AWEPA has been supporting the democratic process in Mozambique since 1992. While starting with major civic education programmes and election observation projects, it shifted its focus to capacity building programmes for elected organs in the past ten years.
AWEPA Mozambique works in the framework of its Multi-Annual Programme, which consists of four components: the Parliamentary Programme, the Local Government Programme, the Political Parties Programme as well as Research and Publications. Cross cutting issues such as HIV/AIDS, Gender and Child Rights form an integral part of the programmes.
In 2012, significant laws were approved to enhance good governance and transparency in Mozambique. The Parliament prepared five laws to amend the electoral legislation that will pave the way for municipal elections in 2013, and national elections in 2014. Therefore the focus for AWEPA’s Mozambique programme in 2013 will be on training members of Political Parties and journalists on the new electoral law and their role as electoral observers.
In addition, AWEPA collaborates with the Frisian Urban Sanitation Project (FUSP) in partnership with the Ministry of State Administration and the Mozambican National Water Directorate. FUSP is a consortium of Dutch Water Partners (Water Board Fryslân, Vitens Water Company, Province of Fryslân, and the Association of Frisian Municipalities) which aims to address the sanitation and hygiene challenges in urban and peri-urban areas of Mozambique. Objectives The aim of the programme in Mozambique is to contribute to the development of a democratic process, with properly functioning democratic institutions, a fair knowledge of and respect for the rule of law and human rights, for the benefit of the Mozambican citizens. AWEPA works in cooperation with different partners, primarily with the Parliament, Municipalities, Provincial Assemblies and Political Parties, by building their capacities and by creating opportunities for the exchange of information and best practices. AWEPA’s work in Mozambique is built around three main axes:
- Parliamentary programme: AWEPA contributes to strengthening the capacity of the Parliament to perform its oversight, legislative and representative roles more effectively
- and to oversee government spending;
- Local Government Programme: AWEPA contributes to strengthen the capacity of Municipal and Provincial Assemblies to perform their oversight, legislation and representation roles
- more effectively in general, and to enforce accountability and transparency of government spending;
- Political Parties Programme: AWEPA contributes to strengthening the capacities of Political Parties in order to participate more effectively in the multiparty democratic
- process during non-electoral and electoral periods and to build a constructive relationship between Members of Parliament and Parties.
AWEPA contributed to the development of a democratic process, with properly functioning democratic institutions, a fair knowledge of and respect for the rule of law and human rights, for the benefit of the Mozambican citizens. In total, 980 people participated in the activities organised by AWEPA in 2012. The following impacts can be attributed to the capacity building actions of AWEPA’s parliamentary programme in Mozambique:
- parliamentarians’ institutional capacity was enhanced, especially in terms of parliamentary administration and regulations, as well as Information and Communication Technologies (ICT);
- parliamentarian’s representative function was stimulated through an exchange visit of the Committee of Petitions to Sweden; Mozambican legislators gained information on matters dealing with the concerns of the citizens;
- parliamentarians strengthened their skills and gained knowledge on legislation through two seminars: a seminar to review with the Committee of Constitutional Affairs, Human Rights and Legality, and a seminar to sensitize the Committee of Social Affairs, Gender and Environment on the new family law. Moreover, journalists were introduced to the Mozambican Penal Code;
- targeted Parliamentary Committees were sensitized to specific international or national laws. The Women Parliamentary Cabinet was sensitized on unsafe abortion, while the Committee of Planning and Budgeting was sensitized on the operationalization of the Busan recommendations;
- the parliamentary oversight function was strengthened through the training of parliamentarians on development aid monitoring;
- after attending the 31st session of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, held in Maputo, parliamentarians were sensitized on the importance of strengthening parliamentary democracy in the SADC region;
- the skills of parliamentary staff were strengthened through training in public relations and interaction with the public.
In 2012, AWEPA’s Local Government programme achieved the following results:
- the skills of Councillors, staff and members of the Municipalities were enhanced, especially in terms of budgeting and planning;
- the capacities of members of the Provincial Assembly were strengthened through seminars on their prerogatives and on the interaction with other institutions and civil society;
- a cooperation project was launched to improve sanitation in urban and peri-urban areas in Mozambique with FUSP, the Ministry of State Administration and the National Water Directorate.
Lastly, AWEPA’s Political Parties Programme:
- The capacities of Political Parties on planning and budgeting were strengthened. Fundraising strategies for the parties Frelimo, Renamo and Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) were elucidated;
- Reflection on the peace process was stimulated through a seminar on the 20 years since the Peace Agreement and the consolidation of democracy in Mozambique.
- Furthermore, various Political Process Bulletins were published by AWEPA on topics such as the anti-corruption legislation package, the Mozambican response to carbon credits and the municipal by-elections. These bulletins are published jointly by the Centre for Public Integrity (CIP) and AWEPA, and have been covering elections and democratisation in Mozambique since 1992.