Peace and Economic Growth
The challenges facing Mozambique in terms of sustainable human development are enormous, but the opportunities, chances and the need for rapid human development are still greater. That is why the central theme chosen for this first National Human Development Report in Mozambique is pertinent and just: peace and economic growth, opportunities for human development. This theme reflects the frankness and clarity of the authors of this publication concerning the noblest aim of peace and economic development.
Or rather, that the improvement of the human condition and of the capacities of Mozambicans go well beyond the absence of war and positive and speedy economic growth. The report applies with perspicacity and creativity the vision contained in the concept of human development, defined ever since the first Human Development Report in 1990 as “the process of enlarging people’s choices”. But apart from the high quality debate that the chosen theme provides, the Report is important for at least three other reasons.
First, it brings together a wide range of statistical data from the most up-to-date that are currently available. These figures, and others that will be published in the immediate future, will certainly make possible a deeper analysis of the social and economic situation of the country undertaken by researchers and institutions. Secondly, the Report uses the available data and the methodologies drawn up by the global Human Development Reports to make a valuable contribution towards a more updated estimate of the Human Development Index (HDI).
While UNDP’s (global) Human Development Report 1998 recently showed that Mozambique’s HDI remained constant between 1994 and 1995, the evidence presented here on HDI trends over the past three years are more encouraging. It is estimated that the HDI improved by an average of 12% a year between 1995 to 1997, advancing from 0.281 to 0.350. If the country grows as forecast this year, then the HDI may reach 0.357 in 1998.