Célio Panquene *
Faculty of Natural Sciences, University of Lurio, Mozambique
The research was conducted in the community of Nacoja, Mozambique through a case study aiming to analyse economic benefit sharing from natural resources exploration between the Government of Mozambique and the local community in promoting community development. The studied community livelihood is based on agriculture and services provided by both the flora and fauna, the main source of protein is bush meat and energy and medical plants are provided by the forest. Some forests also play a spiritual role as it is there where the "Gods" abide. Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world, it was rated with the third lowest Human Development Index in 2013 by the United Nations. Although the policy of benefit sharing was implemented in 2005 through the Ministerial Decree 93/2005 of 4 May, there is not much knowledge about its effect on rural development. This work is an attempt to fill in this gap. The research was based on fieldwork and semi-structured interviews were applied to nine respondents. The community of Nacoja received a total amount of about $ 3,115.00 in the years of 2009 and 2010. The money was used to purchase, set up and cover maintenance expenses of a milling machine that benefited about 800 inhabitants. Due to mechanical failure and need to invest on other projects, the milling machine was sold in 2014. With the money from the sale of the milling machine, the community managed to upgrade two water boreholes that benefit about 1200 inhabitants in the village. The policy of benefit sharing is an excellent opportunity to promote community development. But it needs to be complemented with other actions, such as the training of Management Committees on matters of management of the community fund and its alignment with rural development strategies.