New infrastructure projects designed by China launched in Portuguese-speaking countries

25 November 2013

Angola, Mozambique and Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) over the last few weeks have seen the launch of new infrastructure projects, such as dams and roads, from which they are expected to reap benefits over the next few years.

At a time when Angola is looking to expand its power production capacity, particularly in the interior of the country, at the beginning of November the China Gezhouba Corporation (CGGC) signed a contract with the Angolan government to remodel and expand a dam in Lunda Norte province.

The contract includes repairing existing equipment, replacing the current canal and construction of a new 48.5 megawatt power plant, as well as a sub-station.

Located on the Lua Sim river, the project, which is due to be concluded in three years, “will guarantee the energy security and improvement of the local economy, social stability and the investment environment,” said the company, which was previously awarded the contract to build the port of Cabinda.

Chinese companies have taken on a leading role in the repair and construction of infrastructure in Angola, particularly roads, railways, schools, hospitals and other public buildings.

Funding has been provided by credit lines offered by Chinese state banks, guaranteed with oil contracts, which have made Angola China’s second-largest supplier of oil, and the country is gaining increasing ground on Saudi Arabia.

Mozambique in the last few weeks has also received news of an important project involving Chinese companies, in this case in the road sector.

With funding from the Export Import Bank of China (Exim Bank) worth over US$416 million, some 286 kilometres of roads will be repaired between the Mozambican port of Beira and the border with Zimbabwe.

The agreement, which was signed in Maputo by the Mozambican Finance Minister, Manuel Chang, and the vice president of the Chinese bank, Zhu Hongjie, includes an interest rate of 1 percent, with a seven-year grace period and a 20-year maturity.

According to the Ecofin agency, this road is “strategic for the circulation of goods and people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Tanzania.”

Through the port of Beira these countries can send their products for export, boosting economic activity in Mozambique and giving the country greater importance within a regional context.

This month Maputo received a visit from the vice president Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), Qi Xuchun, who met with the Mozambican Prime Minister, Alberto Vaquina.

At the end of the meeting the Prime Minister said Mozambique wanted to expand cooperation in the agriculture, energy and tourism sectors, and Qi Xuchun said that the two countries should continue to improve their “pragmatic cooperation” based on the consensus reached at the presidential meeting in May.

In Cabo Verde the Chinese ambassador, Su Jian, Friday delivered the key to the National Stadium to the Cape Verdean government. The stadium, built on the outskirts of the capital, Praia, with funding from China. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH