Shared Future: Locally-led development and peacebuilding in Mozambique

Download logo Since he was a young man, Manuel* has fought for the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) and lived in one of its bases by Gorongosa Mountain. There, he was known as Periquito* (Parakeet). In the base, he was trained, took up arms and worked in the field with his fellow combatants. Now, 43 years […]

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United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
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Since he was a young man, Manuel* has fought for the Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) and lived in one of its bases by Gorongosa Mountain. There, he was known as Periquito* (Parakeet). In the base, he was trained, took up arms and worked in the field with his fellow combatants. Now, 43 years later, he has become one of the thousands of former RENAMO combatants taking part in the “disarmament, demobilization and reintegration” (DDR) process.

Periquito has returned to his place of origin, contributing to the development of his community through his participation in the local consultative council in his native village in a District in Sofala Province.

DDR and local development are central components of the Maputo Accord, the peace agreement between the Government of Mozambique and RENAMO. It formally put an end to decades of conflict and insecurity, and brought communities together when it was signed in 2019.

Local Consultative Councils

As part of his new duties, as a member of the local consultative council, Periquito together with his fellow members discuss the community’s local priorities and what they consider to be their greatest needs. Proposals are then forwarded to local administrations and then to provincial ones.

“First I voted for water wells, then the seed kits, followed by the fish market and the fishing boat mooring bridges,” says Periquito.

With support from the DELPAZ (Local Development for Peace Consolidation) Programme, local development plays a key role in consolidating peace in Mozambique.

Raul Xavier, 62 years-old, also a member of the local consultative council, comments on how the consultative process is based on community needs. “It’s important to be a member of the local consultative council because we provide ideas and advise the government on issues regarding life in the communities”, he says.

“I gather the feelings and concerns of the people I live with in my community and bring them to the local council,” continues Raul Xavier.

Raul Xavier, 62 years-old, also a member of the local consultative council, comments on how the consultative process is based on community needs. “It’s important to be a member of the local consultative council because we provide ideas and advise the government on issues regarding life in the communities”, he says.

“I gather the feelings and concerns of the people I live with in my community and bring them to the local council,” continues Raul Xavier.

For Periquito, “peace is a difficult thing to keep, it depends on us.” Through DELPAZ, he believes peace has a better chance of success.

“It is important to develop the whole community to reduce and avoid injustices and conflicts. When there are inequalities in society there is conflict,” he affirms.

“With DELPAZ, we are distributing development equally to the entire community; and even a former combatant like me is part of it.”

Peacebuilding in Mozambique

The DELPAZ programme was launched in October 2021 as part of the European Union’s support for the implementation of the Maputo Accord.

Under the leadership of the Government of Mozambique with the support of the Austrian Development Agency, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and the UN Capital Development Fund, DELPAZ aims to promote local economic development opportunities in previously conflict-affected communities in 14 districts of the Sofala, Manica and Tete Provinces.

UNCDF’s role in DELPAZ is to support the authorities in strengthening the inclusion of local voices in planning and budgeting exercises, as a solid foundation for promoting lasting peace, national reconciliation and inclusive sustainable development.

The DDR programme helping these former fighters to start new civilian lives, is led by the Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General to Mozambique, Mirko Manzoni, and the Peace Process Support Secretariat.

*Name was changed.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).

This Press Release has been issued by APO. The content is not monitored by the editorial team of African Business and not of the content has been checked or validated by our editorial teams, proof readers or fact checkers. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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