Definition of Youth

The present youth policy (1996) defines youth as citizens betweens 15-35 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 16
  • XX
  • Female
  • 18
  • 16
  • XX

  • Homosexual acts illegal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Source:  Penal Code of Mozambique

Majority Age


Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 83.67% Male (15-24) %
  • 69.73% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 18.15%Male %
  • 17.32% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 12.70% Male (13-15) %
  • 7.40% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Mozambique adopted a new youth policy in 2013 (not yet online), replacing the 1996 version.

According to a press release published on the government's website, in October 2013 parliament approved a new youth policy. However, a digital version is not yet available.   The 2012 draft outlines the policy’s key activities (Original in Portuguese. Translation by Google translate) :  

  • Focus on technical and vocational education;
  • Fostering labour / employment and entrepreneurship ;
  • Promotion of housing for young people;
  • Sport, arts and culture including the development of cultural & sporting infrastructure;
  • Awareness about sexual and reproductive health and combating HIV / AIDS;
  • Strengthening moral and civic education.
  Mozambique has a  National AIDS Strategic Plan, a National Education Strategic Plan and Operational Plan for AIDS which all include sections dedicated to youth (more information below).

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of Youth and Sport is responsible for all matters related to youth.  The government also established the inter-sectoral Committee for Support to the Development of Young and Adolescent People (CIADAJ), which includes representatives from all the key ministries, national NGOs and religious organisations associated with adolescent and youth development. The National Youth Institute (INJ) provides the ministry with research to monitor and inform the government’s efforts in youth policy.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
  The National Youth Council  (CNJ) serves as a national forum for Provincial Youth Councils (CPJ), which unite numerous youth associations. Registered members of local youth organisations elect the officials of the Executive Committees of the CPJ to represent them at the CNJ. The elected president of the national council sits in the government’s National Assembly. Mozambique is also party to the African Youth Charter.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
According to the 2014 central budget, the National Institute for Youth was allocated 21.92 million MZN (USD 706.024  USD). The Ministry of Youth and Sports was allocated 107.42 million MZN (USD 3.46 million), however the proportion specifically for youth is unclear. According to the World Bank, Mozambique spent 18.55% of its government expenditure and 5.01% of its GDP on education provision in 2006.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

The 2012 report by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa notes: Education
The next government education plan, Second Strategic Plan for the Education Sector 2005–2009 (Ministry of Education, 2005) reiterated the importance of illiteracy reduction as part of poverty alleviation, and encouraged the participation of a greater diversity of education providers. In 2006, recognising that adult education is one of the key factors in addressing unemployment, the government approved a multi-sectoral strategy to boost vocational training and employment.
The Ministry of Labour’s Institute for Employment and Training manages a network of company-owned vocational training and employment centres. The former offer short (one to six month) practically orientated vocational courses unemployed or out-of school youth. The Institute also develops curricula and materials. The funding and provision of youth and adult education is assisted by strong partnerships between the government and international donors, NGOs and churches, which are seen as key government allies in programme implementation.
Mozambique has a  National AIDS Strategic Plan, a National Education Strategic Plan and Operational Plan for AIDS. From the Ministry of Youth and Sports official website:
The PGB implements activities that focus on three key components: a) Clinical Component: Provision of clinical services, specially designed to focus on adolescents and youth. b) School Component: educational and awareness activities for young people in school. c) Community Component: education and awareness for young people who no longer attend school activities.
An important piece of legislation affecting the lives of young people is the law on military conscription, which currently applies to both sexes and is compulsory for two years. A 2012 report by the Youth Parliament, funded by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa highlights:
 (...) the fact that there is no exemption from military service based on religious or cultural grounds. And if someone cannot face serving in the military and absconds, he or she can be prosecuted and will not be entitled to apply for a passport. Furthermore, the analysis uncovered the extent of the racial and economic discrimination permeating this process as only poor African youths are conscripted since they cannot buy their way out by bribing officials.