Bilateral relations Switzerland–Mozambique
Relations between Switzerland and Mozambique are good. Mozambique is a priority country for Swiss development cooperation. Switzerland supported Mozambique in dealing with the legacy of the civil war that ravaged the country from 1976 to 1992. The country's economic potential provides Swiss companies with new trade and investment opportunities.
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
Switzerland has set out a strategy for sub-Saharan Africa for 2021–24.
Switzerland and Mozambique established diplomatic relations in 1976, just after the country gained independence. Since then, regular high-level official visits between the two countries have taken place.
Switzerland chairs a contact group that was set up in 2017 to support Mozambique's conflicting parties (Frelimo and Renamo) reach a lasting peace agreement, which was succesfully concluded in 2019. Since then, the group has continued to provide support in implementing the agreement. Switzerland's support played an important role in the signing of this agreement.
Mozambique's economy has been struggling since 2016 (public debt crisis and impact of climate disasters). Nevertheless, the country's favourable geographic situation, natural resources (coal, aluminium) and natural gas reserves, which have not been fully exploited, give it considerable economic potential.
The Swiss embassy in Maputo set up the Swiss Mozambican Business Network in 2013, which officially became the Swiss-Mozambican Chamber of Commerce in 2017.
A trade agreement concluded in 1979 and a bilateral agreement on investment promotion and protection concluded in 2002 form the basis for the development of economic relations between Switzerland and Mozambique.
Cooperation in education, research and innovation
Researchers who are citizens of Mozambique can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Development cooperation and humanitarian aid
Mozambique is a priority country for Switzerland's international cooperation. This includes the SDC, the FDFA's Peace and Human Rights Division and SECO, which carry out complementary activities in Mozambique. Switzerland supports bilateral development cooperation and humanitarian projects, mainly in the northern provinces of Cabo Delgado, Niassa and Nampula.
It also provides support to Mozambique through the SDC's global and regional programmes and by contributing to international/multilateral organisations and Swiss NGOs active in the country.
A new Swiss cooperation programme for Mozambique will be implemented in 2022–25.
Swiss nationals in Mozambique
According to the statistics on the Swiss abroad, at the end of 2020 there were 135 Swiss nationals living in Mozambique; 67 Mozambiquan nationals were living in Switzerland.
History of bilateral relations
On 30 October 1974 the Federal Council recognised Mozambique's independence, which was officially declared on 24 June 1975. In 1977 Switzerland opened an embassy in Maputo. Bilateral development cooperation between the two countries was initiated in 1979.
The roots of Swiss cooperation with Mozambique go back to the 1880s, when the Swiss Mission was founded. Swiss missionaries won wide recognition in Mozambique for their work to improve social conditions: besides hospitals, they built schools where they also taught in local languages, which led to disagreements with the Portuguese colonial authorities.