The initiative aims to promote digital participation, empower civil servants and bring public administration and citizens closer together.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will provide US$60 million to support the decentralisation process in Mozambique. The announcement was made by the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Maputo, Francisco Roquette, who revealed that the funds will be used for “five years, starting on January 2020”.
The initiative has three fundamental pillars, one of which aims to promote digital participation through the use of information technologies to bring citizens closer to the government. The second pillar is the training of civil servants and the third is related to the proximity between public administration and citizens on the ground.
“UNDP will provide technical support to the Ministry of State Administration and Civil Service and the Ministry of Economy and Finance,” said Roquette.
Decentralisation is a long-standing ambition of Mozambican civil society and gained momentum during debates sparked by the military-political conflict this decade.
The UNDP representative stressed that the principle of decentralisation requires that the government becomes closer to citizens, so that they do in fact contribute to local policies and the local budget.
“Decentralisation has the power to maximise economic opportunities, as has been a trend in Africa,” he said.
The programme will support the creation of forums in which people can discuss key themes for the promotion of peace, dialogue and social cohesion.
Mozambique has been implementing decentralisation since 1998, the year of the first municipal elections in 33 municipalities.
Country-wide extension of the process will take another step forward in 2024, with decentralised district governance, and district administrators being elected instead of appointed by the central government.
The country has recently amended the constitution, introducing decentralised governance in the provinces and the direct election of governors, plus new configurations for supervision by the central government and central state representation.