Journalist Nikiwe Bikitsha embarks on the third segment of her #AfricaConnected quest to reveal the true, economically vibrant Africa. In this part of the journey, she travels to Mozambique.
For decades, Mozambique’s progress was hampered by the 15-year civil war (1977-1992) that followed the end of colonial rule. Though the economy has since developed, the former Portuguese colony remains one of the poorest nations in the world. However, foreign investment trickled in due to its abundant natural resources and government reforms. Indeed, the country offers numerous investment opportunities for those hoping to get in before the anticipated LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) boom:
Gas reserves: The recently discovery offshore LNG reserves could see Mozambique reach the status of a middle-income country by 2025. It’s thought the country will be transformed, with its current insufficient infrastructure improved to support this emerging industry.
Hydropower: Mozambique’s vast water resources are mostly untapped. Large rivers cross the country, their total energy capacity estimated to be 16 000MW, yet over 25% of the population has no access to formal power structures.
Agriculture: Agriculture is the mainstay of Mozambique’s economy, employing 83% of the labour force. It has great potential for growth, owing to the country’s diverse soils and climatic conditions, fertile coastlines and abundance of water. Main cash crops include cashew nuts, tea and tobacco.
Mining: Like its neighbours, Mozambique offers a wealth of mineral resources, including gold. With the recent discovery of coal in the Tete Province, the country is set to become one of the world’s major exporters in this resource.
Tourism: This sector declined dramatically during the civil war, and it’s still performing below par despite attracting more foreign investment than any other sector. However, thanks to Mozambique’s unspoilt nature, ecotourism is now an area with great potential.
Entrepreneurs and corporations wanting to take advantage of these investment prospects will find an experienced partner in Standard Bank: With expertise in sectors critical to development combined with on-the-ground knowledge, we customise our banking capabilities to local demands. Further, our ability to connect clients to opportunities is strengthened by our strong relationships with key players in the countries in which we operate, allowing us to move Africa forward.
While Mozambique’s government is focusing on ecotourism to revive the potentially lucrative sector, the country’s numerous other draws shouldn’t be forgotten. As well as bringing attention to entrenched and emerging economic sectors, such as IT, Nikiwe will visit a number of Maputo’s hotspots, including the Maputo Railway Station and the Jardim Tunduru Botanical Gardens.
While these attractions were designed by European colonial-era architects, they now seamlessly merge with modern-day Maputo, offering visitors an authentic “city life” experience that acknowledges the past while embracing a bright, diverse present.