Good afternoon. Mozambique’s population is on track to double in 25 years’ time, and to reach 70 million people by 2050. The growth rate, featured in a global report released by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), continues a trend which has seen the population almost treble since 1980.
What are the implications? Mozambique is not particularly densely populated, by global standards; even with twice the population it will only reach the density of Kenya today, for example.
But it seems likely that the growing population will increase pressure on some of the most serious constraints Mozambique already faces: jobs, infrastructure, and food production, particularly as climate change threatens to damage Mozambique’s already low levels of productivity.
What is the answer? Mozambique’s economy needs serious supply side intervention; exhortations by senior government officials for Mozambicans to “produce more” are clearly not enough. And it doesn’t help that the central bank is mandated simply to react to inflation by restraining demand.
Creative thinking is needed. For example, a state entity to provide a guaranteed market for certain agricultural commodities would stimulate production and cut rural poverty. It could be financed through monetary expansion; if growth in the money supply is matched by growth in real world production, it would not have inflationary effects.
The food the government buys could be given to disaster agency INGD, for use as emergency aid, and to the ministry of education for a nationwide free school meals programme — incentivising more children to stay in school, and improving child nutrition. A healthy and educated workforce are two vital preconditions for Mozambique to enjoy any kind of demographic dividend.
- Today-Tomorrow: President Nyusi visits Zambezia province
- Today: Attorney-General Beatriz Buchili presents her annual report to parliament (day 2)
- Today: Voter registration for the October municipal elections begins, running until 3 June
- Today: Start of Nini Satar murder attempt trial at the BO prison in Machava
The latest from Zitamar News:
From the Zitamar Live Blog:
Join the discussion on Telegram or view on our website
Also in the news:
- Mozambique to expand hinterland fuel transport capacity
- Mozambique population to double in 25 years
- Number of criminal proceedings for terrorism in Mozambique fell by almost half in 2022
- Artisanal mining activities suspended in Manica district
- Fuel shortages seen in the next two to three months if prices don’t increase