Norway, with experience of managing remote oil resources from 1969, when the country discovered this resource, offers the world's best example of management of oil. Ambassador Tove Bruvik Westberg explained that his country has "strict laws" on oil companies, with a "strong system of taxation”, ensuring the State “uses oil incomes to fund social programmes."
This is the experience that Norway is transmitting to Mozambique, where more than 10 oil and gas companies are engaged in exploration and the exploitation of these resources.
"We will not give solutions - but we are sharing positive experiences with Mozambique. We continue cooperating with Mozambique,", said the Ambassador - adding that "Norway has worked with Mozambique in the oil sector to improve the management of legislation for oil."
Sweden: strengthening civil society and accountability
Among several areas of cooperation, Karin Bolin, political advisor at the Swedish Embassy in Maputo, highlighted the contribution of this Nordic country to the strengthening of Mozambican civil society - thus contributing to internal debates for transparent and inclusive governance. The Embassy of Sweden is the main funder of the 'Programa AGIR' - Actions for Responsible and Inclusive Governance - which started in 2010 and runs until 2014. The programme covers more than fifty Mozambican civil society organisations, providing tools and funding for their participation in the political and social life of the country.
"We are working with everyone. We are contributing modestly to help Mozambican civil society to participate in governance with deep discussions. Civil society might be heard by the decisions-makers,” said Ambassador Karin Bolin - who explained that Sweden has contributed to the transformation of Mozambican public administration into a modern, better management operation. “The Administrative Court currently works to a local model, with Swedish influence,” she said.
Finland: rural poverty reduction and management of forest resources
The main thrust of Finland's development cooperation with Mozambique has been through the support of poverty reduction, improved access to basic services - and the promotion of democracy, human rights and good governance. Focus areas for cooperation have included rural development, education, and science and technology - as well as general budgetary support.
With its long experience in forestry management, Finland has worked for years with Mozambique to improve the administration of forest resources. Mozambique has large forests - mainly, in the central and northern regions - but these are not benefitting the local population greatly. Finland's core aim is to ensure that the forest resources of Mozambique can benefit everyone in the country.
In terms of forestry development, Finland had been administering an approved fund of 11.45 million Euros for implementation in Mozambique between 2009 and 2014. By 2012, about 3.1 million Euros had been applied - but the programme was stopped by the Finnish government, due to a lack of transparency in its implementation by the Ministry of Agriculture of Mozambique.
Finland currently focuses its cooperation with Mozambique on: improving agriculture to alleviate rural poverty; strengthening human resources and capacity to respond to the needs of economic growth and transition; and greater transparency and broader participation of stakeholders to consolidate the transition for democratic governance.
Finland expands support for multilateral actors, too - and, so, for ongoing work with non-governmental partners such as research institutions and civil society and private sector organisations. Annually, according to Ambassador Matti Kääriäinen, Finland's Official Development Assistance in Mozambique totals about 30 million Euros.
(The interviews with Ambassadors were recorded in the Embassy of Finland, in Maputo, during the public presentation of the book titled 'Elements for inclusive growth in Mozambique' - which summarises the lessons of the first Nordic-Mozambique conference, held in Maputo, in May 2012.)