The World Bank will soon make available US$380 million for the improvement of infrastructure linking Malawi and Mozambique, as part of industrial incentives for the two countries.
The fund will be used to improve transport logistics from the port of Nacala for agricultural products from the production areas to the markets of the two countries.
Announcing the news this Tuesday, October 18, in Nacala, Minister of Transport and Communications Mateus Magala said that the funding is intended to promote industrialization for sustainable and modern development between both nations.
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“US$150 million will be for Malawi, and the remaining US$230 million for Mozambique. These amounts will bring more possibilities and help make the corridor a resource not only for transit and cargo, but also for industrialization,” the minister said, quoted by Rádio Moçambique.
Minister Magala was speaking at the end of a joint visit to railway and port infrastructure in Nacala by the Malawian ministers of Transport and Public Works, and of Land and Urban Planning.
The World Bank financing was approved in April last year, but with a broader vision encompassing more countries in the region.
According to the World Bank document, the financing also aims to increase regional trade coordination, reduce trade costs and time, develop regional value chains and improve access to infrastructure.
The World Bank’s Director of Regional Integration for Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Deborah Wetzel, stated, when announcing the funding, that the project would also benefit the local communities of the two countries through investments that will facilitate trade, regional coordination and diversified economic opportunities along the Nacala and Beira corridors connecting Mozambique to Malawi, and along the Maputo Corridor, which connects Mozambique to South Africa through Ponta do Ouro.
“Regional integration can play an important role in helping Southern Africa recover sustainably from the current economic crisis. We are pleased to support Mozambique and Malawi in building upon recent regional infrastructure developments by working on reducing trade costs and improving their competitiveness. The project’s support for developing regional value chains could drive the creation of jobs and more incomes for communities,” Ms Wetzel said.
For the World Bank, by improving trade competitiveness and regional connectivity, the project will also help to reduce the cost of importing goods, consequently reducing prices for consumers.