December 23, 2003

Frelimo debates unemployment and calls for job creation



Mozambique's ruling Frelimo Party, concerned at the level of unemployment, particularly among young Mozambicans, has stressed the need for establishing more small and medium sized companies that can create jobs. The Party's Secretary for Mobilisation and Propaganda, Edson Macuacua, stressed that absolute poverty can only be eliminated through job creation.

He said that Central Committee members had called on the government to take measures that would stimulate the emergence of more small and medium companies in sectors such as tourism and agro-industry. The government was urged "to simplify the procedures for foreign and local investment, and to cultivate the spirit of hard work, particularly among young people looking for jobs", said Macuacua.

"We must improve the system of information on the availability of job opportunities", Macuacua forthermore stated. "What happens right now is that young people have nowhere to go where they can obtain information about employment opportunities. It's the same for some companies - they want to recruit labour, but don't know where to look for it". The struggle against unemployment, he added, also required changing the mentality of society, which still tended to regard the state as the sole employer.

As for the business class, another theme discussed by the Central Committee, Macuacua said the participants thought the government should continue supporting this class which they regarded as strategic for the development of the national economy. Accordingly, he assertes: "To do away with poverty, Frelimo believes conditions must be established to generate wealth, and this involves supporting the national business class". Being a business person is a challenge, and people must in the first place be prepared for this". A further issue raised as supposedly necessary for the development of this national bourgeoisie was the drafting of a law on the business class that would enshrine its protection by the state.

As Macuacua further noticed, the priority areas for such support were agriculture, livestock, fisheries, tourism and agro-industry. Hence, the state had to improve, as a matter of priority, roads, sanitation, and water and electricity supplies. As for the informal sector, Macuacua emphasised that Frelimo recognised that this was where most Mozambicans earn their living. What was important, he stressed, was to distinguish clearly the informal sector from the illegal sector. Macuacua defined the illegal sector as that which does not pay taxes.

In the meantime, President Joaquim Chissano has also stressed the importance of the ruling Frelimo Party to work hand in hand with Mozambican business people since they played a vital role in creating the national wealth, which would help reduce poverty levels. However, he added, the programme of national development was also aimed, above all, "at eradicating absolute poverty through investments in education, health, infrastructures and in economic sectors, particularly agriculture, and in consolidating peace and democracy in our country". (Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique)

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