"Regional asymmetries continue despite government promises"

A year after the Mozambican government created the Agência de Desenvolvimento Integrado do Norte (ADIN) (Northern Integrated Development Agency), with the purpose of fighting regional asymmetries, a fact pointed out as one of the causes of the insurgency in Cabo Delgado, specialists say that only concrete actions with social and economic impact will be able to dispel the existing skepticism regarding the institution, strongly criticized by the Mozambican civil society for its inactivity.

ADIN was created to reduce serious regional asymmetries by promoting the development of Niassa, Cabo Delgado and Nampula provinces.

Data from 2015 shows, for example, that the three provinces have the highest poverty rates, with Niassa at 67%, Nampula at 65% and Cabo Delgado at 53%, compared to the national average of 43%.

"ADIN could be a more sustained development project, but that is not what is happening, there is nothing concrete on the ground," laments the researcher of the Rural Environment Observatory, João Feijó, quoted by VOA.

The farmer Saimone Faztudo says that "during the launching of ADIN, more than a year ago, it was said that the objective was to stimulate the development of the northern part of the country, in an integrated way, taking advantage of the potentialities and natural resources existing in this region, but in practice this is not what is happening.

For his part, António Salvador, a businessman, says that it is incomprehensible that for almost a year ADIN has done practically nothing, stressing that "it even seems that some people are satisfied with the poor development of the northern region.

False Start

For journalist Fernando Lima, the problem is that ADIN had a false start, hence the existing skepticism regarding this agency.

He stresses it is necessary to view ADIN's performance very cautiously "because it may be one of those unfunded agencies where money can be spent for purposes other than those in the terms of reference."

ADIN has a World Bank (WB) grant of $100 million to carry out a strategic development plan for the northern zone, one of the least developed in Mozambique.

For his part, journalist Tomás Vieira Mário believes that, well implemented, it is a strategy to reduce regional asymmetries, which in the case of Cabo Delgado, are seen as some of the factors that fuel the current conflict.

The WB grant is part of a project based on a productive social assistance model and is expected to create 32,000 agricultural employment opportunities and an equal amount of simplified social services.

For researcher and university professor Calton Cadeado, there has to be a strong inclination of these projects to promote jobs, especially for young people.

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