Transport infrastructures and regional economic integration

Namacurra - Rio Ligonha rehabilitation work in the city of MocubaNamacurra - Rio Ligonha rehabilitation work in the city of Mocuba

Mozambique has one of least developed Transport Infrastructure in the Southern African region: road density has been estimated at 0.05 kilometres per square kilometre. The classified road network of around 30,000 km, of which less than 20% paved (5,649 km), is in good and fair condition for about 67 % of the total length, but actually provides access to 32 percent of the population, measured as those living within two kilometres of any road. The railway network amounts to a total of 3,123 km with extensive links currently under rehabilitation. The country has 22 airports with 4 having runaway above 2.438 km. Waterways amount to 460 km. Even if the main ports (Maputo, Beira, Nacala and Quelimane) have been restored under private concession, they still work under reduced capacity, partly due to technical constraints (dredging in Beira) and/or because not yet entirely competitive with South Africa routes … but the economic potential is there.

Modernizing the Infrastructure , and in particular completing rehabilitation of the road network left in disarray following over 25 years of war and neglect, remains a country priority in order to lift from poverty the poor population (54%) by increasing physical access to employment opportunities, schools, health-care facilities0 and other social services (PARPA II).

The Road Sector is in fact considered the transport backbone for Mozambique, in term of physical achievement of the country's wide unification and consolidation process over an area of over 800,000 square kilometres, in term of socio-economic development, in term of developing economic attractiveness toward the country’s transit routes and recently for the development of tourism. Specifically, a full performing road – infrastructure network is to provide new economic-growth opportunities coming from the regional integration within SADC, COMESA and EAC countries, and more cost-effective access to the sea, inter alia along the North-South Corridor from Tanzania to South Africa.

10th EDF Strategy and Objectives

The current 10th EDF strategy for Infrastructure covering the period 2008-2013 has been entirely focused on the support to Transport Infrastructure and Regional Integration. It is in fact acknowledged that the European Commission has gained a specific comparative advantage in the Road Transport Sector in Mozambique, as its successful experience dates back to the first years after the end of the civil war with the financing of rehabilitation of important projects such as Beira-Inchope road, Rio Save-Muxungue road, Nampula-Nacala road, the development of Beira port and recently with the opening of Zambezi Bridge at Caia in August 2009.

The strategy is fully aligned with the Government priorities and closely coordinated and with other donors active in the sector, in particular the African Development Bank, the World Bank as well as with EU Member States bilateral cooperation (Sweden, UK, Denmark, Italy) and more recently EIB active in financing the capital dredging of Beira Port and the rehabilitation of Sena railways.

Specifically the current 10TH EDF CSP/NIP for Mozambique has committed € 130, 62 million to the Focal Sector 1 Transport Infrastructure and Regional Integration, an amount corresponding to about 21% of the entire A-envelope of € 622 million for the period 2008-2013. This allocation shall support the sustainable development of Mozambique's road transport-infrastructure network to enhance the country's regional integration role and capacity with South Africa and the other neighbouring SADC countries (Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi).

Construction of the Zambezi Bridge

In this connection the strategic objectives of 10TH EDF are two-folded with the indicative repartition of the allocation in 60%-40% (or 40%-60%) as follows:

  • Supporting the rehabilitation of priority regional transit corridors bolstering access to the Mozambican seaports from the neighboring countries i.e. the upgrading of Milange-Mocuba road linking the country to Malawi and Zambia and of Beira-Machipanda road linking to Zimbabwe (Beira Corridor). In these cases EC support is delivered through project modalities.
  • Supporting together with all the other Donors active in the sector full establishment and consolidation of a Road SWAP, which together with the completion of the primary network and increasing road access for the poorest population through development of the secondary and tertiary network, focuses both on enhancing management capacity of the Road Sector Agencies, and ensuring a sustainable coverage of maintenance expenditures. In practical terms the Road SWAP has been detailed within the implementation of PRISE (the about € 1.00 billion Integrated Road Sector Programme which, approved in 2007, has been supposed to achieve its objectives over a period from 3 to 5 years). In this case the foreseen EDF modality is through Sector Budget Support, designed to cover, together with the other Donors partner in PRISE, the about 30% financial gap in relation to the own sector revenues necessary to cover maintenance costs.

As above mentioned, the current 10th EDF strategy has been built up to continue the successful experience gained from 9th and 8th EDF which focuses in particular on the development and consolidation of the Road Transport Sector in Mozambique.

Engineers at the construction of Zambezi Bridge

In this connection the ongoing consolidated project portfolio amounts to about € 234 million, subdivided among the following active projects and sector budget support operations to sustain maintenance: Upgrading of Milange to Mocuba road (€ 80 million - 193 km); Construction of Zambezi Bridge (€ 70 million co-financed with Italy and Sweden) ; Rehabilitation of Namacurra-Rio Ligonha ( € 70 million – 375 km) ; Road Maintenance and Capacity Building ( € 12.16 million – SBS) ; Feasibility Study and Detailed Design of Beira - Machipanda ( € 1.6 million – Beira corridor 300 km) . In the recent past the EC has also successfully financed several Cyclone emergency rehabilitation interventions of the primary and secondary road network (€ 5 million) and the whole rehabilitation of the Nampula-Nacala Road (€ 36.5 million – 191 km) which is part of the Nacala corridor.

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