from ARMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – THE end of the insurgency in the resources-rich northern Mozambique, anticipated after the country secured pledges of foreign assistance and following prospects of dialogue, is poised to accelerate industrial development in Southern Africa.
Projects that are set to resume in the area would provide job opportunities and increase energy generation in the region suffering epileptic power supplies.
This will subsequently spur Mozambique’s and fellow Southern African countries’ ambitions to grow their economies.
Recently, the European Union (EU) agreed to provide assistance to contain the wave of attacks by Islamist groups in the Cabo Delgado Province.
The support from the European bloc will be in the form of logistics training as well as medical support.
“This is a boon for the economy, which like most others is also dealing with the debilitating effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19),” Neville Mandimika and Daniel Kavishe of the Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) stated.
Mandimika is the Africa Strategist in the Global Markets division. Kavishe is the Economist for Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Mozambican region under attack by the Ansar al-Sunna, which has links to the Islamic State, is endowed with some of the world’s richest gas fields.
They were discovered about 40km off the Cabo Delgado coast in 2011.
The outbreak of the militancy in Cabo Delgado has hindered the exploitation of the resource.
Companies and workers operating in the region have fallen victim to the spate of attacks that has left an estimated 2 500 people dead and 300 000 others forced to flee their homes.
Dialogue with the insurgents has also been proposed as a solution to the deadly terror.
“A solution must be found fast, for the inhabitants of Cabo Delgado, and to ensure the economic development plans can go ahead,” Liesl Louw-Vaudran, Senior Researcher and Project Leader (Southern Africa) at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), stated.
Louw-Vaudran, on the institute’s website, said given the huge potential in Mozambique and the dire need for jobs in the region, no efforts should be spared to contain the insurgency and tackle the root causes that drove Africans to join extremist groups.
“With the economic repercussions of COVID-19, no opportunity for job creation in Africa should go to waste,” the researcher stated.
Florival Mucave, Executive Chairman of the Mozambique Oil and Gas Chamber, expressed belief the Mozambican government of President Filipe Nyusi,
in partnership with civil society and international community, would reach a durable peaceful solution for the viable exploitation of natural gas in Cabo Delgado.
The oil and executive believes creating employment opportunities could, at least, make it more difficult for extremist groups and terrorist organisations to recruit our young people.
“Therefore, harnessing our natural gas resources to grow our economy is a sustainable solution,” Mucave said.
Macave added the exploitation of gas could transform Mozambique from a Least Developed Country to a new era of widespread economic growth and stability.
This, hopefully, would help the Southern African country rid its tag synonymous with endemic droughts, floods and widespread poverty.
– CAJ News