Maputo — Mozambique and Malawi must work very closely together in order to maximize bilateral cooperation and facilitate the transit of Malawian goods through Mozambican ports and rail corridors, thus reducing the landlocked country's isolation, declared Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi on Tuesday.
He was speaking in the town of Songo, in the western province of Tete, where he hosted and held talks with his Malawian counterpart, Lazarus Chakwera, who was making a one day visit to Mozambique, three months after his inauguration.
"The Beira and Nacala development corridors have many opportunities that can be explored for mutual benefit. The potential can be maximized, putting into effect a new approach, which will turn Malawi into a connected country, no longer landlocked. We support this vision," Nyusi said.
At the talks, Nyusi also said that Mozambique is undertaking deep reforms in its port and railway infrastructure in order to ensure speedy customs clearance of goods and commodities, not only from Malawi but from across the region.
He that proposed that the Sena line, from Beira to Moatize in Tete, should be re-connected to the Malawian rail network. The spur from the Sena line to Malawi exists but has been out of use for many years.
Nyusi also highlighted the project to build a 220 kilometre electricity transmission line betweeen the two countries, saying "this is an example that our resources are available, not only for Mozambique's development but also for the neighbouring countries."
Songo, according to the Mozambican President, was deliberately chosen to host the Malawian President because it is the town that overlooks the Cahora Bassa dam on the Zambezi river. "I have chosen this place to host your visit, because of its great importance in power generation, boosting development for Mozambique, Malawi and the region," Nyusi said.
He congratulated Chakwera on his election victory, and hoped that he would be successful in "eradicating corruption and promoting the rule of law".
Nyusi pointed out the challenges posed by poverty, organized crime, terrorism, drug trafficking, and illegal immigration as well as the need for resilience to face natural disasters, as well as the global COVID-19 pandemic. "Countries need to take concerted and bold efforts," he stressed.
Nyusi also invited Chakwera to make a state visit to Mozambique, and said that both countries must instruct their Permanent Joint Cooperation Commission to restart its activities, which were interrupted in 2012.
Regular meetings between the two countries, he added, will guarantee that a new page is now open to boost ties of friendship and cooperation.
The Malawian leader also stressed the importance of strengthening mutual cooperation bonds in a wide range of domains, underlining the role of Mozambique in his country's economic development.
Lazarus Chakwera said Mozambique has played and continues to play a pivotal role in the transit of Malawian exports, and has become even more important now that several countries have decided to shut their borders as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19.