The launch of the Swiss Government-funded project "Decentralisation for Inclusive Development in the Nampula and Niassa Provinces" was officially marked today at a kick-off event, in partnership with the German Cooperation, and hosted by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of State Administration and Public Service (MAEFP), Mrs. Claudina José Mazalo.
Switzerland has committed over US$ 10 million in funds for the project, for a span of three years, which channels finance to local – municipal and district – governments to strengthen inclusive local and resilient development. This represents a critical component of the broader fourteen-year, US$ 26 million, support secured from Switzerland to Mozambique in the field of inclusive governance, decentralisation and sustainable growth.
During the launch, both the Ministry of State Administration and Public Service (MAEFP) and Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) expressed strong support for the project, applauding its swift conception and that the tailoring to local needs brings about real, tangible and sustainable local development.
"This locally driven initiative is greatly welcomed", affirmed MEF’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Domingos Lambo. For MEF’s representative, the initiative "will facilitate the reinforcement of government action at local level, the institutional capacity to better plan and to budget in an inclusive way." "This will be done while observing the social and cultural particularities of each locality with the certainty of benefiting the collective and families residing there," continued Mr. Lambo.
According to Ms. Laila Sheikh, Deputy Head of the Swiss Mission in Mozambique, this initiative, that aligns with the priorities of the Government of Mozambique, combines local decentralisation, with climate change adaptation and finance, as well as enhances local accountability, by supporting social inclusion – the voices of women, men and youth - in local governance processes. Hence ensuring the deliverance of responsive public services, reducing inequality and improving community living conditions in selected municipalities and districts.
"The effectiveness and sustainability of the project will be guaranteed by the great interaction, coordination and synergies between actors and institutions at multiple levels of governance, which work on a daily basis to improve the living conditions of citizens in Nampula and Niassa Provinces," highlighted Ms. Laila Sheikh.
In parallel, the implementation partners - with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) covering municipalities, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) the districts and complemented by the NGO United Purpose (UP) with social accountability activities – presented synergised technical and capacity building support, designed to reach and include the most vulnerable communities in economic, climate adaptive and social actions through local inclusive governance.
Switzerland, together with the German Cooperation and Government of Mozambique, looks forward to further promoting decentralisation as key in achieving long-term stability, inclusive development and social accountability in Mozambique.