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A view of Pemba city - capital of Cabo Delgado
Businesspeople in Cabo Delgado are calling for greater participation in megaprojects, which often prioritise multinationals. Government promises change.
Cabo Delgado businesspeople claim that, despite them offering quality services in various sectors, megaprojects are prioritising foreign firms over local ones.
Local entrepreneurs such as Francisco Tete want to see priority given to local firms in the implementation phase of major investments in the oil sector in the region.
“We manufacture quality furniture, and the province knows this very well, because we already work with the government. Even in the event of an emergency, we can meet deadlines. And there are others who can do quality work and are licensed, but they do not meet the other requirements according to the demands of external work,” he explains.
Saidó Dadier, another Cabo Delgado businessman, acknowledges the weaknesses of the local private sector, especially in the use of information and communication technologies.
“One of the things that many don’t use is [IT] technology. [Multinational companies] always send emails to local business owners, who are entering their data but have had no response. [This] means we’re not informed,” he claims.
Aware of the difficulties local entrepreneurs may face in competitive markets like oil and gas, Saidó Dadier says that small and medium enterprises need to establish partnerships.
“It will be difficult for local entrepreneurs to pursue opportunities. There will always be barriers because multinational companies are very demanding. To be able to achieve [our goals], we have to form partnerships.”
This was one of the points highlighted at a recent seminar in Pemba organised by Technip FMC, a company which specialises in local recruitment for oil and gas projects. Talumba Catawala, the company’s communications manager, believes long-term planning can help with this process.
“Today, you know what kind of service you can provide for this project in May 2020. So you have a lot of time to prepare your company, partnerships, people and a strong proposal that can be competitive against international companies. The focus we have now is to look at labour and raw materials, see where it comes from, because the criteria is: local labour and local raw materials. A greater involvement of local businesses is underway,” she says.
The Cabo Delgado provincial government says it is already refining strategies to increase local private sector participation in the implementation of megaprojects. Provincial Director of Economy and Finance, Dário Passo, says that the government will continue to work to bring together local entrepreneurs and large companies and find ways to ensure the province’s participation.
“We have work to do in the private sector, especially in the pursuit of synergies between different entities, in order to build the capacity to respond to challenges.”Source: Deutsche Welle