"One of the paths to Africa's development is the link between SMEs and foreign investment"
A team from the Foundation for the Improvement of the Business Environment (FAN) visited Zambezia province in central Mozambique last week and held a meeting with the local Provincial Business Council (CEP) to showcase the opportunities the foundation provides.
Zambezia entrepreneurs in turn explained their present difficulties and constraints and outlined future perspectives in the light of the FAN facilities on offer.
FAN’s support covers four areas, namely institutional capacity building; improving capacity to advocate for the improvement of services provided to members; providing a stage for private-public dialogue; and promoting international partnerships.
FAN Executive Director Nuro Remane explained to the entrepreneurs and business associations affiliated with the CEP that these FAN services would boost the private sector’s ability to structure its business within a favourable environment.
Remane said that FAN and the Danish government, the foundation’s main donor, had a special interest in supporting initiatives managed by women, boosting their empowerment and helping them become active players in the market.
Entrepreneurs in Zambezia asked for FAN’s support helping them overcome challenges to creating an agro-business value chain.
Zambezia CEP president Assane Naparia said that FAN’s operating philosophy fitted well with the private sector’s objectives in Zambezia, and that the Zambezia Business Council had already designed some structuring projects that it wished to implement before the end of the year.
The CEP, he said, was particularly interested in supporting institutional capacity building, international partnerships, and initiatives to revitalise local production and processing of rice and cashew nuts, among other cash crops.
“We are actively involved in seeking partners for the production, productivity and creation of the whole rice value chain. We need support to take our producers to a country with a history of rice production and processing where they can learn lessons and form partnerships to resume rice production in a structured way and on an industrial scale,” Naparia said.
In addition to this challenge, CEP Zambezia intends to launch a campaign to increase cashew production, a crop that was once one of the country’s flagship products and which contributed greatly to the provincial and national economy.
“FAN can help us face the challenge of increasing cashew nut production and entering the processing market. We are also looking forward to establishing a rice processing unit in the Pebane district,” Naparia reported.
Institutional capacity-building, enabling members to generate initiatives that promote their business development, is one of the precepts of FAN’s first window.
FAN Executive Director Nuno Remane was very pleased with the interest shown in joining the funding windows that FAN has for improving the business environment by Zambézia’s CEP, its respective associations and business groups.
In the past, through its industry and in terms of its overall production, Zambézia province contributed about 60 percent of the country’s overall GDP.Source: Foundation for Improvement for Business Environment / Press Release
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