Mozambique: Grant From Holland for Zambezi Valley

Maputo — Mozambique's Minister of Planning ad Development, Aiuba Cuereneia, said in Thursday that the government's approach to the Zambezi Valley is to guarantee speedy and sustainable development, in order to guarantee food security, and growth in household incomes.

According to a press release from his ministry, Cuereneia said these goals would be achieved through the sustainable use of natural resources, and the preservation of the environmental balance.

He was speaking in Maputo at the signing of an agreement with the Dutch government, under which Holland will provide a grant of 13.8 million euros (17.5 million US dollars) intended for institutional capacity building and technical assistance for Mozambique's Zambezi Valley Development Agency.

"The Zambezi Valley, very well known for its extremely rich natural resources, particularly in agriculture, energy and minerals, is a region to which the government is continuing to channel its best efforts, seeking to transform the immense potential that exists there into wealth for the benefit of Mozambicans", said Cuereneia.

For her part, Dutch ambassador Frederique de Man said her government is enthusiastic about the development opportunities presented by the Zambezi Valley.

"The diversified context (governmental and private) in which the Development Agency can operate, and the conditions established by the Mozambican government so that the Agency can be financially self-sustaining, have convinced us to enter this innovative and relevant programme", she said.

"We have our gaze fixed on the valley", she added, "and we hope to see soon, in addition to the trains carrying coal, other trains carrying grain, vegetables and other riches of the land to supply the country, and also for export".

The Zambezi Valley Development Agency covers the entire Zambezi basin within Mozambique, with an area of about 228,000 square kilometres, and five million inhabitants.

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