Southern Africa’s Rising Star – Aired December 2011
Mozambique has put its civil-war years well behind it.
Thanks to an ambitious reform program, Mozambique has maintained macroeconomic stability for more than a decade and offers a wide range of sectors with exceptional potential, including mining, tourism, infrastructure and hydropower, among many others.
Mozambique’s economy has an impressive track record. Mozambique achieved an average annual GDP growth rate of 9% between 1997 and 2007 and reached 8% GDP growth in 2010 in spite of the global crisis.
One of the poorest countries in the world when it won independence from Portugal in 1975, Mozambique is still combating poverty, but definitely making progress, as Maputo’s modern skyline and bustling port demonstrate.
Foreign investment and international donor support remain essential for keeping Mozambique’s economic growth on track. Thanks to its natural beauty, ideal location for trade, and almost limitless development potential, Mozambique certainly has the investment appeal to keep FDI flowing in.
With its long coastline on the Indian Ocean offering easy access to markets throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia and beyond, Mozambique is well placed to become a major global trade hub.
In this respect, ports play an essential rol in the economic development of the country. Through the ports of Beira and Maputo, millions of tons of goods are shipped every year.
Mozambique is also launching projects to modernize its rail links to all its ports as well as to neighboring Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Mozambique’s road network, which remains primitive in rural areas, is getting a major upgrade as well with the help of the private sector. Mozambique invested US$350 million in building 500 kilometers of road in 2011, with much of the construction focused on serving Tete’s coal mines.
One new development that will significantly speed up transport in Mozambique is a Portuguese-Mozambican consortium’s US$150 million project to build a second bridge across the Zambezi river just south of Tete.
Mozambique is also developing its air transport, both to boost trade flows and to support predicted tourism growth.
National airline LAM connects all major cities in the country, but more flights to and from Mozambique are needed to keep up with demand. A new partnership with Ethiopian Airlines for direct flights between Maputo and Addis Ababa is a step in the right direction.
Getting Mozambique’s agricultural products to market is a key goal behind the government’s transport-infrastructure development drive. Mozambique’s agriculture sector has outstanding potential but requires significant modernization and investment, as well as vastly improved infrastructure, to make the most of its assets.
Those assets are considerable. Mozambique has fertile soil, varied growing conditions to support a range of crops, and the resources for developing irrigation schemes to combat drought using the waters of the many rivers that flow through the country.
Mozambique is well known for its bananas that are considered to be among the sweetest in the world. Other crops include cashews, grain, sugarcane, cotton, tea, cassava, corn, coconuts, sisal, citrus and tropical fruits, potatoes, rice, soybeans, sesame and sunflowers. Livestock production, fishing and timber also offer strong growth potential.
A company like Technoserve is helping investors to start their business in Mozambique. Years ago already, Technoserve saw how much possibilities the country is offering, considering its rapid economic growth.
In a country where poverty is still a pressing problem, developing the agriculture sector is a way to bring food security to Mozambique’s people and to help the rural economy. The governement is giving ample support to investors interested in the agriculture sector.
Most farming is at the subsistence level on small plots of land, but that picture is changing. Foreign investors are increasingly targeting Mozambique’s agriculture sector and building up thriving businesses that are creating jobs for locals and stepping up Mozambique’s agricultural exports.
These investors are also bringing new techniques to the agriculture sector and promoting organic farming and other environmentally-friendly practices.
Investors in agriculture projects can count on skilled low-cost labor and a range of incentives if they begin production within six years of acquiring agricultural land.
In March 2011, the World Bank announced it was granting an International Development Association credit of US$70 million in support of Mozambique’s PROIRRI-Sustainable Irrigation Development Project, which is expected to directly benefit some 16,000 farmers across the central Mozambique provinces of Manica, Sofala and Zambezia. It will significantly boost the investment appeal of Mozambique’s high-potential agriculture sector.
Mozambique’s minerals resources are making headlines all over the world. The discovery of a massive high-quality coal basin in Tete attracted Brazilian mining giant Vale, which is investing US$1.6 billion to develop its Moatize coal project there. Australia’s Riversdale Mining is also making major investments in developing the adjacent Benga coal project. Both companies have plans to significantly increase production in the region, and Tete is now ranked one of Africa’s fastest-growing mining districts.
Another success story is Jindal Steel and Power Limited. The company started in Mozambique in 2008. It acquired mining rights and is planning to invest 375 million USD and to employ more than 1500 people.
The government recently announced that coal exports alone will more than double the mining sector’s contribution to Mozambique’s GDP over the next three years.
My Mozambique , a personal look at what makes Mozambique special to the people that live there.
Hundreds of miles of stunning, pristine, white-sand beaches along the Indian Ocean, a collection of impossibly beautiful islands ideal for scuba-diving and snorkeling, and that’s just the beginning. Mozambique has everything it takes to become one of Africa’s top tourism destinations.
The rich history of Mozambique dates back to the end of the first millenium, when Arabic traders were already active in the region. The Portuguese colonised the country starting from the sixteenth century, and give it the name it still bears. Ilha the Mozambique became the first capital of the country.
Mozambique’s culture is also colorful, a vibrant blend of local and Portuguese traditions. One can best see it in lively Maputo, the capital overlooking the Indian Ocean.
Mozambique’s tourism industry is open to private investors, and international funding organizations are helping to get the tourism sector off the ground.
Mozambique: truly Southern Africa’s rising star.
And now we offer you the top five of our preferred restaurants in Maputo.
At number five we have put the Maputo Waterfront, opened in 2003. As its name suggests, it is wonderfully located next to the bay, and – of course – it is specialised in the fruits of the sea.
Restaurant d’Vino stands at number four. This new, trendy spot close to the casino has a warm and sleek atmosphere and really nice menu.
The third place in our top five is occupied by Zambi restaurant. It is a favoured lunch and dinner place in Maputo, and is specialised in grilled food.
At number two we’ve chosen Manjar Dos Deus. The name literally means ‘food of the gods’, and for a reason. This modern restaurant is serving mainly fusion dishes.
Finally, the number one on our list is Taverna. Enjoy the very best of the Portuguese kitchen in this authentic place. Don’t miss the mouthwatering desserts.