WP30: Development as freedom: A virtuous circle

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Working papers
Pereira, Joao, Ines Raimundo, Annie Chikwanha, Alda Saute and Robert Mattes

Since its emergence from a brutal, 17-year civil war, Mozambique's process of political reform has faced a number of challenges. The first has been to empower ordinary Mozambicans by allowing them to participate in a democratic system and enabling them to voice their demands to the state and hold it accountable. The second has been to rebuild a state with the capacity to respond to citizen demands effectively. And given the long history of violent division, a third challenge has been to build a state that enjoys broad legitimacy that can span the bitter partisan divides of the past. Perhaps the best evidence by which to judge the success of the process of political reform are the opinions of ordinary Mozambicans.

The Afrobarometer surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1425 Mozambican citizens between August and October 2002 in all 10 provinces of the Republic of Mozambique. The evidence from this survey suggests the country appears to be on the right path as an emerging democracy. While the society faces vast challenges of building human and social capital to empower citizens further and increase the capacity of the state, the democratization that has occurred since Mozambique opened its political space has gone a long way in propelling democracy forward.