Maputo — South Korea has pledged a technical package equivalent to 18 million US dollars to finance the construction and equipping of technical and professional schools in the northern Mozambican provinces of Niassa and Nampula, and in Zambezia in the centre of the country.
The agreement is in line with the Mozambican government's plans to boost technical education, particularly in order to provide Mozambican staff who have the skills to work in the rapidly expanding mining and hydrocarbon sectors.
The loan agreement was signed in Maputo on Thursday by Finance Minister Manuel Chang, and the Deputy President of the Korean Exim Bank, Byun Sang Wan. The two governments also signed a memorandum of understanding and an agreement on importing Korean experiences to Mozambique.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Mozambican Prime Minister Aires Ali, and by his Korean counterpart, Kin Hwang-Sik, who has been visiting the country since Wednesday.
Chang said the agreement on technical training had been negotiated in 2011. As with all such agreements, it will take effect after it has been approved by the Council of Ministers (Cabinet), and after the Attorney-General's Office has given its legal opinion. Chang assumed this would take around 60 days, though he pledged that the government would do all in its power to shorten the time "because we are very interested in carrying through this project".
As for the agreement on importing Korean experiences, Chang said "We know that Korea is a country which has had success in implementing reforms. 50 years ago Korea was worse off than we are now, but the reforms undertaken led to Korea's current stage of development".
Mozambique was thus very interested, he added, in studying Korean development, and to ensure an exchange of information and knowledge with Korea.
As for Mozambican hydrocarbons, Change said there are Korean companies working on the ground, and Mozambique is interested in increasing investment in this sector.