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President Filipe Nyusi yesterday concluded a four-day official visit to Cuba more convinced than ever that Mozambique needs to learn, quickly, how to transform difficulties into opportunities for growth.
President Nyusi sees the visit as fruitful, even if, from a practical point of view, there remain steps to be taken to translate the matters discussed and approved at the level of heads of state into concrete activities and projects impacting the lives of the population at large.
Speaking to journalists in Havana, Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi explained that at the start of this visit, Filipe Nyusi already had in mind that it would be different from usual, given the constraints on the two economies.
The Mozambican government’s philosophy in recent years has been to complement relations with different countries with a strong and aggressive component of economic diplomacy, seeking to take full advantage of the opportunities offered to the country.
Baloi explained that the recent decision by the Trump administration to cancel the lifting of economic sanctions would affect the implementation of some ideas.
“But it was worth coming. There was a great empathy between the two heads of state and a strong will to make things happen. Cuba is facing many difficulties, it is in a dramatic situation, but there are areas such as health, scientific research, education and tourism in which it has grown immensely. It is on these areas that we are going to focus, naturally doing things to the rhythm of the current conduct of both countries,” Baloi said.
Regarding tourism, for example, an activity that contributes about US$3.5 billion to Cuban gross domestic product, the president decided to extend for a few more days the stay of the Minister for Tourism, Silva Dunduro, to coordinate a joint action plan in this area.
In fact, tourism is one of the strongest areas of the Cuban economy, and despite the blockade it has managed to attract tourists from virtually the entire world. The sector boomed after US President Barak Obama decided to lift the blockade and start a new era in relations with Cuba, but it is feared that progress could be negatively affected by Donald Trump’s political decision.
During the last two days of his visit, Filipe Nyusi has been working with institutions related to health and research, science and technology, exploring opportunities to involve these components in health, education and food production in Mozambique.
On Saturday, Nyusi met African ambassadors to Cuba in Havana and the Mozambican community, mostly made up of students. The president left Havana yesterday for the 17-hour return trip to Maputo.
By Júlio Manjate, in HavanaSource: Notícias