Welcome to Zitamar’s daily Mozambique briefing for 12 March, 2019
- Today: Last day of CTA’s two-day Annual Private Sector Conference (Conferência Anual do Sector Privado, CASP) in Maputo
- Today: The second of two days of government ministers answering questions in parliament
- Magala brings AfDB finance to boost Mozambican agro-industry (Notícias, Carta de Moçambique)
- Nyusi wants Heineken to save Mozambique’s national football league (Notícias)
- Heroin traffickers have deep roots and political connections in Mozambique (Lusa)
- Maputo public transport to go 24-hour (Notícias)
- Sofala provincial government evacuates five districts – including Beira (Rádio Moçambique)
Magala brings AfDB finance to boost Mozambican agro-industry (Notícias, Carta de Moçambique)
Former EDM chief Mateus Magala returned to Mozambique yesterday bringing promises of finance from the African Development Bank (AfDB), where he is now a vice president. Notícias writes that he promised $850 million in lending to Mozambican companies – but Carta de Moçambique’s version says that $850 million is the total sought by 25 companies applying for AfDB funds – of which only five “deserve consideration”, according to Magala, quoted by Carta.
Magala said the AfDB was particularly keen to support agri-business and agro-industry, including financing agro-industrial parks and other infrastructure, such as transport and energy, that would facilitate the development of an agricultural industry in Mozambique.
Magala is the first Mozambican ever to hold such a senior position in the AfDB – and it looks like having him there is bearing fruit for his country. He’s a well-respected and capable economist with a clear view of what Mozambique needs to develop. If he really can deliver on serious investment in the agricultural sector, his intervention could be key to setting Mozambique on a path to sustainable and diversified economic growth.
Nyusi wants Heineken to save Mozambique’s national football league (Notícias)
President Nyusi wants Heineken to sponsor Moçambola, the Mozambican football league, to allow it to return to being a unified national league – rather than the southern league and central and northern league that has just been introduced. He said he had challenged Heineken – which sponsors the European Champions’ League – to consider sponsoring Moçambola as part of its “social responsibility”, and he said they are evaluating it. “If they can’t do it today, then perhaps one day,” Nyusi said.
Moçambola was put on hold last year after airline LAM refused to continue to fly teams around the country without getting paid.Dividing the country in two is an interim solution to allow teams to travel to most of their away fixtures by bus, but given the sanctity for Frelimo of Mozambique’s unity and indivisibility, it is not a solution that should be allowed to endure.
Heroin traffickers have deep roots and political connections in Mozambique (Lusa)
Drug trafficking in Mozambique is highly consolidated and has connections to top politicians, according to Simone Haysom and Peter Gastrow of the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime, at a presentation of their Heroin Coast report in Maputo yesterday. The report highlights Mozambique’s role in the so-called ‘Southern route’ taking heroin from Afghanistan to Europe – something which the political elite turns a blind eye to as long as some of the money stays in Mozambique, but the drugs don’t.
There was also some discussion of whether and how the heroin trade links to the Cabo Delgado insurgency. Haysom said it’s not impossible that the insurgency could be involved, but if it is, it’s likely only to be on an opportunistic than structural basis at this stage. If anything, the insurgency could be disrupting the heroin trade; organised crime, like any other economic activity, would prefer to avoid the complication of conflict zones so landings may well be moving south to the coastline of Nampula rather than Cabo Delgado province.
Maputo public transport to go 24-hour (Notícias)
Public transport in Maputo and other urban areas in Maputo province will get a new nighttime public transport service from 11pm to 6am, with the Metropolitan Transport Agency of Maputo calling for expressions of interest from chapa operators – who will charge a flat fare of MZN 35 for journeys.
The service will be a boon for those working in the night time economy, but will probably do little to encourage car-owners to take the bus – unless the police also tighten up on drink driving.
Sofala provincial government evacuates five districts – including Beira (Rádio Moçambique)
The Sofala government has decreed the obligatory evacuation of five districts, including the city of Beira, from 11am this morning, in preparation for tropical cyclone IDAI. Flights to Beira and Quelimane have been cancelled, and the Catholic University of Mozambique, in Beira, has suspended its activities.
The weather forecast is getting worse, with the latest information indicating winds of 200 km/h with gusts of up to 220 km/h when the cyclone makes landfall starting at 6pm today.
A source in Beira tells us that Red Cross staff were marching through town this morning with megaphones instructing people to get to safe locations, but the city will not be entirely evacuated
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