Narciso Matos

Narciso Matos

Synergos Senior Fellow & Executive Director, Foundation for Community Development in Mozambique

Narciso Matos is Executive Director of the Foundation for Community Development (FDC) in Mozambique, a civic organization that seeks to join together the forces of all sectors of society to promote development, democracy and social justice.

Before leading FDC, Dr. Matos held several high-level academic and administrative positions at Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) in Maputo. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was the head of the Department of Chemistry and Dean of the Faculty of Science; in the early 1990s, he served as Vice-Chancellor of UEM. During his tenure as Vice-Chancellor, he pioneered several important governance processes and secured US$10 million in loans and grants for the university from bi- and multilateral donors. Dr. Matos, from 1996 to 2000, was Secretary-General of the Association of African Universities, headquartered in Ghana. He was responsible for coordinating academic cooperation programs among higher education and research institutions throughout Africa. Alongside his work with the AAU, he was a member of the Advisory Group on Higher Education for the Secretary General of UNESCO.

From 1986 to 1995, Dr. Matos served as a member of Mozambique’s Parliament, five years of which were in the Parliament’s Committee for International Relations. From 2000 to 2007, Dr. Matos was Program Director of the International Development Program at the Carnegie Corporation of New York, where he oversaw the foundation’s work in sub-Saharan Africa, focusing on strengthening higher education in select African universities; enhancing women’s opportunities in higher education; and revitalizing public and university libraries.

Dr. Matos received his PhD in chemistry from Humboldt University in Germany and his licenciate in science from Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique.

The Foundation for Community Development was established in 1994 with the vision of Graça Machel (former First Lady of South Africa and former First Lady of Mozambique), and with a wide range of institutional capacity building technical support from Synergos. FDC is a social and economic development foundation that funds and operates programs in all of Mozambique’s ten provinces, with priority focus on the rural poor. It develops and builds the capacity of NGOs and community-based organizations so they can be instruments of poverty-eradication and social justice. In addition, FDC mobilizes resources by building bridges between individuals, donors and the nonprofit, public and private sectors. It has created service delivery systems in education, health and disaster recovery, some of which the government is replicating.