relation to the country’s governance, aware of the importance their help has for the country’s financial situation.

In the last six months, “the government has maintained the rhythm of reform, the economy has performed well and overcome price shocks resulting from oil price increases,” it said.

The country’s main achievement in teh first half of 2006, Swiss Peace said, was the approval of the plan to reduce poverty (PARPA), given that “Mozambique’s financial flexibility is largely determined by its capacity to make use of measures to reduce poverty in its policies.” (macauhub)