Tokyo — Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Tuesday said that a surface metro system is one of the alternatives that his government is analyzing in order to solve the urban transport problems in the country's main cities.
He was speaking during a visit to the Yurikamome metro system which links downtown Tokyo to the waterfront area. The driverless, fully computerised trains, operated by the Tokyo Waterfront New Transport Corporation, run over a distance of 15 kilometres, and are used by over 160,000 passengers a day.
Nyusi received detailed explanations of how the system works, and took a ride in one of the carriages, which can travel at speeds of up to 60 kilometres an hour.
He said the government is looking at solutions to transport problems, but avoided expressing a preference for any particular model. “We must have a vision for the future”, he said.
Asked whether Mozambique is able to adopt high technology solutions, Nyusi said he was not aware of any solution that could not be applicable in Mozambique because of technological difficulties. He stressed it was important to solve in-depth problems, and not simply take “emergency measures”.
The solution to urban transport, the President said, is in the hands of private companies, and they should not be afraid of advanced technology, because all modern services are endowed with high technology.
In fact, the dream of a surface metro system in Maputo has already cost Mozambique dear. Under the previous government, headed by President Armando Guebuza, there was great enthusiasm about such a system, and a viability study was signed in 2011, involving the Italian company SALCEF, on the feasibility of a surface metro between Maputo and the neighbouring city of Matola.
But the project was cancelled, because the financial model proposed by SALCEF was supposedly too expensive for the Maputo and Matola municipalities. SALCEF then sued the Mozambican state through the Paris-based Arbitration Court of the International Chamber of Commerce.
The settlement reached, according to Mozambique's own Administrative Tribunal, in its analysis of the 2015 General State Account, was that Mozambique would have to pay SALCEF compensation of 6.5 million US dollars.