The African Development Bank (AfDB) says that Mozambique’s new natural gas investments places the country as a potential regional economic leader, but warns of the need for the “right choices” and economic diversification.
“Mozambique is applying to be regional economic leader, especially as a gateway to southern Africa. Therefore, potentially, the right gas choices, coupled with economic diversification choices, can amplify one of the biggest success stories on the African continent,” AfDB’s Country Manager for Mozambique Pietro Toigo said in an interview with Lusa.
Toigo said the country should, during the period between investment announcements and the start of exploitation in 2024, focus on investing in other key sectors, especially agriculture.
“It is necessary to act now. During this time, it is important to invest in the industrialisation and productivity of agriculture,” the AfDB director in Mozambique added.
Toigo also notes that one of the main benefits of having gas is that it has a “very complex value chain”, highlighting its role in the development and productivity in different industrial sectors.
“There are now many opportunities to use the same gas in various sectors in the process of economic diversification,” he said.
Toigo admits there are challenges, notably security, alluding to the action of armed groups in Cabo Delgado province, the scene of major investments in the gas industry, and the economic crisis that the country has experienced in recent years.
“There are challenges in the development of all countries, and, in Mozambique, the challenges are great. But the country now has the opportunity to move to another stage of development. It is a historic period,” he concludes.
The June announcement by the consortium operating in Area 1 of the northern Rovuma Basin natural gas project has re-ignited expectations and attention on the extractive industry in Mozambique.
The consortium, led by US multinational Anadarko, will make a total investment of about US$25 billion (about EUR 22 billion) in the extraction, liquefaction and maritime export of natural gas in the area.
The announcement of another investment of a similar magnitude in the Rovuma Basin Area 4 by consortium led by Eni and Exxon Mobil is expected in the second half of this year.
Original Source: Lusa