The link above leads to a media comment on Mozambique which uses as its hook the recent food price riots, but which also references the report I wrote with Markus Weimer “Mozambique: Balancing Development, Politics and Security”.

Mozambique is a complex environment in a complex region. But development programming in Mozambique seems not to recognise this. That development investments are political is clear as soon as you drive around Maputo. Hoardings for the ruling party, FRELIMO, cleverly co-opt donor poverty reduction rehtoric deliberately giving the impression that basic services funded by donors have in fact been delivered by the Party.

And, whilst portraying themselves as pro-poor, many of the elite are in fact enriching themselves on the back of infastructure investments and – in some instances – criminal enterprises. This raises two distinct but related issues: (i) the extent to which ordinary Mozambicans can access economic opportunity on an equitable basis; and (ii) the damage done to the security and justice systems of the country through corruption. Re-balancing access to the economy and expanding its base; and refocussing the security and justice sectors on the delivery of services to poor people are two dominant themes in the report.