A graphite mine operated by a German company in northern Mozambique expects to employ 60 to 70 people, and should become operational by the end of the year, According to the head of the Chamber of Commerce of Germany in Maputo as reported by Lusa portuguese news agency.
“I spoke to the manager who told me he would have 60 to 70 people working there initially. He expects the mine to be working by the end of the year and next year it will start exporting graphite via the port of Nacala in northern Mozambique,” representative Friedrich Kaufmann of the German Chamber of Commerce and the German Industry for Southern Africa in Maputo explained.
The mine is located in Acuabe, in Cabo Delgado province, and will be operated by the company AMG Graphit Kropfmuhl, a German multinational company that acquired the right to mineral extraction in the area through an international tender in 2012.
At about EUR40 million., the Ancuabe mine is “probably the biggest German investment” in Mozambique to date, Kaufmann told Lusa.
Kaufmann regrets that the German investment is not well developed in the country, explaining that “German companies are hesitant and averse to the risk of investing in Mozambique”.
“German companies, for cultural reasons, are not very familiar with Africa in general and Mozambique in particular. It is what economists call a cultural distance from the market,” he said.
Germany has around 40 companies in Mozambique, working in logistics, services, engineering, project implementation, trade and imports – companies “without application of capital,” he explained.
Kaufmann said that countries such as South Africa attract more German investment because of the English language and the fact that German multinationals are already established in the country, and familiar with the market.
The proximity between Maputo and Johannesburg also holds back investment in Mozambique, Kaufmannm said, as does the economic crisis being experienced in the country.
“The current situation is not very inviting. If we speak of available foreign exchange, interest rates, inflation, the arrival of the IMF, it is clear that people will wait to invest, rather than taking a more active stance,” he said.
Kaufmann highlighted bilateral cooperation between Germany and Mozambique, considering it “very, very active,” with investments in education, training, government decentralization and economic and sustainable development, with a budget of around EUR50 million per year.
In 2015, Mozambique exported to Germany aluminum and agricultural products such as sugar, cotton and cashew nuts. For its part, Germany provided machinery, automobiles, electrical equipment and wheat, generating a turnover of EUR270 million between the two countries.