Economy and society
Mozambique is classified as a low income country by the World Bank, and is among the Sub-Saharan developing countries. GDP amounted to US$ 14.59 billion in 2012. Annual growth in GDP was estimated at 7.5% in 2011-2012, but Mozambique is forecast to reach a growth rate of 8.0% in 2012-2013. Thus, Mozambique offers growth rates far exceeding the world average, exceeding those of the Sub-Saharan African region, which were estimated at 4.6% and 4.9% for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, respectively, and close to China’s growth rates (World Development Indicators, 2013). Drivers of growth are increased coal production, implementation of large infrastructure projects, and credit expansion (African Development Bank).
Overall, the Sub-Saharan African economy has generated resilient growth, despite sluggish global trends. In 2012, growth in Sub-Saharan GDP reached an estimated 4.6%, placing the region third among developing regions (World Development Indicators, 2013). Especially low-income countries offer high growth rates. Explanations are to found in a solid domestic demand, high commodity prices, rising exports, and remittance flows. These developments are backed by a longer period of relative stability, an increasingly competitive business environment, and poverty reduction.
Despite poverty reductions since the mid-90s, poverty remains an important issue in Mozambique, with 54.7% of the population living below the national poverty line, and a life expectancy at birth of 49 years, which is significantly lower than the Sub-Saharan average (World Bank). 53% of the population has unimproved drinking water sources and 82% has unimproved sanitation facilities access. The risk of infectious diseases is very high, the HIV/AIDS prevalence is in the global top 10, and maternal- and infant mortality is significant. Socially, female illiteracy, child labour, and high income disparity pose challenges (CIA World Factbook).