Mozambican government gives up on Malawi-Indian Ocean river route

24 November 2009

Maputo, Mozambique, 24 Nov – The Mozambican government has decided to abandon the project to establish a river route between Malawi and the Indian Ocean, along the Shore and Zambezi rivers, the Mozambican Foreign Minister, Oldemiro Baloi, told Rádio Moçambique.

The project had been proposed by the Malawian government in an attempt to open up another route to the sea for trade, but as it would have to run for hundreds of miles in Mozambican territory required authorisation from the Mozambican government.

The Mozambican minister told the radio station that the government had decided to give up on the project because the deadlines for carrying out environmental impact studies were not met.

A tri-partide memorandum of understanding on the project was signed at the beginning of this year by the Transport Ministers of Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia, respectively Paulo Zucula, Kachali Khumbo and Lungwangwa Godfrey, stipulating that it would require a favourable environmental impact study.

A consortium of companies from Zimbabwe was hired to carry out the study with Minister Oldemiro Baloi noting that since the beginning the Mozambican government had doubted the consortium’s capacity to carry out the contract.

Months went by without any sign of the environmental impact study and thus the Mozambican government decided to give up on the project. (macauhub)