Free Essay Example: Political and Economic Reforms in Mozambique

Published: 2023-12-29
Free Essay Example: Political and Economic Reforms in Mozambique
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Economics Political science War Government
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 928 words
8 min read


Mozambique is an African country that gained its independence in 1975. For several decades, the Portuguese colonized the country, who exploited the country's natural resources leaving it in a ruined state. Following liberation in 1975, the new government adopted several measures that were designed to promote economic recovery and growth. The country underwent several political transformations as the country transitioned from being a colony to an independent state. However, Mozambique's post-independence period was tumultuous and was punctuated by a series of civil wars, coup de tats, and political instability (Thaler, 2012). Like many other African countries gaining independence in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Mozambique faced severe political and economic challenges that destabilized the nation and delayed substantial economic development.

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Political Reforms

Upon independence, Samora Machel became the first president of Mozambique. Samora established an authoritarian system of governance that prioritized the people's sovereignty at the expense of fundamental human rights. The ruling party, the FRELIMO Party, sought to establish a liberal nation and initiate several economic and political reforms to steer the nation towards growth and development. According to Monjane & Bruna (2020), the new government was a single party with FRELIMO seeking recognition as the country's only political party. During Samora Machel's regime, Mozambicans grappled with several political and economic challenges that stagnated the country's growth and progress. The main challenge that hit Mozambique was internal conflict and rivalry. RENAMO, an opposition political party in Mozambique, waged intense battles against the FRELIMO and the new government. However, Samora Machel endeavored to monopolize political power and neutralize any opposition against the government. Subsequently, there was political strife that plunged the country into civil war.

Reforms to Multiparty Elections in Mozambique

Samora Machel adopted Marxist political ideologies in 1977. Later in 1991, during the sixth congress, FRELIMO abandoned Marxism, and the nation attained some level of political independence. In 1992, democracy was instituted in Mozambique through multiparty elections that led to the establishment of a functional parliamentary system of government (Darch, 2018).

Economic Challenges and Reforms

Economic Challenges

Immediately after independence, Mozambique was faced with several economic challenges caused by the Portuguese's sudden withdrawal. Upon the Portuguese departure, the cantinas previously of great significance to the marketing of locally produced agricultural products had their networks disrupted. According to Phiri & Macheve (2014), diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDs affected the productivity of the population culminating in high poverty levels. However, Mozambique adopted a socialist approach in its economic policies founded on the principles of self-reliance.

Economic Reforms

Several programs that would promote growth in education, mass literacy, and health sectors were initiated to utilize locally available resources rather than foreign aid. The anti-foreign funding attitude was supported by Mozambique's argument to protect its sovereignty and reduce its debts with foreign countries. In the early 1980s, economic growth declined due to Mozambique's conflict and wars with South Africa. The conflict's impact was felt tremendously, with the exports falling from a total of $225 million recorded in 1980 to 1984's $ 19 million worth of exports (Darch, 2018). It was not until the late 1980s and early 1990s that rapid growth and development were realized with increased foreign investments triggered by the discovery of several mineral reserves that lay untapped in the country. The adoption of the free market was also critical in promoting trade and rapid economic development (Phiri & Macheve, 2014). To increase the productivity of the local population, the government initiated several health project campaigns to control and manage HIV/ AIDs and tuberculosis among other diseases

IMF and World Bank

The breakout of civil wars in Mozambique triggered intervention by several international organizations that sought to restore peace and order in the country. According to Manning & Malbrough (2012), the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank played critical roles in providing donor funding. The finances were utilized in alleviating the economic burden felt by the Mozambicans. Simultaneously, the organizations made tremendous efforts to install democracy and hold the nation together by promoting cohesion and mutual understanding among the warring parties. The two international organizations' intervention helped Mozambique transition smoothly from its previous state of single-partyism to the much anticipated multiparty system of governance. Besides, the measures taken by the IMF and World Bank heralded the institutionalization of democracy in Mozambique, ushering in an era of political stability and rapid economic growth.

The General Peace Agreement

In 1992, the General Peace Agreement (GPA) was signed between Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (RENAMO) and Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (FRELIMO). According to Phiri & Macheve (2014), the signing of the GPA marked an end to the conflict and tumult that had thrived in the land, derailing substantial economic and political growth and development. Adedokun (2017) points out that the GPA was critical in the successful installation of post-war democratization. Two years after the signing of the GPA, peaceful and democratic elections were conducted, marking an important milestone in Mozambique's political trajectory.


Adedokun, A. (2017). Emerging challenges to long-term peace and security in Mozambique. The Journal of Social Encounters, 1(1), 37-53.

Darch, C. (2018). The Mozambican conflict and the peace process from a historical perspective.

Manning, C., & Malbrough, M. (2012). The changing dynamics of foreign aid and democracy in Mozambique (No. 2012/18). WIDER working paper.

Monjane, B., & Bruna, N. (2020). Confronting agrarian authoritarianism: dynamics of resistance to PROSAVANA in Mozambique. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 47(1), 69-94.

Phiri, M. Z., & Macheve Jr, A. (2014). Mozambique's peace decades since the end of the conflict: Inclusive or managed democracy?. African Journal on Conflict Resolution, 14(1), 37-62.

Thaler, K. M. (2012). Ideology and violence in civil wars: Theory and evidence from Mozambique and Angola. Civil Wars, 14(4), 546-567.

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