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On 29th November 2021 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in Mozambique with support from the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Mozambique organized a Round Table under the theme : "Promoting economic diversification and sustainable livelihoods through the circular economy" as a contribution to the implementation of the National Industrialization Policy (PRONAI) and the National Development Strategy (ENDE).

The Round table focused on the role of the local, circular economy and blue economy local value chains in reducing economic vulnerability (as per the theme of UNCTAD 15), increasing economic diversification and promoting sustainable livelihoods, aligned to the UNSDCF Strategic Priorities 2 and 3, the National Industrialization Strategy, and the National Development Strategy.

“UNIDO is engaged in increasing knowledge about the potential of the circular economy as a way to promote economic diversification and sustainable livelihoods that will contribute to the design of the National Development Strategy (ENDE) and the implementation of the National Industrialization Policy (PRONAI)”. Mr. Jaime Comiche, UNIDO Country Representative

It should be noted that after decades of high GDP growth averaging 7% per annum up to 2014, Mozambique’s economy has in the recent years slowed down to rates of GDP growth below population growth. As a result, GDP per capita has been falling for the last few years. Maputo City alone saw a 38.1 percent drop in per capita spending. In addition, the country has also regressed in terms of the Human Development Index, becoming the 181st least developed country among the 190 countries listed by the Human Development Index. Besides poor industrialization, factors such as conflict, natural and man-made disasters, and the Covid-19 pandemic, among others, have also contributed to the economic deterioration.

This dramatic decline in economic resilience combined with the increasing climate-related risks further heighten Mozambique’s vulnerability calling for an urgent strategic, whole-of-Government and whole-of-society effort from all economic and social agents to bounce beyond its current vulnerability building economic diversification and resilience.

Against this backdrop, in late September 2021 the President of the Republic launched the consultation process for the revision of the National Development Strategy (ENDE), the apex of national planning and budgeting architecture.

The revision of the ENDE constitutes and opportunity to support the consultation process hosted by Ministry of Economy and Finance and to support the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Business Associations (particularly those representing MSMEs, Women and Youth Entrepreneurs) to ensure their voices are heard so that ENDE places a much-needed emphasizes on building sustainable livelihoods and enhancing productive capacities in line with the focus of UNCTAD 15, reducing inequalities and vulnerability towards enhanced productive capacities.

“(Programa Nacional Industrializar Moçambique) PRONAI an embodiment of the ENDE, is one of the national programs that foresees, within a period of approximately 10 years, the promotion of 293 industrial development projects which intends to industrialize the country and promote thousands of jobs for Mozambicans”. Cerina Musa, representative of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce

It was also highlighted that certain business practices and broad strategies including reusing, repairing, remanufacturing and recycling s are necessary for reaching a circular economy "A circular economy returns products to the economy and maintains the value of each product as long as possible" - Ms. Nilgüen Tas, UNIDO - United Nations Industrial Development Organization Deputy Director, Department of Environment

The event was attended by participants from institutions and organizations relevant to the diversification of the economy, such as: The Ministries of Industry and Trade, Agriculture and Rural Development Lands and Environment, Energy and Mineral Resources, Economy and Finance; business associations, including but not limited to CTA, ACIS, IMO, and small-scale producer associations, ensuring through these that MSMEs, gender and youth representation is ensured.