Mozambican President stresses fight for economic independence

The main challenge facing Africa, and Mozambique in particular, is to attain economic and financial independence, declared President Filipe Nyusi on 27 August. Speaking in Nairobi, during the 25th summit of heads of state and government of the member countries of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), held under the motto “Revive the APRM to strengthen governance in Africa”, President Nyusi stressed the importance “of prioritizing the construction of the economic and financial independence of our continent”.

As he presented a progress report, he said “we must strengthen the relations of cooperation and friendship between the member countries of our organization, and we must invest all the knowledge we possess so that together we can overcome the enormous challenges of development, for the present and the future”.

Questioned about this at a press conference later in the day, marking the end of his visit to Nairobi, where he also attended the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), President Nyusi said that financial independence is a cause he has insistently tried to cultivate among Mozambicans.

To attain this desired end, he added, the country needs to produce more – increasing Mozambican food production would be a great step forward, he believed.

“If we produce food, we shall sell it, and if we sell it, we shall have a lot of money”, President Nyusi said. “We shall have more possibilities and more financial resources for Mozambique”.

Greater production would mean more food for Mozambique, and the country would no longer need to import food. The money currently used to import food would stay in the country, and could be used for other purposes. Surplus crops, the President said, would earn money through exports.

Economic independence could also be achieved through processing and adding value to raw materials inside the country. “Our resources should be transformed in Mozambique”, he declared.

President Nyusi believed it possible to improve productivity and create conditions so that the final product would be competitive on world markets.

In this way, Mozambique would gradually become self-sufficient and free itself from economic dependence. The financial resources granted to Mozambique could be used for better roads, for building dams and other infrastructures which in turn would generate more revenue.

President Nyusi concluded that these principles form part of his project for governance, and must be implemented as quickly as possible.