Mozambique has been a Portuguese colony since the early 16th century. It became independent in 1975 after a long and hard liberation struggle led by Samora Machel’s Frelimo (Mozambique Liberation Front). The Machel-led government opted for a centralized planning model. Against the choices of Machel and his ethnic-tribal base of the southern regions, the opposition movements based in the central and northern rural areas gathered in the Renamo (Mozambican National Resistance) directed by Alfonso Dhlakama and supported politically and militarily by the segregationist regimes of South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
The ensuing civil war resulted in no less than one million deaths and a half million refugees and ended in 1992 after strenuous negotiations that ended with the Rome Accords. From 1992 to the end of 2016 Mozambique was crossed by continuous political-military tensions between Frelimo and Renamo. At the moment there is a truce declared “unlimited” but episodic armed clashes cannot be excluded, much less the re-escalation of tensions.
Mozambique’s economy is essentially based on agriculture, where 80% of the workforce is employed; in particular, the activities focus on the cultivation of cotton, tobacco, tea, sugar and cashew. The last two decades have seen significant investments in the mining and extractive sectors but, despite significant progress, the country continues to remain in the very latest positions in the Human Development Index.
Mani Tese has been in Mozambique since 1996. Since 2010 it has been recognized and authorized by the Mozambican Ministry of Foreign Affairs as an NGO that can operate directly in the country.
The intervention area of Mani Tese is, and has always been, the Province of Zambezia, one of the poorest in Mozambique and, in particular, the districts of Gilè, Nicoadala, Namacurra, Morrumbala, Mopeia, Derre, Pebane and Mocubela.
The main sectors in which we operate are: promotion of associations and cooperatives, sustainable agriculture and agroecology, fight against climate change, literacy, empowerment and women’s rights. We are also in the front line with timely interventions during emergencies such as floods and droughts.
Mani Tese pursues the goal of improving the living conditions of the rural population. We have implemented and still carry out projects on the problem of food insecurity and on strengthening the association structures of agricultural producers, organizing technical training and access to credit. In terms of individual skills, we have promoted adult literacy courses and awareness-raising activities on gender-based violence and AIDS prevention – including through theater. Another issue on which Mani Tese actively invests is environmental protection through reforestation practices and the introduction of agro-ecological production techniques.
Mani Tese in Mozambique works in close collaboration with NGOs and local associations, such as Nafeza (Nucleus of Women’s Associations of Zambezia) and UPC-Z (Provincial Union of Peasants of Zambezia).
My name is Giulia Donnici, and it all started here. I was still a university student when, in 2006, I arrived in Mani Tese as an intern. It was my first experience in international cooperation and I immediately thought it was the most beautiful and interesting job in the world. Thanks to the internship, I got close and passionate to the topic of corporate social […]