Unleashing the Potential: Building a Strong Youth Cooperative Movement in Mozambique

As in many countries in Southern Africa, a high level of youth unemployment combined with a lack of opportunity poses a challenge in Mozambique. At the same time, the elsewhere well demonstrated entrepreneurial power that lies within cooperatives is not fully established in the public perception of the formally centrally planned economy. One focus of the activities of the BMZ financed DGRV project in Southern Africa (SUCOSA) in the project country Mozambique thus focuses on the question: How can an environment be created and strengthened that stimulates both youth entrepreneurship and cooperativism?

The Inaugural National Conference on Youth Entrepreneurship and Cooperativism in Mozambique

To establish a platform for exchange about and advocacy for youth cooperatives, the “Movimento pela Cidadania (MpC)”, supported by DGRV, organized the very first “National Conference on Youth Entrepreneurship and Cooperativism in Mozambique”. The conference was successfully held in Maputo on the 1st of June 2023, featuring various existing and potential stakeholders from Mozambique for the sector of youth cooperatives, complemented by participants from neighbouring eSwatini. A hybrid format allowed for the sharing of success stories and factors of youth cooperatives in schools from Brazil.

Creating a Collaborative Platform for Youth Cooperative Success and Economic Opportunity

The conference was a resounding success. It established a platform and a starting point for further discussions and collaborations between stakeholders to unleash the potential that a strong youth cooperative movement offers. The success stories from fellow neighbouring cooperators demonstrated the economic opportunity youth cooperatives offer as well as the importance of representation and organisation within an Apex body. The conference further highlighted how crucial an integrated, multi-sector approach is, in which the efforts of various stakeholders of the private and not-for profit sector are coordinated with those of the government. For the sustainable success of youth cooperatives, the inclusion of cooperative entrepreneurship in the academic curriculum from a young age and a conducive legal framework will be pivotal.

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