The African Development Bank (AfDB) hopes to triple its financing of projects in Mozambique over the next two years, says its Chairman, Akinwumi Adesine.

Announcing this after calling on Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi here Monday, he said the AfDB was financing a portfolio of 19 projects in the areas of transportation, energy and sanitation totalling 585 million US dollars.

Adesine said he wanted this figure to reach 1.7 billion USD by 2017. “Between 2016 and 2017 we shall increase the level of support we provide to Mozambique in the order of 1.7 billion dollars in various areas, particularly agriculture,” he said.

He believed Mozambique’s agricultural potential was such that it could become one of the largest granaries for all of Africa.

“We want to assist Mozambique in the industrialization of its agriculture. Our intention is to help the country diversify its economy,” he said.

Other areas of focus for the AfDB in this country would remain energy and transport. Adesine hoped that Mozambique would increase its capacity to provide electricity to its neighbours, such as Zambia and Malawi.

Adesine told journalists that in the meeting with Nyusi he had announced the AfDB’s intention to grant 15 million USD to assist victims of the current natural disasters in Mozambique, notably the drought which is striking much of the southern and central provinces.

The two men had also discussed the need to create more jobs for young Mozambicans. Adesine said he had expressed the AfDB’s “passion for young people and we guaranteed that the Bank will help Mozambique create projects that generate jobs for the youth”.

Adesine said that the ADB’s soft loans carry an interest rate of only 0.6 per cent. So far Mozambique has been honouring its commitments, he added, and has been repaying the AfDB loans on schedule.

Source: NNN-AIM