Maputo — Mozambique’s mineral resources are a vehicle through which the country could achieve its goal of poverty eradication, according to Octaviano Canuto, the deputy president of the World Bank for poverty reduction and economic management.
Speaking to reporters in Maputo on Monday, after an audience granted by Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina, Canuto said the World Bank is willing to support the Mozambican government in guaranteeing that the country’s abundance of resources becomes a blessing.
But he warned this would only be possible if Mozambique creates the internal capacity to manage public investments.
“Mozambique has good macro-economic management, which is an essential condition”, Canuto said. “Clearly this country is preparing to face challenges and opportunities typical of countries with natural wealth and resources, and we are willing to help, to deepen our partnership, since Mozambique is an important partner of the World Bank”.
The support Canuto had in mind consisted of “collaboration in forming the capacity to analyse projects, and to manage public investment”. He suggested that the greatest challenge facing Mozambique lies in improving its capacity to analyse what should be done with the income from natural resources”.
As for his meeting with Vaquina, Canuto said he was pleased with what he had heard. He said the Prime Minister demonstrated a promising strategic vision of the country. “It’s fantastic to see such promising clarity from people who are in a position to take basic decisions”, he declared.
Vaquina, he added, “spoke of what must be done for Mozambique to have a brilliant future, in which the wealth of mineral resources becomes the vehicle for definitively ending poverty and guaranteeing shared prosperity”.
The main purpose of Canuto’s visit is to assess the progress of projects financed by the World Bank. Currently the Mozambican government is implementing 18 projects in various sectors to which the World Bank has contributing funding of about 800 million US dollars.
A further three large projects, budgeted at 290 million dollars are in the pipeline for 2013. These are projects to expand water supply to the Greater Maputo Metropolitan Area (110 million dollars), to fight against coastal erosion (30 million dollars), and phase three of the road and bridge management and maintenance project (150 million dollars).