Mozambique’s Deputy Minister for the Economy and Finance, Amilcar Tivane, Friday valued cooperation with Portugal on many fronts, but stressed that a return to direct support for the country’s budget was desirable.
“Direct support for the (state) budget would of course be desirable,” said Amilcar Tivane, noting, however, that it was necessary to see “cooperation with Portugal in its many facets.
“The funding we have been receiving in other areas, and institutional capacity building, have been contributing to boosting the Mozambican economy,” the deputy minister told Portuguese news agency Lusa, on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the African Development Bank (ADB) that ended today in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.
During the recent visit to Maputo by Portuguese prime minister, António Costa, the two countries signed a new cooperation framework, “which covers a number of areas,” he noted, also highlighting Portugal’s support under the Lusophone Compact, a partnership created with the ADB to promote investment in Portuguese-speaking African countries (PALOP), which will be extended for a further five or 10 years.
Portugal, like other countries and institutions, has suspended direct budget support to Mozambique following the case of hidden debts, the largest case of corruption in the country’s history, a scheme that defrauded the state of over $2.7 billion in debt contracted with international banks between 2013 and 2014.
“We must remember that seven, 10 years ago, Mozambique had direct budget support resources in the region of US$750 million to US$800 million,” the deputy minister of Economy and Finance recalled.
He admitted that, “naturally, with this reduction in flows of direct budget support, there was a need for the country to adopt efforts to mobilise additional resources,” which has been achieved with effort.
“We are talking about internal resources to ensure that the country continues to provide and continues to carry out its investment programme in the area of infrastructure, in the social area, human capital accumulation, job creation,” said Amilcar Tivane.
A reflection of these efforts is the growth of Mozambique’s economy, one of the African countries that the African Development Bank expects to see Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of over 5 percent this year, which is above the continent’s average of 4 percent.
In the “African Economic Prospects” document, released during its annual meetings, the ADB expects the Mozambican economy to grow by 6.6 percent this year.