Summary: Professional skills are scarce in Mozambique, even by the standards of low-income countries. The solution, however, is not necessarily to create more Mozambican training institutions but to address market-specific problems. Where skills are already the binding constraint (for example, in auditing and engineering), policy action is indeed needed to remedy supply-side problems: capital market imperfections that inhibit investment in training institutions by entrepreneurs and in education by individuals; weakness in upstream school education, which handicaps Mozambican students in their pursuit of higher education; inadequacies in professional education and training, including curricula not attuned to industry needs; and a fragmentation of the regional education market by regulatory and language differences that prevent the emergence of regional institutions that can exploit economies of scale.Where skills may be limited but are not yet the binding constraint, the priority is to stimulate demand for appropriate skills. In this respect, the emergence of professional guilds offers opportunities, but also creates risks. The guilds can design, with government support, a regulatory framework, for example, in accounting and basic engineering, which is more attuned to the needs of Mozambican firms. They can also help make firms more aware of the benefits of professional help, for example, in accounting and information technology. The risk is that guilds will create unnecessary regulatory barriers to entry, particularly for foreign or foreign-trained professionals. Greater coherence between policies affecting professional services and international migration policy can help deal with both supply-side and demand-side problems.
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