Jakarta — The Mozambican government regards the summit in Jakarta of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) as a moment for reaffirming the importance of the organization in strengthening cooperation between the member states, according to Albertina Macdonald, Director for International Organisations and Conferences in the Mozambican Foreign Ministry.
She was speaking to reporters outside the meeting of senior officials who are preparing the IORA Heads of State summit, at which Mozambique will be represented by President Filipe Nyusi.
The summit is a special occasion, Macdonald said, since it will mark the 20th anniversary of the creation of the IORA. “As one of the founder members of IORA”, she added, “Mozambique is reaffirming its importance in strengthening cooperation between its member states and other partners with interests in the Indian Ocean, so that we can advance with agendas such as the blue economy, sustainable development, and making marine resources profitable. Cross-cutting actions such as eco-tourism and the empowerment of women are also part of the IORA agenda”.
Among the priorities for Mozambique, Macdonald said, is cooperation in fisheries. Mozambique is seeking assistance from IORA in terms of training, both in fisheries and in other areas of interest to the country. There are also two cooperation projects in agriculture that are just starting.
One question on the IORA agenda, Macdonald said, “is how to protect ourselves from the impact of natural disasters. We have had phenomena such as tsunamis and oil spills, among others. And we must also not forget that, as coastal countries, we are subject to rises in sea level, which are already visible”. Sea level rise, caused by climate change, was particularly a threat in the central Mozambican province of Sofala, and its capital, Beira.
During the summit, according to a statement from Nyusi's office, the Mozambican President will be one of the main speakers at the Third Session of the IORA Business Forum, to be held under the motto “Towards Sustainable and Equitable Growth in the Indian Ocean Rim”.
The participants at this forum will show the business potential which their countries possess and will seek to attract investments.
Nyusi is also expected to meet with his Indonesia counterpart, Joko Widodo, and with Indonesian business people interested in investing and establishing partnerships in Mozambique.
Among the priority matters on the summit agenda are maritime security, the facilitation of trade and investment, fisheries management, disaster management, academic, scientific and technological cooperation, as well as tourism cooperation and cultural interchanges.