BRASILIA, Brazil – The presidents of Brazil, Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, and Mozambique, Armando Guebuza, met in Brasilia for the fifth time in six years as part of an effort to strengthen commercial relations and cooperation between the two countries.
The Brazilian president said to Xinhua, “Mozambique is a strategic and priority partner in Brazil’s relations with Africa. Today we came one step closer to forming an alliance which serves as a model for cooperation and development and reveals the transformational potential of the south-south relationship.
O Globo reported that through two meetings in Maputo and a further three in Brasilia, the Brazilian government is seeking to expand its presence in a number of commercial spheres in Mozambique and the rest of Africa, particularly in terms of health and mining.
According to EFE, President Lula da Silva stressed that the African continent comprises “a priority within Brazil’s foreign relations” and that “a future” exists between his country and Africa in terms of cooperation on agriculture and energy, with an emphasis on biofuels.
Projects mentioned by the Brazilian president included the creation of a laboratory which will produce antiretroviral medications used in the treatment of AIDS, which affects 24 out every 100 Mozambican citizens, reported EFE. President Lula said that he hopes that the laboratory “will be a learning and training center for the rest of the African continent.
As regards mining, Guebuza remarked that his country offers “massive opportunities” for public and private investment. O Globo said that the president underscored the role of the Brazilian Vale do Rio Doce firm, one of the world’s largest iron and steel companies, and his plans to invest US$1.3 billion in the development of a coal project in Mozambique.
Progress was also made on energy sector cooperation, with the Camargo Correa construction company’s participation in the Nkuwa hydroelectric dam project. The presidents further discussed the possibility of promoting biofuel production in Mozambique.
The majority of these projects will be financed by the National Bank for Economic and Social Development, stressed Folha de Sao Paulo. While sums have yet to be announced, Guebuza stressed, “The government is taking on the role of a facilitator for private enterprise” and closed his speech by saying that Brazil “is our partner in the fight against poverty.|"Winston F. Burges