Labour Migration and Human Development

Labour mobility has become a key feature of the global economy, with an estimated 105 million people working outside of their country of origin[1]. Mozambique too is characterized by high levels of mobility, with regular flows of cross border workers moving in and out of neighbouring countries, primarily South Africa. Although Mozambique historically has had high rates of emigration, particularly among the high skilled, the country’s resources boom and economic growth is beginning to attract flows of foreign workers.

While these movements can pose challenges, especially for vulnerable migrant workers, governments and organisations are increasingly acknowledging the mutual benefits of well-managed labour migration. Higher incomes, remittances, skills development and new business linkages are some of the benefits that can accrue to migrants and sending countries, while receiving countries can enjoy a larger workforce and human capital stock.

[1] Statistic taken from IOM’s global website. See: