In implementation since 2007, the South-South cooperation project to support urban development in Mozambique is aimed at the replication, adapted to the local context, of Brazilian policies, methodologies and practices, developed by Caixa Econômica Federal (CAIXA) for low-income populations. Focusing on the theme of housing in a broad way, the project contemplated support activities in different complementary areas, from the formulation of public policies and strategies to the improvement of traditional construction techniques.
One of the major challenges facing Mozambique is the provision of quality and quantity housing for its population (around 26.5 million people), especially considering that more than 50% of this population lives below the poverty line. In addition, 70% of Mozambicans live in rural areas, with restricted access to adequate materials and technologies for the construction of decent housing. According to UN-Habitat Mozambique, 84,000 new homes are needed annually in urban areas to accommodate natural population growth and rural-urban migration, without considering that at least 70% of existing urban housing is informal, with precarious access infrastructure and basic services.
In order to reduce the housing deficit in Mozambique, the Support for Urban Development project covered technical support activities in five areas:
(1) The development of a housing policy aimed at the low-income population (central axis of the initiative);
(2) The production of low-cost building materials based on locally available raw materials - including the structuring of Rural Associative Microenterprises (MERAs) for this purpose;
(3) The development of constructive typologies for housing of social interest;
(4) The implementation of a national system of construction indices and costs; and
(5) The elaboration of architectural projects for the reform of a technological center in the civil construction sector.
The activities focused on the exchange of professionals for the sharing of knowledge between the two countries. Knowing the experiences and the main agents involved in the five aspects of the project was the focus of the technical visits made to Brazil. The visits to Mozambique included, among others, the diagnosis of the local housing demands (urban and rural), and the infrastructures and existing material and technological resources related to the provision of housing, as well as the training of the responsible technicians and the rural communities involved to ensure the sustainability of the initiative.
The main results of the project include:
- The approval of the "Housing Policy and Strategy for Mozambique" in 2011 by the Council of Ministers, whose development was attended by technicians and communities, through workshops and regional debates in different provinces, as well as a national seminar.
- The transfer of knowledge (through two training sessions and the preparation of manuals) on the production of machines for the manufacture of soil-cement bricks and vegetable fiber tiles, low-cost materials suitable to the Mozambican reality. This training was articulated with the installation of an incubator of popular cooperatives for the production of adapted building materials at the Technological Center of Namialo (Nampula province), whose staff also received training in management.
- The design of five low-income housing projects: three for rural areas, one for urban and suburban areas, and one for people with special needs.
- The establishment of bases and partnerships for the creation of the Mozambican civil construction cost monitoring system (SINAGEC), in a replication adapted from the Brazilian System of Survey of Costs and Civil Construction Indexes (SINAPI).
- The elaboration of the architectural projects for the renovation and expansion of the Technological Center of Namialo, which will be directed to the research and training in the area of constructive technologies appropriate to the local reality (in articulation with the activities of the Laboratory of Engineering of Mozambique), seeking the strengthening of MERAs in the province.
This South-South cooperation project was one of the initiatives awarded under the 2013/2014 edition of the CAIXA Best Practices in Local Management Program, which biennially recognizes and disseminates successful experiences in the social sphere, carried out with funding, transfer of resources or support of CAIXA.
Supported by: Brazilian Cooperation Agency (ABC) and Caixa Econômica Federal (CAIXA)
On the Brazilian side: CAIXA, University of São Paulo (USP), State University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)
On the Mozambican side: Ministry of Public Works and Housing
Fernando Vieira do Nascimento,
Executive Manager, National Management of International Relations Strategy,
Caixa Econômica Federal (CAIXA)