The Government of Mozambique recently convened the first Niassa Investment Forum to attract public and private investment to Niassa Province, with a focus on developing the northern province’s agribusiness and energy sectors.
The Forum, supported by the African Development Bank, brought together around 200 participants, including representatives from the public and private sectors, financial institutions, development partners and stakeholders.
It aimed to attract investment to agribusiness, particularly the value chains of macadamia, corn, wheat, soy, and other crops. In the energy sector, focus was on exploiting the carbon credit market, and providing a platform for networking between potential investors and businesses operating in Niassa Province.
Niassa, in Mozambique’s northwest on the borders of Tanzania and Malawi, is a landlocked province with significant agricultural potential in terms of soil, temperature, and water resources and an abundance of mineral resources, but the exploitation of these resources is hindered by undeveloped infrastructure.
“This Forum represents a crucial step in the efforts that the Government of Mozambique is deploying to attract the investment needed to unlock the full potential of Niassa Province,” Prime Minister Adriano Maleiane said at the opening ceremony. “This vast region, rich in human and natural capital, is set to be one of the engines of growth for Mozambique and the sub-region.”
Also present was African Development Bank Mozambique Country Manager Cesar Mba Abogo, Industry and Trade Minister Silvino Moreno, the Governor of Niassa Province, Elina Judite da Rosa Victor Massengele, and Secretary of State for Niassa Province, Lina Maria da Silva Portugal.
Abogo said the Bank’s investments in Niassa have played a pivotal role in opening up the province and fostering economic integration. “With this Forum, Niassa is calling on investors to come and seize the region’s vast opportunities, embracing practices of environmental sustainability and social inclusion. The African Development Bank is proud to be a part of this transformative endeavour.”
The Bank has supported Niassa’s development since 2006, investing in sectors that underpin sustainable progress, including water and sanitation, transport, agriculture, industry, and education.
In 2022 in Niassa Province, Mozambique’s President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi, in the presence of the African Development Bank head Akinwumi Adesina, launched the Pemba-Lichinga Integrated Development Corridor Special Agro-industrial Processing Zone (SAPZ), funded by the Bank.
This financing builds on a long list of Bank-funded interventions in northern Mozambique over the last decade, for the provision of infrastructure, SME development, and business linkages to address some of the social and economic drivers of fragility in the region.
The Bank’s investments in the road sector since 2006 have significantly contributed to opening up the area and improving the connectivity of Niassa to the rest of the country and of the creation of logistic corridors, such as the Nacala corridor.
Other support includes skills development in the agriculture sector through financing to Lúrio University (UniLúrio), the national public university based in Nampula city, with faculties in Pemba and Unango. The Bank has also financed poultry feed mills in Chimbonila District, Niassa Province, with a processing capacity of 1.5 tonnes/hectare, which are expected to play a critical role in the development of the Pemba-Lichinga Corridor.