The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has approved a $47.09 million grant for the first phase of Mozambique’s Pemba-Lichinga Integrated Development Corridor, a special zone for processing agricultural produce in the country.
According to the statement, the project will build on a long list of Bank interventions in northern Mozambique to provide infrastructure and unlock the agricultural potential of the host corridor.
The most recent of these Bank-supported projects are the N13 Cuamba-Muíta and the N14 Montepuez-Ruaca roads linking the provinces of Cabo Delgado and Niassa.
“The initiative is in line with the Mozambique National Development Strategy 2015-2035, which seeks to improve the living conditions of the population through structural transformation of the economy and expansion and diversification of the production base.”
The project also aligns with the AfDB´s Country Strategy Paper 2018-2022 for Mozambique, with a focus on the northern provinces, and the Bank’s Feed Africa Strategy for agriculture transformation.
The grant, from the African Development Fund, will help improve agricultural productivity and agribusiness development in the Niassa province by advancing institutional capacity, skills, and entrepreneurship to spur agricultural value chain growth.
The project will pilot improved policy and development coordination between the Niassa province and national departments, especially with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Commenting on the Board's approval, Mozambique’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Carlos Mesquita, described the project as a “game-changer” that would transform the economy, promote social inclusion and foster peace by tackling important industry enabling factors such as infrastructure for development.
The statement quoted AfDB´s Country Manager for Mozambique, Mr Cesar Augusto Mba Abogo, as highlighting the importance of the Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones as a shared facility to enable agricultural producers, processors, aggregators and distributors to operate in the same neighbourhood to reduce transaction costs, share business development services and increase productivity and competitiveness.