The strategic priority of Governance and Participation is to promote active and effective citizen participation in decision-making processes on public policies in the area of land, natural resources and the environment as a process of good governance with a view to sustainable development.
One of the challenges for the exercise of citizenship and for the active and effective participation of citizens in decision-making processes on public policies and their strategies, as well as the promotion of good governance, transparency and accountability by public bodies is the overcoming the asymmetry in access to information of public interest between the citizen and the power (State) in terms of quantity and quality. In Mozambique this challenge is considered as a fact. This seems to be due to the lack of awareness and knowledge of their rights and duties on the part of the citizen, so that the citizen consciously engages in the construction of a democratic society, of law and of social justice.
Active and effective participation and engagement of citizens in governance can only be effected if they are informed of their rights and duties in the light of the Constitution of the Republic and other legal, normative, universal and domestic instruments. It is in this context that the strategic priority of Governance and Participation aims at promoting the active and effective participation of citizens for good governance. That is, for a governance that is participatory and inclusive, particularly in promoting transparency and accountability in the management of land, environment and natural resources, as factors of sustainable development.
Dissemination of information on the legal framework and initiatives promoting good governance practices, such as the EITI (Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative), public participation processes, including project licensing (community consultations, environmental impact, resettlement plans) and other actions related to the life of communities, as tools for access to information, is indispensable for the citizen to consciously exercise citizenship. Once informed, the citizen performs his duties with greater interest and capacity to demand his rights, monitor the government and participate in the debate to influence the decision-making processes.
In the coming years, the country should materialize a series of initiatives proposed, such as reform of the legal framework of different sectors in the context of governance of land, environment and natural resources. This includes the revision of the Environmental Laws, the Forestry and Wildlife Law, a possible revision of the Land Law, the regulation on resettlement resulting from economic activities, the institutionalization of the EITI, the country’s affiliation to the Kimberly Process of diamonds and precious stones) taking into account the occurrence in the country of deposits of various types of precious and semi-precious stones, among other processes. In the case of the EITI, KUWUKA JDA intends to use its experience on the subject to advocate for its domestication by the country as a tool to build a model of governance excellence as a regular practice with a view to enhancing transparency and accountability.