Mozambique News Agency

AIM Reports


No. 608, 20th April 2022




  • President determined to expand district courts
  • President calls for investment in Mocuba
  • Mozambique to export electricity to Botswana
  • Syrah Resources to build 11 megawatt solar power plant
  • TotalEnergies to build Dondo solar power plant
  • EDM awards power line construction work to India’s L&T
  • USAID launches climate resilience programmes
  • Ressano Garcia border opens 24 hours a day
  • General Director of STAE steps down
  • Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration programme to resume
  • MDM appoints new general secretary
  • Mariazinha Niquice re-elected OMM general secretary
  • Somali minister bans Mozambican diplomat
  • Labour Ministry wants swift compensation mechanisms for miners
  • EN1 rehabilitation to cost US$750 million


    President determined to expand district courts

    President Filipe Nyusi on 18 April reaffirmed that under the Presidential Initiative “One District, One Decent Building for the Court”, launched in May 2021, 31 district courts will be delivered across the country during this year.

    President Nyusi reiterated this commitment in the district of Mocuba, in the central province of Zambezia, where he inaugurated a new court building, budgeted at over 130 million meticais (US$2 million).

    The President pointed out that “under the initiative, we have planned to build 61 court facilities by 2023. We confirm that six are already operational and 31 others will be delivered by the end of the year, amounting to 37 courts in all, which is 61 per cent of the planned goal”.

    The new courtrooms, President Nyusi noted, are not intended to penalise the common citizen, but to ensure the economic development of Mocuba, which is prone to a wide range of conflicts such as land disputes, exploitation of natural resources, and trade or labour conflicts.

    President Nyusi said that the country’s development requires swift and accurate paperwork, which entails removing red tape. But the barriers to this, he added, include the obsolescence of existing legislation which is largely inadequate for the real needs of the country’s formal and informal economy, as most of the laws were drafted in line with a market reality different from the current one.

    Furthermore, the administration of justice remains sluggish despite the reforms over the last few years, initiated by the Supreme Court. Legal reforms, President Nyusi said, must turn Mozambique into a country with a modern legal framework aligned with the foremost tools of international law, which must be available in every sector.

    He also recommended the new courts take into account the possibility of the establishment of a judicial mediation service, which might contribute to mitigating the challenges the administration of justice has been facing to improve the business milieu across the country.

    “Mediation may alleviate the challenges caused by formal procedures, costs and other constraints hindering a timely access to justice,” President Nyusi stressed, urging magistrates and law officers to give their best to ensure access to justice for the majority of common citizens.

    President calls for investment in Mocuba

    During the ceremony, President Nyusi invited Mozambican and foreign businesses to exploit the multiple advantages of investing in Mocuba district, in the central province of Zambezia. President Nyusi declared that there is strong potential for investment in the textile industry, the construction of a dry port, the processing of minerals, agribusiness, logistics, and services.

    The President pointed out that industrialisation could drive the country’s wider development. “Mocuba covers a range of potential for the social and economic development of Mozambique, notably agriculture as the galvanising factor and main source of income for the rural population”, said the President. “It’s an area that offers opportunities for investment in the manufacturing industry, logistics, and services, notably the possibility of installing a dry port, while we await construction of the port of Macuse (on the Zambezia coast) which is capable of driving the development of this region”.

    He added that, because of its enormous potential, Mocuba was declared a special economic zone and an industrial free zone in 2014, with a range of customs and tax incentives to attract more investment.

    President Nyusi urged businesspeople to take advantage of the special status granted to Mocuba to generate jobs and income for young people.

    Mozambique to export electricity to Botswana

    Mozambique’s publicly owned electricity company, EDM, will provide 100 megawatts of non-firm power to Botswana, under a contract, valid for a year, signed on 14 April between EDM and the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC).

    The capacity agreed under the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) seeks to help meet the growing demand for electricity in Botswana. But the supply of power by EDM will be subject to a request by BPC, and the availability of surplus power from the Mozambican grid.

    At the signing ceremony in Gaborone, EDM chairperson Marcelino Alberto stressed the new opportunities for the energy market of SADC (Southern African Development Community), that will be created when the new gas-fired power station at Temane, in the southern Mozambican province of Inhambane, begins to operate.

