Expats may find that working in Mozambique is slightly more complex than in the past. With the government trying to increase employment opportunities for locals, strict laws and regulations have been put in place for hiring foreigners. Employment of foreigners has been limited to jobs that require technical and professional skills and qualifications that are nonexistent or insufficient in the country.
This legislation makes job opportunities for expats difficult to come by. It is easiest for expats to find work in higher-level positions with local or international companies. Expats will also find that volunteering opportunities, working in education and community projects are more prevalent in the country.
Job market in Mozambique
Expats who are interested in teaching English in a foreign country may consider Mozambique. There are a few privately run schools in Maputo that look for foreign teachers, though these opportunities tend to be few and far between and will usually require a university degree and TEFL certification. Most schools will supply a letter of intent to employ which makes it possible to secure a visa. Expats should be aware that salaries will be significantly lower than what expats teaching in Asia or the UAE might receive. For English and Portuguese speakers, translation work is also an option.
The largest sectors in the country include agriculture, tourism and transportation. With the country's arable land, natural beauty and historical heritage, it's easy to understand why these sectors thrive. More than 70 percent of the population is employed in the agricultural sector. Forestry is another industry that is increasing in importance. Fishing is both an important source of food and a vital export earner. The manufacturing industry produces a quarter of Mozambique's GDP, which includes production of processed foods, textiles, fertiliser and other products. Mining operations produce coal, salt, gemstones, marble and minerals.
In recent years, large natural gas reserves have been discovered, which has greatly affected the country's economy. The emerging gas industry is a great opportunity for skilled foreigners who can help manage overall operations.
Humanitarian organisations also frequently have positions for expats in Mozambique. This may not lead to permanent employment but may work on more of a rotational basis. Other possible sectors to consider include academia/research and healthcare.
Finding a job in Mozambique
Job search engines, career websites and social-networking sites may be a good starting point. Facebook and LinkedIn often have groups dedicated to expats living and working in Mozambique. These sites and forums make it possible to speak to other expats who are already employed in the country. Word of mouth is highly regarded in Mozambique. Employers will often prefer hiring an expat who has been recommended by someone already working for the company.
Consulting the local classifieds is also a viable option for finding employment in Mozambique.
Work culture in Mozambique
A number of laws apply to working in Mozambique. Legally, the work week in Mozambique may not exceed 48 hours. Similarly, employees have a daily limit of eight work hours a day. However, overtime of up to 200 hours per year is permitted. Overtime hours should be compensated.
Absenteeism is a problem in Mozambique. Mozambicans prioritise family and relationships over work responsibilities. It is therefore not strange for employees simply to not turn up for work.
►For more about understanding the workplace, see Doing Business in Mozambique
►Banking, Money and Taxes in Mozambique provides information about how the currency works
"On most occasions in Inhambane, there is very little work for expats unless you are particularly skilled. Generally everyone sets up their own business."
Read more about South African expat Eddie's experiences in Inhambane, Mozambique.
Are you an expat living in Mozambique?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Mozambique. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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