Friday, March 31, 2017

“Rotten Meat”

The Mozambican government on Thursday announced a ban on the import of Brazilian meat and of imported chickens from anywhere in the world.The decision follows the Brazilian federal police operation codenamed “Carne Fraca” (“Rotten Meat”) aimed at fighting corruption and crimes against public health in the Brazilian meat trade.The Brazilian police uncovered a scandal whereby certain meat companies used food additives (such as ascorbic acid or sodium nitrate) to disguise the fact that their meat was going rotten, or had passed its expiry date.
Resultado de imagem para Moçambique proibe compra de carne brasileira
These food additives are authorized for use in many countries, including Mozambique, and, when used correctly, present no threat to the health of consumers. But in Brazil the additives were being used to disguise the true state of the meat, and make it appear fresh and thus fit for human consumption.At a Maputo press conference on Thursday, the National Director of Trade, Zulmira Macamo, said a team from the Ministries of Industry and Trade, Agriculture, and Health, and from the Tax authority (AT) had checked across the country to see what Brazilian imports were being sold on the Mozambican market.They found no meat imports from Brazil. But between October and February 360 tonnes of Brazilian chickens (whole chickens and chicken pieces) had been imported. Most of these imports came from the companies BRF and Seara International, which had been cited in the “Carne Fraca” investigations.
Resultado de imagem para galinhas brasileiras supermercado
The government has decided to suspend temporarily the import of all meat from Brazil, and all chickens from anywhere. Macamo explained this is because Brazilian chickens are sent all over the world, and are often re-packaged and re-exported. Thus chickens labelled as from South Africa or from European countries could, in reality, be Brazilian chickens.
Mozambican poultry producers have complained for years at what they regard as unfair competition from cheap Brazilian chickens. Now they have an unexpected opportunity to rise to the challenge and supply the market without any Brazilian competition.Macamo believed this is possible, with the major domestic poultry producers (in Maputo, Manica and Nampula provinces) able to provide around 1,000 tonnes of chicken a month.
Resultado de imagem para Maria Rita Freitas INAeAs for the imported chickens already on sale, the head of the National Inspectorate of Economic Activities (INAE), Maria Rita Freitas, said that 603 brigades had fanned out across the country, finding Brazilian chickens on sale in every province except Niassa in the far north. The inspectors seized a total of 526 tonnes of imported chicken, valued at 76.8 million meticais (about 1.15 million US dollars).These chickens have been placed in sealed bags inside freezers, in the care of the shops or other companies that own them, while laboratory inspections are undertaken. Samples have been sent for microbiological analysis in laboratories abroad, and the results are expected within a week.If the samples find no health problems, the chickens can be unsealed and put back on sale. But anything that is unfit for human consumption will be destroyed.A spokesperson for the AT, Ariano Chauque, assured the press conference that the customs service, at all the border posts, has been alerted to the situation, and that no chickens and no Brazilian meat will be allowed to enter the country until the ban has been lifted.

Mozambique’s largest bank

Resultado de imagem para millennium BIMMozambique’s largest commercial bank, the Millennium-BIM (International Bank of Mozambique) has announced net profits of about five billion meticais (75 million US dollars, at current exchange rates) in the 2016 financial year.
Resultado de imagem para millennium BIM
A general meeting of the bank’s shareholders, held in Maputo on Wednesday, approved the annual report and accounts, which showed that Millennium-BIM increased its deposits in 2016 by 9.7 per cent, reaching a total of 97.8 billion meticais.
Resultado de imagem para millennium BIMThe bank’s credit portfolio grew by 19.7 per cent, and reached 84.4 billion meticais. Financing of companies during the year was 68.4 billion meticais, an increase of 25.6 per cent on the 2015 figure. During the year, the bank paid the Mozambican state about 3.7 billion meticais in tax.A statement issued by Millennium-BIM on Thursday declared that the bank’s solvency ratio remains 18.8 per cent – much higher than the eight per cent demanded by the Bank of Mozambique.The bank declared that it now has about 1.6 million clients, served by around 2,500 bank workers. It remains the largest bank in Mozambique and occupies the 56th position in the ranking of the 100 largest banks in Africa.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Iron ore mining