    President Filipe Nyusi laid the first stone for the construction of this power station in March. The combined cycle Temane power station, fired by Mozambican natural gas, will generate 450 megawatts, making it the largest new source of electricity in Mozambique since independence in 1975.

    The electricity will feed the Mozambican power market, and the surplus will be exported. EDM’s strategy is to generate foreign currency for the country through the export of electricity and to consolidate Mozambique’s position as a regional pole for power generation.

    This is not the first time EDM has exported electricity to Botswana. It did so between 2003 and mid-2017. And in April 2019, it exported 70 megawatts to Gaborone for a period of five months.

    Under a second agreement signed during the state visit to Botswana by President Filipe Nyusi, Mozambique will import annually from Botswana two million doses of vaccine against foot-and-mouth disease.

    This agreement also envisages the genetic improvement of Mozambican cattle through artificial insemination and the training of Mozambican staff at Botswanan universities in the areas of livestock production and meat inspection.

    The Mozambican Deputy Agriculture Minister, Olegario Banze, told Radio Mozambique “This cooperation could increase production and productivity in the two countries, and meet the demands of the market”. Banze said that urban dietary habits “increasingly require more animal protein”.

    Syrah Resources to build 11 megawatt solar power plant

    The Australian mining company Syrah Resources has taken the Final Investment Decision to build an 11.25 megawatt solar plant to power its Balama graphite mine in the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado.

    Currently, the mine is powered by a diesel generator and the installation of the solar farm will cut diesel consumption by 35 per cent. According to Syrah, the project will “generate an attractive return on capital” given the low upfront capital costs and the savings on diesel. In addition, the solar plant will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced in the mining process by 12.5 per cent.

    The project is being implemented in partnership with Solar Century Africa Limited with funding provided by CrossBoundary Energy and

    The solar plant is expected to be operational by March 2023.

    Syrah’s open cast mine at Balama covers 106 square kilometres and is reported to hold the largest graphite reserves ever discovered. According to the company, the mine has an estimated lifespan of over fifty years.

    Syrah is also developing a facility in Louisiana, in the United States, for processing the graphite into Active Anode Material for use in electric car batteries. In December, the company signed a binding agreement to supply Active Anode Material to the prestigious car manufacturer Tesla.

    Some of the mine’s production is shipped from Nacala to China which has an overwhelming dominance in the production of Active Anode Material used in lithium-ion batteries for electric cars.

    TotalEnergies to build Dondo solar power plant

    The Mozambican government has selected the French multinational oil and gas giant TotalEnergies to develop a solar power plant in Dondo district in the central province of Sofala.

    The power station in Dondo, about 30 kilometres from the port city of Beira, is one of several initiatives developed by the Mozambican government to generate 200 megawatts from renewable energy sources by 2024.

    A press release issued on 6 April by Mozambique’s Energy Regulating Authority (AREN) states that five potential investors were pre-qualified, one of which subsequently dropped out. Thus, only four of the bidders upheld their interest. Of these, only two delivered viable technical proposals.

    After a thorough assessment by the multi-sector jury, TotalEnergies was regarded as the bidder with the best technical and financial proposal and granted the right to implement the project.

    The Government is committed to developing renewable energy projects and integrating them into the national power grid. Other solar power stations will be developed in Manje, in the central province of Tete, Lichinga in the northern Niassa province and a wind turbine cluster in the southern province of Inhambane.

    EDM awards power line construction work to India’s L&T

    Mozambique’s publicly owned electricity company, EDM, has awarded the construction of the interconnection power line with neighbouring Malawi to “Larsen & Toubro” (L&T), India’s infrastructure development company, which will execute the part of the work that falls within Mozambican territory, according to a report in the daily newspaper “Noticias” on 12 April.

    The work, which will start from the Matambo electricity substation in the central province of Tete, will consist of the construction of a 142 kilometre 400 kilovolt transmission line to Zobue on the border with Malawi.

    According to EDM, the construction of the power line within Mozambique will cost over US$35 million. The new substation in Matambo, with a 400KV capacity, budgeted at US$21 million, has been awarded to the “Sinohidro-Cepco1” consortium.

