While tremendous progress has been made to improve conditions and save millions of lives through focused global, regional, national and local efforts, millions of people still live in poverty and hunger, without access to basic services. According to the 2015 UN Millennium Development Goals Report, about 800 million people still live in extreme poverty and suffer from hunger, and more than 40 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa still lives in extreme poverty.

Our Passion For Mozambique

CouldYou? developed a passion for the African country of Mozambique because of the challenges and opportunities it presents as unchartered territory. The raw need is there—Mozambique has a country rank of 178th out of 187 on the United Nations Human Development Index, which measures a country’s welfare based on factors like education and infant mortality rate.

The opportunities are also there—Mozambique has political stability and economic growth. In 2014, real GDP grew by 7.6% and growth is expected to remain strong, at 7.5% and 8.1% in 2015 and 2016, respectively, boosted by the construction, transportation and communications sectors. Recent discoveries of oil and natural gas (on and off shore) are estimated to be equal to Kuwait. Gorongoza national park, which consists of almost one million acres, continues to be restored in order to develop an ecotourism industry to benefit local communities.

About Mozambique

Mozambique is on the southeastern coast of Africa, bordering Tanzania, Malawi, and Zambia to the north; Zimbabwe to the west; South Africa and Swaziland to the south. The capital, Maputo, is located in the south. Mozambique was a Portuguese colony for almost five centuries and attained its independence in 1975. Large-scale emigration by whites, economic dependence on South Africa, a severe drought, and a prolonged civil war later hindered the country’s development. The ruling party formally abandoned Marxism in 1989, and a new constitution the following year provided for multiparty elections and a free market economy. A UN-negotiated peace agreement with rebel forces ended the fighting in 1992.

Today the official language is Portuguese, which is used in education and government but is rarely spoken outside the cities, where instead numerous indigenous languages are spoken. The capital of Maputo is located in the southern coastal area of the country, where the indigenous language commonly used is Shangaan. There are two main seasons: the wet season from November through March and the dry season from April through October.

Despite the rapid growth of the cities, nine-tenths of the population is rural. Agriculture is by far the largest industry, with 80 percent of the people working in agriculture even though only 5 percent of the land is arable. Fishing along the coast accounts for one-third of the country’s exports.

The Search For Meaning

On the other hand, there is a wealth of research that points to the fact that an increasing number of people are no happier today than they were decades ago, despite all of our advancements and abundance. This is particularly applicable to Western societies. Gregg Easterbrook, an American journalist, has asserted that “A transition from material want to meaning want is in progress on a historically unprecedented scale—involving hundreds of millions of people—and may eventually be recognized as the principal cultural development of our age.”

We believe that experiences for authentic contribution are core to creating a society where people are fulfilled and engaged within their families, organizations, communities and the world, creating an immeasurable ripple effect.

The Ultimate Opportunity

CouldYou? is committed to our mission of working with African leaders and organizations to develop African solutions to African problems—with a focus on Mozambique—while helping individuals to find their own unique contribution to impact poverty.