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Clean Energy and Graphite in the EU’s Recipe for Development in Mozambique

Clean Energy and Graphite in the EU’s Recipe for Development in Mozambique

The European Union (EU) advocates alternative clean energies and critical raw materials such as graphite as avenues for Mozambique’s development in a global context of “green and digital growth,” it announced this afternoon.

The EU will “continue to support Mozambique in order to maximise the potential” for clean energy production, said António Gaspar, European Ambassador in Maputo, during the fourth edition of the EU-Mozambique Economic Round Table.

The event, part of the celebrations of Europe Day (May 9), was this year dedicated to the theme “Opportunities for the private sector in the face of ecological and social transition.

António Gaspar added that Mozambique should meanwhile be able to exploit its gas reserves as a transition resource.

“The success of the ecological pact depends on access to critical raw materials for clean energy. The consumption of these materials is expected to increase four times in the case of graphite, one of the most abundant in northern Mozambique,” António Gaspar emphasized in a speech distributed to journalists and that he himself summarized during the event.

The country’s graphite is already being exported privately to the US for processing and assembly in Chinese electric car batteries.

“The growing demand for critical raw materials creates opportunities for Mozambique, despite the risks of simultaneously accelerating environmental devastation, exacerbating climate change,” which requires care with a view to sustainable exploitation.

“We must therefore establish a partnership based on the sustainable exploitation of natural resources,” he added.

Also in the context of balance, the EU intends to support Mozambican agriculture to meet global sustainable standards, as they will be a “condition for access to the European market.”

“The EU-Mozambique cooperation program plans to fund in the first four years of its implementation (2021-2024) projects up to 200 million euros in the area of green and digital growth,” namely in natural and ecosystem protection, ecological transformation of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, building resilient infrastructure (in the areas of renewable energy, transport, water and sanitation) and digital transformation for inclusive growth.

The EU has other support mechanisms to fix investments, such as the Global Gateway strategy, launched at the sixth EU/African Union summit, but Mozambique must promote “a propitious business and investment environment”, stressed António Gaspar.

The same line of reasoning was followed by Simone Santi, president of the Association of European Businessmen in Mozambique (Eurocam), who pointed out examples of several obstacles to business activity.

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The businessman asked the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Silvino Moreno, that the airport employees welcome foreign businessmen “with a smile”, instead of “complicating” the arrival, compromising the success of investments.

The reduction of bureaucracy in domestic movement and stabilization of laws, without changing rules “in the middle of the game,” were other examples given by Santi who says he believes “in Mozambique’s potential” – and to which the ruler said he takes good note to seek solutions.

“The EU can assist Mozambique” to develop “sectors with export potential” in the new context of green growth, Silvino Moreno stressed.

The Mozambican Minister of Industry and Trade pointed out as a goal “to consolidate the trade relationship between Mozambique and the EU.


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