    Within Malawi, the power interconnection project between the two countries was launched late in 2021 by President Filipe Nyusi and his Malawian counterpart Lazarus Chakwera. The power supply will come from the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi River and will boost Malawi’s development projects.

    The Matambo-Phombeya line is the country’s second most important project after the MOTRACO powerline that interconnects Mozambique, Eswatini and South Africa. The ultimate goal, over the next 15 years, is to integrate Malawi within the regional power network.

    USAID launches climate resilience programmes

    The US Government on 19 April announced the launch of two programmes to improve Mozambican farmers’ ability to respond to and recover from climate shocks and stresses. These will be funded through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

    According to a press release from the US Embassy, the two-year programmes will be run in coordination with local and provincial government authorities and “improve agricultural productivity, diversify economic opportunities, and strengthen early warning and action systems in disaster-affected, climate-stressed communities of Gaza Province”. The programmes “emphasise women and young farmers, two groups who often have less access to agricultural resources and services”.

    One programme, the Farmer Resilience and Rebuilding Initiative, will support 4,400 smallholder farmers in Gaza’s Chokwe and Guija districts “by running field schools for farmers with a curriculum tailored to local context, and creating a network of rural entrepreneurs that advise farmers on topics ranging from business management to the use of water-smart technologies”. In addition, said the release, “the training stresses the importance of how shared responsibilities and decision-making between women and men can increase incomes”.

    The second programme, Promoting Resilience through the Empowerment of Women Initiative, implemented by the NGO Save the Children, provides training to farmers in sustainable production practices that enrich the soil, protect crops, and improve the quality and quantity of yields. The programme also supports village-based savings and loan groups to increase smallholder farmers’ access to financing”. In addition, said the release, the programme works with district officials and community leaders to develop early action plans that protect crops, fields, and livestock before disasters hit. These activities will benefit approximately 75 communities in Gaza province, reaching more than 54,000 Mozambicans.

    According to USAID Mozambique Mission Director Helen Pataki, “by helping build skills, diversify economic opportunities, and increase access to resources, these programmes allow farmers and their communities to not only recover from lean periods but also improve yields and prepare for the future”.

    USAID will provide US$5.5 million for these two programmes over the next two years.

    Ressano Garcia border opens 24 hours a day

    The Ressano Garcia border post on the Mozambican border with South Africa on 13 April began operating 24 hours a day, boosting the influx of migration and the clearance of commodities. It is expected that this will promote socio-economic development between the two countries within the framework of regional integration.

    The adoption of the 24-hour schedule is among the decisions taken by the Mozambican President, Filipe Nyusi, and his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, during the third session of the Binational Commission, held in March in the South African capital, Pretoria.

    At peak periods, such as the Easter and Christmas holiday seasons, the country’s busiest border with South Africa will operate under a one-stop post regime. Within South Africa, all the services will be delivered from “Kilometre Seven” in Komatipoort, while within Mozambique they will be delivered at “Kilometre Four”.

    Speaking to reporters, shortly after the launch, the Permanent Secretary of Mozambique’s Ministry of the Interior, Victor Canhemba, said that the decision to operate the border post for 24 hours a day is another milestone in the historic relations of cooperation between the peoples and governments of the two countries. “As a matter of fact, this move, with great political and historic value, portrays the excellent relations and peaceful friendship between the two people, with common values,” Canhemba said.

    Canhemba stated that the 24-hour regime will contribute significantly to reducing the overcrowding recorded mostly during holiday seasons, thus cutting considerably the time migrants, tourists, and businesspeople have to wait.

    The South African Border Management Authority (BMA) Commissioner, Nakampe Masiapato, said that the move will facilitate the movement of goods from various industries within the two countries.

    The border post records every year the influx of nearly 2.6 million people and about 700,000 vehicles transporting people and goods.

    General Director of STAE steps down

    Felisberto Naife, the general director of Mozambique’s Electoral Administration Technical Secretariat (STAE) has stepped down after 15 years at the helm of the Mozambican electoral apparatus.

    There will now be a public tender to select a new director general. According to a report in the daily newspaper “Noticias” on 18 April, while the tender documents are being prepared STAE will operate under the leadership of the two assistant general directors, who were appointed to those positions by the two largest political parties, the ruling Frelimo Party and the main opposition party Renamo.

    STAE is the executive body of the National Elections Commission (CNE). The CNE takes the main decisions and STAE, represented in every Mozambican district during electoral periods, must implement them. In particular, STAE must organise the nuts and bolts of voter registration and must run all the many thousands of polling stations needed on election day.

    The new STAE general director must begin work almost immediately on preparations for the municipal elections scheduled for October 2023. This includes installing provincial elections commissions and provincial branches of STAE, to be followed, within a month, by the establishment of the commissions in those districts that contain municipalities.

    The initial estimate is that the municipal elections will cost 9.7 billion meticais (US$151 million). Of this sum, 3.2 billion meticais will be spent this year on preparations, and the rest in 2023, including the voting itself and the proclamation of results.

    Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration programme to resume

    President Filipe Nyusi and Ossufo Momade, the leader of the country’s main opposition party Renamo, on 5 April in Maputo agreed to resume the Disarmament, Demobilisation, and Reintegration (DDR) programme in a bid to close the last five Renamo military bases and create the necessary conditions for the remaining guerrillas to return home.

    Under the DDR, since 2021 over 820 former Renamo guerrillas have already been demobilised and integrated into various communities.

    A press release issued by President Nyusi’s office stated that the two leaders have also reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring that the National Peace and Reconciliation Agreement signed on 6 August 2019 is fully implemented.

    At their meeting, the two leaders also acknowledged the support granted by diplomatic and development partners as well as the private sector, which contributed significantly to the recent progress in the reintegration into society of former Renamo fighters.

    MDM appoints new general secretary

    The National Council of the Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM), the country’s second largest opposition party, meeting in the central city of Chimoio on 10 April, appointed Leonor de Sousa as its general secretary. She replaces Jose Domingos who had held the post since 2018. The 58 year old Sousa has been a member of MDM since it was founded in 2009.

    Immediately after her appointment, she told reporters “we are going to make MDM a more dynamic and participatory party”. The main challenges facing the party, she said, were the preparations for the municipal elections scheduled for October 2023 and the presidential and parliamentary elections the following year.

    MDM states it will run a full slate of candidates for the assemblies in all 53 municipalities. Currently, it only controls one municipality, Beira. It lost its former stronghold of Quelimane in 2018 when the mayor, Manuel de Araujo, defected to the larger opposition party Renamo.

    Addressing the meeting, MDM President Lutero Simango called for an end to hostilities within the party. “Differences of opinion should not mean contradiction or conflict and should not be used to foment a climate of internal hostilities or feed divisions”, he said. One of the purposes of the National Council meeting, said Simango, was to cement cohesion “on the basis of a single agenda, putting MDM in first place”.

    The meeting brought together 150 delegates and guests from all the provinces and elected a new 14 member National Council.

    MDM was founded by Simango’s younger brother and mayor of Beira, Daviz Simango, who died of illness in February 2021. Lutero Simango was elected to lead the party at a Congress held in December.

    Mariazinha Niquice re-elected OMM general secretary

    Mariazinha Niquice, the general secretary of the Organisation of Mozambican Women (OMM), which is affiliated with the ruling Frelimo Party, was elected on 11 April unopposed for a second five year term of office.

    She was re-elected at the fifth OMM Congress, by the 194 delegates of the OMM National Council. All the delegates voted for Niquice, and there were no blank or spoiled ballots.

    In addition to Niquice, three members of the secretariat of the OMM National Council were also elected, namely, Regina Macuacua, Pascoa Juliao, and Julita Juma.

    At the opening session of the Congress, on 8 April, OMM President, First Lady Isaura Nyusi, pledged that OMM will mobilise the population massively to vote for Frelimo in the October 2023 municipal elections and the presidential and parliamentary elections of the following year. She said that the recently achieved gender parity in the government (where 11 ministers are women and 11 are men) was the result of “the merit, self-esteem and determination” of Mozambican women, and the commitment of President Filipe Nyusi in matters related to gender.

    “We members and sympathisers of OMM restate that we shall continue to work for a strong and massive mobilisation to carry Frelimo and its candidates to an overwhelming victory in the coming elections”, declared Isaura Nyusi.

    The promise to guarantee victory for Frelimo was echoed by former Prime Minister Luisa Diogo who declared that among Frelimo’s “social organisations”, OMM is present throughout the country and so is best placed to meet the challenge of ensuring electoral victory.

