Maputo — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced in Maputo on Tuesday that Russia will make 144 million US dollars available to be invested in development projects in Mozambique.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Mozambican counterpart, Oldemiro Baloi, Lavrov said the money “will be used in projects regarded as priorities for economic development in accordance with the Mozambican government’s strategic development plan”.
One of these priority areas is the training of human resources so that Mozambicans can participate actively in the exploitation of hydrocarbons and other natural resources.
“Russia intends to take part in projects to exploit mineral resources in Mozambique”, announced Lavrov. “We have many Russian companies interested in investing in mining, as well as in agriculture, transport and communications”.
He added that the Russian companies will initiate direct contacts with their Mozambican counterparts to determine in what areas and projects they can operate “Only after this can the businesses define areas of intervention and we can advance”, he said.
For his part, Baloi described his talks with the Russian minister as positive. “We spoke of areas of common interest, namely training, defence and mineral resources”, he said. “As regards training, Mozambique needs the human capacity to implement the projects that are multiplying in the country”.
One of the businesses accompanying Lavrov has already reached a deal with a Mozambican partner. The Renova Group, one of the major Russian high technology companies, signed on Tuesday a partnership agreement with the company Multinet-Mozambique with the aim of exploiting the national and southern African market for broad band and fibre-optic internet and television services.
The Multinet Group describes itself as “an international group of telecommunication companies that operate networks in Asia and Africa”, targeting markets “where high demand for telecom services coexists with limited infrastructure”.
Multinet-Mozambique was set up in 2007, with the participation of Multinet-Russia, and claims to be developing a network infrastructure in the country.
Tuesday’s partnership agreement envisages Renova investing between 30 and 50 million euros (between 40.3 and 67.2 million US dollars).
Multinet-Russia and the Renova Group will work together to penetrate the broad band market through Multinet-Mozambique.
Viacheslav Yakunin of Renova said at the ceremony that Russian companies are convinced that the political and economic situation in Mozambique is stable, and that “very attractive” conditions have been created for foreign investors.
“The companies are interested in this project”, he continued, “because there is the possibility of complementing the experience of each of them, and creating the conditions that will allow them to provide a range of high quality services to all market segments”.
“Our idea is that by united technologies, we can bring a product that is completely different from those of our competitors”, said Yakunin. “If we are successful, we shall multiply this experience throughout the southern African region, but based on Mozambique”.