The European Commission’s Director-General for International Cooperation and Development, Stefano Manservisi, arrives in Mozambique today for an intensive three-day working visit. His visit comes as the European Union steps up cooperation with Mozambique and other Portuguese-speaking countries.
Bilateral cooperation with Mozambique will focus on key areas for growth: trade, biodiversity, agriculture and transport. Multilateral cooperation with the Portuguese-speaking African countries (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé e Principe) and Timor-Leste – known collectively as PALOP-TL – will focus on job creation, sustainable development and public finance management; it notably reflects the priorities in the Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs.
Today, Director-General Manservisi will meet with the President of Mozambique, Mr Filipe Nyusi, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, José Pacheco, members of the Mozambique parliament, and representatives from civil society, cultural organisations and international finance institutions. He will sign four financing agreements under the PROMOVE programme for Mozambique worth €217 million:
- the bulk of the funding – €124 million in all – is for a transport project that forms the backbone of the European Union’s approach to rural development. The focus will be on rehabilitating rural roads, with a view to creating the market linkages, flexible services, local business opportunities and jobs that will deliver sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Challenges related to food and nutrition security and climate change will receive special attention;
- to promote sustainable agriculture and agribusiness, €68 million will be provided to help smallholders become more productive and resilient, thereby boosting small-scale sustainable commercial agriculture;
- a €12 million project will implement trade facilitation measures and improve the business environment;
- a €13 million project will protect biodiversity and improve rural livelihoods through sustainable management of natural resources. The project will cover areas that are known for their biodiversity, but also for their population density, putting resources under pressure.
These projects will focus mainly on the Zambézia and Nampula provinces, where over 60 % of people depend on subsistence farming, and where productivity and returns are low.
On Friday, Mr Manservisi will sign two contracts, together worth €26 million:
- an €18 million PROCULTURA project to promote employment in the cultural sector (focusing on the performing arts), expand the technical know-how of people working in the sector and give PALOP-TL countries’ cultural products broader access to regional and international markets. On top of this, PROCULTURA will support the creation and circulation of literary publications for children and young people in the region.
- a second project, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme and worth €8 million, to support public finance management systems in the five PALOP countries and Timor-Leste. The supreme audit institutions and civil society organisations in these countries will be able to step up their efforts to improve the accountability, efficiency and transparency of public finances.
The signings will take place in the margins of a ministerial meeting of the PALOP-TL countries, in the Mozambique capital, Maputo.
Also on Friday, which is International Women’s Day, DG Manservisi will be present for the launch of ‘Spotlight Mozambique’, part of the flagship joint initiative between the European Union and the United Nations to tackle and ultimately eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls. The Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, has been closely involved in taking the Spotlight initiative forward, as part of his strong commitment to gender equality issues.
The European Union promotes South-South cooperation among the six Portuguese-speaking countries from the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group. Known collectively as PALOP-TL, the group is composed of five African countries using Portuguese as their official language (Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé e Principe) and Timor-Leste, in the South-Western Pacific. The PALOP Group is one of the oldest and most cohesive ACP groupings. The five African countries began cooperating in the 1970s. Their longstanding cooperation covers now a large spectrum of themes including cultural, economic, social, and political components. Timor-Leste became the sixth member of the group in 2007. The EU has supported the group since 1992, focusing on issues like economic governance, public services, rule of law, democratisation and human rights.
For more information