Maputo — Mozambican Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi declared on Thursday that the Joint Cooperation Commission between Mozambique and Zambia should ensure a qualitative leap in projects involving the two countries.
Speaking at the opening of a meeting of the Commission in Maputo, Baloi said the body should seek to reach understandings that speed up joint initiatives in transport and communications, industry and trade, tourism and education.
Health, energy, water resources, mineral resources and natural disasters were other areas of potential cooperation that the commission should investigate, Baloi added
“We are certain that the international economic moment requires from us joint action, a redoubling of initiatives, and the acceleration of appropriate options that can help satisfy the longings of our peoples and respond to the challenges of development”, said Baloi.
Turning to the situation in the SADC (Southern African Development Community) region, he stressed the importance of pooling efforts in favour of peace and stability in the region, still endangered by crises in Madagascar, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Zimbabwe.
Peace and stability, he warned, are “the essential conditions without which we cannot achieve the objectives of our regional integration”.
His Zambian counterpart, Effron Lungu, said Zambia wants to use the Commission to promote common interests and aspirations.
“Our meeting is clear witness of our desire to improve and expand cooperation between our countries”, he sais.
“Let us show our people that the Joint Commission can ensure accelerated and effective implementation of the programmes and projects approved in our discussions”.
Lungu recognised that, since the last commission meeting, progress has been made in implementing its decision, as shown by the signing of bilateral agreements in air services and in tourism, and memoranda of understanding in such areas as disaster management, establishing a Mozambique-Zambia Chamber of Commerce, science and technology, mining and education.
The ministerial meeting was preceded by two days of discussion between experts assessing the stage of cooperation between Mozambique and Zambia since the last Commission meeting held in 2009 in Lusaka.