Last updated in October 2015
The German Democratic Republic (GDR) established diplomatic relations with Mozambique as early as 1975, the year the country gained independence. The Federal Republic of Germany followed suit a year later. Mozambique maintained close relations with the former GDR, where many Mozambicans studied and about 22,000 of them were employed as so-called contract workers. After the end of Mozambique’s civil war in 1992, Germany helped in the country’s reconstruction. The large number of high-level visits testify to the amicable nature of bilateral relations. Then German Federal President Köhler paid an official visit to Mozambique in April 2006 and Mozambique’s President Guebuza visited Germany in November 2007. Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Niebel travelled to Maputo and Beira in January 2010 and Mozambique’s then Prime Minister Ali visited Bavaria in June 2011. In March 2013, the State Secretaries at the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology visited Mozambique accompanied by a business delegation. Shortly afterwards, in April 2013, then Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle also paid a visit, again accompanied by a business delegation. Mozambique’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Baloi visited Germany in June 2014, as did the later President Nyusi in August 2014. German Bundesrat President and Hessian Minister-President Volker Bouffier travelled to Mozambique in March 2015 accompanied by a business delegation. A delegation of five Mozambican members of parliament visited the German Bundestag and the German Bundesrat in October 2015 and held talks at the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. There have been a number of visits to Germany by Mozambican government ministers in recent years.
Development cooperation is a focus of German-Mozambican relations, Germany currently providing the country with approximately EUR 60 million annually. Since the 1980s, Mozambique has received from Germany some EUR 1 billion in bilateral development cooperation.
Mozambique also benefits from substantial multilateral funding to which Germany contributes, in particular from the European Union and the World Bank.
To work out the details of development cooperation, Germany and Mozambique hold regular intergovernmental consultations and negotiations, at which, among other things, the priority areas of cooperation are jointly determined. The next intergovernmental negotiations are scheduled for mid-2015 in Mozambique.
In line with the priority areas agreed upon, bilateral development cooperation centres on
- education (including vocational training
- decentralisation to promote rural development and
- sustainable economic development
There is a special focus here on Inhambane, Manica and Sofala provinces.
Other projects include HIV/AIDS control, disaster prevention and adapting to climate change, good governance in the raw materials sector, the establishment of the transnational Limpopo National Park and BIOFUND to support the country’s national conservation areas in general, and improving the sustainable supply of energy.
The Federal Government closely coordinates its engagement on the ground with other EU and international donor countries and organisations, especially as part of the so-called G19 Group. This group is engaged in close political dialogue with the government of Mozambique to attain joint development goals.
In addition to bilateral cooperation at government level, Germany’s political foundations and numerous German non-governmental organisations are engaged in a wide range of activities in Mozambique. The Friedrich Ebert Foundation has its own office there.
Significant natural resource discoveries, in particular the discovery of offshore natural gas resources in the northern Rovuma Basin in 2011, have spurred German companies’ interest in Mozambique. Since then, there has been a new dynamism to bilateral economic relations.
Mozambique Business Days are held regularly in Germany and there are frequent visits to the country by German entrepreneurs to gather information on raw materials and the construction industry as well as the energy and transport infrastructure sectors.
In April 2014, Southern African German Chamber of Commerce and Industry opened a representative office in Maputo. The decision to set up this office, which is supported by Federal Government funding, was taken the previous year during the visits to Mozambique by then Federal Foreign Minister Westerwelle and the State Secretaries at the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. After a break beginning in 2007, Germany has since 2012 again regularly participated in the Feira International de Maputo (FACIM) multi-sector trade fair in Maputo with an official pavilion. In 2015, 13 German companies were represented at the fair.
In 2014, bilateral trade between Germany and Mozambique was worth EUR 213.1 million (compared with EUR 242.4 million in 2013 and EUR 188 million in 2012), putting Mozambique in 128th place among Germany’s trading partners. Aluminium from the MOZAL aluminium smelting plant accounts for a large portion of Mozambican exports to Germany. Since 2013, German exports to Mozambique have increased markedly, standing at EUR 92.4 million in 2014. Some exports by German companies to Mozambique are transacted via South Africa and therefore do not appear in bilateral trade statistics.
Mozambique is Germany’s fourth most important trading partner in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), after South Africa, Angola and Namibia.
In recent years, major foreign direct investments have been made in the country by China, South Africa and Portugal.
There is no double taxation agreement between Germany and Mozambique.
The large number of Mozambicans that lived in the former GDR as students or contract workers are a particularly important link in terms of cultural relations between the two countries. Many of them still speak German and have set up their own alumni associations in Mozambique. The Cultural Centre Germany-Mozambique (ICMA), which was established in 2003, organises regular cultural events as well as language courses. A bilateral cultural agreement entered into force in October 2009.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has had an academic teacher working at the Universidade Pedagógica in Maputo since September 2012.