UPDATE - Mozambique government not bound by loan guarantees, say creditors
The Brazilian technical cooperation remains separate from private investment and business, one of the sector’s leaders in Mozambique told Lusa on Tuesday, in reaction to criticisms made by a researcher about the relationship between the two countries.
Bruno Neves, first secretary of the Brazilian embassy In Mozambique and responsible for technical cooperation projects, said: “There is no case of Brazilian technical cooperation involving the private sector” and “there is a very great concern of Brazil in regard to conflict of interests.”
“Our cooperation is never subject to anything,” (that is, it has no returns) and “does not aim at profit and has no private sector involvement,” he added.
Last week, Sérgio Chichava, a researcher at Mozambique’s Institute for Social and Economic Studies (IESE), told Lusa that cooperation between Mozambique and Brazil has been “a disappointment” for those hoping for a partnership with more transparency and less business involvement.
The conclusion comes in the book “Creating Partnerships or Producing Dependency?” to be launched in September and which brings together 13 articles of individual and joint authorship involving 21 researchers.
Chichava evaluates Brazil’s role in Mozambique, raising, among other points, suggestions of corruption in the Nacala airport and Moamba Major dam projects, which have funding from the Brazilian National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES).
Neves counters by saying that these are private projects without intervention or the technical cooperation of the Brazilian government.
“Brazilian technical cooperation is far from the BNDES,” he added, even though the bank is a public institution.
“There was a sovereign decision of the Mozambican government to carry out a certain work,” he explains. They sought financing, and “Brazil provided this financing, but during the entire time the project was carried out by Odebrecht: there was never any monitoring of the Brazilian government, monitoring being conducted between the company and the Mozambican government”.
“There is no Brazilian technical cooperation there. What happened was funding for infrastructure work,” he summarised.
Neves also rejects possible links between the Prosavana agricultural program and the private sector. “This is the most misrepresented project in the world,” he said.
Mozambique has the largest number of Brazilian technical cooperation projects in the world.
These are projects of a “horizontal” format, without Brazil putting itself in the position of teaching something. “We learn too,” Neves says, citing a health user registration model adapted from Brazil.
So the logic of Brazil as an exporter of experience to help other countries face “challenges like those that Brazil has already faced” prevails, he concludes.