Maputo — The Mozambican government is seeking to mobilise over 760 million US dollars to finance integrated development projects in the three northern provinces of Cabo Delgado, Niassa and Nampula.
Speaking on Monday in the Cabo Delgado provincial capital of Pemba, where he launched the Integrated Development Agency of the North (ADIN), Nyusi said ADIN already possesses a fund of 1.75 billion meticais (about 24.6 million dollars, at current exchange rates), to finance the acquisition of kits for agricultural production, fisheries, infrastructures and small processing units.
ADIN is now, he added, "in the process of mobilising resources to the value of 764 million dollars from multilateral and bilateral partners to finance development programmes that respond to the strategy being discussed at this event.
All three northern provinces have high levels of poverty, said Nyusi. According to data on the multidimensional poverty index from 2015, 65 per cent of the population of Nampula was below his poverty line, 67 per cent in Niassa and 53 per cent in Cabo Delgado. The national average was 43 per cent.
These figures indicate that, before the onset of terrorist attacks in October 2017, Cabo Delgado was the least poor of the three northern provinces.
Nyusi added that last year Cabo Delgado was hit by cyclone Kenneth, which caused enormous losses, particularly to agriculture, fisheries and tourism. The cyclone devastated about 55,000 hectares of cropland, and ripped up over 100,000 coconut palms, cashew trees and other cash crops.
Nyusi said ADIN will have a role to play in such areas as humanitarian assistance, food security and the resettlement of displaced people, as well as guaranteeing basic education, health services, water supply and sanitation to people affected by extreme events.
ADIN should also, Nyusi continued, promote economic development through "creating job opportunities and training for young people; promoting investment initiatives for the socio-economic development of communities through micro, small and medium enterprises; and creating conditions for the involvement of the private sector".
Agriculture Minister Celso Correia told the meeting "this is a rich region. A natural gas cluster is being born in Palma (in Cabo Delgado), and there we shall build the first gas city in Africa. It will be one of the largest gas production centres in the world. But, taking into account the main productive activities of the population, we are also projecting an agro-industrial cluster in Namialo (in Nampula)".
Also on the drawing board, he added, is a second agro-industrial cluster in Cuamba (in Niassa), and a tourism cluster in Matibane (in Nampula).
The three northern provinces cover an area of 293,000 square kilometres, and are home to 30 per cent of the Mozambican population.