Mozambique has one of the most variable development trajectories of any country in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, one of the world’s poorest countries, Mozambique also stands at the threshold of a natural gas- fueled economic boom. Mozambique hopes to become a major gas exporter within the next ten years, following the discovery of more than 150 trillion cubic feet of offshore gas. If the $60 billion total investment proceeds, it will be a game-changer for the country’s development trajectory - “for better or worse”. The Mission is acutely aware of the cautionary examples of “the resource curse”, scattered across the African continent, and those examples have informed this strategy.

The choices that collectively comprise this strategy are premised on the Mission’s view of the upcoming five-year strategy period as the opening of a limited window in which to prepare for the arrival of the extractive income, so that it brings positive change for the country, its government, and its people. This strategy period serves as an opportunity to mitigate the headwinds that currently exist and increase the likelihood of an eventual favorable extractive outcome.

The headwinds, however, are significant, as Mozambique ranks 180th of 189 countries on the 2019 Human Development Index. Debt distress, widening income inequality, and corruption are significant constraints. Increasingly frequent natural disasters, lack of formal employment, poor health and education opportunities and outcomes present additional challenges. Moreover, emerging threats to economic stability and democratic governance in the form of flawed elections1 and increasing violent extremism in the north of the country, and the as-of-yet untallied effects of COVID-19 across the developmental landscape further illustrate the multitude and magnitude of current constraints.

This 2020-2025 Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) outlines how USAID will support Mozambique on its Journey to Self-Reliance (J2SR), and progress toward the ultimate objective of ending Mozambique’s need for humanitarian and development assistance. This is not a transition strategy, but rather a preparation strategy, which sets the stage for a future transition, the timing of which will depend upon the arrival of significant extractives revenue.

The goal of this strategy is to support and help shape a resilient Mozambique, prepared for the future. USAID will promote a peaceful, prosperous, and healthy Mozambique, where citizens benefit from expanded investments. USAID/Mozambique will achieve this goal through three Development Objectives (DOs) that prioritize fortifying the foundational elements required to advance Mozambique’s self-reliance: 1) healthier and better educated Mozambicans, especially the young and vulnerable; 2) diversified and inclusive economic growth; and 3) increased resilience of vulnerable populations2 to key shocks. This CDCS will prioritize implementation of USG gender equality-related initiatives, strategies, and policies to strengthen gender equality and female empowerment across sectors.