|December 14, 2007
Steady Rise in Human Development Index
Mozambique's human development index (HDI) has improved steadily over the past five years, according to the 2007 National Human Development Report, published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Steady economic growth and the enormous expansion of the country's education system have pushed the HDI steadily upwards. The latest report puts the HDI of 2001 at 0.398, rising to 0.415 in 2002, 0.424 in 2003 and 0.437 in 2004. The latest year for which full data is available is 2005, and the report calculates the HDI for that year at 0.448. Preliminary data for 2006 suggest that the HDI rose to 0.458.
Over these five years the Mozambican HDI rose by an average of three per cent a year. If improvement continues at this rate, then in 2009 Mozambique will have an HDI of 0.501 - enough to propel it into the ranks of countries of "medium human development". All three components of the HDI have grown. Between 2001 and 2006 the Mozambican GDP grew by an average of 8.7 per cent a year. Economic growth thus greatly outstripped population growth, given in the 1997 census as 2.3 per cent a year. Hence there have been substantial gains in real per capita GDP. The report puts per capita GDP in 2001 at 1,471.8 dollars, rising to 2,088.9 dollars in 2006.
The adult literacy rate, according to the surveys by the National Statistics Institute (INE), grew from 43.3 per cent in 2000 to 46.4 per cent in 2003. Extrapolations from this trend suggest that the literacy rate reached 48 per cent in 2006. The rapid expansion of the education system meant that the combined enrolment rate for primary, secondary and tertiary education rose by an average of 8.9 per cent a year over the period. The combined gross enrolment rate was 34.5 per cent in 2001 and 52.5 per cent in 2006.
Despite the mortality imposed by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the third component of the index, life expectancy at birth, showed modest gains, largely due to a falling infant mortality rate. Life expectancy rose from 45 years in 2001 to 47.4 years in 2006.
One key feature of the national human development report is that in breaks the HDI down by regions and provinces. This shows that Maputo city and province have already reached the level of "medium human development". The rest of the country is beginning to catch up but still has a long way to go.
The Maputo City HDI rose from 0.630 in 2001 to 0.651 in 2004. Over the same period, the poorest province, Cabo Delgado, in the far north, made a lager percentage advance - from 0.272 to 0.313. Zambezia, which was the second poorest province in 2001, with an HDI of 0.309, within three years had raised this figure to 0.376 (and had outstripped all three northern provinces - Cabo Delgado, Niassa and Nampula - and the western province of Tete.
(Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique, Maputo)