Maputo — Mozambique and Australia on Thursday signed in the Australian capital, Canberra, a partnership agreement on mining development.
The agreement was signed by Mozambican Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi, and the secretary for foreign affairs of the Australian parliament, Richard Marles, at a ceremony witnessed by Mozambican President Armando Guebuza and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Speaking at a press conference, Baloi explained that the agreement is aimed at developing the mining sector in Mozambique, and one of its essential components is institutional capacity building and the training of human capital.
“As a country, we want to make maximum use of the experience of Australia”, he said. “If we look attentively at the history of this country, we note that about a century ago it was in the same situation as Mozambique today – with great potential resources, but not yet translating those resources into wealth”.
Baloi said that Australia had undergone a successful trajectory from which Mozambique could learn a great deal.
He added that the government wants the wealth generated by the exploitation of mineral resources to benefit all Mozambicans. But for this to be possible, the training component was very important “so that Mozambicans themselves may exploit what they will benefit from”.
In a joint communiqué issued in Canberra, the two countries expressed their satisfaction at the growing ties between Mozambique and Australia, including in international matters that concern both of them, such as climate change and food security.
Julia Gillard took the opportunity to thank Mozambique for supporting Australia in its bid for a seat as a non-permanent member on the United Nations Security Council for the period 2013/2014.
The communiqué said that Guebuza and Gillard had discussed strengthening bilateral cooperation, including in water supply, sanitation, agriculture, and the granting of scholarships for Mozambicans to study at Australian universities.
The two governments also agreed to encourage private businesses in the two countries to deepen trade and investment ties.