Resultado de imagem para nampula mapaThe Indian company Damodar Ferro intends to resume the extraction of iron ore in Lalaua district, in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula, reports Monday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”.Mining at Lalaua was suspended a year ago because of declining iron ore prices on the world market. But a recent recovery in prices has encouraged the company to resume production.
Resultado de imagem para nampula mapaOlavo Deniasse, the Nampula Provincial Director of Mineral Resources and Energy, told the paper that the establishment of an industrial unit to process iron ore was a further factor behind Damodar Ferro’s decision.He added that the company will negotiate terms for transporting the ore with the managers of the railway running from Moatize, in Tete province, to the port of Nacala-a-Velha on the Nampula coast. Trains carrying coal for export return to Moatize with their wagons empty. But Damodar wants to move the ore to Tete for processing.Achieving agreement on the transport issue “will be a great success”, said Deniasse, “since it will make operating the mine viable and will guarantee jobs in Lalaua”.The Damodar Ferro mine has the installed capacity to mine 75 tonnes an hour. From the start of its activities in 2009 until it interrupted production last year, the company exported about 23,000 tonnes of ore to China.

‘Jewel of Africa’

Resultado de imagem para hotel polanaResultado de imagem para hotel polanaKnown as the “Great Lady of Africa”, the Hotel Polana in Maputo is undergoing a major remodelling and will reopen in May with a new face. Work in the Polana Mar (Polana Sea), next to the gardens and the swimming pool, has been ongoing since June of last year and represents an investment of US$4 million (about EUR 3.7 million) by the Serena Hotels group, owner of the Polana Hotel since 2013 and whose main shareholder is the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development.The new Polana is being unveiled at the Tourism Exchange of Lisbon (BTL), which started yesterday and runs until March 19, underlining the fact that Portuguese visitors comprise the majority of guests at the Maputo hotel, where the country’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, likes to stay on his visits to Mozambique.
Resultado de imagem para hotel polanaResultado de imagem para hotel polanaWork at the Polana is not taking place on the main building, whose facade was renovated in 2011, but in the Polana Mar unit next to the gardens, which is being enlarged from 55 to 66 rooms, and differentiated in its style of decoration. In addition to personalized butler services, the Polana Mar will also have a ‘Kids Club’ to entertain younger ‘customers’.“The Polana is much more than a hotel. It is a 95-year-old institution through which many kings, queens and presidents have passed, as well as other public figures. Some call it ‘a state within the state’, and Samora Machel even called the Polana ‘the mirror of the nation’,” General Director Miguel Afonso dos Santos said at the Lisbon tourism fair.
Resultado de imagem para hotel polanaResultado de imagem para hotel polanaThe director stressed that any work on the hotel was critical and drew great attention because of “the emotional relationship that the hotel awakens in people. Everyone thinks it is a little bit theirs in some way; there are lots of people who have learned to swim in the Polana pool”.
In addition to the Polana Mar renovation, the group is investing US$5 million (EUR 4.7 million) in the construction of six 170-square-metre ocean view villas, bringing the group’s overall new investment in the Polana to US$9 million.“Mozambique at this moment generates mixed feelings. It is a country where there is no longer talk of conflict, and where much is happening,” Miguel Afonso dos Santos emphasizes, drawing attention to the tourism potential of a country “with 2,700 kilometers of coast, a people with a unique smile – and new lessons in humility every day”.

