The global economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to affect economic growth in Africa, with highly indebted countries, such as Angola and Mozambique, with a limited capacity to respond to stimulus, according to the UN Economic Commission for Africa
The economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic is forcing a depreciation of the currencies of Angola and Mozambique, and thus making imported products more expensive, particularly from China, according to various market agents.
The Covid-19 pandemic is putting under stress not only African countries’ health systems, but also their economies and societies, due to the lockdowns to enforce quarantines.
The Covid-19 pandemic demonstrates the importance of the implementation of the African Continental Free-Trade Area (AfCFTA), which includes the Portuguese-speaking African Countries, according to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
The strategic partnerships that China has signed in recent decades, particularly with the majority of Portuguese-speaking countries, are a major factor to boost the Belt and Road initiative (BR), according to researchers, Yichao Li and Mário Barbosa Vicente.
The scenario for the acceleration of growth in the economy of Mozambique in 2020 now faces greater uncertainty due to the global economic slowdown, due to the Covid-19 epidemic, according to Mozambican bank Moza Banco.
Public-private partnerships and “patience” were essential ingredients for the success of one of the most important agricultural projects involving partners from China in Mozambique, according to one of the project’s main managers, Lu Xinqing.
China continues to strengthen its position as the largest bilateral creditor of Mozambique and is expected to continue as such in the coming years, due to new credits being negotiated by the governments of the two countries, according to official figures.
The United Nations (UN) expects to remove Angola and São Tomé and Principe from the group of least developed countries (LDCs), according to the World Economic Outlook report.
Angola and Mozambique are among the African countries whose debt burden places them in a situation of financial risk, which may keep investors away, according to the World Bank.
Cabo Verde recorded the biggest economic growth among all the Portuguese-speaking African countries, as a new year is about to begin in which Mozambique is expected to see strong economic acceleration and a possible return to growth for Angola.
Guinea-Bissau, Cabo Verde and Mozambique are among the African countries that are most open, with regard to visas, to the citizens of other African states, according to the African Union (AU) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The Mozambican economy has continued to lose steam during the year, owing to the fall in commodities prices in international markets.
The implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which includes the Portuguese-Speaking countries, enhances the attractiveness of the continent for industrial investment from China, according to Jeremy Stevens, chief economist of the South African Standard Bank responsible for China.
Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa are “a hotspot for investor interest”, says Mateus Magala, Vice-president of the African Development Bank. According to the Mozambican national, “the time is now” to invest in these countries, because of economic reforms, a burgeoning middle class and regional diversity against the background of the new African Continental Free Trade Area.
Chinese group Huawei will increase its support for StartUP Portugal, the public company responsible for boosting young technology-based companies, under a partnership agreement recently signed in Lisbon.
Brazil and Cabo Verde were among the countries to introduce the most reforms throughout 2018 to improve their business environment, although this was not enough to prevent their decline in the World Bank benchmark index.
Macau has an important role to play as a “knowledge centre” in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (GBA) project, according to some of the leading Sino-Lusophone researchers.
As LNG projects in the north of Mozambique progress, the government faces two major hurdles: financially, to find capital for its share of the investment needed to develop the Rovuma basin world-class natural gas reserves, which could top US$1 billion; militarily, to ensure safety in Cabo Delgado province from Islamist insurgents. In both instances, Russia has come to the rescue.