    Somali minister bans Mozambican diplomat

    The Somali Minister of Security, Abdullahi Mohmed Nuur, has barred the representative of the African Union, senior Mozambican diplomat Francisco Madeira, from entering the country. Noor has ordered security agencies at Mogadishu International Airport not to allow Madeira into the country. He also instructed the Somali immigration authorities to revoke Madeira’s visa.

    On 7 April, the Somali Prime Minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble, declared Madeira persona non grata and accused him of committing “actions incompatible with his status”. He was given 48 hours to leave the country.

    But Somali President Mohammed Abdullahi Farmaajo rejected the accusation and described the attempted expulsion of Madeira as “an illegal act”. He pointed out that only the President has the authority to expel a foreign diplomat.

    The President of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, reaffirmed his total confidence in Madeira. There thus seemed little or no chance of the AU caving in to pressure from Roble and recalling Madeira.

    The general feeling among political analysts is that Madeira has fallen victim to the bitter feuding between Roble and Farmaajo, who have long been at each other’s throats

    Labour Ministry wants swift compensation mechanisms for miners

    The Minister of Labour, Margarida Talapa, on 13 April in Maputo stressed the need to adopt swift compensation mechanisms for occupational lung disease among former and active duty miners in the South African mines.

    Addressing the opening session of a Mozambique and South Africa Multi-sector workshop on Compensation for Occupational Diseases among Mozambican miners, Talapa said that, under the common ground reached between authorities in both countries, the Compensation Commission for Occupational Diseases of South Africa paid 1,593 beneficiaries in 2019 for diseases and social welfare. Talapa revealed that this “resulted in the payment of over 800 million meticais (US$12.5 million) and during the same period 1,034 complaints were delivered to the Compensation Commission for Occupational Diseases and are presently awaiting an answer”.

    Across the Southern African region, Mozambique is home to about 10 per cent of former miners who worked in South Africa, amounting to nearly 100,000 people. There are currently 21,850 Mozambicans working in the South African mines.

    “One of the great priorities of the Mozambican government is ensuring improved health to both former and working miners as well as answering their legitimate concerns” Talapa pointed out, adding that the Labour Ministry, in partnership with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), started in 2018, a screening drive for occupational diseases, through the Health Centre in Ressano Garcia, on the border with South Africa, and in Xai-Xai, capital of Gaza province.

    A press release issued on 12 April by the Ministry indicates that over 1,500 people working in South African mines have been screened since 2020 by the Health Centre for Occupational Diseases operated by IOM, at the Ressano Garcia border. The release also states that at least 1,500 Mozambican miners working in South Africa have been diagnosed with silicosis, an occupational lung disease caused by the inhalation of crystalline silica dust.

    EN1 rehabilitation to cost US$750 million

    Mozambique estimates that the rehabilitation and maintenance of the country’s main south-north highway (EN1) will cost about US$750 million. According to the Minister of Public Works, Carlos Mesquita, the government has been mobilising funds from the World Bank and expects the first disbursement (US$450 million) to be made available in April so that work can begin on some critical stretches of a road. In particular, the World Bank funds will cover the rehabilitation of the stretches from Pambara to the Save River in the southern province of Inhambane; from the Save to Inchope between Inhambane and Manica provinces; from Inchope to Caia, on the south bank of the Zambezi River, within Manica and Sofala provinces; from Caia to Nicoadala between Sofala and Zambezia provinces; and from Metoro to Pemba in Cabo Delgado province.

    Mesquita pointed out that these stretches need far-reaching intervention, and other sections of the EN1 also demand rehabilitation. Besides the EN1, the National Roads Fund has been mobilising funds for the construction of bridges such as the one connecting Gaza and Manica provinces.

    Mesquita has also guaranteed that the construction of the 13 toll gates along EN1 will be finished by June. The recruitment and selection of the staff for the three toll gates within Inhambane province (at Nhacundela, Malova and Mapinhane) has already been concluded.

    The public tender, launched in 2021, envisages the construction of 13 tolls under the user-payer approach intended to ensure revenue generation for the periodic maintenance of EN1.


    email: Mozambique News Agency