Photo Credit Notícias: (L-R)Portugal’s Prime Minister, António Costa and President of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi
2 Sep 2022
Portugal’s prime minister, António Costa, announced on Thursday a 40% increase in the funds allocated to projects under the Strategic Cooperation Programme with Mozambique, representing more than €90 million.
“Within the scope of this summit, we can reinforce the amount of the next Strategic Cooperation Programme [PEC] 2022-2026, which is the foundation of our strategic partnership between Mozambique and Portugal and will thus have a 40% increase in the funds dedicated to programmes, projects and actions, which will exceed €90 million,” he announced.
Costa made this announcement in Maputo at a press conference at the end of a meeting with the president of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, as part of the 5th Luso-Moçambican Summit.
The PEC, signed in November 2021, is for five years. Costa said it “will focus on traditional areas of sovereignty, such as defence, justice, internal administration,” and “deepens and renews cooperation in the strategic areas of education and health.
Indicating that until 2021 the PEC “spent €135 million”, Costa added that the new framework foresees “€185 million”.
Considering that the future “necessarily involves strengthening economic relations,” Costa also said that as part of the 5th Luso-Moçambican Summit, “two instruments to support business investment in Mozambique, the business fund for cooperation and the specific programme for business investment in Mozambique,” would be reviewed and modernised.
Costa added that, on the sidelines of the summit, the “Lusophone Compact” would be signed, a programme through which Portugal will provide guarantees of €400 million in funding from the African Development Bank for business investment in the community of Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP).
The Portuguese prime minister also noted two other protocols that would be signed on Friday and that “aim to strengthen the development potential of the Cabo Delgado region,” with the installation of “a research centre dedicated to gas and oil and a vocational training programme in the area of gas, which will be aimed at around 1,200 young Mozambicans.
“We are fighting terrorism not only from a military and humanitarian point of view but also from the point of view of the region’s development,” he noted.
Costa considered that Mozambique “has enormous potential from an agricultural point of view”.
“And if humanity faces a huge challenge in its energy transition, it faces no less of a challenge from the point of view of food security, and so diversification, increase and quality of food is an ever greater challenge and where Mozambique has a decisive role,” he told reporters.
The governments of Portugal and Mozambique signed six cooperation protocols on Thursday as part of the 5th Luso-Moçambican Summit in education, heritage rehabilitation, technical and operational skills of the Mozambican security forces and services, justice and agriculture.
“On all fronts, from the point of view of political cooperation, military cooperation in the fight against terrorism, development in the area of health or education, or from the point of view of economic relations, this 5th summit will certainly be a significant milestone in our relations,” Costa said.
Drawing a picture of the situation in Mozambique compared to the last summit in 2019, the prime minister said that the country “has a new framework, frankly favourable to investment,” particularly by Portuguese companies, with the resumption of financial support from the International Monetary Fund (after the hidden debts’ scandal) and the retreat of terrorism.
Photo Credit: Domingo