'Think Bigger', urge the colourful posters on the walls of Ideario
, an innovation hub in Chamanculo, a modest neighbourhood in Maputo, Mozambique’s capital. The message is right on target for the new female trainees, eager eyes glued to laptop screens as they learn internet and computer skills.
The rising Maputo-Catembe Bridge is a hard-to-miss addition to Mozambique’s shoreline.
Women constitute nearly half of the country's 1.25 billion people and gender equality -- whether in politics, economics, education or health -- is still a distant dream for most. This fact was driven home again sharply by the recently released United National Development Programme’s Human Development Report (HDR) 2015 which ranks India at a lowly 130 out of 155 countries in the Gender Inequality Index (GII). India trails behind most Asian countries, including lesser developed Bangladesh and Pakistan which rank 111 and 121 respectively, and fares not much ahead of war-ravaged Afghanistan at 152.
There is a new scramble for Africa, with ordinary people facing displacement by the affluent and the powerful as huge tracts of land on the continent are grabbed by a minority, rights activists here say.
As billions pour into Mozambique from foreign investors scooping up fields of coal and natural gas, the signs of newfound wealth are impossible to miss.
So much information about climate change now abounds that it is hard to differentiate fact from fiction. Scientific reports appear alongside conspiracy theories, data is interspersed with drastic predictions about the future, and everywhere one turns, the bad news just seems to be getting worse.
The flooding of the Zambezi River has had devastating consequences for three countries in Southern Africa. The three worst affected countries are Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
In rural Zambia and Malawi, new mums face long delays finding out if they have passed HIV on to their babies.
The woman on bed 27 in Maputo Central Hospital’s oncology ward has no idea how lucky she is. In January, when abdominal pains racked her, a pharmacist suggested pain killers. For months, “the pain would go and return,” she told IPS.
Mozambique is reeling under the twin burden of HIV and cervical cancer. Eleven women die of cervical cancer every day, or 4,000 a year. Yet this cancer is preventable and treatable, if caught early.
Eherculano Thomas Rice, is pleased to have harvested 40 bags of white maize from his eight-hectare field in Chimoio, in Mozambique's Manica Province. But he knows that his productivity and yield would be higher if he had been able to afford to buy fertiliser to add to his crop.
Mozambique struggles to contain the HIV epidemic with one in ten among its 24 million people infected. Helping them is not easy when only 60 percent of people have access to health services.
Environmentalists are formally urging President Barack Obama to enact trade sanctions on Mozambique over the country’s alleged chronic facilitation of elephant and rhinoceros poaching through broad swathes of southern Africa.
Chronic shortages of antiretrovirals across Mozambique are endangering the health and the lives of tens of thousands of HIV positive people on treatment.
Some of the technological excellence that revolutionised Brazil’s tropical agriculture is reaching small producers in Mozambique. But it is not enough to compensate for the underfinancing of the sector.
For the few plant breeders in Africa like Vivian Oduro, working for an international research institution is an obvious choice, with prestige and benefits any agricultural scientist would find hard to decline.
Rodolfo Razão, an elderly small farmer in Mozambique, obtained an official land usage certificate for his 10 hectares in 2010, but he has only been able to use seven. The rest was occupied by a South African company that grows soy, maize and beans on some 10,000 hectares in the northeast of the country.
In downtown Maputo, the walls are covered with the local newspaper, Verdade, and a range of people, young and old, male and female, are reading it. Verdade, which means Truth in Portuguese, is a free weekly newspaper that is pasted on the walls of buildings in Mozambique’s capital.
Mounds of sand and rubble are what are left of sections of Maputo’s beachfront road as bulldozers, manned by Chinese construction workers, tear up the road that is being rebuilt. Southern Africa is under construction and the reminders are everywhere.
Lined up along the streets of central Maputo, Mozambique’s capital city, are expensive, European-style bars and restaurants with sophisticated names like Café Continental, Nautilus, 1908 and Mundos.
Mozambique is proud home to not one, but two female rappers who are both qualified lawyers. Yveth “Vauvita” Matunza is striking. She is tall, wearing shoes with enormous stilettos. She has on full make up and a smart, tailored dress suit. She is doing her masters part time while working full time at the Mozambican Human Rights League offices - and rapping on her off time.