President Joyce Banda says Malawi and Mozambique have discussed in great detail and agreed to look at the acceleration of the construction and rehabilitation of the Moatize-Nacala Railway line and the rehabilitation of Blantyre-Sena Railway line as one way of boosting trade and investment between the two countries.
“Transportation difficulties have been another barrier for Malawi to increase its exports to Mozambique. Therefore my administration considers the rehabilitation of the above mentioned Railway lines as a priority area of development,” President Banda said.
Mozambique President Armando Emilio Guebuza arrived in Malawi on Wednesday for a three-day State visit where among other engagements he sealed the agreement for Malawi-Mozambique Power Interconnection Project which had stalled under Malawi’s previous administration.
Brazil’s Mining giant Vale intiated the Moatize-Nacala and Blantyre-Sena Railway lines project under the then Bingu wa Mutharika government in 2010 through the Ministry of Transport and Public Infrastructure with a proposal for constructing and rehabilitating a rail line between Vale’s Moatize coal mine in Tete, Mozambique, to the port of Nacala that would run through Malawi as part of the logistical solution for the export of about 18 million tonnes of coal annually.
The deal was signed in 2011. Malawi’s President Banda only officially inaugurated the project in December 2012, two years after the DPP government had already concluded the deal.
Apart from that President Guebuza also signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Public Security and Immigration, Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Environment and Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Youth and Sports.
Banda said in a statement on Friday that currently Malawi’s imports from Mozambique based on the year 2012 figures, stand at US $205 million against US $ 20 million exports per year.
“My administration will, therefore, work in partnership with the Mozambique government to improve transport systems between the two countries,” she said.
President Banda said with this new development Malawi is no longer a perpetually landlocked country.
“That thinking is fast becoming over. This is the time for all of us to develop a new concept that Malawi is now ‘ land-linked’ to the booming business opportunities beyond our borders to the benefit of our people,” the President said.