Mozambique: Nyusi Invites Botswana Businesses to Invest

Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Monday night invited Botswana business people to invest in “anchor projects” in Mozambique, such as the development road and rail corridors, the exploitation of mineral resources and others which have a direct impact on economic growth.

He was speaking at a banquet in Maputo given in honour of his Botswanan counterpart, Ian Khama, who is on a state visit to Mozambique.

Nyusi pointed to Mozambique’s enormous capacity to produce energy – through hydropower, natural gas, coal, and renewable sources. Mozambican electricity could make a major contribution towards overcoming the energy deficit within the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which is now estimated at 7.6 gigawatts at peak times.

Nyusi said that, on the eve of Khama’s visit, the Mozambique-Botswana Joint Cooperation Commission had met to identify activities the two sides should carry out over the next few years. “Our greatest challenge lies in implementing daring programmes that will lever our economic growth”, he said.

The Mozambican leader noted that southern Africa has suffered from falling commodity prices, the strengthening of the US dollar, and the gathering impact of climate change.

“All these adversities and other negative dynamics, including localized military tension and the growth in the public debt, hold back the efforts to strengthen the economic structure of Mozambique”, said Nyusi.

As for the priority areas where Botswanan businesses could operate, to the mutual advantage of Mozambique and Botswana, Nyusi listed agriculture, energy and tourism.

At a press conference earlier in the day, following talks between Mozambican and Botswanan delegations headed by the two presidents, Mozambican Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi said the two counties had signed an agreement on establishing a “Samora Machel Museum” in the Botswanan region of Lobatse, about 70 kilometres from the capital, Gaberone.

This was where Mozambique’s first President, Samora Machel, had lived briefly as he made his escape from colonial Mozambique and travelled to join the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) in Dar es Salaam.

Baloi said the Botswanan authorities had made space available, and the Mozambican government would finance construction of the museum. Currently architectural studies are under way, and construction of the museum is expected to take place later this year.

Botswana and Mozambique had also signed an agreement on geology and mining, Baloi said, and had discussed the longstanding plans for a deep water mineral port at Techobanine in the far south of Mozambique.

This would involve building a new railway from Techobanine, through Zimbabwe, to the Botswanan coalfields of Selebi-Pikwe, with a cost initially estimated at 6.5 billion US dollars.

Baloi said that the complex nature of this project requires comprehensive studies, including on its environmental impact, since this part of the Mozambican district of Matutuine is very sensitive from the point of view of biodiversity.

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique