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File photo / Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco
Mozambique must tackle structural problems and diversify its economy in order to be less vulnerable to global crises, argues economist Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco in Beira
The country’s debt burden sparked heated debates in Beira yesterday on the first day of the international conference “Mozambique: Which Paths to the Future?” co-organized by the Catholic University of Mozambique (UCM), Institute of Social and Economic Studies (IESE ) and the Civil Society Support Mechanism (MASC).
The broad question was included in the theme “Economy: the Global Context”, with Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco, IESE research director, and Mário da Graça Machungo, economist and former prime minister.
Castel-Branco said that the country must address structural problems and diversify its economy in order to be less vulnerable to global crises. Otherwise, Mozambique would continue to be an increasingly dependent economy.
The three-day event is attended by academics, politicians, religious, government officials, journalists among other social stakeholders.
Speeches by lawyer and former chairman of the Mozambican Bar Association Gilberto Correia, university professor, former MDM secretary-general, Esmael Mussa, journalists Paul Fauvet and Jeremias Langa, and Maria Moreno councilor of the Municipal Council of Nampula all focused on how the country can get rid of debt in order for the economy to contribute to the sustainable development and well-being of the population.
“We know that the pressure of the world economy is suffocating Mozambique. How can we get out of this situation? “Maria Moreno, former parliamentarian and head of the Renamo-União Electoral coalition, wanted to know.
Jeremias Langa questioned what type of economy the country expected to have in 40 years, when natural resources were exhausted.
AIM journalist Paul Fauvet said Credit Suisse, was responsible for the debt as it did not assess whether or not Mozambique was in a position to pay the loans granted.
“The bank has not complied with its own rules and has granted the country irresponsible financing. Because of this, this financial institution should be held accountable.”
The IESE research director acknowledged this, but said that the bank that arranged the loan, not imposed it. “Our country was responsible for the funding request. We were never forced. “
Deputy Minister of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs, Joaquim Veríssimo and Sofala governor, Maria Helena Taipo, left the room after their speeches because of timetabling reasons, it was later announced.
Their departure was criticized by Gilberto Correia, who said that members of the government were treating the debt issue as irrelevant. The former chairman of the Mozambican Bar Association had, he said, expected Verissimo and Taipo to highlight the issue of debt in their speeches.Source: Diário de Moçambique