Ten years ago, Mozambique did not have an extractive sector. Today, many predict a coming natural resource boom in Mozambique. While there is no shortage of coal in Mozambique, there is growing hesitation around the country’s ability to export and subsequently generate revenues from this natural resource.
It has long been known that there are vast coal deposits in Tete and Niassa provinces. According to industry analysis, Mozambique has the potential to provide 20% of the world’s sea-borne coking coal by 2025.
PARIS, October 5, 2012 - With new discoveries of oil, gas, and other minerals generating a wave of significant mineral wealth in African countries, the World Bank today launched a new fund to help countries on the continent level the playing field and ensure equitable deals in their natural resource contracts with international companies.
With Africa holding 15% of the world’s oil reserves, 40% of its gold, and about 80% of the platinum group of metals, natural resources represent important development opportunities for the continent. For example, oil production has been growing steadily in Africa, and is expected to continue to rise at an average rate of six percent per year for the foreseeable future.
Interesting advice for how the extractive indsutires can make long term and sustainable investments in Mozambique – prioritise the poorest! See below…
May 21, 2012
Prioritize the Poorest – Helping the Bottom Billion is Good — and Good Business
Robert Jenkins and Anthony Lake
ROBERT JENKINS is Associate Director for Policy, Planning, and Programme Monitoring at the United Nations Children’s Fund. ANTHONY LAKE is the Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund.
Students display their work at the Anganwadi centre in Jamsaut village in Bihar. (Gates Foundation/flickr)
The world of international development has long been divided between idealists and pragmatists. The idealists give more weight to addressing the needs of the world’s most destitute. The pragmatists are driven more by impact at the aggregate level, such as increasing GDP per capita. A growing body of evidence, however, suggests that the interests of these groups coincide. In many cases, it is most cost-effective to focus on the poorest groups.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the revenues from the extractive industry and the wait predicted by some experts as to when the monies will actually be visible in the national treasury. My concern is that children don’t have the luxury of waiting a decade or two for coal and natural gas revenues to flow in and out of the national coffers and eventually into the pockets of their parents – through decent employment, their teachers – through quality education and their community health clinic – through basic vaccines and other core services. Children need their rights fulfilled now. Children are stunted due to inadequate nutrition and care practices today and will not have the capacity to grow into the leaders of tomorrow if they are physically and cognitively compromised in their first two years of life. Investing in social protection systems could make the difference to the most vulnerable and give them a fighting chance for their futures.
Many of us could spend a few moments daydreaming about winning the lottery or finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. But in resource rich countries like Mozambique, the discovery of coal and natural gas, among other mineral resources, can place a Government within a tempest of rapidly evolving circumstances where decisions with regard to the legal, policy and fiscal regimes can mean the difference between sustainable development for all or battling the resource curse for decades to come.