Tourists rose by five percent last year

Resultado de imagem para turismo moçambiqueThe number of tourists recorded as visiting Mozambique rose by about five per cent between 2015 and 2016, according to the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Silva Dunduru.Speaking at a Monday press conference in Maputo, announcing the “Welcome for Easter” campaign, addressed to tourists, mostly from South Africa, who will visit Mozambique over the Easter holidays, Dunduru said the number of international tourists in 2015 was 1,633,935, and the figure rose to 1,715,360 in 2016.But the amount of money invested in tourism undertakings fell substantially – from 193 million dollars in 2015, to 107.8 million dollars in 2016.
Resultado de imagem para Silva Dunduro
Nonetheless, Dunduru believed that the figures showed how tourism “has sufficient strength to affirm itself as a strategic area in the economic development of the country”.He believed that the official figures may underestimate the number of visitors to Mozambique. “There are tourists who come to Mozambique, but do not stay in hotels”, he said. “We cannot include these in the list of visitors”.Dunduru said that the government has recently approved measures making it easier for tourists to enter the country. A further 18 frontier posts are now allowed to issue entry visas. 
Resultado de imagem para turismo moçambiqueWould-be tourists no longer have to secure a visa in advance, but can obtain a border visa on arrival, good for two entries over a 30 day period. These “flexible procedures”, plus longer opening hours at several frontier posts, should help increase the number of tourists visiting Mozambique, said Dunduru.Dunduru said that within the African continent, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Swaziland accounted for 64 per cent of African tourists visiting the country. Outside Africa, the main countries of origin of tourists visiting Mozambique were Germany, Britain, Portugal, United States, Holland, France, Italy, India, Pakistan, Brazil and China.Dunduru said that measures are under way both to increase domestic tourism and to persuade foreign tourists to spend longer in the country. Currently the average length of stay of a foreign tourist is 16 days.


Resultado de imagem para Mozambique’s Azgo FestivalThe organisers of Mozambique’s Azgo Festival have announced the date and venue for this year’s musical celebration. The seventh edition of the festival will be held on 20 May at the Eduardo Mondlane University in the country’s capital Maputo.Featuring a variety of programmes such as music, art and culture, the festival will this year host South Africa’s Ray Phiri, Mozambican artists Lay Lizzy, Ghorwane, and Batuk, which is a collaboration between South African and Mozambican musicians, as well as Ghana’s Jojo Abot. The next batch of artists will be announced next week.Speaking to Music In Africa, Azgo Festival coordinator Jess White said the line-up would include acts from around the world. “Our line-up will feature more than 15 diverse and amazing artists from all genres, bringing acts from Mozambique, Brazil, Cape Verde, Ghana, Swaziland, Reunion Island, South Africa and Portugal to Maputo,” he said.White said the festival would send a message bent on addressing some of Africa’s social ills. “Azgo festival has always had a strong social message,” he said. “Over the past two years we have focused the theme on Say No to Xenophobia and Climate Change. Our festival theme for 2017 will be based around gender equality. As in previous years, Azgo will programme a strong line-up of female artists and representation across our production team.”White said Azgo Festival would continue to contribute to artistic and cultural development as well as to greater awareness of cultural issues in Southern Africa. The festival would also seek to bring together both emerging and well-known artists and involve local communities to create jobs.
Resultado de imagem para Mozambique’s Azgo Festival
This year’s festival has been reduced to one day due to the country’s economic challenges. “Since the 2016 festival, the economic situation in Mozambique has led Khuzula, the producer of Azgo Festival, to make the decision to reduce the festival to one day,” White said. “The Mozambican currency (meticais) has fallen to both the US dollar and the South African rand, which means that artist, production and logistics costs have risen quite drastically from previous years.”The organisers of the event said in a statement that the festival would traditionally feature other forms of arts.“From musicians, craftsmen and many other cultural makers, there will be space for everyone to dream and expand their horizons,” it said. “Speaking of dreams, the younger ones will also have a space dedicated to their imagination and creativity with the space Azgozito.”Tickets will be available online at Entradas and Computicket. Promotional tickets with a 50% discount can be purchased in advance before 20 March.

FIBA AfroBasket 2017

Resultado de imagem para moçambique basquetebolMozambique on Sunday became the fifth national team to book a place at the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 after completing a two-game win over Zimbabwe.After beating Zimbabwe 80-68 on Saturday, Mozambique came up even stronger outscoring the FIBA Africa Zone 6 Group H hosts 85-65.Tatenda Maturere averaged a team-high 21 points in two games, but Mozambique’s team effort proved too much. Octavio Magolico sparked his team with his 11.5 points per contest.In Sunday’s win, for instance, Mozambique led by as many as 31 points before securing their 10th straight FIBA AfroBasket appearance.They join African champions Nigeria, host Republic of Congo, Egypt and Uganda in this year’s FIBA AfroBasket, which will run from 19-30 August.Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will have a second chance of qualifying for Congo-Brazzaville if they beat the team that finishes second in the FIBA AfroBasket Group G qualifier, which consists of Angola, Zambia and South Africa.