After 15 days of consultation and meetings with various government entities, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) delegation said it was returning to Washington with clear ideas about the difficulties, needs and concerns of the Government of Mozambique, within the scope of the implementation of the MCC’s ‘Compact 2’.
Executive director of the MCC for Mozambique, Kenneth Miller, said, at the end of the MCC delegation’s farewell visit to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, that the mission to Mozambique was very fruitful, and he was sure that much could be done as regards cooperation between Mozambique and the United States of America.
“In the visit we made, we had time to work with the Compact 2 Development Office, to listen in detail to the interests of the Mozambican government on investment programmes in the areas of agriculture and rural roads. We had the opportunity to speak with various ministries, and hear the ideas, opportunities and difficulties, so we will return to Washington with very well-organised ideas,” said Miller, adding that the objective of this programme was to improve the lives of Mozambicans and reduce poverty levels.
On the occasion, the choice of Zambézia province as the focus of ‘Compact 2’ was confirmed, as it has potential in the agricultural area, but also because it presents challenges in terms of rural transport infrastructure.
“MCC is ready to support the Government of Mozambique in the areas and locations identified by it. In meetings with the various ministries, several potential areas were identified for us to develop projects that will help to reduce poverty,” Kenneth Miller explained.
Although various aspects of ‘Compact 2’ have moved forward, the MCC remains undecided on the amount of funding to be made available.
“Financing amounts for projects supported by MCC are around between US$350 and US$400 million, but nothing has yet been decided. This amount could be higher or lower, depending on the justification and on it being adequate for the priorities and needs of the country,” Miller explained.
With ‘Compact 2’ financing almost certain for the agricultural and transport areas, the Government of Mozambique hopes to improve the lives of the population, not only in the province of Zambézia, but also, by replicating positive results, in the surrounding regions.
The national coordinator of the ‘Compact 2’ Development Office, Higino de Marule, sees the programme as an opportunity to attract more investment in the areas of agriculture and rural infrastructure.
“From meetings held with various sectors, such as the Ministry of Public Works and Housing and of Transport and Communications, we learned about the needs for rehabilitation and, eventually, construction of some port infrastructure in the country. As regards Zambézia province, the focus of ‘Compact 2’, we can identify the port of Macuse, which can be used to export agricultural products to various parts of the world,” De Marule said. He added that ‘Compact 2’ was an opportunity to open up in the country, and that the MCC could complement measures if it sees fit, or even build new infrastructure that would facilitate the transport of products.
Minister of Economy and Finance, Adriano Maleiane, thanked the MCC for the visit, and for the opportunity for Mozambique to, once again, benefit from funding from the US Government, which, he said, signalled confidence in the way in which the country had managed the funds made available under ‘Compact 1’.
By Inalcide Uamusse