AfDB Board mission to Mozambique boosts cooperation

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The highlight of the African Development Bank’s Executive Directors (EDs) mission to Mozambique was a courtesy call on the newly elected President, Filipe Jacinto Nyusi. The Head of State expressed appreciation for the work done by the Bank Group in his country.

He cited the agriculture sector, water infrastructure and flood management, as the Bank’s key intervention areas to which his government accords great importance. President Nyusi outlined his key focus areas, which included the preservation of peace and the promotion of inclusive growth for the benefit of all Mozambicans through job creation; especially in the agriculture sector.  

The head of delegation, Samy Zaghloul, Executive Director for Djibouti and Egypt, thanked the Head of State for his warm reception and the support received from his government to facilitate the visit. “This is a testament to the existence of excellent bilateral co-operation ties between the Bank and the Government of Mozambique,” he said.

Part of the ED’s mission included visiting the Nacala port in the country’s northern region. The port’s reconstruction seeks to increase capacity and improve efficiency. Furthermore, the port is connected to road and rail network systems that serve Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia. It is located in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Nacala, and is the main route for cargoes such as coal, diverse agricultural products, oil, and main international markets, making it a strategic facility regionally and internationally. Special Economic Zones are special geographically designated areas set aside for targeted economic activities. Companies and industries operating in these areas enjoy favourable benefits and laws that are different from those that apply in the rest of the country such as tax rebates.

The AfDB delegation visited the Nampula to Ribaue road, which stretches about 138 kilometres, and is part of the “Nacala Development Corridor” that links the Nacala Port, which is the largest deep water port on the eastern cost of Africa, and links by road and rail network system Malawi and Zambia from the Eastern part of Mozambique. More importantly, the Nacala Corridor road aims to link Nacala to the boarder of Malawi with an asphalt road. It is currently being co-financed by the Bank, the Japanese and Korean cooperation agencies and the government, and is integrated within the transport plans of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). The delegation was able to have a sense of the economic impact that this project has generated; notably, increased transport services and new functions such as commercial banking.

The EDs further visited Nampula province in the northern part of the country, where they met with the Provincial Governor, Victor Borges. He lauded the good cooperation ties with the Bank, observing that the province had benefitted from Bank’s projects especially in the areas of transport (roads), and water supply and sanitation. Nampula is the most populated province of Mozambique with roughly five million people.

The delegation also visited the new Nacala International airport under completion, having an estimated passenger capacity of 500,000 per annum. It held meeting with Management of GAZEDA, led by its Director General, Danilo Nala. GAZEDA was created in 2007 to promote and coordinate activities related to the special economic zone in the districts of Nacala Porto and Nacala Velha.

Apart from holding consultations with key government officials, the AfDB delegation met with the private sector, represented by the Confederation of Business Enterpreneurs (CTA), under the auspices of the Vice-President, Rui Monteiro; the Executive Director, Luis Sitoe; and the Deputy Executive Director, Eduardo Macuacua. In addition, the mission team met and exchanged views with the civil society, led by the Executive Director of the Foundation for the Development of Communities, Zenia Menete.

Discussions on aid effectiveness and harmonization of bilateral cooperation were held with Canadian, Danish, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Swedish ambassadors, as well as with the representative of UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

In rounding up their mission programme, the Executive Directors had a working session with staff of the Mozambique Field Office during which views on the portfolio management of Mozambique, career path and working conditions among others, were aired by staff.  The EDs expressed gratitude to the Resident Representative and staff, and commended them for their commitment to pursuing the Bank Group’s development mandate in Mozambique.

The delegation included 11 Board Members and one Senior Advisor representing 46 countries – Angola, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, Japan, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Portugal, São Tomé & Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Swaziland, Switzerland, Togo, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

Since commencing operations in Mozambique in 1977, the Bank Group has committed about US $2 billion in 95 operations in the country.  Just over half of this funding has supported the transport sector, and a fifth has supported agriculture.

According to Mahomed Rafique, the Executive Director for Mozambique, Angola, Namibia and Zimbabwe the Bank’s current country strategy, effective since 2011, is built on Mozambique’s poverty reduction strategy, the PARP 2011-2014, that has three main objectives: (i) increase in agricultural and fisheries production; (ii) employment promotion; and (iii) social and human development.