On Friday, Asian businessmen promised to finance the construction of 200,000 houses resilient to climate change in the city of Beira, based on reinforced steel. The start of the initiative depends on a meeting next month between the financiers, the municipality and the national business community.
It all started in March of this year, when a delegation from Beira City Council, led by the mayor, Albano Carige, travelled to Saudi Arabia in search of partnerships for the construction of various infrastructures in Chiveve, in particular 25,000 resilient houses and a road giving direct access to the Port of Beira from the Cerâmica neighbourhood, with a view to dealing with the congestion in the Munhava area of trucks bound for the port.
The contact made with investors from that Asian country culminated in the arrival in Beira last Friday of a group of Saudi businessmen who wanted to find out “in loco” about the Beira initiative, which is part of the 2018-2035 masterplan.
Meetings were held between the city council, the Saudi and local businessmen and Cornelder of Mozambique, the current manager of the Port of Beira, and at the end of them, the mayor of Beira was a happy man.
“I’m happy because the expected results exceeded our expectations by more than 200 per cent. In other words, the municipality requested funding for the construction of 25,000 resilient homes and, in response, the Saudi investors assured us that they will finance the construction of more than 100,000 homes. The position of the investors makes us even happier because they have guaranteed funding for the road that gives direct access to the port of Beira, which continues to be our priority because, in three to four years’ time, it will be very time-consuming to drive along the EN6, in the Munhava area, due to the traffic jams caused by lorries bound for the port, slowing down the economy,” said Albano Carige.
The representative of the Saudi businessmen said that he will mobilise technical, financial and material resources from various parts of the world so that the project to build not 100,000 but 200,000 houses becomes a reality and that they are modern and built from reinforced steel to cope with climate change.
“We embrace the project and the plan to build the houses, but we also have partnership solutions in which we will take on local manufacturers capable of building a house in a fortnight. This means that the two hundred thousand houses can be built in a short time, it could be a year or two, depending on local conditions,” said Farzam Kamalabadi, head of the investors’ mission.
The Saudis have also guaranteed that they will finance the construction of the famous road that gives direct access to the Port of Beira.
The Sofala businesspeople were overjoyed at the end of the meeting, because “we realised that their idea is not to ‘kill’ the national private sector, like the projects we’ve seen coming to Mozambique lately, where multinationals set up shop and wipe out small and medium-sized local businesses and they continue to grow, leaving us poor. They bring a commitment to partnerships,” said Félix Machado, president of the Beira Commercial Association.
At the end of next month, a delegation made up of more than 50 Saudi businessmen will return to Beira for local meetings with a view to making the assassinated memoranda viable and improving the projects for the construction of the aforementioned 100,000 houses and the road that gives direct access to the Port of Beira.