After all, why is Mozambique poor? And who is against the country's development?

Mozambique is a country with all the necessary conditions for prosperity in place. So why isn't it? Many of us already have our hypotheses about this, but let's reflect on the simple fact that the rulers, who make up the country's wealthy minority, don't want this to happen, so that they can continue or get richer and richer.

Many believe that we are poor because the richest European, American and Asian countries exploit the country's natural and mineral resources and have no intention of making it rich. But let's think about it: these countries are certainly more industrialized and produce a lot of goods. So who do they want to sell to? Just the other rich countries? Don't they want Mozambique to be a good market for their products?

If we go back some time in our history, we will realize that the Europeans occupied Africa with the aim, on the one hand, of having new sources of raw materials, which led them to invest heavily in agriculture, growing coffee, cotton, sisal and other profitable crops at the time, and, on the other hand, they were looking for new markets for their products, because, with the industrial and technological revolution, production was growing more and more and there was a need to send their products to Africa and thus expand the markets.

So if Africa can't buy, the rich countries won't gain much. It makes sense to think that the rich countries want Mozambique to grow, because it won't become an enemy or a competitor, but rather a good business partner as well as a great market.

History shows that Africa has experienced economic successes in the past that have been obliterated, not by African culture (Africans are thought to be poor because they lack a good work ethic, insist on believing in witchcraft and magic or resist new Western technologies coupled with the "Iberian culture" of procrastination) nor by the inability of ordinary Africans to take initiatives in their own interests, but by European colonialism in the first place, and later by post-independence African governments.

I don't want to believe that our culture and religion have dictated or are dictating the country's poverty, however, some specific cultures such as "cabritismo", "lambebotismo" and the most recent, "take everything you can from the state and leave" as evidenced by the cases of the "hidden debts", REVIMO, LAM and also the FNDS, the famous Sustenta, make the national rulers richer and impoverish the poor more and more.

These institutions use sensationalist reports (this became clearer with Soico TV's report on the quality of education in the country, as well as the Ministry of Agriculture's statement that all Mozambicans have at least three meals a day) to convey the idea that the government's projects are all flourishing, even if they aren't, and with this the leaders guarantee that they will remain in office; if, on the other hand, they report the reality, they will be seen as enemies, against the government and the ruling party. Things can only get worse as the country struggles to pay salaries to civil servants and close brackets.

Mozambique's current economic and political situation is reminiscent of the way Mao Zedong organized the economy and conducted politics in China in the 1950s and 1960s, propagating a Cultural Revolution that led to the mass persecution of intellectuals and scholars for doubting their allegiance to the party, thus wasting a lot of talent.

You can't protest, demand, demand election manifestos, because if you do you'll be hunted down and silenced, the risk of losing your job or even your life means that a lot of knowledge isn't exploited for the development of the country.

As in the history of China, we need a president committed to the political and economic transformation of the country by investing in agriculture and industrial transformation. But after so many recent disappointments, do people still trust politics?

Others may say that we are poor because of the country's tropical climate, as the French philosopher and politician Montesquieu argued in an attempt to explain the poverty of sub-Saharan Africa: the high temperatures make us lazy and inquisitive, so we don't work hard, we're not creative or innovative, or because the tropical climate makes it difficult to grow certain crops. If the climate hinders Mozambique's prosperity, why has it favored Singapore and the United Arab Emirates, for example?

And if we take a closer look, we'll understand that both tropical and temperate climates don't dictate whether a country will prosper or become poor, because both have advantages and disadvantages. For example, compare some countries in South America and North America, or the countries of North Africa, which are close to Europe and have climatic conditions similar to those in Europe, would be just as rich as Europeans.

Also, if I remember correctly, there is a green color on our flag that symbolizes the fertility of our soils, so we are capable of producing a lot of food, if not by ourselves, we can partner with farmers from other countries to import agricultural technologies to cultivate the vast arable lands that our country has.

The Portuguese did this and exploited our land by creating vast agricultural fields, but today our agriculture is mostly family-based. And why don't big farmers invest much in agriculture in our country? If we look at land use policies and tax incentives for investors, we will realize that instead of attracting them, they are repelled.

We can therefore agree with John Tamny and Leandro Roque when they say that "there is only growth when the government doesn't get in the way". If a country creates an environment of respect for private property, allows freedom of trade, encourages foreign investment, provides full freedom for commercial transactions, and allows the accumulation of capital, half the road to progress has already been traveled.

Guaranteeing the stability of our currency in relation to foreign currency can attract investors who will be sure that their venture will be worth something, even over the years. Nobody likes to think that they can invest everything they have and get a return that is worth much less. If, however, the currency is floating, the minimum the investor will demand will be high returns in a short space of time.

If we look in detail, we can see that the country has attracted very little investment since it was plunged into the "hidden debts" scandal that led to the devaluation of the metical compared to the previous period. It is also necessary to stimulate supply by removing the tax, bureaucratic and commercial barriers that hinder production. Specifically, reducing excessive government spending, which will lower taxes and, in turn, prevent inflation.

Bureaucracy, on the other hand, robs entrepreneurs and workers of time and resources that could be used to produce the goods and services needed or desired by the market. Finally, allow free trade to flow. Then we'll have covered the other half and we'll certainly be rich.

Written by: Vitorino Mutimucuio

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