Botswana to have access to Indian Ocean via joint projects with Mozambique

22 July 2011

Maputo, Mozambique, 22 July – Mozambique and Botswana plan together to invest in several projects that will give the land-locked African national access to the Indian Ocean, the Mozambican press reported.

Amongst the projects to be carried out at a time that has yet to be decided is construction of a deep water port in Techobanine region, in the Matutuíne district of Mozambique’s Maputo province, as well as a 1,100-kilometre railway to link that southern region of Mozambique to Botswana, passing through Zimbabwe, and an oil pipeline between the countries.

As part of the three-day state visit by Botswana’s President Seretse Khama Ian Khama to Mozambique 10 memoranda of understanding were signed for cooperation in supplying electricity and fuel to Botswana, border control of cattle diseases, training of diplomats from Botswana at the International Relations Institute (ISRI), and cooperation in the health and education sectors, amongst others.

Mozambique’s transport and communications minister, Paulo Zucula, said that the facilities that would be created would allow Botswana to import over 5 million cubic metres of fuel per year via Mozambique.

Zucula also noted Botswana’s interest in investing increasing the production capacity of the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric Dam and the Mphanda Nkuwa dam, as a way of reducing its electricity needs.

“The port and the railway line will also make it possible to transport coal to Botswana and it is important to noted that, after construction of the port, the private sector will be called up to build container and fuel terminals etc., which will mean the investment will exceed over US$7 billion,” Zucula said. (macauhub)