Mozambican President Armando Guebuza on Tuesday continued with the second day of his tour of China.During his working visit to the country he will be trying to mobilise from the Chinese government, businesses and banks funds for the implementation of a hundred projects requiring ten billion US dollars in investment.According to a Mozambican government document seen by AIM, about half of this amount has already been promised. In some cases projects have already begun to be executed whilst in others discussions are at an advanced stage.In order to make as many contacts as possible, the President has taken the strategic decision to only stay in each city for a few hours.For example, shortly after his arrival yesterday in the capital city Beijing he met with his counterpart Xi Jinping after which he travelled to the city of Wuhan, provincial capital of Hubei province. This morning he met with
governor Wang Guosheng before travelling to the city of Xiangyang
where he visited rice production company Wanbao whose technicians are
introducing new techniques in Mozambiques Gaza province.On Wednesday President Guebuza will
leave for the city of ,
which will be the last destination in his tour. Shanghai
Most of the loans to fund the proposed development projects will come from a twenty billion dollar fund set up by the Chinese government to support African countries through subsidised loans. The remaining amount will be secured from Chinese banks including the Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank) and the China Development Bank (CBD) at preferential interest rates.The Fund was launched during the fifth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation held in Beijing in July 2012.Mozambican businesses are eligible to receive money from the Fund if they can prove to be viable and fall within the Fund’s criteria.An analysis of the Mozambican government’s document shows that at least seventy of the projects are public-private partnerships and will consume more than half the ten billion dollars sought.These types of loans have the advantage of not perpetuating the country’s debt. In return for the loans
China will receive raw materials for its vibrant
industry and the construction of its infrastructures.Currently, China has more than 900 multinationals working
on infrastructure in Africa and elsewhere.Among the multinationals working in Mozambique
is SOGECOA, who over the last few years has built various public buildings in Maputo including the Joaquim Chissano Conference Centre,
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maputo
the new headquarters of the Attorney General and the . Palace of Justice
For President Guebuza, these constructions are an intrinsic part of Chinese support to the Mozambican people, which began when China sent military experts to the military base at Nachingwea in Tanzania of the liberation movement Frelimo who was fighting against Portuguese colonialism.Speaking on Monday during an audience with the Chinese President, Guebuza said that China “helped us at a time when neither country had much, when we still had the struggle for our independence. The military experts sent to us went through the same difficulties and hardships that we faced, including shortages of drinking water”.
Inspired by the old Chinese proverbs “if you want to be rich you must first build roads” and “if you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people”, the majority of projects involve the construction or rehabilitation of roads, bridges, schools and professional training centres.Thus, the financing partially secured during previous visits to China by President Guebuza and government ministers is mainly for road construction including the Maputo ring road (costing 300 million dollars), the road linking the city of Beira to Machipanda (budgeted at 427 million dollars), the road from Bene to Zumbo (278 million dollars), from Inchope to Caia (196 million dollars), from Cuamba to Marrupa (184 million dollars), from Moamba to Manjacaze (180 million dollars), between Fudzi and Nhamapaza (139 million dollars), from Chimuara to Namacurra (120 million dollars), and the road linking Macossa to the main north-south highway – the EN1 (118 million).The educational sector will acquire 300 million dollars for the construction of schools and institutions. Of this amount, 200 million dollars will be invested in the construction of seven polytechnics in the provinces of Maputo, Inhambane, Sofala, Zambezia, Niassa and Cabo Delgado.The government will also invest 34 million dollars in the construction of three technical professional schools, namely the agrarian institute in Namaacha in Maputo province, and two industrial institutes in Nampula and Niassa province.The remaining funds will be spent on projects such as the rehabilitation of Nacala port and the building of the railway line between the port and the Moatize coal basin in Tete province.In addition to the ten billion dollars discussed above, Exim Bank is to finance the construction of a bridge linking Maputo city with the district of Katembe in a project valued at 725 million dollars.Meanwhile, the China Development Bank is looking at investing in the industrial zone in Nacala-a-Velha which has the potential to transform the north of Mozambique into the most developed region in the country and perhaps even in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).