The Icelandic government announced on Thursday that it is ending its development aid to Mozambique, according to a report carried by the independent television station, STV.
The Icelandic charge d’affaires, Vilhjalmur Wiium, made the announcement at a ceremony in the town of Chokwe, in the southern province of Gaza, where President Filipe Nyusi inaugurated an Aquaculture Research Centre (CEPAQ). The Centre was financed by six million US dollars provided by the governments of Norway and Iceland.
Wiium announced the decision to end Iceland’s aid regretfully, and expressed concern for the future of CEPAQ, particularly its funding and its management. He gave no reasons for the Icelandic decision.
Iceland’s cooperation with Mozambique dates back to 1995, and has been concentrated mainly in fisheries and in water and sanitation. The second phase of the Mozambican government’s Fisheries Master Plan, supported by Norway and Iceland, was scheduled to run from 2013 to 2017.
CEPAQ covers an area of 14 hectares, including laboratories, and tanks for production and experimentation. It includes a unit for the genetic improvement of species of farmed fish.
Although Chokwe district, located on the Limpopo river, has a long history of severe flooding, the National Fisheries Research Institute (INIP), which is responsible for the management of CEPAQ guaranteed that the premises are protected against inundation by means of a drainage channel.
The Centre should produce annually about a million fingerlings of genetically improved tilapia, and this figure should rise to a maximum of three million fingerlings a year. CEPAQ will provide its fingerlings to both commercial and family fish farmers.