The Federal Republic of Germany established diplomatic relations with the young state of Mozambique in 1976 and has been one of the country’s main partners in the field of development cooperation ever since.
The German Democratic Republic (GDR) established diplomatic relations with Mozambique as early as 1975, the year the country gained independence. Mozambique maintained close relations with the former GDR, where many Mozambicans studied and about 22,000 of them were employed as 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 testifies 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. Then Federal Foreign Minister Steinmeier visited in November 2015. Mozambique’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Baloi visited Germany in June 2014, as did the later President Nyusi in August 2014. President Nyusi visited Germany once more in April 2016, where he met Chancellor Merkel and Federal Development Cooperation Minister Gerd Müller. German Bundesrat President and Hessian Minister-President Volker Bouffier travelled to Mozambique in March 2015 accompanied by a business delegation. Federal Minister Müller visited Mozambique for the first time in August 2018. There have been a number of visits to Germany by Mozambican Government Ministers in recent years. Bundestag and Bundesrat exchanges with Mozambique are intensive (visits by Mozambican parliamentarians to Germany in October 2015, February 2017 and the very first joint trip by all three chairpersons of the parliamentary groups in July 2018; visit by the Bundestag’s Parliamentary Friendship Group for Relations with the SADC States to Maputo in October 2016).
Significant natural resource discoveries, in particular the discovery of offshore natural gas resources in the northern Rovuma Basin in 2011, initially spurred German companies’ interest in Mozambique. However, the initial dynamism this lent to bilateral relations was dampened by the serious economic and financial crisis starting in 2015 and the uncovering of the scandal credits (in April 2016). In principal, German business remains interested in Mozambique.
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, the Southern African German Chamber of Commerce and Industry opened a representative office in Maputo with the aim of promoting trade. It receives federal funding.
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 2018, 10 German companies were represented at the fair.
In 2018, bilateral trade between Germany and Mozambique was worth 233.7 million euros (compared with 298.2 million euros in 2017 and 191.9 million euros in 2016). Aluminium from the MOZAL aluminium smelting plant accounts for a large portion of Mozambican exports to Germany. From 2013 onwards, German exports to Mozambique increased markedly, but there was a sharp fall during the years of the economic and financial crisis. In 2018, there was a significant rise in German exports to Mozambique, standing at 105 million euros. 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 third most important trading partner in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), after South Africa and Angola.
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.
Development cooperation is a focus of German-Mozambican relations, Germany currently providing the country with around 50 to 60 million euros annually. Since the 1980s, Mozambique has received from Germany some 1.3 billion euros 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. At the last intergovernmental negotiations held in Berlin in October 2018, a total sum of 90.4 million euros were pledged for 2018/19. The next intergovernmental negotiations will take place in Mozambique in autumn 2020.
In line with the priority areas agreed upon, bilateral development cooperation centres on
- education (including vocational training)
- decentralisation and public finances, as well as
- sustainable economic development
There is a special focus here on Inhambane and Sofala provinces.
In addition to these priority areas, the German Government is funding development cooperation projects on the protection of biodiversity and improving the energy supply with a focus on regenerative energies.
Within the framework of the coordinating fora established in Maputo, the German Government coordinates its commitment on the ground with its Mozambican partners as well as with other EU and international donor countries and organisations.
In addition to bilateral cooperation at government level, Germany’s political foundations and numerous German NGOs are engaged in a wide range of activities in Mozambique. The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung has its own office there.
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/Goethe-Centre, which was established in 2003 and registered as a Mozambican association under the name Centro Cultural Moçambicano-Alemão (CCMA) in 2017, organises regular cultural events as well as language courses. A bilateral cultural agreement entered into force in October 2009. Creative young people keen on digital technology and living in urban areas are increasingly the focus of our work in the cultural field.
The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has had a lector working at the Universidade Pedagógica in Maputo since September 2012.
This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.