Day 2: Country Session – Mozambique

The session started with Professor Sandra Sequeira (Lead Academic, IGC Mozambique) giving a brief overview of the IGC Mozambique research agenda and of the ongoing research projects.

After that, the first presenter, Dr. Christine Valente (University of Bristol) presented the structure of her ongoing randomized control trial experiment in Mozambique. She is seeking to understand whether conditional transfers, in cash or in-kind, could prevent girls from dropping out from school. After her presentation, Mrs. Antuia Soverano (Director of the Primary Schooling department, Ministry of Education in Mozambique) provided some constructive comments to her study from the policy perspective. The main issue she raised is that while conditional transfers programmes in theory could be a very good instrument to ensure that girls remain in school, the main challenge that they pose to the government is very practical: they are very unlikely to be financially sustainable in the medium/long-run.

The second presenter, Professor Pedro Martins (Queen Mary, University of London) proposed an overview on the existing policies of vocational training in Mozambique. Among those, a crucial one was the establishment of the National Institute of Vocational Training (INEFP) with the professional training law of 2014. In parallel, he noted that in Mozambique there is also a recent upsurge of private training providers offering specialized programmes for private clients. He then concluded with three main policy recommendations to enhance the quality of the existing vocational training schemes: (1) expanding the training centres network, (2) focusing on the training needs of labour-intensive export sectors (like food/beverages, tourism, etc) and (3) promoting foreign investment in training provision.

Finally, Mr Refinado Bila Junior (National Institute of Employment and Vocational Training) discussed some challenges in the actual implementation of these recommendations for the Mozambican Ministry of Labour, like for example the lack of specialized machinery or human resources to effectively deliver targeted training schemes. The discussion was then opened and a series of questions came directly from the floor, which was mainly composed by researchers and polcymakers like diplomats from the Mozambican High Commission in the United Kingdom.

By Novella Maugeri, Country Economist, IGC Mozambique