Mozambican recovery: All fingers point to 2018 - By Levy Sergio Mutemba
In file Club of Mozambique
Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Thursday discussed with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping the financing of priority areas for Mozambique’s development, namely agriculture, infrastructures and industrialization.
The meeting, the first between the two men since Nyusi’s inauguration in January, took place in the Johannesburg suburb of Sandton where the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is under way.
The three areas which Nyusi discussed with Xi coincide with the priorities identified by the African Union and by the Southern African Development Community (SADC). They are regarded as determinant for poverty relief, through increasing the income of the productive sector and boosting employment.
Almost all the African heads of state and government at FOCAC sought an audience with Xi, but the Chinese leader could only fit in 14 audiences on Thursday – four of these were with SADC countries, namely Mozambique, Angola, Namibia and Tanzania. Mozambican diplomats believed the fact that Nyusi was one of those received by Xi is evidence that Mozambique occupies an outstanding position in Africa’s relations with China.
China’s friendly relations with Mozambique date back to the 1960s and the support provided by China for the struggle waged by the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) for independence from Portuguese colonial rule.
Among the vast range of roads and buildings constructed with Chinese grants or loans are the Maputo Ring Road and the bridge spanning Maputo Bay between the center of the city and the neighborhood of Catembe, which should be ready by 2017.
The Chinese ambassador to Mozambique, Sun Jian, told AIM that China plans to finance the construction of a Mozambique-China Cultural Center, and a School of Communication and Arts at Maputo’s Eduardo Mondlane University for a total cost of 100 million US dollars. The center will contain a modern theater with the capacity to hold 1,500 people.
Among other Chinese projects for the immediate future are the construction of a residential complex in Maputo for Mozambican doctors and the Chinese medical team working in the country, and the rehabilitation of the pediatric ward in Beira Central Hospital.
Mozambique hopes that the Sandton edition of FOCAC will lead to increased Chinese public and private investment. Between 2010 and 2012 Mozambique received from China 42 million dollars in grants and over a billion dollars in investments in 88 projects generating about 14,000 jobs.
The total value of trade between the two countries surpassed three billion dollars in 2014. This trade is heavily skewed in China’s favor – Mozambique exported to China goods valued at over a billion dollars, but its imports from China were valued at over two billion dollars.Source: AIM News